Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 5

Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 5

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.

We are entering the so-called "spooky season" as September turns to October. However, there's no need to be scared about your college football fantasy lineups. There are matchups to target and matchups to avoid. Hopefully I can help you kick off a new month on a good note, even if technically this week of college football starts on Thursday, the last day of September.

AAC

START

D'Wan Mathis, QB, Temple vs. Memphis

Good news for the Tigers! They are now allowing under 400 yards per game through the air. Yes, the tenacious Memphis defense is allowing a paltry 398.3 passing yards per game. I jest, of course, as the Tigers rank last in that regard. Mathis struggled in the opener on the road against Rutgers and then missed two games with injury. He did look good against Wagner, and even though that is an FCS team is Memphis any better against the pass than an FCS team would be?

SIT

Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati at Notre Dame

Ford is apparently a fan of round numbers. He's rushed the ball 50 times for 300 yards in three games, which means he is averaging 100 yards per game on the ground. However, Cincinnati is visiting Notre Dame, a team that seems to be finding its footing on defense. The Fighting Irish had to get used to their new defensive coordinator, a highly-touted guy named Marcus Freeman who just so happened to be Cincinnati's defensive coordinator as recently as 2020.

ACC

We are entering the so-called "spooky season" as September turns to October. However, there's no need to be scared about your college football fantasy lineups. There are matchups to target and matchups to avoid. Hopefully I can help you kick off a new month on a good note, even if technically this week of college football starts on Thursday, the last day of September.

AAC

START

D'Wan Mathis, QB, Temple vs. Memphis

Good news for the Tigers! They are now allowing under 400 yards per game through the air. Yes, the tenacious Memphis defense is allowing a paltry 398.3 passing yards per game. I jest, of course, as the Tigers rank last in that regard. Mathis struggled in the opener on the road against Rutgers and then missed two games with injury. He did look good against Wagner, and even though that is an FCS team is Memphis any better against the pass than an FCS team would be?

SIT

Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati at Notre Dame

Ford is apparently a fan of round numbers. He's rushed the ball 50 times for 300 yards in three games, which means he is averaging 100 yards per game on the ground. However, Cincinnati is visiting Notre Dame, a team that seems to be finding its footing on defense. The Fighting Irish had to get used to their new defensive coordinator, a highly-touted guy named Marcus Freeman who just so happened to be Cincinnati's defensive coordinator as recently as 2020.

ACC

START

Taj Harris, WR, Syracuse at Florida State

Harris has had a weird year, but at his peak, he had eight catches for 122 yards against Rutgers, who looks like a good defense this season. Last season he had 58 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. At his best, he's a viable receiver for your fantasy lineup. Florida State ranks 113th in passing yards allowed per contest and the defining moment of its season was allowing Jacksonville State to complete a Hail Marry touchdown to get a win.

SIT

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College at Clemson

Remember, Clemson's offense is the problem in 2021, not the defense. The Tigers rank 33rd in passing yards allowed per game against FBS teams, but that includes a game against possibly the best team in the nation in Georgia and a double-overtime affair with NC State. Flowers, meanwhile, does not have Phil Jurkovec throwing balls to him any longer due to injury.

Big 12

START

Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State vs. Kansas

It's been a rough season for Purdy, who came into the year as a Heisman hopeful. He got quasi-yanked against Iowa. The Cyclones already have two losses. I expect Purdy will take all that frustration out on Kansas. The Jayhawks have not struck fear in the heart of opposing quarterbacks in years. Purdy is going to remind us this week why he got so much love before the campaign began.

SIT

Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma at Kansas State

Speaking of preseason narratives, a lot of people seemed enthused that the Sooners were getting Brooks back after he sat out the 2020 season. Indeed, he opened the year on a three-game touchdown streak, but last week against West Virginia was concerning. Not only did he gain a mere 17 yards on the ground, he only got five carries. Kansas State has only allowed 67.0 rushing yards per contest. Brooks could be as much of a non-factor as he was in 2020 when he didn't even take the field.

Big Ten

START

Joshua McCray, RB, Illinois vs. Charlotte

With Illinois' top two backs out last week against Purdue, McCray stepped into a lead role and, well, ran with it. The freshman got 24 carries and took them for 156 yards. While the health of the Illinois backfield is not known at the moment, what is known is that Charlotte has allowed 257.0 rushing yards per game. I expect the Fighting Illini to run all over the 49ers.

SIT

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan at Wisconsin

Corum is off to a torrid start to the season, even if he fell under 100 yards rushing and failed to find the end zone for the first time this year against Rutgers. Wisconsin takes the challenge to a new level, though. The Badgers are tops in the league in allowing rushing yards and the numbers are pretty crazy. We're talking a mere 23.0 rushing yards allowed per contest. Against any competition that would be outstanding.

Conference USA

START

Jacob Cowing, WR, UTEP vs. ODU

You are forgiven if you aren't paying attention to UTEP, but get to know Cowing. He's scored in every game this season, and he's been over 100 yards in three games. The one he wasn't was against Bethune-Cookman when the Miners didn't really need him like they have in other games. Old Dominion sat out the 2020 season as a team, and it has had some struggles getting into the swing of things in 2021. The Monarchs have allowed 40.7 points per contest.

SIT

Marcus Williams, RB, Louisiana Tech at North Carolina State

Williams transferred to Louisiana Tech from Appalachian State, and he's stepped right into the starting running back role. This is a tricky matchup, though. While Clemson's offense isn't as good as in recent seasons, NC State still was able to keep it in check. Overall, the Wolf Pack rank 12th in rushing yards allowed per game.

MAC

START

O'Shaan Allison, RB, Ohio at Akron

Akron isn't just in the bottom 15 in both rushing and passing yards allowed per game. The Zips are last in points per game. They've allowed a staggering 54.7 points per contest against FBS teams. Now, Ohio has struggled offensively as well, but if there were ever a week to pick it up, it's this one. As a running back, Allison has the potential to contribute both on the ground and through the air.

SIT

Kalil Pimpleton, WR, Central Michigan at Miami (OH)

Pimpleton just had eight catches for 117 yards against FIU, but that more than doubled his receiving yards on the season. Meanwhile, Jacob Sirmon and Daniel Richardson are listed as co-starters at quarterback for the Chippewas, and if you have two starters you have none. Ohio's version of Miami, meanwhile, ranks seventh in passing yards allowed per game.

*Editor's note: Daniel Richardson was named the starter Wednesday morning

Mountain West

START

Brad Roberts, RB, Air Force at New Mexico

Roberts has been the tip of the spear for Air Force's option running attack. He's carried the ball 88 times for 398 yards and three touchdowns. New Mexico is, traditionally, one of the worst teams in college football. The Lobos have only faced one team that can really run the ball this season in Texas A&M, and the Aggies rushed for 171 yards on 31 carries stripping out sacks.

SIT

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada at Boise State

Cutting out the four touchdowns Strong through against Idaho State, Strong has thrown a mere three touchdowns against two picks this season. It's been a far cry from his 2020 campaign when he had 27 touchdown passes against a mere four interceptions. Boise State isn't going to make things any easier, as its only allowed 18.2 points per game.

Pac-12

START

Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford vs. Oregon

Cheers to efficiency. McKee has thrown eight touchdowns against zero interceptions this season, and he's added two rushing scores for good measure. There isn't an FCS team among those games, by the way, and three of them were on the road. Oregon is undefeated and that's all well and good, but it has also allowed 338.3 passing yards per contest.

SIT

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA vs. Arizona State

DTR is expected to be just fine even though he hurt his arm last week against Stanford. He'll need to be 100 percent, because this is going to be a tricky affair. The Sun Devils rank third in passing yards allowed per game and 15th in points allowed per game.

SEC

START

Cam Johnson, WR, Vanderbilt vs. UConn

For the one and only time this season, I am recommending a Vanderbilt player. Savor this moment. Hold it close to your heart. Johnson has 135 receiving yards and two touchdowns through four games, and last year he had 545 yards and three scores in nine contest. This is mostly about Connecticut, one of the worst teams in college football. The Huskies have allowed 42.5 points per game. This is Vanderbilt's only hope at a win. I expect it to make the most of it.

SIT

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas at Georgia

Burk and the Razorbacks have been a great story, but this is the last defense you want to mess with. The Bulldogs and first in points allowed per game and second in passing yards allowed per game. Only Florida Atlantic has allowed fewer passing yards, and that's been against a much easier schedule. There is not an offense good enough that I have confidence in them against Georgia, especially down in Athens.

Sun Belt

START

Logan Wright, RB, Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State

Wright opened the season by rushing for 178 yards and a touchdown against Gardner-Webb. Last week he had four catches for 85 yards. I highlight both because Arkansas State's defense is bad at everything. The Red Wolves are 129th in passing yards allowed per game, 120th in rushing yards allowed per game, and 129th in points allowed per game. Basically, however, Wright gets the ball in his hands he has all the opportunity in the world in this matchup.

SIT

Taylor Powell, QB, Troy at South Carolina

Other than Vanderbilt, it's tricky facing an SEC team on the road if you are a Sun Belt squad. Powell has completed 68.8 percent of his passes, but he's also thrown an interception in three of his four starts. South Carolina is 27th in passing yards allowed per game, and when you factor in relative strength of schedule, this matchup is not in Powell's favor.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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