College fantasy football: Week 3 in Big Ten - Love 'em or Leave 'em
The first couple weeks of college football are in the books and there is a lot to consider after watching and following those matchups. Here are some players to start and to avoid in the Big Ten heading into Week 3.
One of the biggest surprises early this season is how well the Terrapins are playing on both sides of the ball, but we’re particularly excited about Jackson. Maryland is using a host of running backs, so it’s tricky to figure out which one to start in fantasy leagues, but Jackson, who is owned in only seven percent of leagues, should have success against a Temple defense that has only faced Bucknell this season. The Virginia Tech transfer has already thrown seven TD passes and more could be coming this week.
While everyone is talking up and paying more attention to receiver Tyler Johnson, it’s Bateman who has had a better start to the season with 12 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns. I like him in this spot because Georgia Southern’s pass defense is suspect after giving up five TD passes to LSU a couple weeks ago including three to receiver Terrace Marshall alone. This past weekend, Georgia Southern allowed 307 passing yards to Maine. Minnesota should open it up and Bateman should be the beneficiary.
Iowa State needed three overtimes to score 29 points against Northern Iowa as the Cyclones posted just 13 points in regulation and looked really disjointed at times. It should be low points for Iowa State this weekend against an outstanding defensive unit at Iowa that shut out Rutgers and has not yielded a rushing touchdown in two games. Iowa has better players and a better defense and should roll.
Arizona State’s defense has only given up two touchdowns in two games - albeit to Kent State and Sacramento State - but the Sun Devils might be legitimate and Michigan State could lean on the physical run game to wear them down. It’s unlikely the Spartans want to get in a shootout with the Sun Devils, so ball control could be the name of the game and that means Lewerke won’t be doing a lot of throwing the ball around.
There is a good possibility that Nebraska comes out this weekend and stomps Northern Illinois, but Martinez had chances against two weak defenses in South Alabama and Colorado to post huge numbers and he hasn’t done it yet. Ridiculous comparisons like that to Patrick Mahomes are being written about Martinez and that might be true, but so far he has two touchdown passes and two picks and has rushed for two scores. This could be the weekend for a big showing, but I’m not convinced yet.
Ohio State Defense
Something quirky is going on with this early line and it could point to trouble. Ohio State is only 14-point favorites at Indiana this weekend and some would call that a value trap. But the over/under line is at 61 so Las Vegas is expecting a relatively close, high-scoring game in Bloomington. The Buckeyes have completely rolled in their first two games with blowout wins over FAU and Cincinnati, but do we know anything that defense yet while playing inferior competition? Indiana has hardly played world killers in Ball State and Eastern Illinois, but the Hoosiers have scored points. This one is suspicious, so I’d stay away.