It's fantasy time
If you're reading this, there's a good chance you play fantasy football. An estimated 15 million Americans do. And if you're into fantasy you might be one of a growing number of people playing college fantasy football.
I am. A friend of mine in Atlanta started a league last year using only players from the Big Ten, MAC and Notre Dame (newly expanded this year). He put together his own website and keeps track of stats manually, but most of the large companies that offer fantasy gaming now offer college leagues as well. You can adapt the league to your tastes, use whatever players and schools you want, even speculate on what high schoolers will make it big one day and "recruit" them.
Frankly, I enjoy my college league more than any of the NFL ones I've been in off and on since high school. It's a fun way to broaden your college football knowledge, stay in touch with friends, and make that Wednesday night MAC game more appealing.
We drafted last week (I'll be pulling hard for Northern Illinois running back Garrett Wolfe and Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn this year). If you're in a college league there's a good chance you're drafting today. In case you need a cheat sheet of which Big Ten players to take, here's mine. Remember, all leagues score differently so rank your players accordingly:
Top five quarterbacks: 1. Troy Smith, Ohio State; 2. Drew Stanton, MSU; 3. Chad Henne, Michigan; 4. Drew Tate, Iowa; 5. Curtis Painter, Purdue Breakdown: Smith and Stanton are strong in any format because of their running ability. Tate doesn't have great receivers, so beware of taking him too early, and I expect Painter to have a good season at Purdue.
Top five running backs: 1. Tyrell Sutton, Northwestern; 2. Albert Young, Iowa; 3. Michael Hart, Michigan; 4. Antonio Pittman, Ohio State; 5. Tony Hunt, Penn State Breakdown: Sutton is Northwestern's whole offense and the best receiver out of the bunch. The other four will be touchdown machines.
Top five receivers: 1. Dorien Bryant, Purdue; 2. Derrick Williams, Penn State; 3. Ted Ginn, Ohio State; 4. James Hardy, Indiana; 5. Mario Manningham, Michigan Breakdown: Bryant is great if you get points for receptions and return yards. Williams and Ginn are electric players who you can expect to touch the ball 10 times a game.
Five sleepers: 1. RB P.J. Hill, Wisconsin; 2. QB Bryan Cupito, Minnesota; 3. WR Paul Hubbard, Wisconsin, 4. WR Rasheed Ward, Northwestern; 5. RB Chris Wells, Ohio State Breakdown: Hill will be a stud if he stays healthy, Cupito and the Gophers should throw more this year, someone's got to catch the ball for Northwestern and Wisconsin, and Wells is great if you're in a long-term keeper league.