These aren’t your older brother’s USC Trojans.
Actually, they’re beginning to look more like your father’s.
Maybe — just maybe — beleaguered USC coach Lane Kiffin found the blueprint to save his job in last Saturday’s 35-7 rout over Boston College. While the men of Troy put up 264 passing yards, it was the rebirth of Student Body Right that caught the attention of Kiffin’s detractors and perhaps the rest of the Pac-12.
USC ran the ball 43 times for 257 yards while averaging 6.0 yards per carry, numbers that would make John Robinson smile. Contrast that to the mere 19 pass attempts, and all roads suggest that the Trojans will be less up-tempo and more boom and pound.
Should the winds of offensive philosophy maintain its gradual change, then USC RB Tre Madden had better be atop your league’s waiver wire list, more so if it’s a Pac-12 only league.
Madden had 25.4 points last week, scoring a touchdown while finishing with 102 yards on 16 carries; the sophomore also hauled in three passes for 32 yards and a second visit to the end zone. Built more like LenDale White (6-1, 220), Madden has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first three games, the first time the feat has occurred at USC since Marcus Allen did so during his Heisman Trophy winning campaign in 1981.
While freshman Justin Davis will see his share of carries, it is clear that Kiffin is committed to Madden as his lead back for now, which also means whatever Fantasy value Silas Redd may have had is gone, baby, gone. With USC’s “passing” game ranked 104th among all schools, it’s safe to say Kiffin will focus more on the 49th-ranked ground attack in his last-ditch bid to remain in Los Angeles.
The latest from what appears to be a very fertile waiver wire tree in the Pac-12, you should have all the confidence in the world in picking up Madden, who should produce at a solid level this weekend against Utah State. At this point, Madden looks like a good RB2 option and even better in a flex position. Don’t be surprised if Madden continues to emerge as a possible RB1 entering the start of conference play at Arizona State next weekend.
Is Zach Mettenberger ready to erase some doubts? Photo Credit: Hazboy
This week’s waiver wire is filled with good options at QB, and while most don’t fit a QB1 role, there’s a host of intriguing options to either add depth and/or play matchups:
1) Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU: Skepticism is what keeps Mettenberger available on waiver wires. While his 77.8 Fantasy points puts him 22nd overall among all players, questions as to whether he can maintain those numbers once SEC play begins has left most owners hesitant about picking up him. Speaking of SEC play, the Tigers begin their portion against Auburn on Saturday night; those still afraid of Mettenberger should use this game as a clip ‘n save performance.
2) Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame: The Irish ground game ranks 91st overall, which means the offense will likely make like the title of a great yet underrated Richard Elliot CD and take to the skies. Rees will be the pilot, and his numbers will likely make him a good matchup play, even against a tough Michigan State defense.
3) Austin Brown, QB, Alabama-Birmingham: The Blazers have the makings of an explosive attack, and while RB Darrin Reeves and WR Jamarcus Nelson have received attention, Brown sits quietly in almost every league. He had a open week following a 10.8 outing at LSU which made him more forgettable, but Brown gets a chance to put up gaudy numbers against Northwestern State this weekend. Owners in deeper leagues would be wise to take heed of Brown, who is poised to light up scoreboards once UAB gets into CUSA play.
4) Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB Michigan: Yes, I lit him up when I wrote that freshman Derrick Green would have no issue taking the starting role from Toussaint. Oops. His numbers won’t jump out at you, but Toussaint has been a reliable complement to QB Devin Gardner, putting up 43.7 points thus far. Saturday’s game against UConn makes him a tempting flex option and a possible RB2 in Big Ten leagues. He’s due for a breakout, so grab Toussaint and add quality depth to your roster.
5) Dres Anderson, WR, Utah: The junior has come out of nowhere to become the go-to man for red-hot QB Travis Wilson, putting up 46 Fantasy points in three games (15.1 ppg). More impressive is that Anderson has just 10 receptions, yet averages a Playstation-like 26 yards per haul to go along with touchdowns in each of his games. Anderson’s a must-start this week as the high-scoring Utes visit BYU.