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Thursday, November 11, 2010
College Football Challenge: Week 11

By Will Harris
Special to ESPN.com

College Football Challenge is a player-based fantasy game with a format that's challenging yet flexible and user-friendly. You can play using all 120 FBS teams or compete within any of the 11 conferences. The points-based scoring system revolves around an eight-slot roster of quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, team kicking and team defense. Each week we'll take a look at the top performers and surprise contributors, while alerting you to any players who might need to spend the week on the bench.

Cream of the crop: Star fantasy performers with the best matchups

Nick Foles, QB, Arizona: Foles has missed some time, but he shook the rust in last week's loss at Stanford. He's completely healthy now and is primed for a 300-yard outing against USC's miserable secondary. Start him.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State: "Quizz" is forging a strong second half again this year, and his Beavers will be in an angry mood after getting bottled up in a low-scoring loss at UCLA last week. A home date with Washington State is the salve. Look for a three-touchdown performance from the diminutive star.

Montel Harris, RB, Boston College: Harris is (by far) the leading rusher in the ACC, and he has been picking up steam recently. Duke's poor rushing defense won't prevent another 100-yard, two-TD day from the Eagles' workhorse.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois: One of three Big Ten running backs averaging 100 yards per game on the ground, Leshoure has become a big receiving weapon out of the backfield. He'll be the Illini "bell cow" this week against last-place Minnesota.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: Mallett might not even play in the second half this week versus UTEP, and running back Knile Davis might be an even better option, but the Miners' secondary has no hope of covering the Arkansas receivers, and Mallett could rack up 300 yards and five touchdowns on his first 15 attempts.

Opportunity knocks: Emerging or seldom-rostered players with favorable matchups

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International: The all-conference star is the Panthers' main weapon, and he's sure to get deep on Troy's 110th-ranked pass defense a time or two in this showdown for the Sun Belt lead.

Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee: The Vols' senior is the ninth-leading receiver in the SEC, averaging nearly 20 yards per catch. He has good chemistry with new starting quarterback Tyler Bray and faces a soft Ole Miss secondary this week.

Mike Hartline, QB, Kentucky: Hartline has tossed 21 touchdown passes, which is tops in the SEC. He'll put the Cats on the board early and often versus struggling Vanderbilt.

David Piland, QB, Houston: There's a case to be made for using nearly all the skill players on both sides of this annual Houston-Tulsa shootout. This year's Tulsa pass defense has been especially bad, though, and the Cougars could well have three 100-yard receivers, all courtesy of Piland's throws.

Tim Jefferson, QB, Air Force: The Falcons could put up 50 or 60 points on a sad-sack New Mexico defense that's still celebrating its first conference win of the season, a last-second comeback victory over Wyoming last week. Jefferson and slot back Asher Clark will see more touches with big fullback Jared Tew still out.

On the shelf: Key players who need a week off, thanks to injury, matchup or circumstance

Joshua Nesbitt, QB, Georgia Tech: Nesbitt will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his arm Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Tevin Washington is the team's new signal-caller.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State: Ponder hasn't practiced all week, and it doesn't look like he'll be ready to go versus Clemson on Saturday. Gator Bowl MVP E.J. Manuel will get the nod under center.

Jacory Harris, QB, Miami: Running back Damien Berry will return to the Canes' lineup this week, but Harris will miss at least one more game because of the concussion he suffered at Virginia.

Evan Royster, RB, Penn State: The Lions' all-time leading rusher has come on strong the past few weeks, but the Penn State offense is going to find the sledding tough this week in the Horseshoe. Royster will be fortunate to top 50 yards.

Adam Froman, QB, Louisville: Running back Bilal Powell might be a game-time decision, but Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has ruled out Froman against South Florida this week. Both missed last week's win at Syracuse.

Will Harris is a college football analyst for ESPN.com.