Marcus Shaw, RB, South Florida: South Florida is a remarkably untalented team with what might be the worst passing game anyone can remember, but Shaw is a lone bright spot. Playing in a run-heavy Willie Taggart offense that turned Bobby Rainey and Antonio Andrews into stars at Western Kentucky, Shaw has looked relatively matchup-proof through the first four games, totaling 525 yards (6.8 YPC) and two touchdowns. He did that despite facing the tough defenses of Michigan State and Miami, posting 221 yards (5.1 YPC) and a touchdown. South Florida has shown a commitment to feeding Shaw the ball even in blowouts - he has 77 carries despite his team getting outscored 151 to 58.
Savon Huggins, RB, Rutgers: Huggins doesn't exactly provide star power, former high-recruit status aside, but it's slim pickings this week in the AAC. Huggins is among the top risers for this week, though, as starting Rutgers running back and emerging star Paul James is out against SMU this week due to a leg injury. That likely leaves Huggins with the starting role in an offense that called up 118 run plays between James and Huggins over the first four games, meaning Huggins could get 20 carries per game as long as James is out. SMU has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns in four games, so Huggins has no good reason not to produce.
Kenny Shaw, WR, Florida State: Rashad Greene is the clear top wideout for Florida State and high-ranking recruit Kelvin Benjamin was hyped to be the next star in line, but through four games this year it appears that Shaw is the best Seminoles wideout besides Greene. Shaw has posted at least four catches and 89 yards in each game this year, giving him 18 catches for 370 yards (20.6 YPC) and two touchdowns as Florida State heads into this week's matchup with Maryland. The Terrapins defense has been strong this year, but it hasn't been tested by a passing game as good as Florida State's. Shaw should be busy in the high-stakes ACC battle.
Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson: Leggett is primarily an ACC-only consideration for now, but he was the recipient of a fair amount of hype prior to the year before suffering a knee injury leading up to the season that slowed him for the first few weeks. In Saturday's game against Wake Forest, though, Leggett showed signs of becoming the player he was in spring and summer. He caught three passes for 38 yards and a touchdown, while Week 1 tight end starter Stanton Seckinger caught just a 16-yard pass.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Shepard couldn't get anything going while Trevor Knight started for Oklahoma in the first two weeks, totaling just three catches for 23 yards. Knight's knee injury turned out to be a major blessing in disguise, though, because the team's passing game really took off when Blake Bell stepped in as starting quarterback. Shepard, in particular, has benefited to this point, as in Bell's two games as starter Shepard has 13 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Bell will remain starter after leading Oklahoma to a victory over Notre Dame, so Shepard should stay hot.
Sam Richardson, QB, Iowa State: So far in 2013, Richardson has pretty much been the opposite of what was expected of him. He completed less than 50 percent of his passes in the final two games of 2012, but he ran for 165 yards in those games, giving the impression that he lacked passing skills but would stand out as a runner. But through three games this year he has seven touchdowns and three interceptions through the air with a completion percentage of 62.5, and he has just 111 rushing yards. The main reason for the lack of rushing yardage, though, is the pressure Richardson has played under this year. He's already been sacked 11 times for 64 yards, meaning Richardson has actually run for 175 yards. He is a good bet to put forth a more balanced effort at home against a sinking Texas squad this week that has allowed 392 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to opposing quarterbacks the last three weeks.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: After he received a three-game suspension to start the year, Hyde had to watch from the sidelines as his 2012 backup, Jordan Hall, torched defenses for 402 yards and six touchdowns in the first three weeks. It was unclear at that point if Hyde would ever get his starting role back. After Saturday's 31-27 victory against Wisconsin, though, it seems clear that Hyde has reclaimed his starting role. Hyde ran for 85 yards on 17 carries while Hall ran just once for five yards against the Badgers, making Hyde a must-add in most formats. Hyde scored 16 times on just 185 carries last year, so a touchdown spree is likely imminent.
Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois: Scheelhaase has had a rollercoaster career for Illinois. He arrived as a high-ranking recruit and had an excellent redshirt freshman season in 2010, throwing 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions while bolting for 859 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He struggled through 2011, though, and fell on his face in 2012, throwing for four touchdowns and eight interceptions while averaging just 5.5 yards per pass and 2.4 yards per carry. Illinois brought in Bill Cubit (formerly of Western Michigan) to remake the offense prior to the 2013 season, though, and Scheelhaase's play has made a complete 180. Despite getting sacked 10 times in the first four games, Scheelhaase has thrown for 1,162 yards (9.5 YPA), 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Up next is a Nebraska defense that allowed 677 yards and seven touchdowns through the air against Wyoming and UCLA.
Jamiell Showers, QB, UTEP: A lot was expected out of Showers when he transferred from Texas A&M to UTEP, but he got off to a relatively slow start with the Miners this year. Although he ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the first three weeks, he only threw for 491 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. If Saturday's game against Colorado State is any indication, though, Showers and the UTEP offense might have finally come to life. Showers threw for 365 yards (8.5 YPA) and five touchdowns with no interceptions while adding 21 yards and a sixth touchdown on the ground.
William Dukes, WR, Florida Atlantic: The Florida Atlantic offense is a mess, but Dukes has shown the ability to rise above it lately. The awfulness of his team's passing game (5.3 YPA) will continue to limit Dukes' upside, but he scored in three of his last four games, and he surpassed the 70-yard mark in two straight. He should definitely be owned and perhaps started in C-USA-only formats. He's doing well for himself as it is, and the Florida Atlantic passing game probably can't get any worse. Dukes faces a UAB squad this week that has allowed opponents to complete 73.2 percent of their passes (9.0 YPA) for nine touchdowns in four games.
Chad Chalich, QB, Idaho: Chalich is only worth the trouble in very deep formats since he plays for a team that badly lacks talent, but he has played admirably for Idaho, completing 65.3 percent of his passes and averaging 7.5 yards per attempt in an offense that averaged 6.0 yards per pass in 2012. He quietly possesses high upside as a runner, as he has 199 yards on the ground this year despite playing behind an atrocious offensive line that has allowed an almost incomprehensible 28 sacks for 197 in five games. Chalich finally received some decent blocking against Temple on Saturday, and he posted nice numbers as a result, throwing for 310 yards and a touchdown while running for 114 yards.
Saylor Lavallii, RB, Central Michigan: Lavallii has worked as Central Michigan's clear feature back in place of the injured Zurlon Tipton, and this week he gets an exceedingly promising matchup with a Miami (OH) squad that just can't do anything right, including run defense. The RedHawks have surrendered 1,053 yards (5.5 YPC) and seven touchdowns on the ground in just four games, including three games of 262 yards or more. Lavallii's unimpressive rushing average of 4.3 yards per carry should swing upward after a meeting with the RedHawks.
Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green: Johnson continues to progress as he grows into his role as Bowling Green's new starting quarterback and, thanks to his ability to move the ball on the ground, he's proving to be a significantly better fantasy option than incumbent Matt Schilz, who began the year as Bowling Green's starter. Since a rough first game against Tulsa where he completed just 11-of-23 passes, Johnson has completed 70.4 percent of his passes while averaging 9.4 yards per pass, scoring seven times (once rushing). He faces a hopeless Massachusetts defense this week.
Josh Harper, WR, Fresno State: Davante Adams is the big name among the Fresno State receivers, but Harper has probably been just as good four games into the year. After catching nine passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Hawaii on Saturday, Harper is up to 28 catches for 264 yards and six touchdowns. Other than Week 2, Harper has scored two touchdowns in each game this year. Harper faces an Idaho squad this week that has already allowed 14 passing touchdowns.
Cole Gautsche, QB, New Mexico: Durability is always a concern with an option quarterback like Gautsche, but if you start him on his good days he can post monstrous fantasy numbers. He seemed to hit his stride against UNLV on Saturday, throwing one touchdown pass while running for 108 yards and two more scores. He gets what might be his easiest matchup of the year this week when he takes on New Mexico State, a team that has allowed an almost incomprehensible 1,504 yards (6.6 YPC) and 20 touchdowns on the ground in just five games.
James Poole, RB, Utah: Poole has yet to really break out for Utah as he heads into his fifth game, but there's reason to believe it will happen soon. He has pulled away in the race to emerge as Utah's top running back, earning 43 carries the last two weeks and posting 213 yards and one touchdown. He looks poised to be an asset in PPR leagues especially, as he caught 12 passes for 92 yards over those two games. He faces off against UCLA at home this week.
Thomas Tyner, RB, Oregon: De'Anthony Thomas left Saturday's game against California with an ankle injury on the opening kickoff return. He has already been ruled out of this week's game against Colorado, opening the door for Tyner, who posted very good numbers after Thomas left the game Saturday. Although Oregon gave eight carries to deep bench runners Lane Roseberry and Kenny Bassett, Tyner went for 94 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries Saturday, giving him 174 yards (7.0 YPC) and four touchdowns in three games. Tyner was one of the elite recruits of the 2013 class, and it's obvious on film.
Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia: Todd Gurley (ankle) may or may not play against Tennessee this week, but even if he does tough it out through the sprained ankle that knocked him out of Saturday's victory over LSU, the Bulldogs will likely call more run plays than usual for Marshall in an effort to preserve Gurley's health. That's particularly likely due to the fact that Georgia is playing a Tennessee squad that beat South Alabama by just seven points Saturday. Marshall ran tough against a competent LSU defense Saturday, taking 20 carries for 96 yards. If Marshall gets 20 carries against Tennessee, he should breeze past 100 yards and score at least once.
Jonathan Krause, WR, Vanderbilt: Krause is a bit of a blast from the past for Vanderbilt, a player who was invisible in 2011 and 2012 after catching 24 passes for 243 yards in 2010, numbers that ranked second among Vanderbilt receivers. Now in his final year with Vanderbilt, Krause has resurfaced to establish himself as the Commodores' clear No. 2 wideout next to star Jordan Matthews. Krause has 10 catches over the last two weeks, a workload he turned into 213 yards and a touchdown. He faces a Missouri pass defense this week that has done well in 2013 but is mostly untested.
Robert Lowe, RB, Texas State: After receiving just eight carries in 2012, Lowe was far off the radar in most cases heading into this year. After lighting up Texas Tech for 103 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries Sept. 21, though, Texas State made a clear effort to get Lowe the ball more often against Wyoming on Saturday. The result was 138 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, giving Lowe six total touchdowns (five rushing) on the year on just 49 carries and six catches. He should probably be added in most or all formats because those 30 carries indicate that Texas State intends to keep feeding Lowe.
Wes Saxton, TE, South Alabama: Saxton has yet to find the end zone in 2013, but through South Alabama's first four games he has given reason to expect a breakout game any day now. He's averaging an impressive 15.0 yards per catch, and he has 223 yards on 14 catches the last three weeks, including back-to-back efforts of more than 90 yards in Weeks 2 and 3. South Alabama faces a Troy squad this week that likely will force a shootout, as Troy is averaging 34.4 points per game while allowing 9.5 yards per pass and nine passing touchdowns in five games.