Football: Imagining a Pac-12 fantasy football team

Chad Zavala, Daily Utah Chronicle.
Chad Zavala, Daily Utah Chronicle.

For all the fantasy football freaks out there, this is a critical time of year, and things will only get more interesting as we get closer to the end of the season.
Some fantasy owners’ dreams have already been crushed, friends have become enemies, playoff races are heating up, and those who are out of the race want a draft do-over.
Unfortunately, I am one of those owners whose fantasy season is all but over. That’s why I’ve decided to have my own draft do-over (with the benefit of nobody picking against me) to try to recapture the excitement of picking an unbeatable team. Here is my Pac-12 College Football Fantasy Dream Team for 2013.
Based on ESPN.com roster format and scoring, I’ve drafted a fantasy team from Pac-12 players whose stats would dominate any imaginable NFL fantasy team.
Round 1
QB — Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks
I know, you’re supposed to take a running back in the first round, but anybody who would pass on Mariota’s dual-threat scoring ability is insane. Mariota is not only the best quarterback in the Pac-12, but his fantasy stats dwarf even the best NFL quarterbacks. With 29 total touchdowns, plus 2,281 yards throwing, no interceptions and 511 rushing yards, he averages 34.5 fantasy points per game. The top NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning, averages 26.9 viewers. Yeah, I’ll take Mariota in the first round.
Round 2
RB 1 — Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona Wildcats
OK, now I’ll get a running back. While Carey’s stats speak for themselves, seeing this guy singlehandedly tear the Utes’ defense apart two weeks ago was stupefying. With 920 yards and 10 scores, Carey IS the Wildcats’ offense — and he’s averaging 23.5 fantasy points per game. Compare that to Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs, who leads NFL running backs with an average of 17.3 fantasy points per game.
Round 3
WR 1 — Brandin Cooks, Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State’s leading receiver burned the Utes over and over again in the overtime thriller last month. He snagged the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns for the Beavers in that contest and now has 13 receiving touchdowns, two rushing scores and 1,390 total yards. He crushes his NFL competition, averaging 27.8 fantasy points per game. Calvin Johnson leads NFL receivers with an average of 14.8 points per outing.
Round 4
RB 2 — Bishop Sankey, Washington Huskies
Sankey has tallied 13 touchdowns while running wild with 1,334 rushing and receiving yards combined. He beats the NFL’s best running back by an average of eight points per game with 26.3 fantasy points per contest.
Round 5
WR 2 — Paul Richardson, Colorado Buffaloes
Seven touchdowns and 921 total yards give Richardson a whopping 19.1 fantasy points per game. That’s still significantly better than Megatron’s 14.8.
Round 6
Flex — Marion Grice RB, Arizona State Sun Devils
While Grice doesn’t have the yards that Carey and Sankey do, he strikes paydirt more often than any Pac-12 player who isn’t a quarterback. He has scored 18 times on 553 rushing yards and 302 yards through the air. At 18 fantasy points per game, any owner would be lucky to have Grice as a flex option.
Round 7
TE — Josh Huff, Oregon Ducks
A tight end with 730 total yards and six touchdowns in eight games? I’ll take him. Huff averages 13.6 fantasy points per game, just less than the NFL’s leading tight end, Jimmy Graham, who averages 15.4 points per game.
Round 8
Defense — USC
The Trojans lead the conference in yards allowed per game, with only 317.2. They’ve also picked off 10 passes, accumulated 27 sacks and given up just over 19 points per game. I’m not sure what that comes out to average in fantasy points, but it seems really, really good.
Round 9
Kicker — Andy Phillips, Utah Utes
Last but not least, I add a Ute to my fantasy dream team. Prior to Utah’s past two games, Phillips was perfect, and even now he is 13-for-16 on field goal attempts. He has drilled all 30 of his extra point tries and is 2-of-2 in on side kicks. Andy “Automatic” Phillips is an ultra-reliable addition for three-pointers and averages 8.8 fantasy points per game, which would rank eighth among NFL kickers.