News:Nathan Scheelhaase completed 19-of-34 passes for 96 yards and an interception Saturday at Ohio State. He also rushed for 36 yards on 15 carries.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase has been a disappointment this season and isn't worth a roster spot outside of Big Ten-only leagues.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (concussion) will play against Indiana on Saturday, ESPN reports.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase and the rest of the Illinois roster have been a huge disappointment, but he's not an awful gamble in deeper formats since the Indiana defense is far from frightening.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase left Saturday's game against Michigan with an undisclosed injury.
Analysis: He seems doubtful to return, and a concussion looks like a worry after he took a big hit on a run play. Reilly O'Toole will ineffectively play in his place.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase completed 18-of-29 passes for 178 yards with a touchdown and an interception Saturday as Illinois couldn't stick with Wisconsin in a 31-14 defeat.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase carried the Illini offense, accounting for 84 of the 106 rushing yards, with another score on the ground. His 3.8 YPC was actually a season high for the four contests in which he's appeared this season, quite close to the 4.0 YPC in his career entering 2012. The offense goes as he goes, though, so without another teammate showing up on a game-to-game basis, opposing defenses will be able to focus most of their attention on Scheelhaase, bottling him up more often than not.
Illinois' Scheelhaase (Ankle) Throws Two Interceptions
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) completed 28-of-46 passes for 270 yards and two interceptions Saturday as Illinois lost 35-7 to visiting Penn State.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase, who racked up a whopping seven yards on a team-high 11 carries, is leading a team with few viable receiving options, yet threw the ball 47 times versus 22 runs. Granted, the Illini were down 21-0 at halftime, but the team's strength resides in its rushing attack, which was nonexistent Saturday. Until the offense finds something of a rhythm, it's difficult to rely upon Scheelhaase for fantasy output.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) practiced Tuesday and is expected to play against Penn State on Saturday, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase appears to remain the starter for Illinois, so the only thing left to do is determine whether his ankle is a problem. It's looking like he'll be ready for Saturday.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase was benched early in Saturday's loss to Louisiana Tech after he threw an interception and lost a fumble. He'll now have to compete for the starting job with Reilly O'Toole, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase may have been rusty after missing a game with a sprained ankle, but that didn't seem to totally excuse his performance. The Illinois quarterback position looks like one to avoid for fantasy purposes until a clear starter emerges.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) is expected to play in Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Analysis: Illinois coach Tim Beckman didn't announce that Nathan Scheelhaase would start, but we'd assume that he would since the head coach also said he was back to 100 percent healthy.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) wore a red no-contact jersey in practice Tuesday, which was no different than last Saturday's starter (and typical backup) Reilly O'Toole, the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.
Analysis: After missing the past two games with a left ankle sprain, Nathan Scheelhaase appears as if he's nearing a return to action. In fact, he made much progress a week ago, so expect him back in the fold Saturday versus Louisiana Tech.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) will not play Saturday versus Charleston Southern, the Big Ten Network reports.
Analysis: Reilly O'Toole will likely start in his place, but with the Illini utilizing a ground attack without Nathan Scheelhaase, don't expect much production from O'Toole through the air.
Illinois' Scheelhaase (Ankle) Progressing in Practice
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) ran a two-minute drill during Wednesday's practice and "did very well," OrangeandBlueNews.com reports.
Analysis: Coach Tim Beckman also noted that Nathan Scheelhaase is "progressing" and is "much further along than last week." Considering his level of participation Wednesday, Scheelhaase will more than likely be behind center Saturday versus Charleston Southern.
Illinois' Scheelhaase (Ankle) Expects to Play Saturday
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) expects to play Saturday against Charleston Southern, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Analysis: During a media session Tuesday, Nathan Scheelhaase said that his left ankle sprain feels "night and day" better than it did a week ago. Meanwhile, according to ESPN, coach Tim Beckman stated, "I don't want to put Nate or any football player out that's not totally ready." While Scheelhaase was very involved in Tuesday's practice, consider him questionable until he's fully cleared to play.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) is doubtful for Saturday's game against Arizona State, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis: Even if he surprisingly plays, the ankle limitation makes Nathan Scheelhaase too risky of a start for nearly all of his owners. Reilly O'Toole is the likely starter for Illinois, but he never gave reason in the past to have high expectations.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase still had some stiffness in his ankle Wednesday, but his movement was vastly better than it was in the beginning of the week, John Supinie of Gatehouse News reports.
Analysis:Nathan Scheelhaase appears to be a game-time decision, with just three days remaining before Saturday's kickoff versus Arizona State. Fantasy owners should still consider him questionable at this point.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle) did not practice Tuesday and appears doubtful for Saturday's game against Arizona State, Gatehouse News writer John Supinie reports.
Analysis: Reilly O'Toole would replace Nathan Scheelhaase if the Illinois starter can't play Saturday, but we can't recommend him as a fantasy option.
News:Nathan Scheelhaase suffered a sprained ankle towards the end of Saturday's game against Western Michigan, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis: It's not believed to be a serious injury, but consider him questionable for next week until further notice. Nathan Scheelhaase was disappointing against Western Michigan's weak defense, completing 11-of-18 passes for 126 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He ran for 21 yards and a touchdown, as well.
News: Much like he did with Austin Dantin and Terrence Owens at Toledo, Illinois head coach Tim Beckman says that he will consider using both Reilly O'Toole and Nathan Scheelhaase at quarterback.
Analysis: While it worked for the Rockets, it was incredibly frustrating from a fantasy standpoint so let's just hope he sticks with one.
News: Illinois has hired Tim Beckman as their next head football coach. Beckman was 21-16 in the last three seasons at Toledo.
Analysis: Beckman will not coach the Rockets in the Millitary Bowl against Air Force. And interim head coach Vic Koening is expected to coach the Illini in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against UCLA.
News: Illinois head coach Ron Zook was fired on Sunday after seven years on the job. "I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership," llinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas said in a released statement.
Analysis: Some potential candidates to fill the job include: Cincinatti HC Butch Jones, Houston HC Kevin Sumlin, South Florida HC Skip Holtz, Ohio State interim-HC Luke Fickell, Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst, Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi, Northern Illinois HC Dave Doeren and of course Mike Leach
News: Illinois employed a two-quarterback system against Wisconsin, with Nathan Scheelhaase and Reilly O'Toole combining for 188 total yards in the loss.
Analysis: O'Toole has seen playing time this season, but not as much as he did on Saturday.
News: As expected, the snow is falling in State College. There is a Winter Storm Warning, with four to six inches expected over the next 36 hours.
Analysis: Running Backs Silas Redd and Jason Ford will probably factor with big roles today, while wide receiver A.J. Jenkins downgrades a bit. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase could use his feet more today as well.
News: Those ever-reliable weather forecasters are predicting up to 8 inches of snow to fall in State College on Saturday, making Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, Penn State running back Silas Redd and other skill players even-riskier starts.
Analysis: We love Big Ten slugfests in the snow, but it's not even Halloween for Pete's sake.
News: Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins caught eight passes for 80 yards, while quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase accounted for just 218 yards of offense and was picked off twice against Ohio State.
Analysis: Scheelhaase's only touchdown pass was to tight end Evan Wilson. Overall, disappointing fantasy output for both Scheelhaase and Jenkins.
News: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and wide receiver A.J. Jenkins have their work cut out for them against Ohio State on Saturday.
Analysis: Ohio State is 22nd in the nation in pass defense. As the saying goes, big time players play big in big games.
News: Illinois wide receiver Darius Millines (foot) "probably won't play" against Ohio State, according to offensive coordinator Paul Petrino
Analysis: Millines is experiencing problems with his previously fractured left foot. A.J. Jenkins will continue to see most of the targets from Nathan Scheelhaase, and rightfully so.
News: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase had 298 yards of offense and four touchdowns (one rush) against Indiana.
Analysis: After a slow start, Scheelhaase is getting it going. It was his second straight game with four touchdowns, two of them coming on the ground.
News: Illinois wide receiver Darius Millines is doubtful for the game at Indiana this Saturday. Millines is experiencing pain in his left foot, the same foot he had surgery on last spring.
Analysis: Millines was starting to come on prior to the injury, which also kept him out last week. He's a talented wide receiver, and one to watch out for next year.
News: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase had 426 yards of total offense with four touchdowns (1 rush) in a win over Northwestern.
Analysis: A welcome sight for Scheelhaase owners who had been waiting for him to break-out. The wait is over.
News: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase say's he's ready to go after leaving the Western Michigan game briefly after landing hard on the turf.
Analysis: His shoulder is still sore, but Scheelhaase say's it's feeling better, and he will be ready to go this week.
News: Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 11 of 15 passing for 135 yards with a touchdown and added 67 yards rushing in the win over ASU.
Analysis: Scheelhaase has yet to have a fantasy break-out game this year, but it's coming. He's attempted just 46 passes on the season, completing 72 percent.
News: Arizona State gave up eight plays of 20 or more yards against Missouri last week, and this is something the Illini hope to capitalize on.
Analysis: Missouri quarterback James Franklin ran for 84 yards against ASU in addition to the big plays. Nathan Scheelhaase and wide receiver A.J. Jenkins are solid starts this weekend.
News: As the season approaches, Illinois will be searching for more receiving targets for quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase outside of A.J. Jenkins. One potential candidate is tight end Evan Wilson, who as a true freshman had ten catches and showed a lot of potential.
Analysis: Wilson may not be on the fantasy radar this year but is still someone to keep your eye on.
News: With such a dynamic star like Nathan Scheelhaase at quarterback, offensive coordinator Paul Petrino needs some guys to emerge as possible targets. Two such targets are receiver Darius Millines and tight end Evan Wilson. Millines was a dynamo in the return game last year while Wilson started 11 games as a true freshman.
Analysis: Even without Mikel LeShoure in the lineup, the Illini offense should be plenty explosive as long as some playmakers emerge alongside Scheelhaase.
News: With Mikel Leshoure off to the NFL, Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino is using the offseason to search for more playmakers. One established go-to guy is quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase who as a freshman threw for 17 touchdowns while also rushing for over 800 yards and five more scores. "I think he will run for 1,000 yards this year too. That’s the type of play we’ll need from Nathan" said Petrino when talking about his quarterback. Petrino also wants to get the ball to his tight ends saying "I think with speed that we have at the position with you will see us throwing to the tight end more."
Analysis: Ron Zook has recruited some nice talent to Illinois and now it is time to have them produce on the field. If the staff is truly gameplanning to have Scheelhaase rush for 1,000 yards, his fantasy stock should go way up.
News: ESPN's Adam Rittenberg ranks the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten and four of his top five all have outstanding rushing ability.
Analysis: Michigan's Denard Robinson, Northwestern's Dan Persa, Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez might form the most talented group of rushing quarterbacks in a single conference in the modern era. When is the last time we've seen this many top rushing quarterbacks in one conference?
News: Scheelhaase completed 6-of-13 passes for 40 yards, one touchdown and an interception against Northwestern Saturday while running for 97 yards.
Analysis: The redshirt freshman is a bit goofy and difficult to predict, so we can't recommend him outside of Big Ten-only leagues as Illinois takes on Fresno State, though it is a mismatch in Scheelhaase's favor (in theory).
News: Scheelhaase completed 10-of-21 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota Saturday while running for 35 yards.
Analysis: He's a pretty solid play against Northwestern. Scheelhaase has been red-hot the past month, so feel free to stick with him another week.
News: Scheelhaase completed 14-of-25 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan Saturday while running for 101 yards and another touchdown.
Analysis: Believe it or not, Minnesota's defense is better than Michigan's, so he likely won't do as well next week. But he's still worth a start in most formats.
News: Scheelhaase completed 16-of-20 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns against Purdue Saturday while totaling 118 yards on the ground.
Analysis: Scheelhaase is showing the ability to perform consistently against lower-tier defenses, and up ahead is a Michigan defense that can't do a single productive thing. Scheelhaase is always risky, but there's more upside here yet.
News: Scheelhaase completed 13-of-21 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Indiana Saturday while running for 45 yards.
Analysis: Scheelhaase has been relatively promising as a redshirt freshman, but he's always a risky option, even as he takes on Purdue.
News: Scheelhaase completed 15-of-27 passes for 137 yards and three interceptions against Michigan State Saturday.
Analysis: Scheelhaase was awful in this one, but he is a sneaky play against Indiana's much less threatening defense. Only for the desperate.
News: Scheelhaase completed 15-of-19 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown while running for 63 yards on eight carries against Penn State Saturday.
Analysis: This is a highly impressive performance for the redshirt freshman. He's probably going to come back to earth against Michigan State, but he and the Illinois offense may have found themselves.
News: Scheelhaase completed 12-of-22 passes for 110 yards and an interception while running for 15 yards and a touchdown against Ohio State.
Analysis: This could have been a lot worse for Scheelhaase, so this is ultimately an encouraging performance. He still doesn't warrant consideration against Penn State, however.
News: Scheelhaase completed 8-of-16 passes for 70 yards and rushed 16 times for 120 yards and a touchdown in a win Saturday over N. Illinois
Analysis: Scheelhaase passing game needs some work but he is a threat on the ground if given some time by his line but is too risky to start as of now.
News: Scheelhaase struggled in his first game under center for the Illini, completing 9-of-23 passes for 81 yards, 3 interceptions and a touchdown.
Analysis: Coach Ron Zook and the coaching stuff will put the reigns on Scheelhaase until he gets a few starts under his belt so don't expect a lot of fantasy points the first half of the season.
News: Head coach Ron Zook revealed Wednesday that he has named Scheelhaase, a redshirt freshman, the next starting quarterback for the Illinois Fighting Illini, ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Said Zook of his decision, "Following spring ball, our coaching staff had some time to review the quarterback situation and felt Nathan proved himself as a leader both on and off the field. He showed the ability to run coach [Paul] Petrino's offense at a high level, and we thought it was important to establish Nathan as a team leader entering summer workouts."