Each preseason, players emerge from the end of the roster to post impressive statistics and create a buzz in the fantasy world. Last year, the likes of Cyrus Gray and Corey Washington shined against opponents’ second- and third-string defenses. Many stars in August find themselves on practice squads or in street clothes when the weather turns cold, but the running back who led the NFL in rushing yards this preseason may be different. Can Zach Zenner stick on the Detroit Lions’ roster and, more importantly for our purposes, the dynasty radar?
Originally from Minnesota, where in high school he starred in football and baseball, Zenner attended South Dakota State (SDSU). As a freshman in 2011, he accumulated 1,354 all-purpose yards (including at least 100 in nine of his 11 games) as he gave a taste of what was to come in his collegiate career.
He elevated his production in his sophomore season, the first of three straight 2,000+ rushing yard campaigns, leading the FCS in with 2,044 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground including a school-record 295-yard performance. He continued setting records as a junior with 2,015 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns, scoring at least one touchdown in 13 of 14 games. He capped off his incredible run at SDSU with 2,350 yards from scrimmage and 22 touchdowns in his senior season, averaging 11.8 yards per reception on 28 catches out of the backfield.