The fantasy football stock market is constantly fluctuating and it is always important for us to know which players have a price that has become exploitable whether it be to buy or sell. Pieces like this one have been fairly commonplace in the industry for a while in both redraft and dynasty, but I will be focusing on college players for devy dynasty leagues and how their week-to-week performances are affecting their price in those leagues. In this week’s article, I will be covering one player from each of the notable Conference Championship games on the Saturday slate.
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Temple vs Navy – American Athletic Conference Championship
Ventell Can’t Be Controlled
Ventell Bryant, WR Temple
Many people may scoff at the concept of a Temple wide receiver being an NFL prospect, but the Owls leading wideout is worth a look today. The Temple offense may only have 2,700 passing yards, but Bryant has 21% of that total with 579 receiving yards, despite missing four games with injury. Bryant is a big-bodied wide receiver at 6’3” 189 lbs, who has the ability to be a deep ball threat at the next level. As only a Sophomore, Bryant will have at least one more year, and more likely two years to refine his game from a route running perspective which will help make him more than just a deep threat (who averages 18.3 yards per catch).
Wisconsin vs Penn State – Big Ten Championship
Don’t Count Out Clement
Corey Clement, RB Wisconsin
After an injury plagued season in 2015, many in the devy community had all but forgotten Corey Clement, who ran for 949 yards with a 6.5 yards per carry and nine touchdowns as the number two back behind Melvin Gordon in 2014. In 2016, Clement has rebounded nicely, and in his most recent games he is playing the best he has played in his four years. Clement has surpassed 100 rushing yards in six of his last seven games, with eight rushing touchdowns in that span. Like Gordon, Clement hasn’t gotten involved much in the receiving game in his career with only 24 catches in total, but that shouldn’t be a worry for a running back who has been a workhorse in 2016, with 20+ carries in nine of 11 games with a season low of 17. Clement is another example of the depth of this class and could be an excellent second round rookie pick in the right situation.
Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State – De Facto Big 12 Championship
Perine and Mixon Running All Over The Country
Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, RBs Oklahoma
The story in this game from a devy perspective is the Oklahoma backfield. Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine have been one of the best backfield tandems in college football all season long and both have had big performances in the last few weeks. Samaje Perine combined for 260 rushing yards and four touchdowns in their last two games against Baylor and West Virginia. Joe Mixon had similar success, with 271 rushing yards and two touchdowns during the same span. Mixon has been more involved in the receiving game with 30 catches for 430 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season, compared to only ten catches for 106 receiving yards and one touchdown for Perine. Mixon’s receiving ability and athleticism makes him the more favorable dynasty prospect, but both will likely go in the top 15 of rookie drafts this summer. With players with issues like Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant, Justin Blackmon among others in recent seasons, some rookie drafters may favor Perine in drafts because of Mixon’s off-the-field history early in his college career.
Alabama vs Florida – Southeastern Conference Championship
Stewart and Ridley Face Toughest Test of Season
Calvin Ridley and Ardarius Stewart, WRs Alabama
While both teams have their fair share of devy prospects, it only makes sense to cover one of the most intriguing matchups in this game. Florida has two of the best cornerbacks in college football in Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor. The wide receivers drawing the tough matchups will be Calvin Ridley and Ardarius Stewart. Calvin Ridley’s Sophomore season hasn’t quite lived up to his Freshman season where he caught 89 passes for 1045 receiving yards, Ridley’s yards per catch and touchdowns have remained the same at 11 yards per catch and seven touchdowns, but we definitely didn’t see the progression many thought we would. A matchup against the Florida cornerbacks this week will give devy drafters a better look at whether or not to consider Ridley in upcoming devy drafts. Junior Ardarius Stewart leads the Crimson Tide in receiving yards with 774 and has been the big play threat on a conservative passing offense with a 15.8 yards per catch. Stewart is draft eligible, but it is likely that he will also return to school without the big season that he would need to be an early or mid round selection.
Clemson vs Virginia Tech – Athletic Coast Conference Championship
Wide Receivers, Wide Receivers and More Wide Receivers
Isaiah Ford, WR Virginia Tech
Mike Williams and Deon Cain, WRs Clemson
After scoring five receiving touchdowns in his first five games, Isaiah Ford has cooled down in junior season with two touchdowns in his last six games. Despite reaching the end zone less often, Ford has still put up four catches in every game this season with only one game below 50 receiving yards. Even though his stat line of 69 catches for 949 receiving yards and seven touchdowns isn’t quite as good as his sophomore stat line of 75-1164-11, Ford has shown solid ability and could come out and be a mid round pick in 2017.
In recent seasons, Clemson has become “Wide Receiver U” with pass catchers like Sammy Watkins, Deandre Hopkins, Martavis Bryant and even Adam Humphries. Clemson’s wide receivers in 2016 are similarly exciting, led by Senior Mike Williams. Williams likely would’ve been a top five pick in 2015 rookie drafts if it weren’t for a season-ending neck injury. In 2016, Williams has set career highs with 79 catches for 1114 yards and ten touchdowns. Williams is another big-bodied receiver at 6’4” 220 lbs, and he used every bit of that size well against in-state rival South Carolina last week with six catches for 100 receiving yards and three touchdowns in his final home game of his career.
Clemson’s other big and exciting wide receiver is Deon Cain. Cain showed flashes of being a future NFL ‘WR1’ as early as his freshman season, with a 17.1 yards per catch and three games of 90+ receiving yards and five touchdowns. In 2016, Cain hasn’t seen quite the progression in the catches and receiving yards department with four fewer catches and 30 fewer receiving yards so far this season. Where Cain has progressed is in the red zone, as he has been a favorite of Deshaun Watson with nine receiving touchdowns – meaning nearly one third (9/30) of his catches have gone for touchdowns. Dynasty players will be monitoring Cain more closely as he steps into the WR1 role at Clemson in what will likely be his final college season in 2017.