Welcome to another edition of Target Acquired. If you’re new to the series, let me catch you up. Dynasty strategy has many layers to it, but one of the more fun aspects of it all is player research and analysis. And whether you play in devy leagues, “normal” dynasty leagues, or just love college football, it’s a blast to dig into some of the best NFL prospects in the country. This series takes a look every week at a mix of college football players who just bolstered their chances of making it to the pros with a stellar performance.
Some will be names you recognize. Others will be the deepest of sleepers that no one knew until yesterday. Regardless, the point is to tuck these names away as your prepare for all of your drafts, trades, and just-for-fun research in the future.
Football is back and I have my set of “Targets Acquired” for any and every format out there.
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Drew Lock, Missouri
Despite college football’s tendency to have more high-flying offenses than the NFL, it’s still quite rare to see a seven touchdown performance through the air. That’s exactly what Drew Lock did on Saturday against Missouri State. Yes, it’s “just” Missouri State he was shredding, but Drew was an absolute monster.
Lock has been a slow work in progress since he took over the starting job completely early on as a freshman for Missouri in 2015. That year he didn’t even finish with 50% accuracy. He improved in 2016, but still was not accurate by any means finishing with 54% accuracy. Lock possesses good size, quick decision making, and decent mobility.
If he continues to improve on his advanced reads and accuracy, Lock may come into 2019 NFL Draft season as a four-year starter with a decent resumé against SEC competition. Regardless of what happens from here on out, no one will ever be able to take away Lock’s 521-yard, seven touchdown performance. It was a spectacular show.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
True freshman are generally easy players to avoid in devy fantasy football drafts. They seldom just hit the ground running with any production that makes them a value given the initial draft pick investment. However, J.K. Dobbins just blew a hole in that strategy.
With Mike Weber out with a hamstring issue, and Parris Campbell being used more as a natural wide receiver than out of the backfield (unlike Curtis Samuel in 2016), Dobbins took full advantage of his opportunity. In prime time on national television Dobbins took his 31 touches for 205 total yards. Yes, Dobbins was already considered a top 50 freshman in the nation coming into last Thursday, but no one would have bet on 200 yards out of the gate.
At this point, given his pedigree, athleticism, and opportunity (now and in the future), Dobbins is going to have to really screw something up to not be taken in the first 100 picks of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
Many people witnessed the other-worldly 34-point comeback by UCLA against Texas A&M on Sunday night. And most people will just remember Josh Rosen’s four touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, somehow those same people will completely forget, or not even realize, that Trayveon Williams ran for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The savvy dynasty owner, or perhaps the avid SEC fan may already be aware of Trayveon’s skills, but he needs more attention. The former four-star kid lived in the shadow of the Texas A&M wide receivers and quarterback Trevor Knight’s dual-threat heroics for the majority of the 2016 season. However, now that Texas A&M is without a solid quarterback option, Trayveon may be relied upon more heavily in year two.
Through 14 college games, Trayveon already has 1,351 yards from scrimmage against some of the best competition in the country. Expect great things and perhaps a 1,500-yard season from this top-three RB prospect eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Simmie Cobbs, Indiana
Cobbs has struggled with injuries throughout his college career. If the 6’4, 220 pound wide receiver wants to earn the attention of NFL decision-makers he is going to have to absolutely dominate the 2017 season.
Simmie Cobbs needed to make some noise right away this season having not caught a pass since the day after Christmas in 2015, and that’s exactly what he did. He caught three passes on the first drive alone against Ohio State last Thursday. He then went on to finish a one-handed contested toe-tapping catch on the sidelines that set up his touchdown in the back left corner of the end zone a few plays later. When it was all said and done, the better team (Ohio State) won. However, that didn’t stop Simmie from grabbing 11 catches, 149 yards and that touchdown I just mentioned.
Simmie has the ability to dominate outside, and just enough quickness to work his way inside as well. If he stays healthy you can expect an easy 1,100 yards from Simmie.
Darren Carrington, Utah
If you’re an Oregon football fan then you’re already familiar with the frustrating Carrington saga. For those that aren’t, here’s a recap. He started off hot as a true freshman with 704 yards and four touchdowns. But! He failed a drug test right before the College Football Playoffs started and was forced to miss those games and some of the following season. He was accused of pushing and injuring a man during that suspension, but no official charges were filed.
Then after finally playing a full season last year, Darren decided to get a DUI and was suspended indefinitely from Oregon. Luckily for him Utah decided to give him a chance. So far, that second chance looks like a good decision for Utah football. Darren exploded with ten catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.
If Darren can keep himself out of trouble, he could put up 1,000 yards as the WR1 in an offense that threw 400 times last season. Keep an eye on him this fall. He could find himself drafted in round four or five next spring.
Caleb Wilson, UCLA
This is the “Mr. Longshot” of this particular Target Acquired. Caleb Wilson is a redshirt sophomore that much of the country just became acquainted with on Sunday. When it came down to it, Wilson was Josh Rosen’s go-to guy to the tune of 15 catches for 208 yards through the air. Caleb logged 16 catches for 220 yards all of last season.
Before this season began it looked like he could still be more of a rotational guy. That probably won’t be the case now. If Wilson continues to produce (probably in a slightly lesser fashion) he could definitely start garnering some NFL Draft attention. He’s probably a four-year tight end, but he’s definitely sparked my interest for the future.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Josey Jewell, LB Iowa
Josey is a guy that was already on the radar for many. However, the question with Josey may be his draft capital ceiling. He isn’t absolutely “blow you away” athlete like some middle linebacker prospects, but you can’t deny the balanced skillset that he brings. Against Wyoming, Josey was a stats machine. He logged 14 tackles (seven solo), two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one pass deflected. He can do it all. Josey could be as high as a second round draft pick if he keeps this up.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Target Acquired. Let me know if you have any questions on any of these guys. If you want me to watch any specific upcoming games closer than others just let me know via Twitter @FF_TravisM. Best of luck to you in all of your fantasy leagues!