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.
The draft gets closer every day, and I have my set of “Targets Acquired” for any and every format out there.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Stidham is by no means an unfamiliar name to most. However, Jarrett had hardly held up to the hype leading into 2017 until this past weekend in his solid performance against number one ranked Georgia. He threw for 214 yards and three scores as the Auburn Tigers just destroyed the Georgia Bulldogs on every level.
The former Baylor Bear was supposed to come in and be the answer for Auburn all season long. Instead the team has opted to run out of wildcat formation more often than anyone could have predicted. Stidham definitely has all of the raw tools to succeed at the next level, but he needs to improve against pressure and reading the whole field. Stidham will likely return to Auburn for the 2018 season and become one of the hot names at quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.
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AJ Dillon, Boston College
It feels like this freshman class of running backs is more stacked than any other in college football history. AJ Dillon has been shredding defenses all season long, so it’s about time he made his way into this article. He crushed 23rd ranked NC State for 196 yards and a touchdown this week. Too bad the rest of the Boston College offense is hot steaming garbage. They still lost 17-14.
Dillon may not sport the plus-athleticism that some of the other top freshmen running backs possess, but he makes up for it in other ways. Dillon runs with a fiery passion that leaves defenders crumbling in his wake. His subtle cuts allow him to earn just that little extra on every play. Even though he’s off to a fast start with more than 1000 yards through ten games, Dillon will have to prove his stars for a solid three years if he wants to earn mid-round consideration given his pedigree, level of competition, and athleticism.
Alexander Mattison, Boise State
If you (like many) missed the Boise State versus Colorado State game then you need to go back and watch some highlights. It was an incredible game. In the end Alexander Mattison simply put the team on his back and sealed the W with a touchdown in overtime. But that wasn’t his only score. No he ran for 242 yards, caught three passes for 44 yards, and scored three touchdowns on the ground. It was his fourth game with at least 110 rushing yards in 2017.
Mattison is continuing to grow as a runner and seems to only become more dominant with each carry. Alexander has broken 100 yards every game that he’s been given at least 18 carries. Mattison would do well to continue racking up stats for the next two years proving that he is an all-purpose stud if he wants to get drafted early. Boise State running backs don’t have a good track record of being drafted early, even if they probably deserve it.
Ka’Raun White, West Virginia
Kevin White, Chicago Bears oft-injured WR, has a little brother that can ball. Ka’Raun grabbed eight receptions for 168 yards and a couple touchdowns this past weekend in West Virginia’s 28-23 victory over Kansas State. That brought his season touchdown total up to 10 and he’s now averaging 17.8 yards per reception for 2017.
Ka’Raun will still be a long shot to get drafted next spring, but his performance this season has been noteworthy. If he can show out at the NFL Combine next spring anywhere close to how Kevin did then Ka’Raun should hear his name called late on day three of the NFL Draft. Ka’Raun could prove to be a solid deep and intermediate threat on the right NFL offense. He, like his brother, isn’t exactly the most polished product at wide receiver just yet but he sure is a lot of fun to watch.
Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M
Jhamon was a hot name in devy leagues this past summer as it seemed that he was coming into a great situation with lots of opportunity. It’s too bad Texas A&M collectively decided to forget how to play football for the majority of this season. That definitely didn’t help Ausbon’s development. Although despite the disappointing season for the team, Ausbon has actually caught at least three passes in every game but one this season.
This past week, that consistency finally birthed a break out game for the 6’2”, 220-pound freshman. Jhamon scored his second touchdown of the season and totaled 105 receiving yards on seven catches. Ausbon is going to absolutely blow it up in 2018 when team mate Christian Kirk is playing on Sundays. Look for Ausbon to be a top five wide receiver in the 2020 class.
Jake Roh, Boise State
Roh has been a consistent producer for Boise State four seasons in a row now. He couldn’t seem to find his way to the end zone very often in his first three seasons, but in 2017 Jake has nine touchdowns. This past week Jake added two touchdowns to that total, including one pivotal diving score that Boise State desperately needed.
Roh has now logged at least four catches for the past five weeks in a row and is clearly doing his best to earn NFL attention. Roh is probably too small to be perceived as an every-down blocking tight end as he is only 6’3” 225 pounds (more like a WR), but he should be drafted. A smart NFL team will use him as a move TE at the next level.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Bradley Chubb, DE NC State
There’s a reason that Bradley Chubb will likely be a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft in 2018. When I watch him play I am legitimately concerned for the life of the players that Bradley is tackling. It doesn’t matter if he’s rushing the passer or blowing up a running back in the backfield, Chubb is just one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in recent college football memory.
Chubb posted his third multi-sack game of the 2017 season this past week against Boston College. He may actually hit 30 tackles for loss on the season if he plays his cards right. Chubb is just an unstoppable gargantuan beast of a man at 6’4”, 275 pounds. I wasn’t buying completely into the hype until recently. But now I could see him threatening DL1 fantasy football numbers in year one regardless of where he lands thanks to his mix of sack upside and tackle ability against the run. He can do it all.
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!
- 2019 Rookie Class: An Early Look at Kelvin Harmon - January 29, 2019
- The Top 100 Rookies for 2019 - November 29, 2018
- Target Acquired: Week Twelve - November 20, 2018