As most fantasy players look forward to the first week of NFL action, we will have a great way to pass the time on Saturday as nearly every top 25 team is in action, including a pair of games featuring ranked teams going head-to-head. Whether you are a devy dynasty owner tracking your player or simply trying to stay ahead of your competition when prepping for 2019 rookie drafts, following the weekly world of college football can pay dividends for fantasy players.
Each week this season, I’ll focus on a trio of games throughout the day, along with some key future pros you might want to focus on as you watch.
Wake Up and Watch
UCLA at Oklahoma (FOX, 1:00)
The Bruins got the Chip Kelly era off to a rough start when they lost at home to the Cincinnati Bearcats. Now, they travel to 6th ranked Oklahoma, where they are wasting no time in moving on from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Texas A&M transfer and future baseball pro Kyler Murray is at quarterback now and the Sooners put up 63 points in last week’s opener. Mayfield may be gone but running back Rodney Anderson and receiver Marquise Brown are back and both had huge games. Anderson picked up where he left off during his breakout season a year ago, rushing for 100 yards and two score, while the underrated Brown posted a 6/133/1 stat line in the blowout win.
While UCLA might be on their way to 0-2 barring a big upset, they do have some players to watch. After an injury to starting quarterback Wilson Speight last week, the Bruins turned to their true recruit freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a big-armed who looked a bit lost in his debut, which is understandable. Tight end Caleb Wilson is one of the top prospects at his position and is likely to declare for the NFL Draft following this season as well. He should be fun to watch.
Other teams in early action include:
- New Mexico at Wisconsin (Big Ten Network, 12:00)
- Mississippi State at Kansas State (ESPN, 12:00)
- Western Michigan at Michigan (Fox Sports 1, 12:00)
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Georgia at South Carolina (CBS, 3:30)
An early-season SEC showdown will feature a ton of future NFL talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Each of these teams beat up on inferior foes last week, meaning we don’t really know much when it comes to what to expect for this game between ranked teams. Georgia made a major push late last season and it nearly resulted in a National Championship. They return many of the key players on that team including sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, running backs Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift, whom many consider the top NFL prospect among all college backs, along with tight end Isaac Nauta and receiver Riley Ridley. Oh, they also added one of the top freshman running backs in James Cook (brother of Dalvin), the top-ranked incoming freshman quarterback in Justin Fields and California transfer receiver Demetris Robertson. If I could only watch one college team all season, it would be the Bulldogs.
The Gamecocks can’t match Georgia’s offensive talent (few can) but they do feature a trio of future NFL draft picks in their passing game. Underrated quarterback Jake Bentley disappointed last season, but the entire offense dealt with injuries throughout the season. I’m excited what Bentley and his two star receivers, senior Deebo Samuel and junior Bryan Edwards, can do this season. All three are potential first-round NFL Draft picks if things go right this season.
Other teams in mid-day action include:
- Arkansas State at Alabama (ESPN2, 3:30)
- Rutgers at Ohio State (Big Ten Network, 3:30)
- Ball State at Notre Dame (NBC, 3:30)
- Colorado at Nebraska (ABC, 3:30)
Clemson at Texas A&M (ESPN, 7:00)
It’s no surprise that perennial contender Clemson is once again loaded, and the rich have gotten richer. Starter Kelly Bryant may not be a future NFL quarterback, but we did get an extended look at freshman Trevor Lawrence last week and at 6’5” and 205 pounds with a huge arm, he fits the bill for what NFL teams are looking for. Sophomore running back Travis Etienne is just one of the stacked running back class of 2020. After losing two of their top three receivers from 2017 when Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud both bolted for the NFL, the Tigers will rely on depth this season. They have several options and any of these could be the star from week to week, including freshmen Justyn Ross and Derion Kendrick, along with Amari Rodgers and Tee Higgins.
I am excited to watch Texas A&M every week because one of my favorite college players and NFL prospects is on this roster, wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon. Already built like an NFL wideout, Ausbon somehow went largely under the radar despite a solid freshman season. Now, he’ll be the go-to option in the passing game and in a 2020 class that will feature a handful or more stud running backs, Ausbon will be my prime target. Oh, the Aggies also feature one of the more underrated runners in college as well, junior Trayveon Williams, who went off for three touchdowns and 240 rushing yards last week.
Other teams with evening games include:
- Kentucky at Florida (SEC Network, 7:30)
- Penn State at Pittsburgh (ABC, 8:00)
- USC at Stanford (FOX, 8:30)
- Michigan State at Arizona State (ESPN, 10:45)
2019 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft
1.01 N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State
1.02 Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina
1.03 Kelvin Harmon, WR North Carolina State
1.04 David Montgomery, RB Iowa State
1.05 AJ Brown, WR Ole Miss
1.06 Dekaylin Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
1.07 Noah Fant, TE Iowa
1.08 Tyler Johnson, WR Minnesota
1.09 Rodney Anderson, RB Oklahoma
1.10 Ahmmon Richards, WR Miami
1.11 Jaylen Smith, WR Louisville
1.12 Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa State