Developing Assets: Week Nine

Ryan McDowell

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

Purdue at Michigan State (ESPN, 12:00)

Fresh off their dominating upset victory over Big Ten power Ohio State, the Purdue Boilermakers face Michigan State. The Boilermaker passing game is on an amazing hot streak, with at least 295 passing yards and three scores in each of the past five games.

For Purdue, the story is all about true freshman wide receiver Rondale Moore, who opened the season with an electrifying 188-yard, two touchdown performance against Northwestern and hasn’t let up since. At just 5’9” and 175 pounds, Moore has game-breaking speed and wiggles to weave through defenses. He’s eclipsed 100 receiving yards in five of the team’s seven games and has eight total touchdowns on the year. Moore leads all freshmen and the entire Big Ten with 57 receptions and 728 yards. Even as a four-star recruit a year ago, Moore was mostly off the radar for devy players but come next off-season, he’ll be one of the hottest commodities in all devy drafts.

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Michigan State has a pair of low-end NFL prospects but both have been banged up recently and largely ineffective. Quarterback Brian Lewerke had a game to forget against rival Michigan a week ago, completing just five of 25 passes for 66 scoreless yards. He’s a day three prospect, at best. Senior running back LJ Scott is a name all devy players know as he ranked near the top of running back lists after a breakout sophomore season, totaling over 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns.

The shine has worn off Scott as a prospect after he surprisingly chose to return to school following his junior season. Scott has struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. He missed four games before returning for the Michigan game last week, gaining 40 total yards on 11 touches. In the preseason, NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline called Scott a “better version of Royce Freeman” suggesting he had a balance of speed and power and could catch the ball out of the backfield before ultimately giving him a third-round grade. I expect that has changed with Scott’s senior season disappointment.

Other teams in early action include:

Clemson at Florida State (ABC, 12:00)

Texas Tech at Iowa State (ESPN2, 12:00)

Wisconsin at Northwestern (Fox, 12:00)

Midday Marquee

Arizona State at Southern Cal (ABC, 3:30)

While these two PAC-12 teams are not ranked, this game between Southern Cal and Arizona State is worth your time for the devy prospects alone. For much of the year, the Trojans have been led by true freshman quarterback JT Daniels, who is still just 18 years old. As expected for any young player in this spot, Daniels had had his ups and downs this year, including a pair of injuries. He was knocked out of last week’s game with a concussion and is iffy to play in this game. As one of the nation’s top recruits and now with a year of experience, Daniels will be a player to target in super-flex devy leagues.

Sophomore running back Stephen Carr has been a major disappointment for USC after flashing in part-time duty alongside Ronald Jones last season. Carr needed back surgery last off-season and hasn’t looked right all year with a season-high of 80 rushing yards and only one touchdown on the season. His value has taken a major hit this year.

The Trojans have three receivers of note, including junior Michael Pittman, Jr. and sophomore Tyler Vaughns. Both have flashed during their time with USC but have been impacted by the inconsistent offense. The gem of this team from a devy and NFL Draft perspective is true freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, obviously the brother of Green Bay’s Equanimeous. The five-star receiver has played all over the field and fought through a shoulder injury earlier in the season. He considered by most to be the top freshman receiver in the country.

The Sun Devils also have a pair of prospects to keep an eye on, including a strong contender for the 1.01 pick in spring dynasty rookie drafts. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry has 42 receptions for 572 yards and five touchdowns on the season, easily leading the team in each category. Harry has enjoyed another solid season but hasn’t set himself apart.

In most 2019 NFL mock drafts, Harry is not even being projected as the top wideout off the board. While that is not a major concern at this point, it is similar to what happened to former Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell a couple of years ago. Essentially, dynasty owners fell in love with the player early in his career and never let go of that evaluation. Arizona State also features underrated sophomore running back Eno Benjamin, who exploded for 339 total yards and four scores three weeks ago against Oregon State. Benjamin also broke the record for missed tackles forced (20) in the time that Pro Football Focus has been tracking that stat.

Other teams in mid-day action include:

Florida at Georgia (CBS, 3:30)

Kansas State at Oklahoma (Fox, 3:30)

Iowa at Penn State (ESPN, 3:30)

Kentucky at Missouri (SEC, 4:00)

Primetime Play

Washington State at Stanford (PAC12, 7:00)

After last week’s huge win against Oregon, Washington State is earning a reputation as a team to watch and vaulted up the rankings to 14th in the country. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has also become a household name in just a week. Minshew now leads the nation in pass attempts (364), completions (254) and passing yards per game (392). In a crummy quarterback class, the senior is starting to draw some buzz.

For dynasty owners, Stanford should be one of the focus teams each weekend. Redshirt sophomore quarterback KJ Costello is a former top recruit and overcame an off-season injury to lead his team. The Cardinal also has a pair of NFL prospects at tight end in Kaden Smith and Colby Parkinson. Smith is second on the team with 382 yards on 27 receptions. You’ll see below that he’s even being projected by some as a first-round NFL Draft pick.

When most fantasy players think of Stanford, running back Bryce Love is probably the first player that comes to mind. Love hasn’t come close to repeating his Heisman-worthy season of a year ago. Love has missed two games with an ankle injury and only has one 100-yard game this season. Love’s choice to return to school after last season looks to be a mistake. He’s certainly lost value this year.

One player who has not lost value this year is wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. While he led the Cardinal in receiving a year ago, Arcega-Whiteside went largely ignored on a national level. This year, he’s on pace for the best numbers of his career and the 6’3”, 225 pounder is showing up in many first round mock drafts. With several other talents losing value, Arcega-Whiteside is a near lock to show up in the first round of dynasty rookie drafts.

Other teams with evening games include:

Texas A&M at Mississippi State (ESPN, 7:00)

North Carolina Stata at Syracuse (ESPN2, 7:00)

Texas at Oklahoma State (ABC, 8:00)

2019 NFL Mock Draft

As the NFL Draft has grown in popularity, that means it has become a year-round business and we no longer have to wait until the end of the football season to see where the top players project to land. Multiple sites and writers are nor regularly producing mock draft months out from the actual event and I’ll now be including those in these weekly updates.

Here’s the latest projection from Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead.

1.01 NYG Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

1.09 TEN JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR Stanford

1.10 JAX Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State

1.14 DEN Drew Lock, QB Missouri

1.15 OAK AJ Brown, WR Mississippi

1.20 BAL Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

1.26 WAS Irv Smith, TE Alabama

1.27 CAR Noah Fant, TE Iowa

1.30 GB Anthony Johnson, WR Buffalo

1.32 LAR Kaden Smith, TE Stanford

2019 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

1.01 N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State

1.02 AJ Brown, WR Ole Miss

1.03 Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina

1.04 Kelvin Harmon, WR North Carolina State

1.05 Noah Fant, TE Iowa

1.06 JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR Stanford

1.07 Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa State

1.08 David Montgomery, RB Iowa State

1.09 Dekaylin Metcalf, WR Ole Miss

1.10 Marquise Brown, WR Oklahoma

1.11 Benny Snell, RB Kentucky

1.12 Tyler Johnson, WR Minnesota

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ryan mcdowell