Welcome to week eight of the 2018 Target Acquired series. If you enjoyed the series last year you’re in for a good time! 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 you prepare for all of your drafts, trades, and just-for-fun research in the future.
2018 college football is already more than half over! This season has revealed to us some of the best future NFL playmakers now and I have my set of “Targets Acquired” for any and every format out there.
Will Grier, West Virginia
Most people who follow college football are quite familiar with Will Grier at this point. But let’s just take a moment to recognize how ridiculous his 2018 has been. Grier is completing more than 70% of his passes. His 11.2 adjusted yards per pass attempt is good for third in the nation behind only Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray. He’s tossed 25 touchdowns on just 219 pass attempts. Grier added 353 yards and three touchdowns against Baylor in just two and a half quarters this past weekend.
It’s time to crown Grier the best senior quarterback in the nation by a longshot. Drew Lock is good too, but Grier is in a league of his own among seniors signal callers. Who knows whether the tantalizing underclassmen go? All we do know is Will Grier is a lock for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
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AJ Dillon, Boston College
AJ Dillon is another name who most are familiar with, but it’s far past time that people consider him a potential top ten devy prospect. He’s 6’0”, 240 pounds, but is somehow always just about the fastest player on the field each week. Dillon tortured Miami on 32 violent carries for 149 yards, two receptions for 18 yards, and a visit to the end zone last week. This feature back is averaging 24 touches per contest in 2018 and seems to only get stronger as the game progresses each week. If Dillon continues to improve in the receiving game he may end up being the best running back in the entire 2020 NFL Draft class.
Zack Moss, Utah
If you play college fantasy football then you were already well aware of Zack Moss and his ascension to fantasy goodness in 2017. However, many still don’t consider Moss a premier NFL Draft prospect. That may be changing here soon. Moss racked up 211 yards and three touchdowns on the ground against the struggling UCLA Bruins this past weekend. That’s his fifth game with at least 106 rushing yards this season. He hasn’t been as involved in the receiving game this year like he was in 2017, but he can make plays through the air when called upon.
The only concern with Moss’ NFL future is his athleticism. He has the vision and technique to succeed, but he lacks top end speed and agility. Hopefully he gets some draft stock we can believe in.
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Sometimes we just miss the easy ones. Tylan Wallace was a four-star wide receiver recruit (top 120 recruit in the nation) for Oklahoma State and a true freshman in 2017. But somehow Wallace was completely off mainstream devy fantasy football radar. Why? Well, Oklahoma State funneled about 300 receptions to their veteran wide receivers like James Washington, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, and more. Wallace only saw seven catches last year. But this year Wallace was clearly the best wide receiver heading into the season and most ignored it because of his lack of a freshman breakout.
This year Wallace has 50 receptions in just eight games and it should surprise no one. This is why recruiting matters. Mike Gundy clearly recruited Wallace to be the future of his program just one year ago. Now he’s just making sure no one misses it. Wallace grabbed another ten receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ victory over the Texas Longhorns last weekend. That’s his fifth game with at least 100 receiving yards this season. Expect more where that came from here soon.
Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State
Kelvin Harmon is one of several top wide receivers competing for the 2019 NFL Draft WR1 title right now. And yes, most people are aware of this. But I think it’s time we start seriously entertaining Harmon as the top option if you weren’t already. He’s absolutely dominated this season and just put up an 11-catch, 247-yard performance against a pretty good Syracuse team. In fact the only games where he didn’t total at least 94 receiving yards were against James Madison (didn’t play full game) and Clemson (dominated N.C. State on every level).
Harmon has perfect size at 6’3”, 214 pounds. He’s got bend, burst, and adjusts well to the ball in the air. Harmon just needs to expand his route tree a bit and he’ll be a dominant force on Sundays for a long time.
Isaac Nauta, Georgia
It’s about time Isaac Nauta decided to start catching passes again. About two years ago Nauta was the talk of the dynasty town when he caught 29 balls for 361 yards and a few scores as a freshman for Georgia. But then he decided to disappear last season. But this year’s Nauta’s apparently back on track and just had his best game of the year. In fact he led Georgia in receiving this past weekend against Florida with five catches for 73 yards. Nauta has already shown to be an excellent blocker and third down specialist. If he builds on his recent success and consistently produces down the stretch this season he could sneak into the top five dynasty tight ends again.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Monty Rice, Georgia (Linebacker)
Georgia has a way with linebackers here lately with stud players like Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter. Now Monty Rice looks to continue that trend. He joined Georgia as a four star recruit, but like Roquan was slightly undersized when he arrived on campus. As a sophomore Rice is now quite similar in build to Roquan from just a year ago. His motor isn’t quite as intense playing sideline to sideline just yet, but he’s getting there. Rice has at least four tackles in every single game this year and just topped that streak off with an eleven tackle performance against Florida. By next spring he should be considered a top five or six devy linebacker.
I hope you enjoyed the ninth Target Acquired of the 2018 season! 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. Also, since college daily fantasy is back be looking for some #TouchdownTime videos from me on that via Twitter! Best of luck to you in all of your fantasy leagues!