Welcome to week ten of the 2018 Target Acquired series. 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 somehow already nearing its end! 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.
Ryan Finley, North Carolina State
Todd McShay took a little heat early in the season for listing Ryan Finley as his potential top quarterback for the 2019 NFL Draft, but he wasn’t completely insane. No, Finley isn’t the all-around best quarterback for in this upcoming draft class, but he is a talented player who could see some decent draft capital. He started his career with Boise State, but saw some early struggles and decided to transfer to North Carolina State. Ever since then, he’s had a fantastic college career.
N.C. State runs a complex offense with a lot of pre and post-snap reads, but Finley handles that with ease every week. This season he’s averaged more than 300 yards per game passing and already has 16 touchdowns. Finley has just been getting better all season. He’s thrown for 713 yards and six touchdowns in just the past two weeks against some of his toughest competition of the season against Syracuse and Florida State. If Finley finishes hot this season a team could take a chance on him to end day two of the NFL Draft.
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D’Andre Swift, Georgia
This week is going to be full of some names many of you already know, but in every case, it’s because these big name players posted a much-needed big-time performance. Swift entered 2018 with high expectations, but simply wasn’t asked to do much consistently until this past weekend. However, on Saturday Swift showed why he is quite possibly the best running back in the country.
Georgia dominated from the start thanks to Swift’s 83-yard touchdown and 168 total yards from scrimmage. Swift showed off his perfect feature back build, quickness, long speed, contact balance, and receiving acumen all in one game. His short touchdown was a great display of his strength, technique, and balance. His long touchdown showed his explosiveness and speed. Swift still has a season and a half to feature for the Bulldogs, but after that, he’ll be the RB1 in a stacked 2020 NFL Draft class.
JK Dobbins, Ohio State
Dobbins’ season was looking absolutely abysmal prior to this past week. Yes, he had a great freshman performance last year, but Dobbins had nearly disappeared in recent weeks. Dobbins was beginning to drop in rankings and wasn’t a lock for top devy consideration anymore. He needed a big game and that’s exactly what he gave us.
Dobbins carried the rock (and Ohio State’s entire offense) 23 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He may not be a perfect prospect, but when Ohio State remembers who their best running back is Dobbins can certainly be dangerous. He’s another 2020 talent who should see some early round draft capital. If he continues to produce like this, he’ll be a round two or three draft pick one day.
Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
It’s going to be funny when “real” football analysts finally catch up on Bryan Edwards. It seems like Deebo Samuel has been the talk of the town for South Carolina for 50 years now, but Edwards is the real stud for the Gamecocks and it isn’t close. This past weekend he showed the world why.
Edwards’ 75-yard score against Ole Miss on Saturday was a beauty. He caught the contested ball one-handed at full sprint, threw the defender to the ground, and outpaced the safety for the score. Edwards plays with extreme physicality, boasts elite speed, adjusts well at the catch point, and had his breakout season at age 17 for the nerds out there (I am one, myself). When Edwards breaks his NFL Combine in 2019 or 2020, he will most assuredly be a lock for a round one selection in the NFL Draft.
N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
N’Keal Harry has been a nationally recognized stud receiver for three seasons now, but he just keeps improving and adding layers to his game. Everyone already knew Harry could win contested catches deep and out-physical opponents underneath, but this season, he’s added incredible YAC ability too. There was one play this past weekend that looked dead behind the line of scrimmage, but he flipped the field and took it for a huge gain. Then on his 61-yard score, he added about 30 yards after the catch and dove for the end zone. Harry is looking better and better each week. He may end up being the WR1 for 2019 when it’s all said and done.
Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
Irv Smith started off a bit slow to start the season for Alabama but has now scored a touchdown in four straight contests for the Crimson Tide. He had an impressive touchdown getting behind LSU’s star safety Grant Delpit (talked about here last week). Smith also converted a crucial third-down conversion as well. It looks like Alabama is about to produce another stud tight end for the NFL.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Quinnen Williams, Alabama (Defensive Line)
Quinnen Williams had already been climbing to the top of draft boards before this past weekend, but he just continues to impress. Williams compiled ten total tackles, 3.5 for a loss, and 2.5 sacks against LSU last weekend. Those numbers are just simply near impossible in a tough SEC matchup. Williams is going to find immediate success and should instantly start in nearly all IDP formats next year.
I hope you enjoyed the tenth 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!