Here at DLF, we strive to evolve and grow with the game of dynasty fantasy football. In that spirit, we have started a new article series, introducing the latest dynasty craze – campus-to-canton leagues. My goal is to start off focusing on the basics while establishing an understanding of how everything works. As we progress through the series, I aim to dive into strategies, player values, buys and sells, and more! If you’re new to C2C and missed part one or two of this series, make sure to go back and check them out.
Welcome back to the Campus to Canton series and let me start off by saying how appreciative I am of you all following along. If you’re still here, it means you’re either already in a C2C league, or you’re champing at the bit to get in one. I too am feeling that itch, so I am going to put it out here first. I am starting a new C2C startup, beginning soon after it fills and we have time to vote on some of the more important aspects of the league. If you are interested, please DM me on Twitter, @DynastyCoachA.
The last two articles have been focusing on the campus side of C2C leagues, and this one will be no different. Once your startup is complete, so much of your focus turns to the campus league (or at least it should), which is why we will keep the emphasis on it a good majority of the time. In previous articles, I have talked about trying to avoid the busts, to the best of your ability, and that is what we are going to focus on today.
While the transfer portal has created more opportunities for players to see the field, or even get into better situations, I believe it is still important to use every bit of information available to us to make decisions, and be willing to move on from players as quickly as possible, assuming they are still being valued higher than we deem they should be. That is not to say that you should sell or trade any player who didn’t put up 1,000+ yards of production in their freshman season, rather we should look into the context of the situation.
Was the player in question buried on a depth chart, with future NFL studs ahead of him? Did the player sustain an injury that impeded their ability to produce? Was the offense as a whole terrible? Those are some of the questions we should be asking when deciding if a player is valued properly or not. Marvin Harrison Jr. only producing 139 receiving yards in his freshman season, while playing behind Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, is not the same as Jonathan Mingo producing 172 yards in his, with no other competition beyond Elijah Moore. Context matters, but I tend to lean towards being more strict with underperformers, while many other analysts are far more forgiving.
One player everyone seems to be willing to forgive is…
Luther Burden III, WR Missouri: Campus2Canton’s April ADP – 15th overall (WR3)
Coming into college as a five-star prospect, there was a lot to love about Burden as he committed to a fairly wide-open WR corps at Missouri. While the landing spot wasn’t perfect, most devy and C2C players were willing to ignore that while drafting him as the WR1 in the 2022 freshman class. I’m sure those people, who drafted him so early, were hoping for more than 375 receiving yards, while starting 13 games.
While Burden did add another 88 yards rushing and totaled eight scrimmage touchdowns, there was a lot left to be desired. That’s why it’s so confusing to me that he is still considered a top-five, and even sometimes, a top-three C2C wide receiver. It’s obvious that Burden could take a step forward in year two, but it would need to be a giant leap to make that kind of investment worthy of the capital still being spent.
As one of the few analysts seemingly down on Burden, I have done quite a bit of research comparing past players to him, to see if I can find a high-end comp. Those efforts have proved fruitless, only finding mid-level success stories. Does that mean it’s impossible for Burden to be great, or even the #1 WR in his class, of course not, but I don’t like the idea of betting on it either.
With that said, I am willing to either skip over Burden in drafts, or trade him for a haul if he’s already on my campus squad. I am willing to move off of Burden for just about any of the next 10 or so players in ADP, and probably some others as well. Those players include proven players like Evan Stewart, Xavier Worthy, Barion Brown, Antonio Williams, and Malik Nabers, and even unproven high-end players in great situations, like Branson Robinson, Cedric Baxter, Zachariah Branch, Johntay Cook, Carnell Tate, and Brandon Inniss. Even if Burden takes a step forward this season, if he doesn’t get to elite levels of production, there is a very good chance he will be valued behind most or all of those players, at the end of the year.
Other overvalued players are…
Matthew Golden, WR Houston: April ADP – 36th overall (WR10)
I was pretty high on Golden last off-season, but I don’t think he did enough to warrant being drafted as the tenth wide receiver in startups, this season. Playing against “Group of Five”(lower level) competition, he didn’t do anything truly special, accumulating 584 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, in his freshman season. While those numbers are nothing to scoff at, I wonder how he will fare when Houston takes the step up into the “Power Five”(upper level) of competition, this year.
That uncertainty leads me to passing on Golden for other options drafted after him, like Trey Benson, Blake Corum, Jackson Arnold, Frank Harris, Kaytron Allen, Arch Manning, Devin Neal, Damien Martinez, and more. Oddly enough, there are very few WRs being drafted right around that range, but I’d still be more willing to draft some others going a little later, like Makai Lemon, Troy Franklin, and Rome Odunze. I like Golden, and think he can be a solid player, but WR10 and third-round ADP is just too rich for my blood.
Kendall Milton, RB Georgia: April ADP – 62nd overall (RB29)
I don’t understand where Milton is being drafted at all. He has had three seasons to seize control of the Georgia backfield, and has never exceeded 12 touches in a game, averaging closer to eight. Georgia has quality competition for Milton, like Branson Robinson, Daijun Edwards, Andrew Paul, and four-star freshman recruit Roderick Robinson. Add in the fact that Milton is a complete zero in the receiving department, and I just don’t see the upside here.
Georgia is well-known for splitting touches between many players, which can lead to fresher legs in the NFL, but Milton couldn’t beat out players like Zamir White and Kenny Mcintosh, drafted in the fourth and seventh rounds of the NFL Draft, respectively. If we assume that Milton will be drafted somewhere between those two ranges (if he gets drafted at all), and that a large portion of the RB touches will be split, he doesn’t really make sense as a devy or a campus option. I’d easily draft players going after him in startups, like Jarquez Hunter, KJ Jefferson, Squirrel White, Jermaine Burton, Ja’Quinden Jackson, Jaydn Ott, J. Michael Sturdivant, and Oronde Gadsden before even considering Milton.
So much of what C2C leagues are about is projecting the future. We draft freshman recruits, coming from all levels of high school competition, hoping for the best. Once those players see the field, we project what they could look like in the future, with more experience under their belt. While we will never be 100% correct, I’m challenging you all to start utilizing context as we get it, and start making educated guesses as to what will happen, moving forward. Keeping up with values and ADPs will help us make those tough decisions, like moving on from a highly-regarded player. As always, I’m here to help if you have any draft or trade questions, and I look forward to hearing from you all!
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