Welcome to week 12 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 regular season college football is already just about 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.
Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
Any time a long-time backup gets his first shot at a full-time starting quarterback role, they are hard to predict. Cornelius was no exception. But it looks like he may have actually earned himself a shot to play on Sundays. Cornelius just destroyed the last of West Virginia’s College Football Playoff hopes over the weekend as he threw for 338 yards, ran for 106, and scored six total touchdowns.
He’s averaging over 300 yards passing, more than three total touchdowns, and about thirty rushing yards every single week. At 6’6”, 235 pounds he’s going to look the part entering the NFL. Add this former walk-on to your short list as a late-round flier in rookie drafts.
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Anthony McFarland, Maryland
McFarland has almost earned a spot in this article series on a few occasions this year, but his performance against Ohio State on Saturday was finally too much to ignore. It’s one thing to drop 210 yards against Indiana like he did just one week prior. Rushing for 298 yards against Ohio State is nearly incomprehensible.
Yes, Ohio State is having a slight “down year” by their standards, but McFarland embarrassed them. He’s got NFL burst, agility, and speed. If he learns to add some receptions to his game, McFarland could really be dangerous. He’s a tad undersized, but that’s probably the only knock against this redshirt freshman.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
At this point, everyone just about everywhere knows the name Jonathan Taylor. But it’s probably time we go ahead and crown him the top devy fantasy football prospect in all of college football. People will knock him for his lack of receiving experience, but Wisconsin is currently averaging less than 14 completions per game. That’s not how they play.
Taylor is on pace to eclipse 2,000 yards from scrimmage for the second time in young college career. He was given the moniker “Beast Mode” by his Wisconsin Badger teammates before he even played a regular season snap as a true freshman. His balance, speed, vision, and decisiveness continue to develop with each week. Taylor very well could be the next legitimate “generational talent” at running back.
Seth Williams, Auburn
Williams has nearly 500 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and an average of 20 yards per reception as a true freshman. How in the world are people not talking about him more?
He was a four-star wide receiver. He’s 6’3”, 210 pounds, but plays even bigger. Williams’ game-adjusted dominator rating (percentage of team receiving yards and touchdowns) is around 30%, if you’re into that. As far as true freshman wide receivers go, his profile checks every box so far. Draft him everywhere next spring in devy leagues.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Texas
He may only be the “other” Texas wide receiver to most people, but Humphrey may just end up being better than Collin Johnson when it’s all said and done. He’s not quite as freakishly tall and long as Johnson, but he plays just as strong (or stronger). He just added another seven catches this past weekend to his already impressive 70-catch season.
He’s now past the 1,000-yard mark and has eight receiving touchdowns on the year. Due to a slower start as a freshman and sophomore, he likely stays one more year, but if he doesn’t he’ll still be drafted. Humphrey is a monster at the catch point and will find a place in the NFL.
Alize Mack, Notre Dame
Alize Mack was supposed to be a big deal when he first entered college. He was the top tight end in the 2015 class and looked to have all the physical tools to dominate. However, like many college tight ends it took him a while to finally develop.
Entering 2018, Mack had never had more than 19 catches in a collegiate season, but this year he’s grabbed 33 balls for 334 yards and three scores. If his NFL Combine is impressive enough, he could see late day two draft stock.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
When Abram first entered college he was a Georgia Bulldog. But he didn’t get much run as a starter back then. Ever since he started playing for the other Bulldogs at Mississippi State, Abram has been other-worldly good.
He plays incredibly physical in both run and pass defense. He closes gaps quickly in pursuit. Abram currently 11th in tackles among all FBS defensive backs and just added 12 tackles against Arkansas. This former blue blood recruit (who was offered by Alabama and Georgia) is going to plug in at the NFL level as an immediate starter.
I hope you enjoyed the twelfth 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!