Welcome to the first edition of the “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 your prepare for all of your drafts, trades, and just-for-fun research in the future.
Football is back and I have my set of “Targets Acquired” for any and every format out there.
Quinton Flowers, South Florida
Quinton is one of the many talented quarterbacks eligible to be drafted in 2018. Lamar Jackson’s dual-threat heroics will overshadow Quinton but he’s a name worth knowing. In 2016, he compiled more than 4,300 total yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 18 rushing touchdowns in 13 games.
He hit the ground running in week one last Saturday against San Jose State with 212 yards and two touchdowns through the air, plus 70 rushing yards and a score. Flowers doesn’t have stereotypical size at 6’0”, 210 pounds, but he can sling it and make plays. In a picture perfect world Flowers could be Russell Wilson. Keep at least one eye on Flowers this fall.
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Bryce Love, Stanford
It’s funny how many former four-star recruits can get lost in the shuffle when buried behind a transcendent talent like Christian McCaffrey. Now it’s Bryce Love’s time to shine. Stanford sometimes forgets that they can actually pass the ball on offense. Until they remember that, Bryce is set for an absolutely nasty workload. Bryce Love may never have NFL feature back size, but he might not need it to garner an NFL opportunity. Get used to hearing Love’s name every Saturday this fall.
Ryan Nall, Oregon State
Nall probably just had his best game of the season against Colorado State. But hey let’s give him his fifteen seconds of fame. Ryan Nall is a massive tight end turned running back that will most likely be a bruiser or fullback if he ever earns an opportunity in the pros. He’s not incredibly fast, but he can act like The Juggernaut once he gets going. He broke free and actually finished a 75-yard touchdown run this past weekend. If he can continue to grow in the passing game and pad level discipline he could earn day three consideration in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Michael Gallup, Colorado State
We’re only one week into the college football season, but for now Michael Gallup owns the best catch of the year. Gallup faked an outside fade into a skinny post down the middle of the field. The pass came in wide to the right. Gallup corrected, caught it over his shoulder, secured the ball to his body, and kept his feet moving to extra yardage. Oh, and he also caught ten other passes. This former four-sport athlete burst onto the scene with massive numbers in his first Division I season. Gallup is well on his way to profile similarly to Davante Adams in production, physical traits and perhaps even draft capital investment.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida
It’s pronounced “Mar-Kwez Val-Dez Scant-Ling” if you were wondering. Now that Marlon Mack and Rodney Adams are both in the NFL, South Florida is in need of some new play-makers to take the next step. Marquez was already the team’s second-leading wide receiver in 2016. Although he’s had a winding road of poor opportunities in college, Marquez finally has the chance to be a team’s primary wide receiver. At 6’5”, 207 he has game-changing size. Can’t wait to see those physical tools put on full display this season.
Dalton Schultz, Stanford
The 2017 tight end class has absolutely spoiled the next 100 years of tight end classes for us. Dalton Schultz won’t get the gaudy receiving stats you want to see from a top tight end. Stanford just doesn’t throw the ball. However, he can do it all, block, catch, and run a decent route tree for his size (6’6”, 245). If you watch Dalton, he generally makes at least a couple pro-ready plays per game. You won’t be able to box score scout Schultz. Stay up late a couple times this fall and watch him closely. He could be a starting NFL tight end one day.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Josh Watson, LB Colorado State
Generally, there will be a more productive weekly IDP example, but Josh Watson deserves a mention. When analyzing linebacker prospects a high number of solo tackles can be indicative of future success. Josh Watson gets “enough” of those, but also compiles quite a few assists. Why? He is all over the place. His instincts allow him dart into the backfield, a teammate’s gap, or across the field to help finish a play. Those instincts helped Josh compile nine tackles in a game where the opposing offense wasn’t even on the field that long.
I hope you enjoyed the very first “Target Acquired” of many to come. 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. Best of luck to you in all of your fantasy leagues!