Welcome to week one 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.
Football is back and I have my set of “Targets Acquired” for any and every format out there.
McKenzie Milton, Central Florida
The defending National Champions (I know, not really) didn’t waste any time getting back to business against UCONN this week. “McKenzie Milton is #GoodAtFootball: Part Two” opened up the 2018 season with a 346-yard five-touchdown performance with 50 rushing yards on the side. Milton posted absurd efficiency numbers in 2017, and it looks like he’s going to do it again.
Yes, he’s a bit short for the ideal NFL quarterback, but check this out. In 2017, Milton’s completion percentage, yards per pass attempt, adjusted yards per pass attempt, and passer efficiency rating were second in the nation to only who? Baker Mayfield.
Milton will have to continue to prove himself, but he looks to possess everything you want in a future NFL star. He can throw from the pocket, on the run, deep into his reads, all with elite accuracy.
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Mike Weber, Ohio State
It turns out Mike Weber isn’t dead after all. For those who love college recruiting, you’ll know that Weber was supposed to be ‘the dude’ back in 2015. He looked good after his 1,100-yard season in 2016. Sadly, J.K. Dobbins’ emergence in 2017 looked like it could slow any potential Weber possessed for early round NFL Draft consideration. But after Saturday’s thrashing of Oregon State Weber looks like he’s alive and ready to prove he’s an elite talent.
Weber dropped the hammer on the Beavers to the tune of 20 carries, 186 yards, and three touchdowns on the ground. Then, for good measure, he added a three-yard receiving score on a little shovel pass from quarterback, Dwayne Haskins.
Both Ohio State running backs should be productive this year. There’s no need to worry, J.K. Dobbins truthers. However, expect Weber to be drafted earlier than we thought next spring.
James Williams, Washington State
For those of you who play college fantasy football, James Williams is nothing new. In fact, Williams led all true running backs in the nation with 71 receptions in 2017. It looks like he’ll easily be on pace to lead the nation again after Saturday’s ten-catch performance.
But don’t let that fool you. Williams isn’t just some scat back. He’s 6’0”, 205 pounds, and could possibly add a little weight before the 2019 NFL Draft. Last year he was stuck splitting time with Jamal Morrow (a senior). But now it looks like Williams could feature. On top of his ten receptions for 53 yards and a score, he also carried the ball 16 times for 82 yards and another touchdown as well.
Williams could end up leading the team in rushing and receiving. He can do it all.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
Amon-Ra St. Brown (brother of Equanimeous St. Brown and named after an Egyptian sun god) was a consensus five-star recruit in this year’s freshman class. He was supposed to be an incredible talent, but few could have predicted that he would dominate to the extent that he did this past weekend.
He and true freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels showed immediate chemistry connecting on seven receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. St. Brown could put together a JuJu Smith-Schuster-type freshman season if he continues this way.
Expect St. Brown to fly up NFL Draft boards until he is inevitably taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rondale Moore, Purdue
I likely won’t talk about two true freshman wide receivers in the same piece any other week. But Rondale Moore just broke the Purdue University record for most all-purpose yards in a game in his very first college action.
Moore snagged a 32-yard reception for his first touchdown. Then he quickly followed that up with a 76-yard run, juke, and score on the ground. Moore also had Northwestern squibbing on kicks to him before the end of the first half after he accumulated 125 kick return yards on his first five attempts. He ended up with 313 total yards on the game and immediately looks like the best all-purpose threat in the Big Ten Conference.
At 5’9, 174 pounds, this future slot receiver can squat 600 pounds and make anyone miss. Expect great more great things from this four-star phenom.
Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
Sternberger was a JUCO transfer for Texas A&M this past off-season and didn’t waste any time proving he was well worth it for the Aggies. He grabbed five receptions and found the end zone twice in his first game this weekend.
The 6’4”, 252-pound monster is looking to make statement this year, and it looks like Jimbo Fisher is going to help him do just that. Sternberger was originally recruited to Kansas back in 2015, but that didn’t pan out. He tried his hand in JUCO in 2017 and now it looks like Sternberger is ready to dominate in the SEC.
The 2019 Tight End NFL Draft Class doesn’t look too strong at the moment. Sternberger could make the jump with a solid 2018 performance.
IDP (Individual Defensive Player)
Nick Bosa, Ohio State (Defensive Line)
Most people are always familiar with the Bosa family. Nick Bosa is just the next in line to prove himself worthy in the NFL. Many people already have Bosa locked in as a top-15 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This weekend he showed us why.
He recovered two fumbles, sacked the poor Oregon State quarterback twice, and grabbed two more tackles on top of that. He’s going to be a disruptive force and the cornerstone of many IDP fantasy football rosters one day here very soon.
I hope you enjoyed the first 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 as well! Best of luck to you in all of your fantasy leagues!