2017 College Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

By John Laub
John Laub

  

 

 
        College Fantasy Football Wide Receivers 


               2017 Rankings, Profiles and Projections

 

 

 

 
Summa Cum Laude

 

1. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State

Power Five and elite NFL prospects do not always dominate college fantasy football rankings. During the past two seasons, Richie James has been one of the finest performers in the country and adorns the top of the receiver standings in 2017. He has produced back-to-back 100-catch crusades with 212 receptions for 2,959 yards and 25 touchdowns. James was named to the First Team All-C-USA at the end of each season and is first among active FBS players in receptions per game and yards per play. Last year against FAU, he became just the sixth player in FBS history to total 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving, and versus SEC opponent Vanderbilt, James latched onto 14 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. He concluded his sophomore crusade with an 8-catch, 162-yard and 1-TD outing in the Hawaii Bowl. At 5’9” and 171 pounds, James is lightening quick and easily gains separation in routes. Under the guidance of coach Rick Stockstill, the Blue Raiders have one of the most explosive passing attacks in the nation with QB Brent Stockstill, James and WR Ty Lee. MTSU lost three starters on the O-line, and I’Tavius Mathers, the team’s leading rusher. When the season concludes, the redshirt junior will easily rank first in the MTSU record books in receptions and yards.

 

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,500 and 14

Total Fantasy Points: 234 (19.5 ppg.)

 

2. Cody Thompson, Toledo

With QB Logan Woodside and WR Cody Thompson this season, the Rockets will blastoff with one of the unrivaled pitch-and-catch combos in the nation. Overlooked coming out of high school, Thompson was a First Team All-MAC honoree last year after grabbing 64 passes for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also gained over 100 yards receiving in six games and snatched over five catches in nine games. In 2015, he totaled 37 receptions for 825 yards and five touchdowns. A deep threat, Thompson has averaged over 20 ypc. the past two crusades. An exceptional and precision route runner, he beats opponents in one-on-one matchups, runs tight routes to gain separation and spins and jukes to elude tacklers. Thompson wins jump balls with his 6’2” and 200-pound frame and is a tough and relentless competitor. Toledo led the MAC in total offense—with a school record 529.8 yards per game—and will likely replicate those statistics in 2017. Thompson is a Biletnikoff Award candidate and fantasy diehards can look forward to another productive campaign.

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,350 and 12

Total Fantasy Points: 207 (17.3 ppg.)

 

3. Courtland Sutton, SMU

Third-year coach Chad Morris returns nine starters in his up-tempo offense after winning five games last season—only three combined victories the previous two years. Courtland Sutton, one of the foremost WR prospects in college football, provides the aerial fireworks in Dallas, TX. Last year, Sutton exploded onto the national scene with a 76-catch, 1,274-yard crusade. He set a single-game school record with 252 receiving yards on 13 catches against USF. The junior also scored 10 touchdowns and earned First Team All-AAC for his labors. At 6’4” and 215 pounds, Sutton is a big-bodied and physical competitor with length and bulk. He owns good fluidity and body control and makes acrobatic catches with his large wingspan and strong hands. Sutton relies on stutter steps and route deception to gain separation and uses his size to out maneuver defenders. With great size and notable natural skills, Sutton has drawn the interest of NFL scouts, who have queries in regard to speed and agility times, which will be answered at the Combine in February. The Mustangs’ star will surely produce prodigious numbers all season.

 

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,300 and 12

Total Fantasy Points: 202 (16.8 ppg.)

 

4. Anthony Miller, Memphis

After high school, Anthony Miller did not receive a football scholarship to Memphis; nevertheless, earned a roster spot as a walk-on player. Not only did he become a starter on the Tigers, but also set new school standards with 95 catches for 1,434 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Against Tulsa, Miller crushed the secondary with 12 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns. In a pass-happy conference, he was named to the Second Team All-AAC for his performance. When the season ended, Miller petitioned information from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee, which provided a variety of opinions. The redshirt senior decided to return for another crusade on campus. First-year coach Mike Norvell led Memphis to an 8-5 record, a third-consecutive bowl invitation and engineered the 15th highest-scoring offense in the FBS, averaging 38.8 ppg. Nine offensive starters are slated to return, including QB Riley Ferguson, four starting offensive linemen and Miller, who is on the preseason Biletnikoff Award watch list and named a pre-season All-American by Athlon Sports. Expectations are sky-high in Memphis, TN as well as among college football diehards.

 

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,350 and 15

Total Fantasy Points: 225 (18.8 ppg.)

 

5. Michael Gallup, Colorado State

Born in Monroe, Georgia, Michael Gallup was adopted at 10 months and grew up in a big multi-racial family. Unfortunately, his standardized test results did not meet the NCAA Eligibility Center standards. After playing two seasons at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, Gallup transferred to Colorado State. The junior got off to a slow start in the first five games of the year, catching only 18 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns. In the Rams sixth contest, Gallup ignited the aerial assault with a seven-catch, 140-yard afternoon against Utah State. In the final eight games of the season, he recorded 58 receptions for 1,024 yards and 12 touchdowns while scoring in every contest. Gallup was named First Team All-Mountain West and his 14 touchdowns ranked eighth in the FBS. A weekly highlight maker, Gallup is a dependable and explosive competitor. At 6’1” and 195 pounds, he fights for the football and makes defenders miss. Off the field, Gallup is unassuming off the field and has a scholarly appearance. With QB Nick Stevens throwing the football, the senior game breaker easily dominates Mountain West opponents in 2017.

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,400 and 13

Total Fantasy Points: 218 (18.1 ppg.)

 

6. James Washington, Oklahoma State

In 2016, the Cowboys finished 14th in Total Offense (averaging 495 ypg. and 38.6 ppg.) and were one of two Power Five teams to employ a 4,000-yard passer (Mason Rudolph), 1,000-yard rusher (Justice Hill) and 1,000-yard receiver (James Washington). All three return this season, and Washington fuels the aerial assault in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Built like a running back, he has recorded consecutive campaigns with over 1,000 yards, and in three seasons, totaled 158 catches and 26 touchdowns. A home run hitter, the senior was the only player in the country with three catches of at least 80 yards last year. In week three, Washington embarrassed the Pittsburgh Panthers’ secondary: He accumulated 296 yards receiving, logged a spectacular 91-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the game and recorded catches of 50, 43 and 35 yards. In the Alamo Bowl, he earned the Offensive Game MVP after securing 9 passes for 171 yards. When the curtain closed on the campaign, he was named to the First Team All-Big 12 and Second Team Academic All-Big 12. In back-to-back seasons, the coaching staff has bestowed the Thurman Thomas Award (Outstanding Offensive Player) to Washington for his remarkable efforts. Rated by some scouting organizations as the No. 1 senior NFL wide receiver prospect in the country. At 6’0” and 205 pounds, the junior has great speed, prodigious ball skills and sure hands. CFB owners adore the defensively challenged Big-12, and the Oklahoma State speedster is the finest in the conference.

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,350 and 11

Total Fantasy Points: 201 (16.8 ppg.)

 

Magna Cum Laude

 

7. Dante Pettis, Washington

In 2016, the Huskies manufactured the highest-scoring offense in the Pac-12 with 41.8 ppg. Coach Chris Peterson’s prolific passing game rode the arm and leadership abilities of quarterback Jake Browning, and the speed and play-making skills of receivers John Ross and Dante Pettis. Ross departed for the NFL and Pettis steps into the alpha dog role in Seattle, WA. Last year, the senior game breaker grabbed 53 passes for 822 yards and 15 touchdowns, which were the third-highest and seventh-best totals in school and Pac-12 history respectively. He was named to the Second Team All-Pac-12 in 2016 and was Second Team Academic All-Pac-12 in 2015. During his career, Pettis has totaled 100 catches for 1,495 yards and scored 17 times. A prolific punt returner, he has returned five career punts for touchdowns, and was one of just six players to score twice on returns last year. During the spring, Pettis competed on the Huskies’ track and field team and posted a 23, 10-1/4 long-jump. At 6’1” and 188 pounds, Pettis knows that he needs to enlighten NFL scouts and is poised for a record-setting season. 

2017 Projections

Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,200 and 14

Total Fantasy Points: 204 (17 ppg.)