Ten Terrific CFB 2016 Sleepers
While NFL Fantasy Football is a cultural obsession nationwide, the CFB game lags far behind in popularity; however, diehards are seeking information in order to navigate the countryside among 128 FBS teams.
In order to assist veterans and rookies in the CFB universe, the results of our CFB Mock Draft were analyzed in order to provide value and insight for over-looked and under-valued players. Listed below are in-depth profiles and projections for players to target late in CFB drafts:
WR Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
A new coach and system foreshadows greatness for junior Steve Ishmael. Coach Dino Babers, an Art Briles disciple, guided high-scoring spread offenses at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green and now plans to implement the same system at Syracuse. At 6’2” and 202 pounds, Ishmael has excellent hands, impressive body control and a wonderful work ethic. A polished route runner, his career statistics do not mirror the Orange speedster’s skill set: He led Syracuse in receptions (39), yards (570) and touchdowns (7) last year. Ishmael has caught passes from six different quarterbacks in two seasons, and the Syracuse offense sputtered at times. If sophomore signal caller Eric Dungey masters Babers’ passing attack, Ishmael’s numbers could easily finish among the top wide receivers in college football.
Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,070 and 9
Total Fantasy Points: 161
RB Nick Wilson, Arizona
CFB fanatics remember the stupendous offenses coach Rich Rodriquez assembled at West Virginia nearly a decade ago. In 2014, the Wildcats looked like an ascending club but stumbled last season. Rodriquez fired the entire defensive staff after a dismal performance; however, the coach must get the offense back on track, and Nick Wilson may very well be the key to Rodriquez’s future in Arizona. In two seasons, the 5’10” and 199-pounder has accumulated 2,104 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, he missed four games last season with foot and knee injuries: Wilson only rambled for 760 yards and crossed the finished line nine times. During spring practices, Wilson had no restrictions on the field and appeared ready for the upcoming crusade. If Rodriquez guides the Wildcats back to prominence, it will largely be a result of a healthy Wilson leading the ground game.
Rushing Yards and TDs: 1,200 and 11
Receiving Yards and TDs: 150 and 1
Total Fantasy Points: 207
Marlon Mack, South Florida
RB Marlon Mack, South Florida
During the final four games last season, coach Willie Taggart’s Gulf Coast offense averaged over 525 yards and 45 points per game. The Bulls snapped posting a losing record for a fifth consecutive campaign, finishing with an 8-5 mark. Taggart’s unit returns quarterback Quinton Flowers, a rising star, and running back Marlon Mack, a legitimate All-American candidate, in the backfield. In July, the junior ball carrier was nominated to the 2016 Maxwell (College Football Player of the Year) and the Doak Walker (nation’s outstanding collegiate running back) Award lists. At 6’0” and 205 pounds, the Sarasota, Florida native earned First Team All-AAC honors his first two seasons on campus and was named the Team’s co-offensive MVP in 2015. Last year, he led the Conference in rushing and set a school record with 1,381 yards on 210 attempts. Mack also established a new mark with nine 100-yard rushing games and concluded the campaign with five straight. After two seasons, he has scored 17 times, averaged 5.9 yards per carry and nabbed 37 passes for 271 yards. Flowers, a dual-threat signal caller, will garner carries near the goal line; nevertheless, Mack will provide plenty of fireworks in 2016.
Rushing Yards and TDs: 1,480 and 10
Receiving Yards and TDs: 200 and 1
Total Fantasy Points: 234
Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
The redshirt junior takes over the joystick of a ready-made offense: The Tar Heels averaged over 40 points a game last year and scored at least 30 points in 11 of 14 contests. More importantly, All-ACC runner Elijah Hood and four returning offensive linemen will aid Mitch Trubisky. He stood on the sideline for two seasons behind Marquise Williams, studying and learning coach Larry Fedora’s system. The 6’3” and 220-pound field general played nine games last year, completing 40 of 47 passes for 555 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also scrambled for 101 yards on 16 carries, scoring three times. Trubisky owns a nearly perfect skill set for a spread offense. He is a savvy dual-threat competitor with good athleticism and arm strength: The North Carolinian throws well on the run and picks up first downs with his legs.
Passing Yards and TDs: 3,300 and 25
Rushing Yards and TDs: 650 and 6
Total Fantasy Points: 366
WR Noah Brown, Ohio State
A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Noah Brown appeared to be a rising star last summer before breaking his leg and missing the entire 2015 campaign. The Buckeye speedster is healing well and expected back on the field when training camp begins in early August. As a freshman, Brown played in 13 games for the College Football Playoff national champions. Ohio State lost wide receivers Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller, and Brown may be one of the most important players on coach Urban Meyer’s offense. At 6’2” and 220 pounds, the dynamic sophomore lost over 20 pounds during the offseason and appears ready to become a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten. Despite only one career catch, Brown is well worth a late-round draft pick in CFB leagues.
Receiving Yards and TDs: 870 and 8
Total Fantasy Points: 135
RB Joe Williams, Utah
Five years ago, Utah joined the Pac-12 and has quietly won 19 games during the past two seasons. Coach Kyle Whittingham’s club dominates opponents on both the offensive and defensive lines. The Utes will control the clock with a devastating ground game behind a veteran line—three seniors and two juniors penciled in as starters. Losing fourth-round draft pick Devontae Booker leaves a gaping hole in the backfield and senior Joe Williams should thrive as the alpha dog in Utah. When he replaced Booker in the lineup late last season, Williams rushed for 399 yards and three touchdowns in the final three games. Against UCLA, the 5’11” and 205-pound runner totaled a team-high 152 all-purpose yards and rambled for 187 the following week against Colorado. After 30 ball carriers are taken off draft boards, Williams is a great addition on CFB rosters.
Rushing Yards and TDs: 1,100 and 8
Receiving Yards and TDs: 300 and 1
Total Fantasy Points: 194
QB Jake Browning, Washington
As a true freshman last year, Browning started 12 games and posted a passing efficiency rating of 139.7. Very impressive numbers for the youthful Huskies signal caller. During his high school career, Browning set national records for single-season (91) and career (229) touchdowns. A prototypical pocket passer, the 6’2” and 206-pound sophomore has a quick set up and release and is a good touch-and-timing thrower. Coach Chris Peterson orchestrated high-flying offensive units at Boise State, and Browning is the corner stone of the passing game in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies have a plethora of young talent—RB Myles Gaskin, WR John Ross III, LT Trey Adams and RT Kaleb McGary—to complement their up-and-coming quarterback, and Browning could post eye-popping numbers in 2016.
Passing Yards and TDs: 3,460 and 28
Rushing Yards and TDs: 10 and 2
Total Fantasy Points: 298
Kenny Potter, San Jose State
QB Kenny Potter, San Jose State
A JUCO transfer, Potter was a two-time all-conference player at Long Beach City College: He completed over 63% of his passes for 4,534 yards and 40 touchdowns before enrolling at San Jose. Last year, the ascending senior earned honorable mention All-Mountain West after passing for 1,984 yards with 15 touchdowns. He led the Conference with a 67.4 completion percentage and posted a 142.3 passing efficiency rating. At 6’2” and 208 pounds, Potter is an accurate passer and an underrated dual-threat competitor, scrambling for 415 yards while scoring 7 touchdowns. With All-Conference runner Tyler Ervin moving on to begin his professional career, coach Ron Caragher will rely on Potter even more in 2016. Tight end Billy Freeman and wide receivers Tim Cawley and Tyler Winston provide home run potential in the passing game, and Potter will assuredly get the pigskin into their hands. One of the overlooked quarterbacks in CFB drafts this summer.
Passing Yards and TDs: 2,800 and 24
Rushing Yards and TDs: 560 and 10
Total Fantasy Points: 352
Simmie Cobbs, Jr. Indiana
WR Simmie Cobbs, Jr., Indiana
The Hoosiers are a CFB owner’s dream: Indiana paced the Big Ten in total offense, scoring and passing, and finished last in scoring defense, allowing over 37 points per game. Last year, Simmie Cobbs, Jr. earned honorable mention All-Big Ten after leading the team in receptions (60) and receiving yards (1,035). He became only the sixth Hoosier to log a 1,000-yard campaign. At 6’4” and 212 pounds, Cobbs was a high school star in basketball and easily wins jump balls against smaller defensive backs. He is a big play threat and the best receiver on the roster. The Indiana playmaker was named to both the Maxwell and Biletnikoff Award watch lists. Indiana must break in a new quarterback and there is no guarantee that the offense leads the conference in scoring again. However, the junior home run hitter deserves a roster spot on CFB clubs.
Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,100 and 9
Total Fantasy Points: 164
WR Chance Allen, Houston
With all-world teammate Greg Ward, Jr. throwing passes, Chance Allen spawns interest among CFB owners. In 2015, the Cougars leading returning wide receiver started every game and totaled 56 catches for 752 yards and six touchdowns. A consistent performer, he caught at least six passes in every game and averaged 8.5 yards per target. The senior game breaker recorded 12 catches over 20 yards and finished the season with two touchdowns against Florida State in the Peach Bowl. During the offseason, Allen was named to the 2016 Biletnikoff Award Watch list and Athlon Sports Preseason All-AAC Second Team. At 6’3” and 215 pounds, the Houston wide out possess NFL-size and speed. While the Cougars are not likely to duplicate last year’s win total (13), The Cougars will still be explosive on offense, and Allen will benefit as the top wide out in Houston.
Receiving Yards and TDs: 1,020 and 8
Total Fantasy Points: 150