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When The Devy Breaks: Jaylen Waddle Is Dynamite

When the Devy Breaks travels the college football landscape, keeping you up-to-date on last week’s results, previewing the big upcoming tilts, and providing updated devy rankings.

Last weekend we saw three teams handle their business and take one more step towards sewing up a playoff spot. Alabama and Clemson both have one final hurdle to cross this weekend while Notre Dame has finished their regular season at 12-0. With Ohio State’s 62-39 drubbing of previously fourth-ranked Michigan on Saturday, the race for the final playoff spot is now wide open. Georgia, Oklahoma, and the aforementioned Buckeyes have the clearest paths. But all three have tough tests on tap this weekend.

With the majority of FBS teams done for the regular season, this weekend’s slate is shorter than most. But what the schedule lacks in length it more than makes up for in importance.

This will likely be my last When The Devy Breaks for the 2018 season. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read each week. I hope I was able to provide some insight and help you get a leg up in your leagues. Keep an eye out for our extensive bowl season coverage coming soon.

RECAP

Boise State RB Alexander Mattison rushed for 200 yards and three TDs last weekend against Utah State. The 5-foot-11-inch, 211-pound junior has rushed for at least 136 yards in four of his last five games and has scored at least one TD in six straight weeks. Mattison has shown terrific versatility as a pass-catcher as one of 18 RBs since 2010 with multiple seasons with at least 1,000 yards rushing, 12 TDs, and 25 receptions. Scouts have voiced concerns about his athleticism so combine/pro day workouts will be key. Mattison’s production has him on my radar as a potential later-round dynasty value.

South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel torched Clemson’s secondary last Saturday going for 10-210-3. It was his third straight game with at least 112 yards receiving. Despite a lengthy injury history, the 6-foot, 210-pound junior is one of just three players since 2000 with 14 receiving TDs, seven rushing TDs, and four kick return TDs. This marvelous versatility speaks to his athleticism and will likely serve him well when the draft rolls around. Scouts also praise his route running and run-after-catch ability. Samuel’s advanced age (22.9) and lack of a breakout season are fair criticisms however.

UCLA TE Caleb Wilson put up a 9-184-0 line in a losing effort against Stanford last weekend. He now boasts a 0.32 Dominator Rating this season, a truly rare feat for a TE. At 6 feet 4 inches, 235 pounds, Wilson may be asked to add mass to be an every-down option at the next level, but scouts point to his excellent hands and initial burst as a route runner as positives in his profile. If he declares after the season and gets drafted, Wilson likely becomes an intriguing later-round dynasty option.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle is one of the most exciting true freshmen in the country. The 5-foot-11-inch, 177-pound dynamo leads all Crimson Tide WRs in catch rate (78.7 percent) and yards per target (14.7) per Bill Connelly’s metrics. Because of the emergence of Jerry Jeudy and the equitable target distribution of Tua Tagovailoa, Waddle will not reach the requisite 0.30 Dominator Rating to qualify as a breakout season. And with Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, and Henry Ruggs III all set to return next season, Waddle will still need to fight for targets. But make no mistake. His stock is set to skyrocket attached to one of the most efficient college QBs in recent memory for at least one more season. Waddle’s explosive ability could be key in this weekend’s SEC Championship against a Georgia defense that has done an excellent job limiting big plays all season long.

Washington RB Salvon Ahmed has averaged just 7.2 touches per game in his first two seasons serving as the primary backup to Myles Gaskin. But what he’s done with those touches is notable. The former four-star recruit has averaged 6.5 yards per play with 10 total TDs. With Gaskin graduating after this season, Ahmed should assume a substantial role in 2019 and could become one of the best RBs in the Pac-12. He’s an attractive devy prospect that has not yet approached his ceiling. In the Pac-12 Championship this weekend, Ahmed will face Utah’s elite run defense ranked 11th nationally per S&P+.

Clemson RB Lyn-J Dixon is another exciting true freshman devy owners should be aware of. Despite being overshadowed by Heisman Trophy candidate Travis Etienne, Dixon is on pace to become just the ninth player this century to average 10 or more yards per carry with at least 50 carries. Etienne and Tavien Feaster are both eligible to return next season so we likely have to wait until 2020 for Dixon to truly emerge. In this weekend’s ACC Championship game, Dixon will face a Pitt Panthers’ defense that has surrendered big plays in bunches this season.

Check out my updated devy rankings. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or the message boards to let me know what you think.

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