College football is back and for Devy League players that means that a brand new crop of prospects will be on display. My RotoViz CFB podcast partner, Jordan Hoover, has been doing a good job identifying Power 5 players that should be on the radar, but I’m going to look a little bit deeper to find some values.
The following Group of Five players made the most of their week one matchups.
Jordan Love, Utah State
Love put up 416 passing yards and three touchdowns while completing 68.8% of his passes against Wake Forest. However, his opening week performance was not without flaws. His three interceptions raise some concern. He only threw six INTs all season in 2018, so this three-INT performance is slightly out of character.
His 7.1 AYA in the opener is good, but well below his 9.4 average during the 2018 campaign. As he enters his non-Power Five schedule, he should improve his overall efficiency. Love has an outside chance at being selected in the first round of next year’s NFL Draft and could surpass one of the big name prospects with another productive season. He should be a target in two-QB leagues.
D’Eriq King, Houston
King is a highlight reel waiting to happen and it showed in Week 1 against Oklahoma as he rushed for 103 yards and passed for 167. His 27 pass attempts should bring some optimism that he’ll be asked to win more games with his arm rather than his legs this season. But until that happens, King has a low ceiling as a QB prospect.
Nonetheless, using the Box Score Scout, we see that King does draw one encouraging sim score in Mitchell Trubisky.
But beyond Trubisky, the comparisons are clearly much less encouraging. King should only be acquired for extremely cheap as a potential “YOLO QB”.
Patrick Taylor, Jr., Memphis
Taylor started of his 2019 campaign with 27 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown. His 4.7 yards per carry is relatively unimpressive compared to the efficiency of Darrell Henderson last season.
The positive note from Taylor’s performance is his four receptions. Given Henderson’s lofty standard from a year ago and the rise of Tony Pollard, Taylor has a lot to live up to. But the Memphis offense should position the former three-star prospect to have a productive final season.
However, Taylor appears to be dealing with an injury that will keep him out for the next game. If he misses more than a couple of games, his draft stock will likely suffer and hurt his fantasy opportunity.
Robert Mahone, Boise State
Mahome already surpassed his season totals from 2017 and 2018 and he did so on a spotlight matchup against Florida State. His 169 all-purpose yards and two TDs are big for college fantasy, and he should be expected to be a big producer moving forward.
However, his lack of prior production likely hinders his devy considerations. Mahone was a two-star prospect and as a member of the 2016 class, he missed his chance at a young breakout.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty
Gandy-Golden was one of my favorite prospects to watch entering the 2019 season, and he started of the year strong with 119 yards on six receptions. His team struggled in the 24-0 loss to Syracuse, but Gandy-Golden continued to demonstrate why he’s a true NFL prospect.
With back-to-back seasons with more than a 30 percent share of yards, Gandy-Golden should already be seen as an NFL prospect, and another strong season should solidify that.
Cedric Byrd, Hawai’i
Byrd was the highlight from Hawai’i’s late-Thursday night Week 0 game on the island. En route to Hawaii’s upset win over Arizona, Byrd amassed 224 yards and four TDs.
Byrd is coming off of a 2018 campaign with 970 yards and nine TDs, which accounted for a 0.22 market share of yards and 0.21 market share of TDs. Byrd was a two-star JUCO transfer in 2018 but has outproduced his low recruiting rating. However, given his poor pedigree and small physical profile (5 foot 9 inches, 170 lbs), he’ll need elite production in 2019 to become a meaningful devy asset.
Darnell Mooney, Tulane
Mooney led college football with a 0.475 dominator rating last year and started off 2019 with 84 yards and a touchdown. Mooney’s presence on one of the most run-heavy teams in the country has kept him under the radar so far. But his continued team receiving dominance makes Mooney a strong devy target.
Others Noteworthy Outings
Tight End Harrison Bryant (Florida Atlantic) was targeted 11 times in a loss to Ohio State. He reeled in six catches for 79 yards for a team that only managed 206 total passing yards. Bryant is coming off of two straight seasons with at least a 20% market share of yards. He should be a decent TE option in next year’s draft class.
UCF has a pair of potential dynasty assets in WR Gabriel Davis and RB Adrian Killins. Davis hauled in three catches for 68 yards and two TDs in Week 1. Davis has good size and could emerge as a meaningful prospect if he matches, or exceeds, his 0.25 dominator rating from 2018. Meanwhile, Killins amassed 106 yards and a TD on just 14 carries. It was nice to see Killins return to his normal level of efficiency following a 2018 season in which he rushed for just 4.9 yards per carry. He could be a Day 3 pick in next year’s draft.
QB Desmond Ridder and RB Michael Warren II combined their efforts to help Cincinnati win at home against UCLA. Ridder’s 242 yards on a 69.2 percent completion percentage was an impressive outing for the redshirt sophomore. If he can replicate his rushing production from 2018, Ridder could see his devy ADP rise. Warren appeared to be dealing with either cramps or a minor injury at the end of the season opener, but he still managed 92 yards and a TD. In a super deep 2020 RB class, Warren could struggle to stand out.