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When The Devy Breaks: Opportunity Is Knocking For Ja’Marr Chase

Last Saturday night in Pullman, WA, a college quarterback tossed nine touchdowns in a single game and lost. LSU, a team that featured a caveman offense for the last decade or so, scored 69 points against an SEC opponent. And UCF, a team that had won 18 straight regular season games, was down 21 points to Pitt, came back, then lost on the final drive of the game. The weirdness, drama, and constant evolution of college football is why I love this sport.

This is When The Devy Breaks, your weekly rundown of the college football landscape. With four weeks in the books we’re starting to get a better idea of which teams and players we should be paying attention to. It’s also a great time to make some moves in your devy leagues. Let’s get started.

Stock Up

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons’ offense has also come out of the blocks fast, guided by QB Jamie Newman. But true freshman RB Kenneth Walker III has also been a wonderful surprise. Averaging 10 yards per carry on 31 attempts this season, his big play ability is apparent. The presence of upperclassmen Cade Carney and Christian Beal probably cap Walker’s volume this season. And he’s almost certain to see regression in terms of his ultra-efficient start. But with potential to explode next season in a larger role, Walker is a buy in all formats.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The LSU passing game has been humming with Joe Burrow at the helm evenly distributing the the ball to a trio of talented WRs. But with Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall Jr. both facing potential extended absences due to injury, Chase is likely to see his role expand in the upcoming weeks. The 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound former top-100 recruit has accounted for 26% of the Tigers’ receiving yards and TDs so far this season. If Jefferson and Marshall do miss significant time, Chase should easily eclipse the 30% threshold we like to see in WR prospects. He’s an obvious buy/hold candidate in devy leagues given his increased opportunity in one of the best passing offenses in the country.

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

We discussed Ruggs on an episode of the RotoViz College Football Show a few weeks back and all he’s done since then is break every WR efficiency metric. The 6-foot, 190-pound junior might be the fastest player in the country averaging 21.9 yards per reception with 4 TDs on just 16 catches. He probably won’t come close to our preferred 30% Dominator Rating given Alabama’s wealth of WR talent. But that may not matter if he meets expectations at the combine and lands in round one next spring a la John Ross in 2017.

Stock Down

Collin Johnson, WR, Texas

Part of Johnson’s appearance here is the fact that he’s been injured. But it also has to do with the emergence of his teammates Devin Duvernay and Brennan Eagles. Duvernay has emerged as a dynamic threat while Eagles has done a nice job occupying a downfield role for the Longhorns. When Johnson does return, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to command the same target share he might have pre-injury. Having Johnson back in the mix almost certainly benefits Sam Ehlinger. But the drop off without him has hardly been noticeable.

Trade Target Of The Week

Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Prior to the 2019 season, the hype surrounding Reagor was borderline out of control. But now after a shockingly slow start (10-102-1 through four games), it seems like the pendulum has finally swung back. TCU’s QB room has been a mess this season due to injuries and inconsistent play.1 This is almost certainly the main reason for Reagor’s struggles. So to me, nothing much has changed from this summer. He’s still a dominant WR prospect likely destined to perform very well at the combine. It might be difficult to wrestle Reagor away from the owner currently rostering him even with his slow start. But if you can, I’d highly advise it.

Image Credit: Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Ja’Marr Chase.

  1. TCU QBs have combined for a 47.6% completion rate while averaging just 5.2 yards per attempt  (back)

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