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When The Devy Breaks: Zach Charbonnet Is On The Cusp

Week 1 of college football had plenty of interesting storylines. Georgia State upset Tennessee in Neyland Stadium as a 26-point underdog. Boise State outlasted Florida State 36-31, despite starting a true freshman at QB and playing in the sweltering Florida heat and humidity. And Auburn outscored Oregon 21-0 in the second half to secure a 27-21 win, continuing the SEC’s recent string of dominance over the Pac-12.

Early in the season, teams are still finding out which personnel packages work best, and who see should the majority of touches. However, we’ve gathered plenty of information that we can use to our advantage in our devy leagues.

Stock Up

Jonathan Taylor, Chuba Hubbard, and Kylin Hill belong in this section, but all three are already top-25 devy picks. Instead of focusing at the top, let’s dig a little deeper.

Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State

Hodgins accounted for 55% of Oregon State’s receiving production last week against Oklahoma State, posting a 9-170-2 line. The 6-foot-4-inch, 209-pound junior broke out last season at age-20 accounting for 30% of his team’s receiving yards and TDs. He may not wow us during athletic testing but his production puts him the 2020 draft conversation. He’s also going undrafted according to current ADP from Devy Watch.

Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers

Pacheco served as the primary runner for the Scarlett Knights against Massachusetts last week ending with a 20-156-4 line on the ground. At 5 feet 11 inches and 210 pounds, he should retain this role moving forward despite ceding the majority of the receiving work to teammate Raheem Blackshear. Pacheco rushed for 551 yards as a true freshman last season and posted a 103.35 SPARQ score in high school. His ceiling might be limited due to Blackshear’s pass-catching prowess, but Pacheco is still worth a stash in deeper devy leagues.

Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest

I tabbed Surratt in this year’s ACC Opportunity Report as a likely beneficiary of Greg Dortch‘s early exit to the NFL. But if Week 1 was any indication, he may be on the brink of an outright explosion. The 6-foot-3-inch, 215-pound redshirt sophomore posted a 0.36 Dominator Rating against Utah State finishing with a 7-158-1 line. If he remains productive and declares early, there’s a good chance we see his draft stock rise next spring.

Stock Down

With any prospect in the “stock down” section, it’s important to remember that small samples can be very unreliable. As we move through the season we’ll have more data points to draw from. But early on, keep in that that things are still fluid.

Hunter Johnson, QB, Northwestern

I was high on Johnson heading into 2019 given his recruiting pedigree and athleticism. But his performance against Stanford was borderline disastrous.1 It was his first start at a new school against a tough secondary featuring one of the best cornerbacks in the country in Paulson Adebo. But we may need to adjust our ceiling projections for this former five-star recruit, at least for the time being.

Jake Bentley, QB, South Carolina

A four-star prospect in the 2016 class, Bentley arrived in Columbia with plenty of hype. And coming off a career year in 20182 hopes were high entering his senior season. But after a poor showing against North Carolina and a foot injury that has him sidelined indefinitely, it’s possible we’ve already seen the best of Bentley. Even if he’s healthy later in the season, uber-recruit Ryan Hilinski might not relinquish the starting job. Bentley is likely best left alone in devy aside from 2QB/Superflex leagues with deep benches.

Trade Target Of The Week

Zach Charbonnet, RB, Michigan

Back in July I advocated acquiring Charbonnet in devy leagues despite his offseason knee surgery. Against Middle Tennessee last week, he proved he’s the most dynamic RB on the Wolverines’ roster. He led the team with 90 yards rushing on just eight carries and chipped in with two receptions. Given head coach John Harbaugh’s insistence on involving numerous RBs, it may take a while for him to assume a true workhorse role. But it feels inevitable. As the RB18 per August ADP, Charbonnet remains an affordable target. But any existing value is certain to vanish after his first monster game as the lead back at a nationally-recognized program like Michigan. Buy now before that happens.

Image Credit: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Zach Charbonnet.

  1. Johnson completed just 6 of 17 attempts for 55 yards and 2 INTs. He posted a -2.1 adjusted yards per attempt.  (back)
  2. Bentley threw for 3,171 yards and 27 TDs while averaging 7.9 adjusted yards per attempt  (back)

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