This week we are focusing on the smaller school guys who don’t always get the spotlight or the recognition they deserve. These are the players who didn’t get the ESPN 300 ranking or weren’t played properly in high school. Not everyone goes to an Alabama and has CBS as there platform to get out there, or is always on NBC if you go to Notre Dame. These players at smaller schools rely on the hard-working road scouts to go and find them or for ESPN+ to cover one of their games.
Small school players are not to be dismissed by NFL teams or by you as fantasy players. Two years ago Kareem Hunt was seen as a guy who went to Toledo but now is arguably one of the most reliable fantasy running back today. Carson Wentz was just another player invited to the Senior Bowl a couple years ago, but by the end of the process, he was drafted second overall. This is why it is important to become acquainted with as many of these small school guys; when the combine and Senior Bowl rolls around, you already know who to watch.
Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
Game: At Ohio 11/14
Time: 7:00 PM EST, ESPN2
One of my favorite receivers in college football and one of my favorite prospects for next year’s NFL draft, Johnson is having a tremendous year so far: accumulating 35 receptions for 699 yards and scoring 9 times. He is averaging 34.95 yards per catch and has several scores from 50+ yards. He has big-play potential while also serving as an excellent red zone target. He will be a favorite target for whichever team he lands on come April and will have his quarterback falling in love with him and trusting him quickly. I expect an Anthony Miller type rise out of him when draft season rolls around.
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
Game: At New Mexico 11/16
Time: 9:00 PM EST, CBS Sport Network
Brett Rypien may have the sexiest deep ball in this years quarterback class. I really like his pocket presence and his mechanics as well. He could develop into something if drafted to the right team where he can sit and develop. Him in a system like New England and have him be the starter in waiting for Tom Brady would be a potentially perfect fit. He has shown flashes of potential to make him worthy of being in the discussion with other top quarterbacks in this draft but his lack of stellar competition is putting a blindfold on scouts. He doesn’t jump off the film the way Josh Allen did as a small school prospect, so we will have to wait and see. If he goes to the Senior Bowl we’ll get a much clearer picture of what he could be at the next level.
Qadree Ollison, RB, Pitt
Game: At Wake Forest 11/17
Time: Noon, ACC Network
Qadree Ollison has had the unfortunate duty of replacing Pitt legend in James Connor. In 2017 he was used sparingly with 90 carries for 398 yards and 5 touchdowns. This year he has bounced back and has gotten a larger workload, with 149 rushing attempts for 1,054 yards while finding the end zone 10 times. He is a big runner as well, standing at 6’2” and weighing roughly 225 pounds - Leonard Fournette territory. Something to like about him though from a future fantasy perspective is that he has a lot more tread on his tires. Ollison only has 484 carries in career so far whereas Devin Singletary has 668 carries.
Lots of fun players to keep track of as the season winds down. Draft season is only two months away and knowing these names will get you a head start. When it comes down to your rookie drafts once there players find homes in the league. Stay locked into Dynasty Happy Hour and be sure to follow me on twitter to keep up on all things devy.