This article is part of our College Football Fantasy Five series.
Even though there's no college football currently being played, it doesn't mean that we can't start preparing for the 2021 fantasy college football season. I've scrubbed the current headlines and here's a countdown of the top five stories with fantasy implications.
5.) Les Miles Out as Head Coach at Kansas
After some scathing stories out of LSU involving Miles during his coaching tenure with the Tigers, he was placed on administrative leave and bought out of his contract with Kansas. This doesn't have a huge effect on the upcoming season as Kansas rarely has much fantasy appeal as they are routinely one of the worst power five programs each and every year. Emmett Jones has taken over as interim football coach and historically coached at Texas Tech with Kliff Kingsbury. Kansas has already lost their top two receivers in Andrew Parchment (transferred to Florida State) and Stephon Robinson (transferred to Northwestern), leaving a ton of unknowns on their 2021 roster.
4.) Early Mock Draft Results are Exciting!
Fellow college football writer John McKechnie and I had the opportunity to take part in an early mock draft for the upcoming 2021 season. Here's a preview of how the first round went:
1.1 QB Malik Willis, Liberty
1.2 RB Breece Hall, Iowa State
1.3 RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
1.4 RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota (John's Pick)
1.5 WR David Bell, Purdue
1.6 RB Kevin Marks, Buffalo
1.7 WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU
1.8 QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (Nick's Pick)
1.9 QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
1.10 QB Dustin Crum, Kent State
1.11 RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA
1.12 QB Dillon Gabriel, Central Florida
1.13 RB Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State
I think it's fairly obvious that Willis and Hall will be clear top targets this next year, but after that, it could be an interesting spring/summer as I think many of these other names will shuffle around. I would be shocked to see Rattler outside of the top five as Oklahoma is expected to be an offensive juggernaut.
3.) Isaiah Bowser Snubs the Redhawks and Heads to Central Florida
Bowser will throw his hat into the starting running back competition at UCF with Bentavious Thompson under new coach Guz Malzahn. The Northwestern transfer who ran for 866 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 recently de-committed from Miami of Ohio. I would expect that Thompson would have the initial leg up for winning the starting job as he had a much better season last year. Former Knights Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson are off to the NFL, so this could be an interesting battle to watch this spring. Malzahn often had an impressive run game at Auburn with Tank Bigsby racking up 834 yards and five touchdowns on 138 carries this past season for the Tigers.
2.) Vincent Davis Has Sleeper Potential at Pittsburgh
According to Jerry DiPaola of TribLive.com, Head Coach Pat Narduzzi recently came out and said that the team's starting tailback heading into the 2021 season is Davis. The sophomore is not really on any draft boards at this time and has serious sleeper potential as he's shown a propensity to score touchdowns. In 22 career games, he has 12 touchdowns and that's while splitting carries with multiple teammates. At Georgia Tech in Week 15 last season, he rushed 25 times for 247 yards and a touchdown. If he can develop a featured role, he'll be a steal at the backend of fantasy drafts.
1.) D'Eriq King Working His Way Back from an ACL Injury at Miami
ESPN's Andrea Adelson reported that King is expected to be ready to go for fall camp. The dynamic dual-threat quarterback tore his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma State in December. The Hurricanes have a gigantic game against Alabama on September 4th, so the senior signal-caller will have all eyes on him to begin the season. The kid should have all the motivation in the world to come back from the injury, but the hope is that he doesn't rush back too early as he likely has a pro career in front of him as well. Fantasy players are going to need to take this into account when taking a chance on him in drafts in the fall. If his recovery does go well, I would jump all over him in drafts as his career stats show tremendous upside and if healthy, he would have been a top pick. Here are some enticing tidbits:
- In 35 career games, King has 15 outings with 30+ DK Points
- Career rushing averages of 54.4 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game
- Not all legs either with 62.6 percent completion percentage & 72:15 TD:INT Ratio