College Fantasy Football: Top Transfers for 2019
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You might recall last season when I did a “Buying/Selling Transfer Players” piece. I tried to do this once again this season but the Transfer Portal has opened up so much opportunity for so many players that I find it hard to sell on too many of them.
In this piece, I’ll go through and rank the top transfer players for 2019 and give analysis for the less obvious players. Feel free to check out the extended College Fantasy Football rankings that I and the Gridiron Scholar John Laub put together for the 2019 season as well.
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1. Justin Fields, OSU
2. Gage Gubrud, Washington State
Analysis: Gage Gubrud heads to Pullman, Washington after several successful, although injury-riddled, years. The highlight of his career at Eastern Washington came his sophomore season when he threw for 5,000+ yards and 48 scores compared to only 14 interceptions. Gubrud shined in the Spring and despite missing the Spring game appears to have held off the strong performance from Anthony Gordon.
3. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
4. Brandon Wimbush, UCF
Analysis: I understand it’s pretty insane to have a player this high on a list when many are backing his competition. And I will give respect to Darriel Mack who led UCF to a victory over Memphis despite being down 17 points. But Mack and Brandon Wimbush both have similar skill sets. Both are good runners and like to rely on their legs to make plays. However, neither guys have the greatest of arms and this could lead Josh Heupel to go with the more athletic of the two which in my opinion is Wimbush. Wimbush can’t reach his full potential against Notre Dame’s schedule but his rushing abilities against a weak AAC schedule is a recipe for success.
5. Kelly Bryant, Missouri
6. Shane Buechele, SMU
7.Tate Martell, Miami
Analysis: Tate Martell is another guy I like who hasn’t quite gotten the job locked down. It’s no doubt that N’Kosi Perry is done at Miami. His off the field issues are too much to justify the lack of production on the field. With that void, Tate Martell is set to take over this season. Martell is a great runner and didn’t look too bad throwing the ball in Columbus with an 82% completion percentage on 28 passing attempts with 9.6 yards per attempt. While his numbers weren’t huge, given that he backed up Dwayne Haskins, the upside is certainly there. Can Miami give us something to watch at quarterback in 2019?
8. Josh Jackson, Maryland
9. Malik Henry, Nevada
Analysis: From Florida State to Independence Community College, to the dynamic offensive system at Nevada. Malik Henry hasn’t quite lived up to his once 5-Star pedigree but a chance to walk-on at Nevada will give him one last go at an FBS career. While he’s currently battling it out with Christian Solano, Henry looked dominant in the Spring and give the Wolfpack a player that can help them contend in the Mountain West. I like what I’ve seen from Henry. Let’s hope he’s let go of his ego.
10. Riley Neal, Vanderbilt
11. Hunter Johnson, Northwestern
12. Deondre Francois, FAU
Analysis: It’s been a long and controversial road for Deondre Francois. He was arrested going into the 2018 season for Marijuana possession and ended the season with a video released by his ex-girlfriend of possible domestic violence. While she has made comments in an attempt to clear his name, these specific actions are a hot button issue and follow you everywhere. While I’m surprised Francois is playing again, I’m not surprised that FAU was the landing spot.
FAU has made a name for themselves by taking chances on controversial players and being dubbed the FBS’ “Last Chance U.” Francois is the clear front runner for the job after Chris Robison left the Owls controversially earlier this year. Francois is a great talent that suffered mightily behind what I can only describe as the worst offensive line I’ve ever seen. I have Francois outside the top ten for now but his ceiling is far higher under Lane Kiffin.
13. Jacob Eason, Washington
14. Ben Hicks, Arkansas
15. Austin Kendall, West Virginia
16. Alex Delton, Kansas State
Analysis: I really hate the TCU quarterback situation right now and it has only aged poorly as the offseason has progressed. They lost Shawn Robinson but brought in multiple transfer players and a blue-chip quarterback. The player I’m most excited about is Alex Delton. Delton made a name for himself at Kansas State on his legs and the thought that he could be the guy at TCU is very enticing. If you look back in time, you’ll see fantasy names like Kenny Hill and Trevone Boykin who made a great impact on the ground. Delton must be the guy this season. If he holds it down he is one of my favorite college fantasy bargains this season.
17. Quinten Dormady, Central Michigan
18. Brett Kean, Charlotte
Analysis: Although UNC Charlotte doesn’t have the greatest of records over the past several seasons, they bring in Will Healy from Austin Peay. Healy took an Austin Peay school who lost 29-straight games and quickly turned them into an 8-4 team with the FCS’s top recruiting class. He’s already made progress with quarterback Chris Reynolds who tossed three scores in the Spring game. Despite Reynolds’ progress, Brett Kean is just now arriving.
Kean did battle for most of the last offseason with Blake Barnett at USF before losing out weeks before the season. While we haven’t seen much of Kean, he certainly gave a very talented Blake Barnett a run for his money at USF and provide competition in 49er quarterback room. I’m not sure if he wins out but he’s definitely the two option over Evan Sheriffs.
19. Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State
Analysis: Tommy Stevens is a hard man to judge going into 2019. While Penn State fans boasted the year of Tommy Stevens it was Sean Clifford who stole the job away from him coming out of the Spring. Stevens left Happy Valley to join his former Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorehead at Mississippi State this season. Stevens is such a hard player to judge because he didn’t wow me as much as he did others while at Penn State and he has a harder opponent in a quarterback battle at Mississippi State in Keytoan Thompson. While his arm may win him the job, how high is his ceiling really?
20. Jack Tuttle, Indiana
21. Ty Storey, Western Kentucky
Analysis: I will say right now that Ty Storey is a much more valuable player than I give him credit for if he wins out at Western Kentucky. That’s just it though. He got to Western Kentucky after an up and down year at Arkansas and threw multiple interceptions in his debut Spring. Although his best is better than Steven Duncan’s, Duncan has proved to be far more consistent and hit that home this Spring with more touchdowns than picks. Storey’s definitely a watch list player and is even draftable if he wins out. That’s just it though.
22. McLane Carter, Rutgers
23. Alex Hornibrook, Florida State
Running Back Transfers
1. James Gilbert, Kansas State
2. Tavien Feaster, Undecided
Analysis: Tavien Feaster is the most talented back on this list and has the potential to be the best transfer back on the board. He’s currently deciding between South Carolina and Virginia Tech and that’s why I have him at two. South Carolina and Virginia Tech’s schedule difficulties are incredibly different. Virginia Tech opens the door for a lot more upside but the appeal of playing in the SEC gives an advantage to South Carolina. Time will tell what fate Feaster holds in 2019.
3. Trey Smith, Wyoming
Analysis: Trey Smith is a player I’ve got my eye on in several leagues given the land of opportunity that is the Wyoming backfield. The Cowboys have boasted multiple fantasy studs in the backfield over the past several years with Nico Evans and Brian Hill both leaving with 1,000-yard seasons under their belts. Smith may not have made it big at Louisville, but his upside as a Cowboy is huge given his lack of competition.
4. Armand Shyne, Texas Tech
5. Kyle Porter, Houston
6. Greg Bell, SDSU
7. Ty’Son Williams, BYU
8. Emmanuel Esupka BYU
Wide Receiver Transfers
1. Juwan Johnson, Oregon
2. Jalen McCleskey, Tulane
3. Eric Kumah, Old Dominion
Analysis: Eric Kumah’s departure is certainly a huge gain for the Old Dominion Monarch’s who lost Travis Fulgham and Jonathan Duhart. Duhart and Fulgham leave 2,128 yards and 137 receptions on the table. Kumah left Virginia Tech as their number two option from 2018 and provide the Monarchs with a sure-fire One option for whoever takes over for Blake LaRussa at quarterback.
4. Nate Craig-Myers, Colorado State
Analysis: Nate Craig-Myers is attempting the Preston Williams route by leaving an SEC school in an attempt for an influx of targets. While that worked for Williams, Craig-Myers will likely play second fiddle to Warren Jackson. However, Olabisi Johnson played second fiddle to Williams last season and still finished with 54 receptions for 796 yards. Consistent quarterback play from Collin Hill should only help Craig-Myers improve on those numbers.
5. Tabari Hines, North Carolina State
6. George Campbell, West Virginia
Analysis: Redemption Road is a frequented route but not many get to the gates of success. George Campbell signed with Florida State as a Five-Star recruit and leaves the ‘Noles having caught 13 passes in seven games. Campbell joins a West Virginia team in need of a new top target. Marcus Simms’ departure left TJ Simmons as the guy and I’m not sold on him just yet. Can Campbell make what could be his final season count as a mountaineer?
7. Tyjon Lindsey, Oregon State
8. McLane Mannix, Texas Tech
9. La’Michael Pettway, Iowa State
10. Jonathan Giles, Undecided
Analysis: I remember when Jonathan Giles transferred out of Texas Tech and announced he was heading to LSU. I thought to myself “what a waste of a college career.” The announcement that he was leaving got me excited for his potential. Giles may not be a stud NFL receiver in the future but he knows how to get College open against lesser competition. Maybe a return to the state of Texas is in the cards.
11. Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan
Analysis: Virginia Tech lost out on multiple receivers after last season and it helps that they signed such a wealth of talent at the position. Kalil Pimpleton transferred in December of 2017 and missed last season due to transfer rules. The addition of Jim McElwain to the coaching staff caught my attention as well did the transfer of Quinten Dormady. Pimpleton has shown off all offseason and looks to take a role as the top dog for the Chippewas.
12. Tavin Richardson, Marshall
13.Isaiah Zuber, Mississippi State
14. KJ Osborn, Miami
Analysis: I don’t like that Osborn left Buffalo, but I get it. His 2019 wasn’t going to be all it could be if he stayed in Buffalo and unfortunately it’s not going to be stellar at Miami either. While Osborn may end up as the two or three option at Miami, they have too many players and not enough targets. In fact, I’m not looking for Jeff Thomas to be on any of my teams until the season starts. I understand the move though. Osborn is looking at the bigger picture.
15. Tony Nicholson, NMSU
16. Traveon Samuel, Memphis
17. Dejon Brissett, Virginia
Analysis: After the departure of Olamide Zaccheaus, it’s not the time to be stingy when looking at the Cavalier depth chart. Virginia flipped former-Richmond receiver Dejon Brissett from Illinois and for good reason. Brissett took off for 16 receptions and 304 yards in three games last season before an ankle injury sidelined him for the year. He’s also an incredible return man that has the potential to take it to the house anytime he gets the ball.
18. Kanawai Noa, Nebraska
19. Trevon Sidney, Illinois
20. Josh Imatorbhebhe, Illinois
21. Oliver Martin, Iowa
Analysis: Oliver Martin may not have lit the world on fire as a Michigan Wolverine but he’s got a shot to be something special as an Iowa Hawkeye. Martin announced his transfer in the past few weeks and landed on a team that just lost their top three receiving targets. If Oliver got the nod from the NCAA, he could produce good numbers with Nate Stanley as his quarterback.
22. Marquez Ezzard, Georgia Tech
23. Lawrence Cager, Georgia
Analysis: When KJ Osborn left Buffalo for Miami, he was coming off a breakout year and needed a better offensive situation with his quarterback leaving for the NFL. I don’t know what Lawrence Cager has going on. Cager finished 2018 with 21 receptions for 374 yards and six scores and looks to improve on those stats by transferring to Georgia. Whether or not you like Jake Fromm as a quarterback, you have to acknowledge that Georgia receivers just don’t produce. And for a player that needs to produce, Cager chose poorly.
24. Ardell Brown, UConn
Analysis: I don’t know who UConn has that will throw the ball to Ardell Brown and that’s the only reason he is this low. Brown left Seton Hall after a 2018 season in which he caught 81 passes for 1,267 yards and nine touchdowns. QB Marvin Williams left the Huskies program last month and now I’m hoping that NC State-transfer Micah Leon can prove to be the reason Washington left and get Brown the ball.
JUCO Names to Watch for 2019 College Fantasy Football
Thomas MacVittie, Kansas
Bailey Hockman, North Carolina State
Messiah deWeaver, Old Dominion
Jaiave Maglie, Louisiana
Lowell Narcisse, UTSA
Dedrick Mills, Nebraska
DeShawn Collins, California
RaJae johnson, UAB
Dontario Drummond, Ole Miss
Melquise Stovall, Hawaii
Jaylen Erwin, UCLA
Brian Smith, Louisiana
Ezra Naylor, Kansas
Darren Wilson, Iowa State
Eugene Minter, Arkansas State
Austin Griffin, Boise State
TK McClendon, LSU
Josh Harris, UCLA
For more from Justin and all of our CFF writers check out our full archive of awesome College Fantasy Football content!
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