Spring games have come and gone and the experts have taken the time to wrap up all the major storylines coming out of the spring. From Jovon Durante’s transition to the high-powered-FAU offense to the obnoxiously high scoring Rutgers Spring Game, we have it all right here for your convenience.
South Florida is DEEP at receiver in 2018
One thing we don’t know about USF this season is who will play quarterback. One thing we do know is that the Bulls have no shortage of options at receiver. Tyre McCants returns after a 2017 campaign that saw him produce 36 receptions for 686 yards and seven touchdowns as the two option. Freshman receivers Randall St. Felix and Darnell Salomon led all receivers in the spring game on their respective sides, and Salomon’s featured moment was a 43-yard touchdown reception over a corner’s head. True freshman Zion Roland also caught four passes for 41 yards in his debut.
Salomon and McCants are likely to lead the Bulls in receiving in 2018. The quarterback battle is currently between Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun. Both quarterbacks scored often in the spring game and coach Charlie Strong is in no hurry to name a starter. Another important development to the QB room in Tampa is the possibility of adding former five-star quarterback Blake Barnett to their options after a planned visit.
Huskies walk-on sows out in spring game
The best offensive player for UConn outside of kicker Michael Tarbutt was hands down junior running back and walk-on Donven O’Reilly. O’Reilly finished the Huskies spring game with 130 yards on 18 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. It’s hard to buy into the hype around a dreadful UConn football program but O’Reilly could make things interesting considering no running back for the Huskies ran for more than 4.2 yards per carry last season. Right now he should be considered the unquestioned two-back for UConn but it’s hard to ignore such a great performance.
McKenzie Milton is simply unstoppable
With Scott Frost gone, it was hard to predict how the Knights were going to look under new head coach Josh Heupel. It seems as though coach Heupel was out to prove that Milton would not falter under a new coach but improve on his already impressive 2017 campaign. Milton threw for 183 yards and two scores with 144 yards coming in the first quarter alone. Another high-point for UCF was running back Greg McCrae, who finished with two touchdowns and 57 yards. An intriguing player for the 2017 AAC champions is hybrid running back/receiver Otis Anderson. Anderson seems to be taking on a role that allows him to contribute both in the receiving and rushing game and if used properly he could easily be a top option at receiver from a fantasy perspective in 2018.
This season is a good indicator of the level of coach Mike Norvell is. Justin Fuente left Norvell with a stellar college quarterback in Tennessee transfer Riley Fergunsen, which allowed the Tigers offensive production to continue to flourish. Norvell’s quarterbacks Brady White and David Moore are the more consistent options for the Tigers this spring and both had their good and bad moments. White went without a first down on his first three drives, and on the fourth and fifth he relied heavily on Damonte Coxie and Patrick Taylor for a field goal and a touchdown. Moore impressed early with a 30-yard rush and a touchdown pass to Antonio Gibson but took sacks on two drives and illegally batted a fumble out of bounds.
Houston may finally have fixed their running game
Houston’s quarterback is without a doubt D’Eriq King and their receiving game is anyone’s guess as to who takes over for Linell Bonner and Steven Dunbar after eight receivers played admirably in the spring game. The running game for Houston hasn’t been the greatest outside of quarterback the past several seasons and a one-two punch in the backfield may just be the answer. Kervin Justice ran for 99 yards and a score while Mulbah Car accounted for 72 yards and two scores. A split backfield may not be the most ideal from a fantasy perspective, but it definitely helps open up the passing game for the Cougs as they pursue a return to the AAC championship.
SMU Turning the page after Sutton, Quinn, and Morris’ departure
SMU’s losses really added up this offseason with most of their offense leaving for the NFL and Chad Morris taking the head coaching position at Arkansas. Sonny Dykes is the new sheriff in town for the Mustangs and his Air Raid system makes Ben Hicks and intriguing option at quarterback this season. The question lies in Dallas this season: who is Ben Hicks throwing to? It seems as though the answer is freshman receiver Tyler Page. Page finished with 55 yards for the Mustangs which may not seem like a lot now but the number one option in an Air Raid system is hard to ignore, especially in PPR leagues.
Tulane receiver has a monster day
Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks seems to have improved over the offseason and showed that off with 161 yards and a touchdown in limited action. The real story for Tulane in the game was Terren Encalade, who finished the game with three receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. If Encalade can keep up this level of production he has potential to make moves for anyone’s fantasy team.
Clemson has a top flight receiver and four fantasy-relevant quarterbacks
Clemson’s spring game offered multiple revelations for the Tigers, including an immediate upgrade at the receiver position. Hunter Johnson and Trevor Lawrence showed off by both scoring touchdowns. Lawrence almost had two with the second coming off of a huge bomb to Tee Higgins but the play was called dead due to Lawrence being touched down. Chase Bryce had two interceptions but he also ran the offense smoothly up-and-down the field.
Tee Higgins was the marquee player for the Tigers in the spring game with 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Clemson had trouble last season in the passing game with many 50/50 passes going in the wrong direction, but Higgins showed that he is more Nuk Hopkins than he is Dion Cain.
Players literally fighting for spots in NC State spring game
So, there was an actual fight with actual ejections in the NC State spring game and that may be the most absurd thing to happen in a scrimmage. In fantasy-relevant news, Ryan Finley continues to do Ryan Finley things with 165 yards and a 74-yard touchdown in a half of play. Jakobi Meyers is stepping into the Jaylen Samuels role next season but isn’t considered a tight end in fantasy sports. Kelvin Harmon went 74 yards on a touchdown reception in the first-half which is definitely worth noting. Harmon finished with three catches and 92 yards and a score.
Beal shines in Wake Forest spring game
First things first, let’s discuss the obvious. Greg Dortch is back and scored the lone black touchdown from a pass from Kendall Hinton. Hinton struggled in the passing game which is expected from a more mobile skill set in a touch football game. Other quarterbacks Jamie Newman and Sam Hartman performed admirably with Newman completing nine of 13 passes for 128 yards while Hartman had 80 yards on seven of 13 passing. Christian Beal had the biggest day for the Deacs with 97 yards and a pair of scores on 14 carries. The Demon Deacons will feature a more of a ground game this season with Kendall Hinton at the helm, and Beal could easily challenge Matt Colburn for the starting job.
Boston College has success passing?
We all know that the big time playmaker for Boston College this season is none other than AJ Dillon. what really seemed out of the ordinary in the spring game featured five passing touchdowns. EJ Perry took one side at quarterback and finished with 141 yards and two passing touchdowns with an interception, and on the other side Matt McDonald finished with 126 yards and three passing touchdowns and both had 10 completions. Dennis Grosel also took snaps at quarterback and finished with 69 yards and a touchdown on eight completions. If Boston College can establish a passing game, AJ Dillon becomes a somehow better fantasy option and Boston College becomes a sneaky good ACC team.
Welcome to Louisville Jawon Pass
With the departure of Lamar Jackson, it will come as a surprise to no one if the Cardinals take a step back offensively in 2018. However, Jawon Pass certainly gave some reassurance to fans and fantasy owners everywhere by throwing for 342 yards and three touchdowns and adding another score on the ground. He may not produce Lamar Jackson numbers next season (who can?) but Pass is definitely not a player you should pass on in this year’s fantasy draft.
Willie Taggart has arrived
I’m just gonna tell you stats from the Seminole spring game and you can stop reading when something doesn’t impress you. First, Khalan Laborn may have made the FSU backfield a committee with a 140 yard and two touchdown performance. Florid State had three receivers (Deonte Sheffield, DJ Matthews, Tamorrion Terry) account for more than 100 yards receiving and two of the three had touchdowns. Lastly, Bailey Jockman and James Blackmon combined for 462 passing yards and two touchdowns as they both try to establish themselves as the top dog before the return of DeAndre Francois.
Malik Rosier still stands as the guy
The main position battle to watch for in Miami is the quarterback, and as it stands right now, Malik Rosier is still top dog. N’Kosi Perry threw under 50% and had a pick on 20 pass attempts and Rosier may not have recorded a touchdown but he didn’t turn the ball over, either. Travis Homer had a lackluster day with 29 yards and a fumble on seven carries. Brian Hightower had the biggest day of anyone on offense with 100 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. Rosier likely holds on to the starting job and it shouldn’t be too hard for Brevin Jordan to beat out Michael Irvin Jr. considering he had two receptions for 11 yards.
Pitt’s Spring Game well… happened
No serious injuries were sustained in the Panthers spring game and that pretty much all the upside I can offer. Kenny Pickett went 13-for-23 with no touchdowns unless you count the late pick-six for the only touchdown of the game. The best day on the ground goes to AJ Davis who ran for a total of 39 yards on 13 carries for 2.9 yards per carry and no scores. Needless to say, Pitt needs to get things together quickly if they expect to contend in any way, shape, or form this season.
Bryce Perkins named UVA quarterback
Virginia didn’t exactly have the numbers to run a full-scale spring game so coach Mendenhall held an open practice. At the conclusion of the Spring, Mendenhall named JUCO-Transfer Bryce Perkins the starting quarterback and said it was a no-brainer. Mendenhall is looking to move away from the pocket passing offense he had under Kurt Benkert and move back to what he ran while at BYU. Perkins is the prime candidate for a motion-offense with a lot of RPO and Olamide Zaccheaus and Jordan Ellis will benefit greatly with the scheme change.
Duke tight ends show fantasy relevance
Daniel Jones didn’t turn too many heads in the spring game but he has shown signs of improvement. Jones is what he is from a fantasy standpoint and there nothing changing that. What I did observe was the overuse of tight ends. Duke relied mainly on tight ends this spring due to injuries at receiver and it seemed to work just fine. Coach Cutcliffe mentioned that they should be able to run a mixture of sets during this season including some that have three different tight ends on the field at one time.
Oklahoma QB far from decided, Calcaterra is looking great
The Oklahoma spring game didn’t do too much to decide who takes over the massive offensive hole left by the departing Baker Mayfield. Austin Kendall had the better day overall going 11-for-18 for 134 yards and a touchdown while Murray threw for less than 60 percent on the day. Murray’s game isn’t really built for the spring stage due to his incredible running ability so take his negatives with a grain of salt. Grant Calcaterra seems to be filling in just fine for the departing Mark Andrews with three receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.
TCU may have two feature backs in 2018
We all know how well Darius Anderson performed at times in 2018 and many had plans to draft him as an RB2 or a solid flex player. His value may be on the decline after the spring because of the surprising success of Sewo Olonilua, who scored on the first drive of the game. Shawn Robinson looks to be the guy under center and actually has potential to do great things in 2018. Taye Barber is essentially Kavontae Turpin but bigger. Barber caught passes out of the backfield and even caught a touchdown pass out the slot on a slant pass.
Oklahoma State didn’t give many fantasy positives
So the Cowboys had a really good spring game and looked really good. The problem that we arrive at, however, is that Mike Gundy isn’t giving us too much fantasy-wise. Gundy announced this week that Justice Hill will receive fewer carries this season, which takes away one the more consistent running backs in college fantasy. JD King will likely get more looks this year and a RBBC isn’t ideal in a pass-heavy offense. The quarterback battle is still going on in Stillwater and this spring didn’t offer much considering Dru Brown hasn’t arrived.
Texas knows its receivers… and that’s about it
Texas seems to be right back where they were last year, only this time they at least have established receiving options. Shan Beuchele and Sam Ehlinger still haven’t done much to establish themselves as the top dog and this go around they’ve added two freshmen in the offseason that could contend. Texas doesn’t have any quality running backs currently on campus from what we’ve seen with the best performance going to Toneil Carter who went for 25 yards on 10 carries. On a brighter note, Lil’Jordan Humphrey caught seven receptions for 100 yards while rushing for 14 yards and two touchdowns and Collin Johnson caught six passes for 91 yards and a score. Humphrey looks like a solid fantasy player given his multi-dimensional skill-set and Collin Johnson just seems to have gotten even better than he was in 2017.
Kansas State has two really good quarterbacks
In a strange turn of events, Skylar Thompson out-rushed Alex Delton and Alex Delton barely out-passed Skylar Thompson in the Kansas State spring game. My favorite to win the job is Thompson who passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns and finished 68% passing. Alex Delton finished with 201 yards passing and three touchdowns with 75% passing. Thompson and Delton both had six carries, but Thompson went for 51 yards compared to Delton’s 35. Thompson is still my favorite but it seems as though there are no wrong answers at the position in 2018 for the Wildcats. Expect whichever quarterback that wins the job to be a top-tier player by the end of the year.
No clarity at quarterback for Texas Tech
All eyes are on Texas Tech this offseason as they look to replace their starting quarterback again. Kliff Kingsbury can make any quarterback throw for at least 4,000 yards, which is a great stat for fantasy owners. Jett Duffey is the expected winner of the job but he underwhelmed in the spring with 89 yards and no touchdowns on 11 passes and seemingly refused to run the ball. McLane Carter had the better day with 139 yards on 11 passes with a score. Da’Leon Ward and Tre King had great days on the ground with both scoring and combining for close to 100 yards.
Still no quarterback in Columbus
Ohio State’s quarterback battle is ongoing and there seems to be little separation between Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins after stellar spring performances. Burrow finished with 238 yards and two touchdowns on 15 completions and Haskins finished with 120 yards on nine completions with two touchdowns. Demario McCall certainly made a name for himself with 11 receptions, 165 yards, and two touchdowns in the H-back spot. I was under the impression that Haskins had the job won, but after the spring I’m beginning to lean towards Burrow to lead the Buckeyes this season.
Trace McSorley is the focal point of the Penn State offense
I’m not going to talk too much about McSorely in this recap. McSorley gets the opportunity to prove how good he actually is without Saquon Barkley this season and I will focus more on who he has around him. Mark Allen had the best day in the backfield with 30 yards on five carries and a touchdown. The best receiving performance goes to Mac Hippenhammer who caught four passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns in his first spring game as a Nittany Lion.
LJ Scott may be losing ground
Michigan State’s marquee player in fantasy is without a doubt Brian Lewerke, who finished with 82 yards and a score on seven completions and hit Darrell Stewart for 30 yards in crunch time to bring the game close. Alante Thomas may challenge LJ Scott for playing time after the spring, where Thomas accounted for 77 yards on 10 carries. Darrell Stewart made his presence felt in the game with two touchdown receptions with one being the score that sealed the deal with under two minutes left in the game.
Shea Patterson has been activated
The biggest news out of Ann Arbor this season was about the eligibility of Ole-Miss Transfer quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson was a big-time fantasy player for Ole Miss until a leg injury derailed his 2017 season. The rise of Jordan Ta’Amu led Patterson to transfer out and it wasn’t until last week when it was announced that Shea can play in 2018 in the maize and blue. Patterson is by far the most talented quarterback that Harbaugh has had at Michigan and the Wolverine upside has skyrocketed with this huge addition.
Rutgers Spring Game was odd but Artur Sitkowski is the man to own
Rutgers’ Spring Game featured an incredibly odd scoring system and a huge game from freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski. Although he hasn’t been named officially as the starting quarterback for the Scarlet Knights by coach Chris Ash, it seems as though he may just do it. Sitkowski hit passes that no Rutgers quarterbacks have hit in years including a 75-yard pass to Bo Melton, who was another highlighted player as he caught three touchdown passes in the spring game and looks like a key piece in the Scarlet Knight offense.
Iowa looks lackluster on offense
Iowa either looked really good on defense or really weak offensively in the spring. The first touchdown wasn’t scored until later in the game, as Nate Stanley threw two interceptions, and TJ Hockenson lost a fumble. The backups looked fine and Max Cooper looked consistent in the receiving game but other than that Iowa has work to do.
Welcome home Scott Frost
Nebraska showed off something that we haven’t seen in years in Nebraska and that is an offense. The quarterback battle seems to be between Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez after awesome spring game performances. Gebbia threw for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 12 completions while Martinez threw for 114 and a touchdown on 10 completions. The real kicker was Martinez’s 74 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. It seems as though Frost may already be on the right track with the Huskers and they may have a legitimate fantasy threat at quarterback for the first time since Taylor Martinez.
PJ Fleck starting to row the boat in Minnesota?
Minnesota had a disappointing 2017 season to say the least, and the spring game showed that things for the Gophers are moving in the right direction. Quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for 272 yards on 18 completions and two touchdowns with Tyler Johnson on the receiving end of most of those passes, catching six for 120 yards and a touchdown. Rodney Smith remains the top dog at running back for the Gophers, especially after the 56-yard reception for a touchdown.
FAU hasn’t decided on a quarterback. But it’s Chris Robison.
After a 10-win season from the Owls, FAU lost quarterback Jason Driskel to a sudden retirement. The quarterback battle going into the spring was down to Chris Robison and DeAndre Johnson and the spring game pretty well decided the outcome. In my opinion, Chris Robison had the better day with 172 yards on 12 completions as compared to Johnson who went for 175 yards on 21 completions. Robison doesn’t exactly have the legs that Johnson has but he can still run when he chooses. Devin Singletary is the guy to own next season from FAU for obvious reasons but having a good quarterback will only make him an elite college player.
Jovon Durante has made waves at wide receiver after transferring in from West Virginia. Durante is considered the front-runner to replace Kalib Woods as the big play receiver for the Owls in 2018.
FIU looks to rebuild after key losses
Florida International lost two big stars this past season with Alex McGough and Alex Gardner both graduating. Christian Alexander finished 7-for-11 for 89 yards with no scores while Kaylan Wiggins went 8-for-13 for 68 yards and a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. Austin Maloney and Bryce Singleton both had big days at receiver and both recorded a catch longer than 30 yards. FIU will likely take a step back this season so stand by on the fantasy relevance of their players.
Isaiah Green is next up for Marshall
Marshall’s line of fantasy relevant quarterbacks won’t end with the departure of Chase Litton as Isaiah Green looked fantastic in the spring game. Green had 120 yards and two touchdowns with four total completions. Green averaged 24 yards per attempt and had a touchdown every other completion for the Herd. Marcel Williams also made headlines with a 74-yard touchdown reception and established himself even further as the top receiving option for Marshall.
Western Kentucky returns to the run game
The Hilltoppers are hurting after losing quarterback Mike White in the offseason and it seems that after the spring game that Western Kentucky is returning to a run-based offense. We’ve seen WKU turn to the run sporadically in the past few seasons with Leon Allen and Anthony Wales. Last season, the offense seemed lesser than it has been in past seasons and a move to a strong ground game makes sense. The Hilltopper spring game featured a total of 520 yards with 237 of them coming on the ground from D’Andre Ferby, KeShawn McClendon, Joshua Samuel, and Davis Shanley. Ferby is the most experienced of the four and will likely get the first nod at the position.
Brent Stockstill is back
The loss of Richie James is hard to ignore but the return of a fully healthy Brent Stockstill should ease the pain. Stockstill had a high completion rate on the day and only threw one pick that happened to go off of the receivers chest into the arms of a member of the Blue Raider secondary. Expect Brent Stockstill to stand among the best options for non-mobile quarterbacks in fantasy this season.
Arnold stands above the rest
Old Dominion seems to always have one fantasy relevant player on their team whether it be Ray Lowry or Taylor Heinicke. This year’s big player seems to be quarterback Drayton Arnold. Arnold completed 14 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns. He did throw one interception in the process but had a great spring game overall.
So. Miss Quarterback job still open
Southern Mississippi still seems at a loss for signal callers going into this season. Keon Howard finished 10-for-15 for 124 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Jack Abraham finished 10-for-16 with 103 yards and a pick. Last season the Golden Eagles had Ito Smith to distract from the quarterback spot and this season they had 188 yards on 36 carries between three backs. Stand by for more updates as So. Miss adds two more backs in the summer.
LA Tech finds their back
Since the departure of Kenneth Dixon in 2015, Lousiana Tech has had issues running the ball. Jarred Craft wasn’t exactly a goldmine for fantasy points, especially with Boston Scott stealing carries. A 12-rush, 78-yard effort in the spring game cemented Jaqwis Dancy as the guy in the backfield for the Bulldogs this season. An improved J’Mar Smith could open things up for Dancy and vice versa making both interesting picks in the upcoming fantasy season.
UTSA’s BJ Daniels is an intriguing prospect
UTSA’s Spring Game showed off their once again prominent defense and gave fantasy owners something to look forward to. BJ Daniels led the Roadrunners in rushing with 81 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Given that UTSA has a soft schedule Daniels is an interesting option for a later round pick that has potential to contribute in a big way. If you don’t pick him up in the preseason, at least keep him on your watch list and monitor his progress.
All eyes on Kai
UTEP featured five quarterbacks in their spring game and the one that stood out was former Texas QB Kai Locksley. Locksley finished the spring game with 119 yards on 11 completions which were better numbers than any other quarterback the Miners featured that day. Two receivers stood out for UTEP: Walter Dawn caught five passes for 75 yards and Warren Redix caught seven passes for 56 yards. Neither Dawn or Redix scored but both received a substantial amount of volume compared to other receivers.
Check back next week for the Spring breakdown for the Independents, Mid-Atlantic, Mountain West, Pacific-12, Southeastern, and Sun Belt conferences. Also, be sure to check out the Best Farm Schools in college fantasy football here.
Or you can look at the positional rankings from the college fantasy experts of a variety of formats for this upcoming season here.