The Scholar’s 2020 All-American Sleepers in College Fantasy Football
College Fantasy Football provides a wonderful opportunity to learn all of the players across the nation and become a better NFL Draft analyst. I love this hobby, and am moving forward with my analysis despite the recent uptick in Covid-19 infections across the country.
I hope there will be a season and am still researching and planning for kickoff in 2020. In order to assist college fantasy footballers, I am publishing my seventh annual CFF sleepers’ column. Listed below are in-depth profiles of players to obtain late in drafts over the summer.
College Fantasy Football provides alternative-reality zealots, NFL Draftniks, and Dynasty and Devy owners a competitive advantage against their opponents. What are you waiting for this summer? Get off the sideline and into the game on Fantrax. We guarantee that you will not regret playing in a CFF league this fall.
2020 College Fantasy Football Sleepers
Enjoy my fellow CFF fanatics!
QB Chris Reynolds, Charlotte
Beneath the pageantry and glamor on campuses in the fall, there are incredible stories of perseverance and determination by student-athletes reaching for the stars. After high school, Chris Reynolds did not receive a college scholarship, enrolled at Charlotte and earned a roster spot as a walk-on for the 49ers.
In 2017, Reynolds underwent a red-shirt season, and the following campaign, he started six games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Reynolds did not give up and earned the starting assignment again last year despite a number of quarterbacks coming into the program to compete for his job.
Last year, the redshirt sophomore stifled detractors. In a breakout crusade, he established a school record with 22 aerial strikes and posted the second-most passing yards in 49ers’ history with 2,564. He led C-USA with a school-record 153.6 passing efficiency and rushed for 791 yards, which is the most ever by a Charlotte signal-caller. He also engineered three game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown drives during the season-altering five-game win streak.
Dual-threat quarterbacks are always in demand in college fantasy football, and Scott Bogman, my CFF: On Campus teammate, drafted Reynolds in Round 11 of the Summa Cum Laude draft. I adore the discounted price tag on the 49ers’ rising star in 2020.
QB Max Duggan, TCU
When I participated in my first CFF mock draft in March, I acquired Max Duggan in Round 15. In the CFF Summa Cum Laude Draft, 12 experts bypassed the TCU signal-caller. I only selected two quarterbacks (Trevor Lawrence and Dorian Thompson-Robinson) and would target Duggan on the waiver wire if we played out the season.
I seek dual-threat quarterbacks with a high ceiling, and the Horned Frogs’ playmaker fulfills the criteria. As a freshman last year, he started 10 games and established a freshman school record for passing yards (2,077) and touchdowns (15). More prominently, he finished second on the club in rushing yards (555) and scored six times on the ground. In six games, he produced over 20 fantasy points, including a season-high 37.65 versus Texas Tech.
Duggan’s signature moment came against in-state rival Texas with 273 yards passing, 72 yards rushing and two total touchdowns, leading the Horned Frogs to a 37-27 victory. He earned Honorable Mention Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Academic Rookie Team. With a year of experience, Duggan will take a step forward, and I am buying the sophomore at his current price in CFF leagues.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got at QB in 2020?
- Max Duggan, TCU: 60%
- Sean Clifford, Penn State: 40%
John’s Vote: Max Duggan
QB/WR Chance Warren, Navy
Systems, Systems, Systems…There are not many better ones than coach Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack at Navy. Over the past five seasons, the Midshipmen’s starting quarterback—Malcolm Perry, Zach Abey, Will Worth and Keenan Reynolds—averaged 1,087 passing yards, 1,416 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns, and seven aerial strikes.
Throughout the offseason, I have sought insight on the expected Navy starter in 2020. Last week, Phil Steele’s 2020 College Football preview magazine listed Chance Warren atop the depth chart. I immediately updated my CFF player rankings and researched the new starter in Niumatalolo’s electrifying scheme.
A junior, Warren is an Operations Research major and wants to be a Navy pilot after graduation. Before the Pandemic cancelled spring practices, coach Niumatalolo had planned on transitioning Warren from receiver to quarterback to compete for the starting job. At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, the junior is one of the best athletes on the team and owns the skill set to succeed in the triple-option attack.
“In the back of my mind, I kind of thought Warren could be successful playing quarterback in our system. It’s a similar situation to Malcolm—he’s a dynamic athlete who is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. To be honest, the thing I like about Chance is his energy and leadership. Kids respond really well to him. He’s a competitor and a playmaker,” offensive coordinator Irvin Jasper told The Capital Gazette in late April.
Warren is currently listed at QB/WR on Fantrax and provides incredible value if he wins the job at Navy in 2020. I will be watching very closely and willing to take a late-round flier on Warren in fantasy drafts.
RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
The Ragin’ Cajuns are one the most dynamic running games in the nation over the past two campaigns. In 2018, Louisiana finished 22nd in rushing with 3,062 yards and 31 touchdowns, and last year, ranked seventh in the country with 3,449 yards and 41 touchdowns.
In 2019, three runners rushed for more than 800 yards but Raymond Calais left campus and only Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell remain. Of the two remaining ball carriers, Mitchell is the one to procure in 2020.
Last year, the senior paced the club in rushing with 1,147 yards and 16 touchdowns. He earned Second Team All-Sun Belt for the second season in a row and has averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 343 attempts over the past two years.
Lindy’s Sports named Mitchell preseason First Team All-Sun Belt and Offensive Player of the Year in the Conference. And for the second year in row, Mitchell was named to the Doak Walker preseason watch list. In the Summa Cum Laude draft, the Ragin’ Cajun star got plucked in Round 6 and is worthy of a mid-round investment.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got at QB in 2020?
- Dillon Gabriel, UCF: 65%
- Adrian Martinez, Nebraska: 35%
John’s Vote: Adrian Martinez
RB Re’Mahn Davis, Temple
Re’Mahn Davis makes my sleeper list because he has the best Twitter handle in college football—@MrHeisman7—just kidding. He is a great ball carrier. “Prep school, guys used to call me like a human joystick—they used to call me ‘The Heisman.’ I kind of stuck with it.” Davis said in an interview with Mike Jensen in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has not changed his Twitter account yet, and I hope he does not.
Last September, I acquired Davis off the waiver wire after he sauntered for 135 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia Tech. The following week against East Carolina, the bruising runner rambled for 157 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, and CFF owners scrambled to pick up the Temple runner.
A two-way player at Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey, Davis played in 33 career games, producing 4,815 yards on the ground and recording 80 tackles and six interceptions. As a high school recruit, he was rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports and committed to Temple, enrolling early in January 2019.
As a true freshman last year, Davis rushed for 936 yards, corralled 15 passes for 181 yards and scored ten times. He was named to the PFF First Team Freshman All-America and only Bernard Pierce (2009) recorded more rushing yards as a freshman at Temple.
The 5-foot-9, 210-pounder was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list. How bullish am I on the sophomore? I traded WR Victor Tucker for Davis in a CFF Dynasty league in March and expect the Owls’ runner to easily exceed 1,200 yards rushing and score double-digit touchdowns.
RB Eric Gray, Tennessee
While researching Devy prospects during the spring, I took a deep dive into Eric Gray. And came away convinced that he is a rising star and overlooked Draft prospect. He is also undervalued in CFF drafts this summer.
As a high school recruit, Gray was rated as a four-star prospect and Top Ten recruit in Tennessee. He is the first player to be named Tennessee’s Mr. Football three times (2016, ’17 and ’18) and played in the 2019 All-American Bowl. He also established the state record for career touchdowns with 138. He enrolled at Tennessee after graduating early and ascended up the Volunteers’ depth chart last year.
As a true freshman, Gray rushed for 539 yards, corralled 13 passes for 115 yards and scored five times. He earned PFF College All-Freshman Team (HM), Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll and SEC Freshman of the Week after steamrolling Vanderbilt with 246 yards and three touchdowns. In the Gator Bowl, he concluded his freshman season with 120 total yards and a touchdown, earning the MVP for his performance.
Some national media sources listed Gray as a breakout player in the SEC, and he has been named to the Doak Walker preseason watch list. The Volunteers return all five starters on the offensive line and added former Georgia lineman Cade Mays for depth. Tennessee also returns nine starters on offense and a senior quarterback: Jarrett Guarantano. Gray has a high ceiling and is below market value in early CFF drafts.
The Summa Cum Laude All-Undrafted Team
QB Sean Clifford, Penn State
QB Brady White, Memphis
RB Kadin Remsberg, Air Force
RB Elijah Collins, Michigan State
WR Elijah Moore, Nevada
WR JD Spielman, TCU
WR Ra’Shaun Henry, Virginia
TE Peyton Hendershot, Indiana
Also check out the Summa Cum Laude College Fantasy Football Mock Draft Analysis.
WR Seth Williams, Auburn
How high would Seth Williams be ranked if he played at LSU or Alabama? The Tigers’ home run hitter is an elite prospect, but has not produced prodigious numbers like his SEC counterparts. Coach Gus Malzahn pursued an offensive upgrade to compete with the Tigers and Crimson Tide in the SEC West and hired new offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who will surely design plays for Williams to excel.
In high school, Seth Williams was the fifth-ranked prospect in Alabama and a four-star recruit nationally. The Crimson Tide showed interest but felt Williams projected as a tight end. Williams craved to play wide receiver and chose in-state rival Auburn instead.
In his first-year on the gridiron, he earned All-SEC Freshman honors after catching 26 passes for 534 yards, averaging 20.5 ypc., and scoring five touchdowns. Last year, he snatched 59 passes for 830 yards and eight touchdowns. In two seasons, Williams has averaged 17.3 yards per catch and totaled 13 touchdowns on 85 receptions.
“Seth Williams is Auburn’s best player. Isn’t that obvious? He’s a bona fide, top-tier wideout who creates an extreme mismatch every time he’s on the field. He’s fast, sure, but what separates this 6-foot-3 junior is his ability to win aerial challenges with surprising regularity. In a sense, he’s an amalgam of the Tigers’ best wideouts of the past generation…,” wrote Bryan Mathews, the Auburn Sports Editor.
With big-and-strong hands, Williams out-muscles and out-jumps opponents and perfectly times leaps to snatch the ball out of the sky. At 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, he is the most dangerous big-play threat on the team. Recently, the Auburn star was placed on the 2020 Biletnikoff Award watchlist. Astute CFF owners are drafting Williams in 2020.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Who Ya Got at QB in 2020?
- Micale Cunningham, Louisville: 83%
- Clayton Tune, Houston: 17%
John’s Vote: Micale Cunningham
WR David Bell, Purdue
In Gotham City, Batman and Robin subdue villains and lock them up in Arkham Asylum. In West Lafayette, Rondale Moore and David Bell overpower opponents and dispense justice on the gridiron. Moore’s absence last year from patrolling secondaries left the field wide open for Bell, who willfully donned the cape crusaders’ role and crushed all rogues.
I know that many CFF experts and NFL draftniks revere Moore, but are they watching the Purdue film? Bell jumps off the screen and comes at a much lower cost than his teammate. In CFF drafts, Moore is a first-round selection while Bell gets yanked off the board in the middle rounds.
Coach Jeff Brohm begins his fourth season and has recruited a first-class receiver corps that ranks among the best units in the nation. A four-star prospect, Bell chose Purdue over many other schools, giving the Boilermakers two elite playmakers. “We jumped through the roof. It was huge. Bell was someone we were on for a long time. In our opinion, he is a special, special player. Being in-state, he’s even more valuable…it gave us a good feeling to know he was on board,” Brohm stated in an interview with Dustin Schutte on saturdaytradition.com after Bell announced his commitment.
As a true freshman, Bell secured 86 receptions for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns. He earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year and honorable mention All-Big Ten. The 6-foot-2 and 210-pounder caught a pass in every game and named Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times, tying a school record. In elite aerial assaults, I target the least expensive of the two playmakers, and Bell provides a better price-to-performance ratio in CFF drafts.
WR Whop Philyor, Indiana
When researching for CFF stars, Indiana does not usually stand atop analysts’ lists. Nevertheless, upon close examination of Total Offense rankings, the Hoosiers pop off the page. Indiana averaged 443.6 yards and scored 32.6 points per game and ranked second in the Big Ten in Total Offense.
In three years, coach Tom Allen has assembled a terrific trio of playmakers on offense: QB Michael Penix, Jr., RB Stevie Scott and WR Whop Philyor. All three have been selected to the Maxwell Award watchlist. In addition, the Biletnikoff Award placed Philyor on its preseason watchlist. Last year, the senior exploded for 70 receptions for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns after only recording 56 passes during his first two campaigns on campus.
The 5-foot-11 and 177-pounder earned Indiana’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches). He set a single-season record with three double-digit reception games (Nebraska, Rutgers and Michigan State).
After taking a giant step forward, some Hoosier fans worried that Philyor would declare for the 2020 NFL Draft. On Twitter last January, he announced that he would return for his senior season. “I feel blessed and successful beyond measure. Knowing that we have some unfinished business that needs to be handled has caused me to search deep within myself. After praying, talking to my family and coaches, I will be returning for my senior year at IU. We have some things that need to be accomplished and I would love to be a part of it. I cannot wait to get back to work with my brothers for the upcoming season.” CFF diehards rejoiced when Philyor made the announcement.
The Hoosiers return three members among the offensive line, including both tackles, to protect their triplets. Philyor easily soars above the 1,000-yard barrier and tallies double-digit touchdowns.
TE Arik Gilbert, LSU
There is no way that LSU replicates last season’s record-setting offense. The Tigers lost their Heisman quarterback, 1,000-yard runner and a 1,000-yard receiver as well as four offensive linemen. However, coaching changes and roster turnover provide opportunities for new players to become Saturday legends.
Coach Ed Orgeron recruited Arik Gilbert, one of the top prospects in the nation, to replace some of the lost firepower. In 2019, Gilbert captured the Gatorade National Player of the Year, becoming the first true tight end to win the award. A consensus five-star recruit, Gilbert recorded 101 catches for 1,760 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior. For his career, he snatched 243 passes for 3,540 yards and 35 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, the freshman possesses an astonishing amalgamation of size and athleticism and is a frightening matchup for opponents as a move tight end. Gilbert even impressed Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan: “I’m fired up to congratulate Arik Gilbert on winning the 2020 Male Athlete of the Year. I got to meet Arik back in December at his high school in Marietta, Georgia after he was named the Gatorade Football Player of the Year…He’s a stud. He’s going to LSU. He’s going to be a great player there,” Ryan said on 247Sports.com by Jaylon Thompson.
Pete Lawrence (@_PeteLaw) posted on Twitter that Rivals has only graded six tight end prospects —Marcedes Lewis (2002), Greg Olsen (2003), Martellus Bennett (2005), Kyle Rudolph (2008), O.J. Howard (2013) and Isaac Nauta (2016)—as five-star recruits and all were NFL Draft picks. In 2019, Gilbert and Darnell Washington (Georgia) also received a five-star grade. The LSU freshman is in an idyllic offensive scheme to make an immediate impact in CFF leagues.
If you liked John’s College Fantasy Football Sleepers then make sure to check out his 2020 CFF Player Rankings!
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2019 and we’re not letting our foot off the pedal now! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.