College Fantasy Football: Eight transfer QBs to watch
There are a lot of transfer quarterbacks who could have a huge impact in college football this season and in turn in fantasy leagues. Here is a look at eight that could be great picks in your draft, as Yahoo Sports launches its 2019 game.
KELLY BRYANT, MISSOURI
Losing Drew Lock is bad news for Missouri’s offense but it’s far from debilitating because Bryant had a great completion percentage during his years at Clemson and he comes to the Tigers with a special skill set surrounded by outstanding pass catchers. Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam might be the best tight end nationally. Johnathan Johnson, Jalen Knox and Arkansas transfer Jonathan Nance are all big-time playmakers who should see the ball often from Bryant. With Bryant’s running ability coupled with Larry Rountree III in the backfield, there should be a lot of points scored for the Tigers. He’s a top-15 quarterback in fantasy leagues, if not higher.
JACOB EASON, WASHINGTON
Here’s what I like about Eason in fantasy leagues: He will be standing behind an offensive line that could keep him untouched in many games because they’re so good, and finding open receivers should not be a problem at all. And Eason has the physical tools to make every throw. What concerns me: The Huskies are not exactly loaded with elite playmakers at receiver so players will have to emerge to rack up the fantasy points. Aaron Fuller, Ty Jones and Andre Baccellia are the main options and then a healthy Hunter Bryant at tight end could have a huge season.
GAGE GUBRUD, WASHINGTON STATE
Make sure Gubrud wins the starting job because it’s still an open competition but he’s worth the risk in early rounds because the Washington State receiving corps is absolutely stocked and you know the Cougars are going to throw the ball on almost every play. Gubrud put up massive numbers at Eastern Washington and if Wazzu fans were thrilled with Gardner Minshew last season this could easily be a re-do in Pullman. The first two games against New Mexico State and Northern Colorado should be stat-stuffers before what could be a back-and-forth shootout at Houston. Gubrud is one of my favorite fantasy quarterbacks this year but just make sure there are no surprises when Mike Leach names his starter.
JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE
There’s a reason at least one quarterback bolted from Ohio State when Fields decided to transfer there - because the former five-star quarterback who started his college career at Georgia has huge talent and he can showcase it right away with the Buckeyes. Field was arguably misused during his short time with the Bulldogs, used more as a running QB than one who can make all the throws. That’s no problem for him and although the Buckeyes lose some really talented receivers there are still plenty of options remaining. Fields can dissect defenses with his arm or his feet and that’s why he should be considered one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy leagues. Ohio State averaged more than 42 points per game last season and new coach Ryan Day is going to want to make a statement that not much has changed since he took over.
JALEN HURTS, OKLAHOMA
Hurts might have lost his job to Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama but the former four-star is still an outstanding quarterback and now he’ll be in an offense that will highlight his skills. Sure, there might be some concern over his accuracy but the Sooners are the best at moving the ball down the field quickly and scoring points, leading the country last year at 48.4 per game. Hurts is out to prove something, too, and while the Sooners lose some talent at receiver there are numerous players returning and a crop of freshmen who could emerge as some of the best in the country. Not only did Hurts throw for big numbers his first two seasons at Alabama but he also put up big rushing stats. At Oklahoma, those numbers should only be amplified. There is definitely an argument to have him as QB1, QB2 or QB3 on all fantasy lists.
HUNTER JOHNSON, NORTHWESTERN
Losing Clayton Thorson is a concern but some argue Johnson is a fresh start and he’s a highly-skilled former five-star prospect who could breathe some fresh life into Northwestern’s offense which averaged just 24.2 points per game last season, good for No. 12 in the Big Ten. Johnson has a great arm and he will be surrounded by talented receivers so hopefully for fantasy owners the Wildcats will be a more exciting, more potent offense and not just rely on pounding the rock with running back Isaiah Bowser. Be careful early in the season with Johnson, though, as Northwestern has a brutal schedule basically through October. If Johnson is putting up big numbers, pick him up and keep him on the bench for a November that is much more friendly.
AUSTIN KENDALL, WEST VIRGINIA
Dana Holgorsen is gone to Houston but new coach Neal Brown had a lot of success at Troy and why would he come to Morgantown and stop a freight-train offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season? Sure, a lot of that had to do with quarterback Will Grier and receiver David Sills but if Kendall wins the starting job - as Jack Allison continues to challenge him - the Oklahoma transfer has all the tools to keep the Mountaineers humming. Receivers Marcus Simms and T.J. Simmons should fill in nicely in place of Sills and Gary Jennings as Kendall should have weapons all over the field.
TATE MARTELL, MIAMI
Drafting Martell in your fantasy leagues is a big gamble because it’s not even clear he’s going to be Miami’s starter but N’Kosi Perry has disappointed and Jarren Williams is his competition. My guess is that Martell wins the job but keep a close eye on it as he could be a late-round steal if the situation remains unclear heading into Week 1. With the Hurricanes averaging just 28.8 points per game (good for ninth in the ACC) and coming off a disappointing season, a spark like Martell - who can run and throw - might just be what Miami needs. He has special talent and could be a steal in fantasy leagues.
Others to consider: Alex Delton (TCU), Tristan Gebbia (Oregon State), Ben Hicks (Arkansas), Alex Hornibrook (Florida State), Josh Jackson (Maryland), Riley Neal (Vanderbilt), Nick Starkel (Arkansas), Jack Tuttle (Indiana)