Fantasy Face-Off: Albert Okwuegbunam vs. Jared Pinkney
College football season is right around the corner which means it’s almost time to start drafting for college fantasy football. This week Rivals.com is breaking down a position battle to consider when putting your team together. Today, we move to tight ends.
The tight end position is not a premium one in fantasy football but it could be the difference between key wins and losses in some contests. That’s why it’s important to get the right player at the position – especially in college fantasy football where some tight ends get a lot of balls thrown their way and others are blockers and ignored in the passing game.
ALBERT OKWUEGBUNAM, MISSOURI
Okwuegbunam posted impressive stats last season – 43 catches for 466 yards and six touchdowns – even though he played in only nine games because of injury. He did have Drew Lock throwing him the ball but Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant won’t be much of a drop-off, if at all, in the Tigers’ offense this season.
A healthy Okwuegbunam coupled with a solid ground attack and a plethora of receivers should have Missouri’s offense jumpstarted again. I like how the schedule sets up for the Tigers to put up tons of points at least through mid-October.
Okweugbunam can dominate when he wants to and he’s going to be used in the passing game. Any nagging injuries might be something to watch but my guess is that Missouri is going to move the ball down the field and have a lot of opportunities to see its tight end in the red zone. Fantasy points are coming.
JARED PINKNEY, VANDERBILT
Pinkney had slightly better stats than Okwuegbunam last season with 50 catches for 774 yards and seven touchdowns and he’s going to be one of the primary targets again in Vanderbilt’s offense. But there are also some issues to watch.
The quarterback situation is uncertain heading into the season as Ball State transfer Riley Neal battles it out with Deuce Wallace in preseason camp. Perhaps an even bigger concern is that the Commodores are going to run the ball a lot with star back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. He had 157 carries last season but I predict he gets the ball more this season as Vanderbilt tries to control more clock.
The schedule is also rough. Opening against Georgia is brutal. Then Vanderbilt goes to Purdue and hosts LSU. That’s a tough start for any team, especially one that will have a new quarterback trying to operate the offense.
This is a tough call because Pinkney is so talented and he’s going to be a focal point of Vanderbilt’s passing attack but I have to side with Okwuegbunam here if he stays healthy.
Missouri is going to move the ball quickly. The Tigers have more offensive weapons but when they get into the red zone they could look for their huge tight end. And they could be involved in some shootouts. With a talented transfer quarterback coming in, Missouri’s offense shouldn’t drop off and Okwuegbunam should have a huge season.