Every year we witness the exodus of players we thought were going to be contributors to big name programs leave and dash our hopes of seeing that happen at least in the immediate future. However, as college fantasy owners, we sometimes welcome the occasional transfer that sees a former 4 or 5-star recruit end up in a group of five school like Marshall. These types of players can become big time fantasy assets once they become eligible. I want to share with you the guys I am targeting in drafts and guys that are in line to make a big impact with a new team after transferring.
Will Grier, West Virginia- Grier is an obvious choice for this list so I won’t spend much time here. A former Florida Gator, Grier should immediately be one of the top QBs in the Big 12 especially in the Mountaineer offense. He was a former 4-star recruit in Gainesville so the expectations have been high since high school. Nothing has changed in 2017 where he should be a valuable piece to any roster.
Damian Williams, Texas State- [Edit] Another SEC transplant, Williams made his way to Reno after leaving Mississippi State after last season as a grad transfer. He should bring a dual-threat dimension to the Bobcats and help them compete with that Sun Belt schedule. Williams has limited playing experience while in Starkville but he did see action in every year but one. This is more of an upside pick as we don’t have much to go on other than the fact he moved from the SEC to a Sun Belt team. He did play well in the spring game this year for Texas State and hopefully that carries over into the season and he becomes one of the top sleepers this year. As of 7/31, Williams has been suspended. Stay tuned
Tyshon Dye, East Carolina- There aren’t many running backs to transfer this year but Dye is one of the more interesting ones that did. Dye, a former 4-star recruit at Clemson, is looking to make a splash in his final year of eligibility with East Carolina. He had very little game time at Clemson but did manage to find the endzone at least once in the last three seasons for the Tigers. He will have to earn the starting spot in Greenville over Anthony Scott but at the very least could be a nice complimentary back in the offense. Who knows, Dye could emerge as the lead ball carrier come mid-season so keep an eye on him.
Chris James, Wisconsin– Well the Wisconsin reputation kind of leads to this pick. We have seen the Badgers run with multiple backs with success for years now. However, this year seems to be up in the air as to who the “main” guy will be. James has every opportunity to be that guy in an offense that will run the ball often. A transfer from Pittsburgh, James has already been named to the Doak Walker Watch List this preseason along with teammate Bradrick Shaw. It won’t be surprising to see both eclipse the 1,000 yard mark or for even a third guy to enter the mix. With that said, James has some experience carrying the ball at Pitt and should definitely be a factor for fantasy teams this year. According to reports, James was a star during spring practice so that never can be a bad thing.
Teddy Veal, Louisiana Tech– After sitting out the 2016 season after transferring from Tulane, Veal is ready to shine in the Bulldog offense that saw the likes of Trent Taylor and Carlos Henderson flourish. Since both of those guys are off to the NFL, Veal has every opportunity to be the “next man up” at Louisiana Tech. Veal showed that he was the best receiver at Tulane even though they were not a great team. In the Tech system, Veal will get plenty of targets and opportunities to be an All-Conference performer. The previously mentioned receivers Taylor and Henderson combined for over 200 receptions in 2016 so the void is there to be filled. I expect Veal to eclipse the 80 catch mark and that might be a little conservative.
Jalen Brown, Northwestern- The former Oregon Duck Jalen Brown should be an immediate contributor to the Wildcats offense in 2017. The 6’1, 200 lb wideout caught 19 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns in nine games for Oregon last season. The timing is perfect for Brown this season as the Northwestern offense may be peaking. Quarterback Clayton Thorson made the huge leap from his freshman to sophomore year in 2016 and if things go as planned could see more improvement in 2017. If that is to happen, Brown will be a big reason why. After the departure of 2016 Biletnikoff Award Finalist Austin Carr, Brown will be primed to make some noise in Evanston.
Kendrick Edwards, Arkansas State- Like Veal, Edwards stayed in state when transferring from Arkansas to Arkansas State. The 6’5, 215 lb receiver should tower over defensive backs in the Sun Belt. After not seeing much time for Arkansas, Edwards looks to revive his collegiate career in Jonesboro. Now that the Red Wolves have themselves a consistent quarterback in Justice Hansen, Edwards could become a serious player for fantasy teams this fall. Keep an eye on him as he may quickly become a star. Also, former transfer Cam Echols-Luper has transferred once again this time from Arkansas State to Western Kentucky. This opens the door for Edwards to fill a void not that there necessarily needed to be one to fill.