Early 2016 Dynasty Outlook

The 2015 season is complete! Pat yourselves on the back for making it another long

year and if you’re like me, you’re ready for 2016 already. Hey, I had a day off or two

and now the CFB itch is back. I can’t help it!

During this past bowl season, we had a chance to see many young stars show their

stuff and get us hyped up for their seasons in 2016. There are certainly going to be

players who exceed expectations and some who don’t (think Trevor Knight). Today,

I’m giving you my thoughts on the best young performers of the 2015 bowl season

and how they’ll pan out in the upcoming season.

First off, let’s start with a quarterback I can already feel myself get way too excited

about…

 

Lamar Jackson – Louisville – 227 passing yards, 2 TDs; 226 rushing yards, 2

TDs

Jackson came into the 2015 season a true freshman and a backup. He left the season

with quite possibly the most dominating offensive performance of the bowl season.

His ability to run the football (163/960/11) is on the elite side of things, but his

passing is honestly, quite horrible. He only completed 54.7% of passes, throwing for

12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The freshman certainly struggled, but with

every major skill player returning around him, I can’t possibly see him do anything

but get better in 2016. It’s also important to note that he didn’t play in about 3.5

games this season. Jackson has 2,500 passing, 1,250 rushing yard potential making

him a very high draft pick in dynasty drafts and one player I’m going to target early

in those formats.

 

Brett Rypien – Boise State – 29 for 40, 377 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Rypien, like Jackson, was a freshman that did not start the season under center, but

found his way towards the top and excelled with his opportunity. He was quite

impressive overall (3,353 passing yards, 63.5% completion, 20 TDs, 8 INTs), but

doesn’t add the rushing ability that Jackson has. Rypien comes with a high floor

though because of his weak schedule, passing talent, and stars around him that can

catch the football (Thomas Sperbeck and Jeremy McNichols specifically). As a

sophomore, I’m not expecting the moon out of him, but once McNichols heads to the

NFL (likely after 2016 season), you’re going to see a quarterback that has another

20-25 touchdowns on the table for the taking. I love Rypien and what he has to offer

in 2016, and would have no issue taking him in the top two rounds of dynasty drafts

this offseason.

 

Myles Gaskin – Washington – 26 carries, 181 yards, 4 TDs

Gaskin slowly emerged as the top back for Washington, but once he did, it was

obvious he needed to be the guy. He ended the season with 1,302 rushing yards and

14 touchdowns, an elite year for a freshman running back. While Gaskin does lack

impressive size (5’9, 195), he’s not too small to carry the load for another two to

three seasons. Three of the top six ball carriers this past season were under 185

pounds or smaller (Tyler Ervin, Justin Jackson, and Donnell Pumphrey). With

number one running back duties over the last nine games of the season, Gaskin ran

18 times or more in eight games. With the Huskies style of play (elite defensive

play/control the football), I expect the same amount of usage out of him in 2016.

He’s a player that is deserving of a top five running back ranking for underclassmen

and can likely be a bargain if you play your cards right (discuss his small demeanor

to fellow league owners).

 

Johnny Jefferson – Baylor – 23 carries, 299 rushing yards, 3 TDs

Jefferson had the best game of all running backs in the bowl game (even better than

Christian McCaffrey), rushing for almost 300 yards on just 23 carries. What was

even more important was his role in the game as wildcat quarterback and ball

carrier when the game mattered the most. Unfortunately for Jefferson and everyone

that plays fantasy college football, Shock Linwood is still in the way. Jefferson has

only two years of eligibility left and if Shock stays at Baylor then I see no reason to

draft him high at all. While Jefferson is a great talent, he doesn’t have the

opportunities to warrant a high pick at this time.

 

Jamauri Bogan – Western Michigan – 19 carries, 215 rushing yards, 4 TDs

Bogan is the most intriguing player of all listed here today and with good reason. He

generated over 1,051 rushing yards, a 6.5-yard per carry average, and 16

touchdowns this past season. While these numbers are exciting for many reasons

(great offensive system, weak schedule, and plenty of talent), we must remember

what kind of year Jarvion Franklin had his freshman year (2014). In that year, he ran

306 times for 1,551 yards and an astonishing 25 total touchdowns. Somehow,

Franklin saw that number cut in half in 2015 though (153 carries, exactly half of

2014’s output). How are we supposed to know that that won’t happen to Bogan in

2016? All things considered (sporadic carries in 2015, Franklin’s disappearance

from offense, and overall depth at the position), I’ll be passing on Bogan early on in

dynasty drafts and will be waiting till the fourth to fifth rounds (12 man leagues) to

draft him if he even makes it that far.

 

Photo Credit: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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