The search for the next breakout playmaker is an endless pursuit, potentially leading to little value or closer toward a player destined to revolutionize a position. Many metrics exist to proximally direct you to that longed after oasis of statistical goodness and ultimately becomes the responsibility of the beholder to authenticate its value. Listed below is a simplified listing of college gridiron athletes identified using predetermined measurements and aiming to shorten the distance between your roster and the coveted prize.
Aggressive gunslingers targeting receivers on 20-plus yard (deep) attempts.
Baker Mayfield ($8,000) – Oklahoma @ Texas
It’s common practice to look to the undervalued to find an unknown, but sometimes the best option was right in front of you from the beginning. Mayfield fits that profile after proving his value in Lubbock prior to joining the Sooners. Whereas his ball placement was not up to the standards of his Tulsa performance, Mayfield was able to do his damage by producing 62 percent of his total passing yardage on deep completions. Mayfield abused the third-level of the West Virginia defense, attempting 40 percent of his passes beyond 20 yards, and connecting on half of those targets.
Brett Rypien ($6,300) – Boise State @ Colorado State
Limited samplings of date from freshman can lead to risky interpretations, that is, unless those performances stand apart from among the very best in the country. As is the case with Rypien who, after being featured within the Precision Touch heading for his Week 4 performance, swiftly proceeded to reengage watchful eyes. Rypien’s encore to shredding the Cavaliers in Charlottesville came at the expense of the Hawaii defense that had previously allowed only three passing TDs in their first four games. Rypien exposed the teams secondary by completing 4-of-7 deep targets and manufacturing Week 5’s most 20-plus yard TD passes (3).
Cardale Jones ($7,500) – Ohio State vs. Maryland
After bringing a title to Columbus, Jones made the decision to forego an opportunity to enter the draft, and early struggles threatened lofty draft evaluations. Facing off with the undefeated Hoosiers in Week 5, “Twelve Gauge” connected on 3-of-4 downfield attempts that included a 23-yard strike to Michael Thomas. A Week 6 matchup with the defensively-challenged Maryland Terrapins could be the game that veers Cardale back on track.
Previously discussed: Hayden Moore, Brent Stockstill, Josh Rosen, Jerrod Heard, Dane Evans, Matt Davis, Luke Falk, Greg Ward Jr., Tanner Mangum, Matt Johnson, Chad Kelly, Joe Hubener
The quarterbacks who simply dominated opponents with pinpoint accuracy.
Mason Rudolph ($6,500) – Oklahoma State @ West Virginia
Prior to Week 5, Rudolph faced a string of mediocre defenses that cast a shadow of doubt over his success. Those opinions can officially be set aside after connecting on 34-of-55 passing attempts for 437 yards. The opponent, Kansas State, had previously limited opposing quarterbacks to a single passing TD per game. Rudolph doubled that number and posted an accuracy percentage – which factors drops, throw-aways, spikes, batted passes, and hit as thrown – of 75.5 percent.
Blake Frohnapfel ($7,500) – Massachusetts @ Bowling Green
Unfortunately for Amherst, the Minutemen are extreme long shots to go bowling at the end of the year. A decent consolation has been provided by the play of Frohnapfel within the teams 16th-ranked FBS spread offense. Florida International secured the victory in Week 5, but also found themselves at the mercy of Frohnapfel, who connected on 32-of-44 passes and an 81.0 accuracy percentage. A Week 6 date at Bowling Green should be highlighted in red.
Nick Mullins ($5,900) – Southern Miss @ Marshall
After giving Mississippi State a scare to begin the season, Mullins systematically exploited Appalachian State, Texas State, and Nebraska with nine TDs to only one interception and a 75.3 accuracy percentage. Facing North Texas in Week 5, Mullins led the Golden Eagles offense to registering 573 total yards and connecting on 27-of-36 passes. Should he find the same success against Marshall’s 19th-ranked passing defense, Mullins could quickly escalate his draft stock.
Previously discussed: Skyler Howard, Brett Rypien, C.J. Beathard, Nate Peterman, Blake Kemp, Greyson Lambert, Skyler Howard, Drew Hare, Jacoby Brissett, Malik Zaire, Will Grier, Mike Bercovici.
The homerun ability of a running back is, in its nature, a game altering addition to an offense, and DraftKings gold in your pocket. These are the backs who emerged with the most production on 15-plus yard (long) runs.
Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) – Ohio State vs. Maryland
Zeke obviously requires little introduction, but the numbers he registered in Week 5 demand attention among breakaway threats. While Elliott turned 23 carries into 274 yards, he took four of those attempts an average of 53.3 yards, and resulting in 77.7 percent of the monster performance.
L.J. Scott ($5,200) – Michigan State @ Rutgers
Another true freshman making waves across the nation, Scott has secured a permanent place in the Spartans backfield rotation right out of the gate. Purdue was his latest victim, breaking off four 15-plus yard runs for 95-of-146 total yards. Production at this rate will further reduce Madre London’s role and the 26th-ranked rushing defense of Rutgers will be put to the test.
Alex Collins ($6,800) – Arkansas @ Alabama
If 2014 results are any indication, avoid Collins at all costs this week against Alabama. He was only able to gain 10 yards on six carries in Week 7 last year, but, moving forward, Collins is a quality block away from massive gains on the ground. In Week 5, Collins led the Razorbacks to a victory over Tennessee behind four long runs that accounted for 56.8 percent of his 155 rushing yards.
Previously discussed: DeAndre Washington, Matt Dayes, Wendell Smallwood, Samaje Perine, Adam Hine, Larry Rose III, C.J. Prosise, Brian Hill, Boom Williams, Ray Lawry, Tre Maddon, Soso Jamabo.
Depending on long runs can be a fruitless endeavor, but the ability to elude defenders is a talent these running backs have mastered, and in reliable fashion.
Brian Hill ($6,800) – Wyoming @ Air Force
While Ezekiel Elliott, if not already mentioned, would be found at the top of this list, Hill also had a tremendous game in Week 5. Opposing the 21st-ranked rushing defense of Appalachian State, Hill broke through 10 tackles on 29 rushing attempts, and accrued 208 rushing yards. Finding 4.03 yards after contact per attempt generated a 134.5 elusive rating.
Wayne Gallman ($5,800) – Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
While the Clemson passing volume has been greatly diminished, it has allowed Gallman to showcase his extensive abilities. While he was unable to break into the endzone, his performance was impressive nonetheless. Provided with 22 carries, Gallman shed five Notre Dame tackles, added 3.50 yards after contact per attempt, and posted a 91.3 elusive rating.
Nick Scott ($4,300) – Penn State vs. Indiana
Were Saquon Barkley to play, he would easily be among the top recommendations for the Indiana game. With Barkley likely out, make sure you consider the services of Scott in his stead. The sample size is small, but Scott avoided 8 tackle attempts on only 12 carries last week against Army. A 205.1 elusive rating is well worth a GPP-dart at such a reasonable price point.
Previously discussed: Vic Enware, Elijah Hood, Kelvin Taylor, Saquon Barkley, Joseph Yearby, Justin Silmon, Dalvin Cook, Terrell Newby, Chris Carson, Shaun Wilson, De’Veon Smith, Jahad Thomas.
A list of the receivers who furnished the weekends best performances on tracking down (deep) targets traveling greater than 20 yards.
Kenny Lawler ($6,200) – California @ Utah
A Golden Bear wide receiver could, deservedly, be a weekly guest on this list when you consider the vertical prowess of QB Jared Goff. After collecting all eight catchable deep targets in 2014, Lawler continued the work last week against Washington State. Tracking down both of his catchable 20-plus targets, Lawler averaged 30 yards per, and one taking him into the endzone.
Marcell Ateman ($4,100) – Oklahoma State @ West Virginia
While QB Mason Rudolph has several receiving options in place to attack the third-level, Ateman has emerged to become his featured vertical threat after five games. The Cowboys greatly needed the passing offense to move the chains with injuries in the backfield and Ateman was up to the challenge, securing both deep targets with one brought to the house from 27 yards to end the first half against Kansas State.
DeAngelo Yancey ($3,500) – Purdue vs. Minnesota
Despite matching up with the Michigan State secondary in Week 5, Yancey brought his A-game and forced the Spartans to earn their victory. He secured 2-of-3 catchable vertical passes for 64-of-68 receiving yards and could emerge as the featured target for QB David Blough.
Previously discussed: Ed’Marques Batties, Demarcus Ayers, Thomas Sperbeck, Aaron Burbridge, Jordan Westerkamp, Carlos Harris, Roger Lewis, Trevor Davis, Tyrain Taylor, Gehrig Deter, Courtland Sutton, Braxton Miller.
While many of the nations receivers are capable of producing high yardage output with a large number of targets, this list will highlight the players who generated the most efficient use of each snap in route.
KaVontae Turpin ($4,600) – TCU @ Kansas State
Understandably, the overwhelming majority of opinions predicted a huge day for Josh Doctson against a pitiful Texas defense. That was simply not the case, as Turpin posted a record-setting performance highlighted by four receiving TDs. In addition, Turpin paced the nation with 9.20 yards per route run (YPRR) en route to his 138 receiving yards.
Calvin Ridley ($4,400) – Alabama vs. Arkansas
A true freshman (Christian Kirk) found a place on this list last week and Ridley earns his spot after a big day in aiding the Crimson Tide’s “upset” over Georgia. The phenom produced 7.50 YPRR on 16 snaps in route and racked up 120 receiving yards.
Dede Westbrook ($4,500) – Oklahoma @ Texas
Westbrook transferred to Oklahoma from Blinn Community College midway through the ’14 season. His per-game averages in the eight CC games: 9.5 receptions, 185.9 yards, and 1.6 TDs. He has instantly become an integral component to the Sooners offense and stepped up big-time in Week 5 against West Virginia. Securing 5-of-5 catchable passes for 107 yards, Westbrook generated 3.34 YPRR on 32 snaps in route.
Previously discussed: Laquon Treadwell, Christian Kirk, Drew Morgan, Isaiah Ford, Ricky Jones, Trent Sherfield, Quincy Adeboyejo, Mitchell Juergens, Matt VandeBerg, Rashawn Scott, Johnell Barnes, Bug Howard.