With the start of the 2018 college football season just around the corner, it’s time to examine each Big 12 team from a fantasy perspective.
Best Bet: WR Denzel Mims
Mims posted 1,087 yards receiving and eight scores in 2017 and was the lone fantasy bright spot for Baylor. He should see a ton of targets this fall and once again be the best fantasy option for the Bears.
Sleeper Potential: QB Charlie Brewer
Brewer earned Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year honors last year after throwing for 1,562 yards and 11 scores in four starts. He should be much more comfortable in the offense in his sophomore year and could be a sneaky fantasy starter in particular matchups.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will the Baylor offense wake up after an abysmal 2017?
While the Bears will undoubtedly have an improved offense in 2018 with some playmakers back in the fold, it doesn’t appear likely that they will be a fantasy juggernaut anytime soon. The cupboard is still pretty bare sans Mims and Brewer.
Best Bet: RB David Montgomery
Montgomery proved he could be a workhorse back in 2017 with 294 total touches that produced 1,442 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He could post even bigger numbers this year with a veteran offensive line leading the way.
Sleeper Potential: WR Hakeem Butler
Butler showed glimpses of his big play potential last year on his way to 697 yards receiving and seven touchdown grabs. He should see even more targets this fall with Alan Lazard’s time in Ames finally up, so expect this rising star to eclipse his 2017 totals.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Can David Montgomery take the next step and finish as a Top 10 Fantasy RB in 2018?
Montgomery is in a great position to have a monster fantasy season in 2018. He gets a ton of touches, has shown good receiving ability out of the backfield, and will be running behind an excellent offensive line. All signs point to this Cyclone finishing as a Top-10 fantasy running back this fall.
Best Bet: WR Steven Sims, Jr.
Sims has been a consistent performer over the past two seasons and is the only Kansas player that is even in consideration for fantasy owners. He has gone over 800 yards receiving in each of the last two years and could push the 1,000-yard mark this fall.
Sleeper Potential: RB Khalil Herbert
Herbert posted 291 yards rushing against West Virginia last year and showed fantasy potential until he suffered a hamstring injury that plagued him the rest of the season.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will this be the year the Jayhawks produce a fantasy relevant player?
The Kansas offense has been horrible for the past few seasons, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for that to change this season. The Jayhawks lack the talent to compete and are a fantasy wasteland.
Best Bet: RB Alex Barnes
Barnes showed that he is clearly the best running back on the Kansas State roster with 819 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. He should receive a more significant workload this fall and cross the 1,000-yard mark with possible double-digit scores.
Sleeper Potential: WR Isaiah Zuber
Zuber posted 510 yards receiving and four scores in 2017 and could double those numbers in 2018. He should see a significant spike in targets with Byron Pringle and Dominique Heath no longer being in the picture in Manhattan.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Who will be under center to start the season for K-State?
The Wildcats have two guys battling for the starting QB position in Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton. Thompson is the better passer and Delton is the better running threat, leading to a difficult decision for Head Coach Bill Snyder.
Best Bet: RB Rodney Anderson
Anderson was an absolute beast over the last eight games of 2017, averaging 141 total yards and 1.87 total touchdowns. He runs hard and is very adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. Fantasy owners should expect huge things out of this Sooner in 2018.
Sleeper Potential: WR CeeDee Lamb
Lamb had an impressive freshman campaign with 741 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He should make a run at the 1,000-yard mark this season and make for a solid #2 fantasy wideout in most leagues.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will Kyler Murray become the 2018 fantasy version of Lamar Jackson?
Murray has all the physical ability in the world and will finally get to unleash it on opposing defenses this fall. He has a plethora of weapons at his disposal and has a legitimate shot at 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing this season. While he may not put up the ludicrous numbers that Lamar Jackson did the past two seasons, Murray should put on a ridiculous show and possibly finish as a top-5 fantasy QB in 2018.
Best Bet: RB Justice Hill
Hill broke out in a big way last season with over 1,500 total yards and 15 total touchdowns. With Mason Rudolph off to the NFL, Hill should be the straw the stirs the Pokes’ drink in 2018. This Cowboy is primed for a big season in the defensively deficient Big 12.
Sleeper Potential: WR Dillon Stoner
Stoner finished the 2017 season strong with a touchdown reception in the last four games and should have a much more prominent role in the offense this year. The Cowboys must replace the 123 receptions, 2,472 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns that James Washington and Marcell Ateman took with them to the NFL. Stoner should flirt with the 1,000-yard mark with the massive increase in targets he will see this fall.
Biggest Fantasy Question: How do the Pokes replace the void left by Mason Rudolph?
The competition to replace Rudolph under center looks to be down to Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders. Brown is a transfer from Hawaii who brings experience and a strong arm to the competition. Sanders is a highly touted, dual-threat true freshman that could bring a new element to the offense. Whoever wins the job will have an overabundance of weapons at his disposal.
Best Bet: RB Darius Anderson
Anderson unseated Kyle Hicks as the primary ball carrier last fall and now moves into a feature role in 2018. He rushed for 768 yards despite missing the final four games of the season, so she should eclipse the 1,000-yard mark with a full season under his belt. This Horned Frog should be a top fantasy running back option this fall.
Sleeper Potential: QB Shawn Robinson
This highly acclaimed dual-threat athlete will take over the keys to the TCU offense in 2018 and try to bring some much need punch back to the attack. He could be a big-time fantasy factor if he can improve upon his passing accuracy. Robinson exudes upside and could pay big dividends this year for savvy fantasy owners.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will Jalen Reagor develop into a reliable starting fantasy wide receiver?
Reagor has speed to burn and will provide Shawn Robinson with a huge deep threat. He will have some huge games with the deep ball, but I don’t see this Horned Frog being consistent enough on a weekly basis to be considered a reliable fantasy option.
Best Bet: WR Collin Johnson
Johnson was the Longhorns best receiver last year by a wide margin and could be even better in 2018. As long as he remains the primary target in the improving Texas passing attack, Johnson should have no problem cracking 1,000 yards receiving this year.
Sleeper Potential: RB Tre Watson
This Cal transfer could walk right into the starting RB role for Texas in 2018. He has more career rushing yards than every other running back on the roster combined and might bring some fantasy relevance back to the Longhorns backfield. Don’t be surprised to see Watson run for over 1,000 yards this fall.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will QB Sam Ehlinger flourish in his second season in Tom Herman’s offense?
Ehlinger showed flashes of greatness as a true freshman in 2017 and should be even better in his second year in Tom Herman’s offense. He plays with a toughness that is seldom seen in such a young player and should make plenty of plays with both his arm and legs this season. While he may not have Texas fans remembering Vince Young, Ehlinger might be the guy to bring the Longhorns back to fantasy relevance.
Best Bet: WR T.J. Vasher
The wide receiver situation at Texas Tech right now is muddled to say the very least. The Red Raiders lost their top-3 receivers from last season who accounted for 204 receptions, 2,496 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns. While there is a ton of uncertainty, Vasher looks like a good bet to step into a #1 role and see a considerable spike in targets. Fall camp should give us a better feel for exactly how this will play out.
Sleeper Potential: WR Erik Ezukanma
This true freshman is an elite playmaker who should see plenty of playing time and contribute significantly right away for the Red Raiders. Fantasy owners would be wise to snag him in the late rounds and watch him blossom into a starting fantasy wide receiver.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Who will be the starting QB this fall?
This is one of the biggest questions in college fantasy football entering the 2018 season. The battle is between Jett Duffey and McLane Carter. Duffey has a higher ceiling with his athleticism but has struggled to make good decisions both on and off the field. This position battle probably won’t be settled until just before the opening game kick off, so fantasy owners need to play close attention to the situation all summer long.
Best Bet: QB Will Grier
Mr. Grier is receiving plenty of preseason hype and deservedly so. He threw for a shade under 3,500 yards and tossed 34 touchdowns in 10 games last year and seems poised to blow those numbers out of the water this fall. Grier could easily top 4,000 yards passing and toss in at least 40 passing touchdowns.
Sleeper Potential: RB Kennedy McCoy
McCoy had 565 yards rushing and seven scores last year in a backup role and could effortlessly double those numbers in 2018 as the leading man in the Mountaineers backfield.
Biggest Fantasy Question: Will West Virginia have the most prolific offense in college football in 2018?
The Mountaineers are loaded on the offensive side of the ball this year. They could easily sport a 4,000-yard passer (Will Grier), two 1,000 yard receivers (David Sills & Gary Jennings), and a 1,000-yard rusher (Kennedy McCoy) in the defensively challenged Big 12. It would not be shocking to see Grier and crew finish as the top offense in the land in 2018.