While most fall college fantasy drafts focus on this season, several leagues already have an eye on 2011 and beyond. Which quarterbacks should you target in keeper leagues?
While most fall college fantasy drafts will focus on one season (2010), several leagues already have an eye on 2011 and beyond. Houston quarterback Case Keenum will be the consensus No. 1 pick in redraft leagues this year, but what about a keeper league where the top quarterback option on the board could be SMU’s Kyle Padron or Notre Dame’s Dayne Crist? Although neither are bad options, owners in keeper leagues have to build to win in 2010, but also keep their roster stocked for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Here’s a look at the top junior keepers going into fall drafts –
John Brantley, Florida – Replacing Tim Tebow won’t be easy, but Brantley has the tools to succeed and could threaten 30 passing scores in each of the next two seasons – assuming he stays in Gainesville and doesn’t enter the NFL Draft.
Zach Collaros, Cincinnati – Even without Brian Kelly calling the plays, Collaros should still be a top-20 fantasy option under new coach Butch Jones.
Austin Davis, Southern Miss – Injury from last season isn’t a concern, but has to hold off a challenge from Martevious Young for the starting job in 2010.
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri – Another big season could lead Gabbert to jump to the NFL, but looks like a top-10 fantasy quarterback for the next two years.
G.J. Kinne, Tulsa – With new coordinator (and friend of offensive guru Gus Malzahn) Chad Morris calling the plays, expect the Tulsa offense to show statistical improvement this year.
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas – Turned down the NFL for another shot at a SEC title, but 2010 is likely Mallett’s last year on campus.
Kellen Moore, Boise State – Moore is a definite lock for 30 scores in 2010 and should be a solid fantasy option, even when the Broncos make the move to the Mountain West in 2011.
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State – Is he ready to take the next step in his development this year? If so, Pryor could be a top-10 fantasy quarterback this year and in 2011.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State – Although Dana Holgorsen won’t have to throw it as much as he did at Houston, expect an increase in passing yards and touchdowns from the Oklahoma State offense.
The next group
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Dominique Davis, East Carolina
Nick Foles, Arizona
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
Jamie Hampton, Troy
Jordan Jefferson, LSU
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State
Robert Marve, Purdue
Chris Masson, UL Lafayette
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii
Cameron Newton, Auburn
Dan Persa, Northwestern
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
Other than Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Oregon’s Darron Thomas and Notre Dame’s Dayne Crist, all of the elite sophomore keeper options will be on campus for at least two seasons. Thomas is unlikely to enter the NFL Draft early and Crist will likely stick around for another year of development under Brian Kelly. Luck is the most likely sophomore to enter the NFL Draft early.
Matt Barkley, USC – USC may be on probation for a couple of seasons, but don’t expect that to slow down Barkley and the Trojan offense. Barkley tossed 15 touchdowns and 2,735 yards last season and with a year of development under his belt, throwing for 3,000 yards and 20-25 scores in 2010 is easily attainable.
Dayne Crist, Notre Dame – Quarterbacks under Brian Kelly have been fantasy gold – Dan LeFevour, Tony Pike and Kent Smith – and Crist is expected to follow in their footsteps with a solid fantasy season. Considering Kelly isn’t expected to leave South Bend anytime soon, Crist is a strong keeper pick for at least the next two years.
B.J. Daniels, South Florida – New coach Skip Holtz probably won’t ask Daniels to run as much this season, but there’s still a lot of upside with this sophomore signal-caller. Look for Daniels to get better as a passer throughout his career and score five to seven rushing touchdowns each year.
Austin Dantin, Toledo – Out of the passers in this group, Dantin is clearly the one with the most question marks. However, the potential of the high-powered Toledo offense makes him one to draft in keeper leagues.
Garrett Gilbert, Texas – Gilbert is still raw in terms of experience, but there is little doubt he is one of the top keeper options in this group. The sophomore played in 10 games last season and completed 30 of 66 passes for 310 yards and two scores. Gilbert may have a few ups and downs this year, but throwing for 30 touchdown passes in each of the next two seasons is very realistic.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma – Going into last season, Oklahoma didn’t expect Jones to play many meaningful snaps. However, a shoulder injury to Sam Bradford opened the door for Jones to see significant playing time and he responded with 3,198 passing yards and 26 scores. With another offseason to prepare as the starter, expect Jones to be even better in 2010 – likely pushing for 3,500 passing yards and 30 scores.
Andrew Luck, Stanford – Luck is already gaining steam to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2011 NFL Draft, but whether or not he’ll leave Stanford after two seasons on the field is uncertain. If Luck sticks around, he’s a top-30 fantasy quarterback for 2011.
Kyle Padron, SMU – June Jones finally has his triggerman for the SMU passing attack. As a true freshman and in only seven games last year, Padron threw for 10 scores and 1,922 yards. With running back Shawnbrey McNeal leaving for the NFL Draft, expect SMU to rely even more on Padron in 2010 and 2011.
Darron Thomas, Oregon – With veteran Nate Costa the likely starting quarterback in 2010, Thomas may not see much time. However, he is more mobile and has more upside than Costa, but has less experience. With a little more seasoning, Thomas could be Oregon’s next fantasy star at quarterback.
The next group
Tyler Bass, Memphis
Shavodrick Beaver, Tulsa
Alex Carder, Western Michigan
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Taylor Cook, Rice
Austyn Carta-Samuels, Wyoming
Tate Forcier, Michigan
Cody Green, Nebraska
David Isabelle, UAB
EJ Manuel, Florida State
Kevin Newsome, Penn State
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Tom Savage, Rutgers
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh
Jerome Tiller, Iowa State
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Jordan Wynn, Utah
Wait and see
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
Phillip Butterfield, Arkansas State
Jerry Davis, Buffalo
Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Zac Dysert, Miami, Ohio
Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan
Mike Glennon, NC State
MarQueis Gray, Minnesota
Tyler Hansen, Colorado
Ryan Katz, Oregon State
Spencer Keith, Kent State
Morgan Newton, Kentucky
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
Kale Pick, Kansas
Curt Phillips, Wisconsin
Kevin Prince, UCLA
Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan
Sean Renfree, Duke
Matt Schliz, Bowling Green
Nathan Stanley, Ole Miss
Derek Thompson, North Texas
Jeff Tuel, Washington State
Brad Wornick, East Carolina
Best chance to start in 2010
Tajh Boyd, Clemson – With Kyle Parker likely heading to play baseball in the Colorado Rockies’ minor league system, Boyd should have a clear path to the starting job.
Kolton Browning, UL Monroe – Browning surprised a lot of people when he ended up No. 1 on the depth chart after the completion of spring practice. Trey Revell is the more experienced player and will have a shot to reclaim his starting spot in the fall.
Aaron Murray, Georgia – Although Logan Gray decided to stick around in Athens, it will be a major surprise if Murray isn’t Georgia’s starter for the season opener.
Bryn Renner, North Carolina – T.J. Yates has been North Carolina’s starter for the last three seasons, but needs to show improvement to hold off the highly-touted Renner in fall practice.
Tyler Russell, Mississippi State – Even if Russell doesn’t start this year, he is expected to share snaps with likely starter Chris Relf.
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois – Jacob Charest’s transfer and moving Eddie McGee to receiver have cleared the way for Scheelhaase to start this season. New coordinator Paul Petrino should be a good hire for Illinois, but will Scheelhaase perform well enough to save Ron Zook’s job this fall?
File away for the future
Drew Allen, Oklahoma
Jon Budmayr, Wisconsin
Raymond Cotton, Ole Miss
A.J. McCarron, Alabama
Josh Nunes, Stanford
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
Top ones to target
Robert Bolden/Paul Jones, Penn State – Kevin Newsome hasn’t asserted himself as Penn State’s No. 1 quarterback, leaving the door for either player to see significant snaps this year.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee – Don’t expect much if he sees playing time this year, but Bray has nice upside for 2011.
Terrence Broadway, Houston – Case Keenum is out of eligibility after this season and Broadway could takeover the controls to one of the nation’s top passing offenses.
Devin Gardner, Michigan – Will Tate Forcier or Denard Robinson emerge as the clear-cut quarterback?
Jeffrey Godfrey, UCF – Rob Calabrese has been inconsistent in his time as the starter at UCF, and Godfrey’s dual-threat ability could be needed to spark the offense this year.
Jake Heaps, BYU – Riley Nelson and Heaps will pickup their quarterback battle in fall practice, but all indications point to this true freshman playing a large role in 2010. Look for Heaps to be one of the top long-term keeper options at quarterback.
Nick Montana, Washington – With Jake Locker finishing his eligibility after this season, Montana should start for Steve Sarkisian in 2011.
Pete Thomas, Colorado State – Likely to start this season, but won’t register much fantasy value as a freshman.
Others to watch
Blake Bell, Oklahoma
Barry Brunetti, West Virginia
A.J. Derby, Iowa
Austin Hinder, California
Brett Nottingham, Stanford
Chase Rettig, Boston College
Jesse Scroggins, USC
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Phillip Sims, Alabama
Scotty Young, Texas Tech
Follow us at Twitter: AthlonSteven