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College Football Week 4 – Too Cold or Too Bold?

Our writers tell you which takes from Week 4 of the college football season are overreactions, and which ones are legitimate.

Not overreacting is a crucial skill in fantasy football and even more important in the devy world. The volatility of college players makes it difficult to spot which performances are indicative of the future and which are smokescreens. Luckily, our writers help decipher which takes are for real (Too Cold) and which are overreactions (Too Bold).

1. Spencer Rattler will not Find Success in the NFL

Rattler entered the season widely thought of as the QB1 of the class. He has not at all lived up to that hype through four games this season. The Oklahoma offense that looks stacked on paper, has been uninspiring at best, under Rattler’s leadership. Against West Virginia this past week, his fans chanted that they wanted freshman QB Caleb Williams to take over. Many are already prepared to write Rattler off as a bust and don’t see him as a future quality QB in the NFL. Too Cold, or Too Bold?

Dwight (@FFPeeblesChamp) – Too Bold

Rattler is my QB3 in the class behind Sam Howell and Matt Corral, but he is by no means done. I am not sure he can fend off Williams if he decided to stay for his senior year. Rattler will likely still go early in the draft and could still be a successful NFL QB. I think he needs time and needs to mature, a situation where he can sit would be perfect, but most early draft picks don’t get that luxury anymore. 

Matt (@DevyMatt) – Too Bold

Rattler has looked off this year. The whole Oklahoma offense has. With that being said, he has special arm talent that is just hard to find. He has all the physical tools you could want out of a successful QB in today’s NFL. While he may not be a Heisman candidate this year, let’s pump the breaks. He will be just fine. 

PJ (@mastapj) – Too Bold

I think Rattler has taken a step back this year, but I don’t think it’s time to write him off just yet. He still has all the tools, and that system has produced multiple top picks in the NFL Draft over the past five seasons, so I still think it’s likely that at the very least, he’s going to end up being taken somewhere in the first round. However, if he struggles this weekend against the 101st-ranked pass defense of Kansas State, then I will start to have some serious reservations about his future as an NFL prospect.

2. Treylon Burks is the Clear WR1 in 2022

Arkansas WR Treylon Burks was seen as one of the bright spots in an otherwise unexciting class during the offseason. He started his first two games slowly; perhaps a little banged up. He’s since been explosive, tallying nine catches for 294 yards and two TDs over the next two games, and some are ranking him in his own tier at the top of the 2022 class. Cold or Bold?

Dwight – Too Cold

I have had him WR1 for a while, before all the cool kids were doing it. Why? He possesses the skillset to be THE WR1 in the NFL, and I want Burks wherever I can get him. He’s a monstrous human being with crazy speed and will get better. Burks won’t be the safest, locked-in WR prospect, and there is a chance he can bust. But I want the overall WR1 upside, and I think he is going to get it. I saw it in CeeDee Lamb, and next year, Burks will have it for some lucky NFL squad. 

Matt – Too Bold

Burks looked fantastic last weekend against a great defense. He has the size/speed combo that will be dangerous at the next level. With that being said, I believe there are a couple of other receivers in this year’s class that easily push for WR1. David Bell has put up more consistency on the field this year, and Garrett Wilson has taken a big step on a team committed to the run, and that, quite frankly, is getting horrible QB play. Yes, Burks is a dynamic player. I don’t think he is the CLEAR WR1. 

PJ – Too Cold

I already had Burks as my WR1 in the class before he put up 6/167/1 this weekend against an excellent Texas A&M pass defense. His combination of size and speed is going to be fun to watch at the next level. KJ Jefferson’s limitations as a passer might lead to some subpar games from him this season, but he will blow up the combine and should pretty easily hear his name as the first wide receiver called in next year’s draft.

3. Sean Tucker has Legitimate NFL Upside

A stacked 2023 RB class is looking better by the day, and Syracuse RB Sean Tucker is part of that. He currently leads the nation in scrimmage yards despite being in an otherwise weak offense. Those who have watched him see plenty of NFL traits. It’s hard to believe the 2023 class could add another potential NFL-relevant asset, but many view Tucker as just that. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Dwight – Too Bold

Matt and PJ beat me to the obvious answer, and I will take the alternative stance for the sake of argument. I will say Too Bold, and I still want to see more. Tucker has been on my radar, and what he has done – I am not surprised one bit. He is playing his way into the conversation for sure, but I am not plunging yet. I love his speed and ability to shed tackles, and he looks smooth as a pass-catcher. I want to see how he does versus Clemson later this season, and if he continues this trajectory – Tucker will be right up there with Bijan, Tank, and Gibbs. 

Matt – Too Cold

Coming into the season, not many people were talking about Tucker. In the last few weeks, that has changed dramatically. Tucker has insane speed and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Sean isn’t just a speed guy, though. He carries a 210-pound frame that allows him to break tackles with ease. He is also second in the NCAA in rush yards per game, showing consistency this year. I think that Tucker is easily playing himself into day two capital. 

PJ – Too Cold

A former track star in high school, Tucker might be one of the fastest running backs in all of college football. He possesses speed that is rumored to be in the 4.3s, but he is also tied for fourth in all of college football with 31 forced missed tackles while averaging 4.40 yards after first contact. Relatively quiet seasons from Tank Bigsby and Jahmyr Gibbs have moved him up many boards, and while I don’t think he is in that echelon of players yet, he is someone that I feel has day two potential in the 2023 NFL Draft.

4. Joshua Downs is the Best of the Rest in the 2023 WR class

With Kayshon Boutte already established as the best WR in his class, if not all of devy, the #2 spot in the class was up for debate in the offseason. While UNC WR Joshua Downs had some fans, he was rarely mentioned in that tier with Rakim Jarrett, Marvin Mims, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and others. Through four weeks, he finds himself among the most productive WRs in the country with 452 yards and five scores. Devy fans love his performance and are starting to vault him ahead of the players above in their rankings. Cold, or Bold?

Dwight – Too Cold

Downs is a future stud, a different type of receiver than Boutte and all the others mentioned. He will be dangerous in the slot primarily, a death sentence years ago, but not anymore. Downs can stretch the field down the middle and is so smooth and fast after the catch. What he can do on a quick slant is ridiculous. I feel like I am watching Tyreek Hill when I watch him in college. Downs plays the game at a different speed. Obviously, he’s not as fast as Hill, but I see the ability to take over a game like Hill in Downs’ game. 

Matt – Too Cold

Coming into the season this year, we weren’t sure how the Tarheels were going to recover. They lost their top two receiving options as well as their top two rushing options. Due to this, you could see the effect on Sam Howell’s stock as no one was sure who “the guy” was. After four games, it is clear that Downs is “The Guy.” He offers downfield playmaking ability with insane speed and excellent hands. He is also more athletic than I anticipated, showing some pretty acrobatic catches this year. Boutte, Addison, and Jarret have been the top receivers in his class, but I expect Downs to climb into that bunch quickly. 

PJ – Too Cold

Downs is a player I liked before the season because of his speed and the utilization of slot receivers as the primary receiver in the UNC offense, but even I didn’t expect him to come out of the gate this quickly. Downs has averaged a higher weighted dominator (37.8%) and more receiving yards per team pass attempt (3.65) than any other 2023 eligible WR from a Power 5 conference, including Boutte. Given that I think he’ll end up as a slot receiver in the NFL, and that for whatever reason, the NFL doesn’t seem to love UNC WRs lately, I still have Boutte ranked higher, but Downs is closing the gap. He has been the one bright spot in an otherwise down year for UNC thus far this season.

5. Brock Bowers is the Devy TE2

Outside of Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer, the devy TE landscaped has looked a little grim of late…that is, until freshman Georgia TE Brock Bowers exploded onto the scene. Through 4 games, Bowers has 18 catches for 272 yards and four TDs. He is massively stepping up in place of the injured Darnell Washington. Devy fans are excited about his future and claiming him as the TE2, with Arik Gilbert’s stock down and not many other exciting options at the position. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Dwight – Too Bold

Too Bold for now, but I could very easily be swayed. It’s Mayer at TE1, Jalen Wydermyer at TE2, and that’s the first tier. Bowers is right there with several other cats, and if he continues to impress, he could be TE2. I want to watch his complete game closely, but he seems to have the pass-catching down. Bowers has been a pleasant surprise thus far. 

Matt – Too Bold

Brock Bowers has surprised many this year. On a roster going into the season where he was not expected to see many touches, if any, he has exploded onto the scene this year. Mayer is the clear-cut TE1 in this class, but things are up for grabs after that. With that being said, I still like Wydermyer and Jahleel Billingsley as better players. They offer a little more explosiveness and athletic traits that profile better to the next level. They also enter the NFL earlier than Bowers as he is just a Freshman. I tend to value guys that enter sooner higher as devy is constantly changing.

PJ – Too Cold

Bowers has been the surprise of the college football season so far. Not only was he buried on the depth chart behind stud prospects Gilbert and Washington before the season, but he was also coming to a Georgia team that only saw 14 tight end receptions last season and famously didn’t feature the position in their offense. He has already blown by that number himself this season with 18 receptions for 272 yards and four touchdowns to go with a rushing touchdown as well. While he needs to put on some weight to find success at the next level, I have moved him up to my devy TE2 ahead of Wydermyer. Let’s be honest – there aren’t a lot of great TE prospects after Mayer, so Bowers is a breath of fresh air that has taken the Georgia Bulldogs and a lot of analyst’s TE ranks by storm this season.

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