We have made it to another weekend with football! We might even be seeing more conferences playing games in the near future! If you’re new to this article, the goal is to bring you the top dynasty prospects to watch in nationally televised college football games. It’s never too early to take a look forward. Who are going to be the sleepers of upcoming rookie drafts? Check back here every week for my ‘Weekly Watch’ series before you head into the weekend. Use this article each week as a place to refer back to as you get ready to watch each game.
How this article works:
I’ll give you the network, time, and teams playing in nationally televised games. Below that, I’ll list the respective schools’ prospects that are, in my opinion, worth mentioning, their position, the year they are eligible to enter the NFL Draft, and their listed heights and weights.
Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@tristancook_) if you have players you think deserve to be mentioned in next week’s article. This year will be a little different than last because of all the unknowns we face. Some of the games may be postponed or canceled by the time this article is posted, but that is just a reality of the situation we are currently navigating. I will still be trying to highlight the players to watch, but we will likely be digging a little bit deeper with fewer games. Hopefully, this will give you a few names to monitor throughout the year.
#14 Northwestern @ #4 Ohio State
Saturday, 12/19 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
#4 Ohio State
Justin Fields #1, QB 2021 (6’3, 228)
The players to know in this game are on the Ohio State side of the ball. There are two main names to know for this upcoming draft, and you probably are familiar with both of them. The first is QB Justin Fields who is projected to be a top-five draft pick this year. You’ve most certainly heard his name, but it’ll be interesting to see how he performs against what has been a good Northwestern defense. He’s still safely my QB2, but I know the gap is closer for some people out there.
Chris Olave #2, WR 2021 (6’1, 188)
The other 2021 prospect to know is WR Chris Olave. He’s a prospect whose name I’ve seen pop up at an increasing rate each week. If rookie drafts were to happen right now, I imagine he would have a pretty wide range of draft slots. I could see him sneaking into the late first or dropping down into the late second. But, fortunately, the pre-draft process should help narrow down the scouting report for Olave. I’m a fan, but this class has tons of quality WRs, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up going in the NFL draft.
Garrett Wilson #5, WR 2022 (6’0, 193)
These next two players are not eligible until at earliest the 2022 draft. The first one is WR Garrett Wilson. He is actually leading the team in receiving and arguably has looked more impressive than Olave this year. Wilson was the #20 overall recruit and the second-best WR in the country. I’m excited to see how he does next year without Fields and Co. Garrett Wilson has a chance to be one of the better WRs in the 2022 class if he continues to develop on his current trajectory.
Master Teague III #33, RB 2022 (5’11, 225)
The final Buckeye I’ll be watching is Master Teague III. He took over for Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon and has yet to look back. Teague is a stout RB that has been incredibly impressive in his role as lead back for the Buckeyes. Like Wilson, I’m excited to see how Teague does next year without the benefit of Justin Fields alongside him.
#5 Texas A&M @ Tennessee
Saturday, 12/19 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
#5 Texas A&M
Isaiah Spiller #28, RB 2022 (6’1, 225)
In this game, there are two main players that I’ll be watching, and they both are projected as 2022 RBs. The first is Aggies’ tailback, Isaiah Spiller. My biggest concern for him is top-end speed, but aside from that, he has all the traits you want in an RB. I imagine he’ll be in the discussion as one of the members of the top group of RBs going into next year.
Jhamon Ausbon #2, WR 2021 (6’2, 209) ***OPT-OUT***
The next name is Jhamon Ausbon, who opted out prior to the season. I mention him because he’s a name worth remembering come combine/pro day time. I’ll be interested in how he tests out.
Eric Gray #3, RB 2022 (5’10, 205)
The name to know on the Tennessee side of the ball is sophomore, RB Eric Gray. I’ve mentioned his name a handful of times, and he is deserving of the hype. Gray has been one of the only bright spots on an underwhelming Tennessee team. His most impressive stat may be the team-leading 30 receptions he has this year. Gray is another potential top-tier RB for the 2022 class.
#10 Oklahoma @ #6 Iowa State
Saturday, 12/19 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC
Charleston Rambo #14, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
The 2021 name to know on this roster, Charleston Rambo. He’s fallen off the radar a bit lately in terms of draft buzz, but that just means that he could be an undervalued WR in this incredibly deep class. However, he may choose to return for another year in Norman, OK. He certainly went into the year with hopes of solidifying himself as one of the top WRs in the class and hasn’t exactly done that. Like several WRs in this class and recent classes, Rambo is a bit slenderly built compared to the ‘prototypical’ WR, but we’ve seen that they can be successful, so you shouldn’t necessarily count that against him.
Marvin Mims #17, WR 2023 (5’11, 177)
The next name for OU is a true freshman WR named Marvin Mims. He has been the Sooners’ best WR this year, scoring seven TDs and nearing the 500 receiving yard mark. Mims has a long time to continue to develop, but expect to see him making plays for Oklahoma this week and for years to come.
Spencer Rattler #7, QB 2022 (6’1, 205)
The last name on the list for Oklahoma is RS freshman QB, Spencer Rattler. He has had an up-and-down season but has an extremely high ceiling if he can continue to develop. We’ve seen what Lincoln Riley can do with QBs, so he is someone to continue to monitor throughout the next couple of years.
#6 Iowa State
Brock Purdy #15, QB 2021 (6’1, 212)
There are two 2021 players to know for Iowa State. The first is their junior QB Brock Purdy. He’s had a pretty solid but unspectacular season for the Cyclones from a production standpoint. He entered the 2020 season with hopes of getting into the discussion for being the third QB taken, but with the emergence of many other QB prospects, that isn’t looking like it has a chance. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned for another year, but if he does declare, he’s more of a developmental prospect than a fantasy asset.
Charlie Kolar #88, TE 2021 (6’6, 257)
The other 2021 player to know is TE Charlie Kolar. He is also a junior, but I expect to see him declare for the NFL draft. I currently have him in my third tier of TEs, roughly as my TE5 in the class. Admittedly, I need to dive deeper into the TE class after Pitts, Freiermuth, and Brevin Jordan, but I like Charlie Kolar from what I’ve seen.
Breece Hall #28, RB 2022 (6’1, 215)
The final name is a 2022 RB, Breece Hall. There have been a few other ‘22 RBs that I’ve mentioned, but as of now, they are all trailing Breece Hall. He’s my RB1 going into next season. He has dominated this year for 17 TDs and 6.1 yards per carry. He’s also displayed the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. There’s still a lot of time until the 2022 draft, but familiarize yourself with Breece Hall. He’s looking like a name that should go near the beginning of it.
#3 Clemson @ #2 Notre Dame
Saturday, 12/19 | 4:00 PM ET, ABC
Trevor Lawrence #16, QB 2021 (6’6, 220)
Clemson’s first two names are all players you’re probably very familiar with and are likely at the top of their respective positional rankings for the 2021 class. Trevor Lawrence has been touted as the next ‘can’t-miss’ prospect since he first stepped on the field for the Tigers and has yet to give us any reason to feel otherwise. I’m excited to see how he does against this Notre Dame defense and see if he can atone for the loss Clemson suffered while he was out with COVID.
Travis Etienne #9, RB 2021 (5’10, 205)
Travis Etienne is most likely the top RB on any given 2021 draft board. He does everything you ask for and does it well. He is a threat to go to the house on any rush and can catch passes out of the backfield with ease. I am interested to see if he comes out with a little extra ‘juice’ against the Fighting Irish since they held him to only 28 rushing yards in their first matchup.
Amari Rodgers #3, WR 2021 (5’10, 210)
The ‘other’ 2021 Clemson Tiger to know is Amari Rodgers. He is in the midst of the best year of his career and has quashed any concerns about his previous injuries. I am a big fan of Rodgers and will be anxious to see how he tests leading up to the draft. He should be a very effective weapon in the NFL. He caught eight passes for 134 yards in their first matchup, so it will be interesting to see what Notre Dame does to slow him down this time.
#2 Notre Dame
Kyren Williams #23, RB 2022 (5’9, 195)
The best prospect on the field for Notre Dame is RB Kyren Williams. He is having a breakout season as the lead RB for the Fighting Irish. He has run for 1011 yards and 12 TDs, including 140/3 in the first matchup against Clemson. I have liked everything I’ve seen from Kyren Williams so far. He’s another name to know for the 2022 class.
Javon McKinley #88, WR 2021 (6’2, 215)
The other name worth mentioning here is senior WR Javon McKinley. He’s been Ian Book’s favorite target so far. He’s been an impressive player for the undefeated Irish this year and could really boost his draft stock with a big game against Clemson and good testing numbers in the pre-draft process. He went for 5/102 in the first matchup.
#1 Alabama @ #7 Florida
Saturday, 12/19 | 8:00 PM ET, CBS
Mac Jones #10, QB 2021 (6’3, 214)
The best game of the day is likely to be this Alabama/Florida battle for SEC supremacy. When I say best game, I don’t necessarily mean that it will be the closest game, but rather it will feature the most fantasy-relevant players with the highest potential. The first is Alabama QB, Mac Jones. I’ve seen him ranked as high as the QB3 and as low as the QB6, so his draft stock may depend somewhat on how he performs in this game.
Najee Harris #22, RB 2021 (6’2, 230)
The next player I’ll be watching is RB Najee Harris. He’s still the top Alabama player in my rankings. I’ve seen a lot of love lately for DeVonta Smith, and while I certainly am a fan of his, I think the player I want most from this Crimson Tide team is Harris. Although the gap between Harris and Smith is closing. Harris is my RB2 and could be my top RB based on landing spots or combine numbers. Harris does everything you want out of a three-down back, and I expect him to have a monster day.
DeVonta Smith #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
The final name of note is DeVonta Smith. Smith is currently in my second tier of WRs for the 2021 class. My top-tier consists of Ja’Marr Chase, Rondale Moore, and Rashod Bateman. I have seen DeVonta ranked as high as WR1 in this class, but I am not ready to go that high on him. I have to admit that the more I’ve watched of him, the more I’ve liked his game. I’m still not ready to put him in the top tier of WRs, but he’s getting closer.
Kyle Trask #11, QB 2021 (6’5, 240)
The names on Florida’s roster worth remembering have remained the same all year. The first is Heisman hopeful Kyle Trask. Trask is having one of the best seasons ever for a Florida QB with 3,700+ passing yards and 40 TDs. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays after a disappointing loss to LSU. Like Mac Jones, I have seen Trask ranked as high as QB3 and as low as QB6 in this class, but the gap between those slots isn’t as big as most years.
Kyle Pitts #84, TE 2021 (6’6, 246)
The next player for Florida is Kyle Pitts. Pitts has continually moved up draft rankings this season and has gotten to the point where he’s going to be hard to draft. His combination of size, speed, and athletic ability have everyone excited, myself included. He missed the LSU game and is potentially not going to play in this game. But he should be the top TE on your draft board. The only issue I have with Pitts is if I can justify taking a TE as high as he will end up being drafted.
Kadarius Toney #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 193)
The final name I will mention is speedy WR Kadarius Toney. He’s someone that has been rising up my draft board throughout the season. He has continually improved throughout the season and will be one of the more exciting players in the draft. He posted a 9/182/1 game against LSU last week and will potentially be the top option if Pitts is out. My valuation of him is in process, but he’s someone that I’ve found myself liking more and more.
#23 Tulsa @ #9 Cincinnati
Saturday, 12/19 | 8:00 PM ET, ABC
Keylon Stokes #2, WR 2021 (6’0, 194)
There aren’t a ton of NFL prospects in this game, but one name you’ll likely hear if you’re watching this game is Keylon Stokes. He’s been Tulsa’s best option in the passing game and could be a relative unknown that surprises at the next level.
Desmond Ridder #9, QB 2021 (6’4, 215)
The main player to watch in this game is Bearcats QB Desmond Ridder. Ridder has been impressive this year, making big strides from his 2019 season. He’s a very athletic QB that has many of the tools that NFL GMs covet. I expect him to return to Cincy, but he’s a name to watch.
Arizona State @ Oregon State
Saturday, 12/19 | 10:30 PM ET, ESPN
Jayden Daniels #5, QB 2022 (6’3, 185)
On the late-night slate, the ASU/OSU game has some very intriguing prospects. The first is Sun Devils’ QB, Jayden Daniels. ASU has only been able to play three games so far this year, but the electricity that Daniels brings to the field is undeniable. He has the option of declaring next year, but I expect him to stay in Tempe a while longer. I’m excited to see how he develops.
Frank Darby #84, WR 2021 (6’1, 200)
The other ASU player to know is Frank Darby. Unfortunately for Darby, he was injured in the first game of the season. He managed to haul in 5/44/1 in the game two weeks ago but hasn’t done much of note. It’s hard to know where Darby will go from here. I think he has previously shown the ability to play at the NFL level. Still, because of a rough year, he may choose to take advantage of the NCAA’s rule to allow another year of eligibility to athletes because of COVID.
Jermar Jefferson #6, RB 2021 (5’10, 217)
The player I am most excited to watch in this game is Jermar Jefferson. He’s one of the more unknown names in the 2021 RB class because he plays for a west coast team that isn’t named USC. But don’t let that detract from his talent. I think that Jefferson has a chance to be ranked as high as my RB3 after the NFL draft. He is incredibly talented, and if you decide to stay up late, hopefully, he’ll put on a show for you.
That’s it for this week’s games. As I previously mentioned, if there is anyone you’d like me to take a look at, or want to share your thoughts on anything dynasty related, hit me up on Twitter ( @tristancook_ ). Also, check out tape on some of these guys in the Dynasty Nerds’ Film Room. It’s an amazing tool that I plan to take full advantage of.
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