2018 Fantasy Football: Former Penn St. Nittany Lions Player Outlooks

Senior Expert Shawn Childs breaks down the Fantasy Football potential of the best Penn St. Nittany Lions players now in the National Football League

Are you a Penn St. Nittany Lions fan? Fortunately, not only does Scout Fantasy Sports provide NFL team specific outlooks, but we also produce content for all you College Football fans following your favorite players from your favorite school!

Senior Fantasy Football Expert Shawn Childs breaks down and forecasts the top players from the biggest colleges in the nation! In this edition, he takes a look at Saquon Barkley, Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin and many more of your favorite Penn St. players! Stay tuned for more College Football Player Breakdowns!


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RB Saquon Barkley – Over his last two seasons at Penn State, Saquon had 3,801 combined yards with 43 TDs and 82 catches. He projects as a three-down back with high value in scoring ability. Giants’ fans have to be excited by the addition of Barkley. He’ll threaten the second level of the defense with his speed if he gets a free run through the line of scrimmage while offering a dig step to set up linebackers and safeties for big plays. His vision is exceptional with the hands and route running to be a true three-down threat. If he had the Cowboys’ offensive line, Saquon would no doubt be a top three draft pick in 2018. Last year the Giants’ RBs rushed for 1,511 yards on 378 carries with only five rushing TDs. Their backs caught 105 of 139 targets for 608 yards and one TD. Eli will look to dump off many passes to the RB position when the pass blocking breaks down, which is going to happen a lot in 2018. Barkley will command a top tier RB opportunity even with a veteran RB roster. My floor is 300 rushes for 1,400 yards with 60+ catches for another 500 yards. I fully expect double digit TDs with more upside if New York’s offense clicks on all cylinders. Buy the hype and watch him deliver Fantasy championships with two possible upside matchups in Week 14 (@WAS) and Week 16 (@IND).

WR Allen Robinson – Based on targets (151), Robinson had the same opportunity in 2016 as his 2015 season. Unfortunately, he lost value in catches (73 – 80 in 2015), yards per catch (12.1 – 17.5 in 2015), TDs (6 – 14 in 2015), catches over 20 yards (11 – 31 in 2015) and catches over 40 yards (1 – 6 in 2015). His catch rate (48.3) was the lowest of his career while never being into a favorable area. Allen only had four games with over 20 Fantasy points in 2016 (7/57/2, 7/76/1, 9/107/1, and 9/147). Last season Allen was only on the field for three plays due to a torn ACL in his left knee. The Bears thought enough of him to sign Robinson to a three-year contract worth $42 million. He should have plenty of time to get healthy for the 2018 season. The new offensive coordinator will be more aggressive throwing the ball deep, which is a plus for Allen. Last season the Bears’ WR caught only 133 passes for 1,684 yards and three TDs on 231 targets. I don’t expect a huge spike in passing yards even with the coach-speak in Chicago. I’m going to draft Robinson with the idea of a 65/1000/7 type of season while hoping for upside if he’s discounted on draft day.

WR Chris Godwin – Over his last two seasons at Penn State, Godwin caught 128 passes for 2,083 yards and 16 TDs. His game will add an interesting dynamic to Tampa’s passing attack. Chris has the speed to beat a defense deep while showing a willingness to work the middle of the field. His first step and release will be challenged against press coverage, but he does have enough quickness and route running ability to create separation over the short areas of the field. His hands are an edge, and he will catch many jump balls. In his rookie season, Godwin caught 34 of 55 targets for 525 yards and one TD. Over the last seven games of the year, he had four games of value (5/68, 5/68, 3/98, and 7/111/1) off the bench. His last two games came in relief of DeSean Jackson who injured his ankle in Week 15. Exciting player who will offer upside with a better role in the offense. His best shot may come unseating Adam Humphries in the slot. For now, the top handcuff for Tampa’s top two WRs.



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TE Mike Gesicki – Over his last two seasons at Penn State, Gesicki caught 105 passes for 1,242 yards and 15 TDs. He projects to be a pass catching TE with plus hands and upside in route running. Mike offers no value in blocking game leading to him having a rotational role in his rookie season.  Gesicki needs to prove he can handle tight press coverage. In 2017, the Dolphins’ TEs caught 56 passes for 525 yards and four TDs on 90 targets. The previous season with Tannehill behind center for most games, TEs only has 55 catches for 551 yards and six TDs on 71 targets. Talent dictates opportunity. Gesicki may develop over the season, but his starting point can’t be higher than the TE chances over the last two years. Viable TE2 flier with hands catching skill set to offer upside in his rookie season. Think of him as 55/500/5 guy out of the gate in 2018.

TE Jesse James – Over the last two seasons, James has 123 combined targets leading to two poor seasons (39/338/3 and 43/372/3) from a Fantasy perspective. Last year he had two games of value (6/41/2 and 10/97) while coming up with no catches four other games. Overall, TEs in the Steelers’ offense caught 62 of 96 targets for 592 yards and four TDs. At age 24, James should show growth, but he projects as the fifth option in Pittsburgh’s passing game. Only a bye week fill in or short-term injury cover.

QB Christian Hackenberg – Over three seasons at Penn State, Hackenberg completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 8457 yards with 48 TDs and 31 Ints. His completion rate declined in each season in the college, which isn’t a great sign for his development long-term in the NFL. With no clear answer at QB headed into the draft in 2016, New York invested in Hackenberg with their second-round pick. He has NFL size (6’4” and 223 lbs.) and arm strength with solid quickness and speed. Christian shows the ability to read defenses pre-snap with the skill set to make all NFL throws. His biggest liability is his accuracy. Hackenberg needs to improve his mechanics while improving his ability to move within the pocket to limit the damage in sacks and turnovers. He will need time to develop, which puts him in line to be a long-term backup in New York.

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Robbie Gould – In 2016, Gould failed to win the starting kicking job in Chicago. The Giants picked him up after Week 6 leading to a dreary season due to lack of chances. Robbie made all ten of field goals, which came from 49 yards or less. Last year with the 49ers, Robbie led the NFL in field goals (39) with 41 attempts. He made all four of his chances from 50 yards or longer. In his career, Gould has an 86.9 percent success rate while making 27 of 35 opportunities from 50 yards or more. San Fran scored 31 TDs in 2017, which led to 72 combined scoring chances. The 49ers should be more productive in TDs this year with regression Gould’s field goal chances. Solid leg with some matchup value.

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Shawn Childs
About Shawn Childs 333 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros.As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.