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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 established veteran Jordan Reed, emerging talents such as Trey Burton and Antonio Callaway, along with a couple of kickers! Stay tuned for more College Football Player Breakdowns!
TE Jordan Reed – Reed missed the last nine games of 2017 with a hamstring injury. His season started relatively quiet in Week 1 (5/36) and Week 2 (6/48), but a chest injury cost him Week 3. Over his six games played, Jordan only had success in Week 7 (8/64/2) against the Eagles. The only real positive out of last year was that he didn’t success another concussion injury. Over 26 games in 2015 and 2016, Reed caught 153 passes for 1,538 yards and 17 TDs on 203 targets. His success broken down comes to 5.9 catches for 59 yards and 0.65 TDs per game. Jordan is a top TE when healthy, but he carries the threat of having a career-ending concussion. His injury-riddled season in 2017 knocks his draft value into a much favorable area where a Fantasy owner can buy him as an upside TE2. Alex Smith will throw the ball to the TE highlighted by Travis Kelce’s 307 catches over the last four seasons, and the Redskins will look Reed’s way when he’s on the field. 80-type catch TE who may deliver a couple of short games to Fantasy owners after early exits. I’m interested in him for sure if I’m buying at a discount as Jordan has top-five TE talent. Reed had toes surgery as well in the offseason.
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WR Antonio Callaway – Over his freshman and sophomore seasons at Florida, Callaway caught 89 passes for 1,399 yards and seven TDs while returning 55 punts (653/2) and six kickoffs (176/1). The roookie has elite speed with open field ability plus a winning release at the line. His route running needs better tempo to take advantage of his speed and quickness out of breaks. He missed 2017 due to a suspension (credit fraud) while also having a couple of other off the field issues in college. Upside talent for sure, but he needs to focus on playing the game if he wants to have a long career in the NFL.
TE Trey Burton – Over the last two season with the Eagles, Burton caught 60 combined passes for 565 yards and six TDs on 91 targets. He performed well in two starts last season (2/41/1 and 5/71/2) with Zach Ertz out of the lineup. Those numbers will be his attraction to Fantasy owners in 2018. His catch rate (66.3) is high in his career, but he did only gain 8.8 yards per catch in 2016 with minimal growth last year (10.8). In college, Burton played QB, RB, and WR, which shows he has talent and athletic ability. Last season, Chicago’s tight ends caught 61 passes for 680 yards and five TDs on 98 targets. I expect the best season of his career, but he has a talented young TE behind him on the roster, and I sense Burton will be over drafted in 2018. Only a 50/500 guy with minimal upside in TDs.
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K Caleb Sturgis – After making 35 of 41 field goals in 2016 and going 3-for-3 in his only game in 2017, Sturgis suffered a torn hip flexor. His injury led to him being cut by the Eagles in the offseason. Over 62 games in his NFL career, Sturgis has made 81 percent of his field goal attempts, including an 84.8-percent conversion-rate with the Eagles. Over his last two full seasons, he missed three of his 68 extra point tries. In 2017, the Chargers scored 43 TDs while creating 30 field goal chances. Sturgis will battle Robert Aguayo for the starting kicking job for LA. I expect Sturgis to win the job, but I don’t believe he’ll be a top 12 kicker in 2018.
K Eddy Pineiro — The Raiders brought in Eddy Pineiro to compete for the starting kicking job with Giorgio Tavecchio. At Florida, Pineiro made 88.4 percent of field goal tries. Either way, Oakland’s kicker will only have matchup value unless their offense takes a leap forward.
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