By: Nate Leer
The Senior Bowl marks the unofficial start of the NFL draft season and, to me, the start of the 2018 fantasy football prep. Last year I became a believer in RB Kareem Hunt while watching the game and that proved to be a good call to say the least. The year before QB Dak Prescott was a standout on and off the field during the game and obviously produced when given an unexpected chance. It is likely that some of these players make no impact this year and just as likely that a couple can help you this year, maybe a lot. It is too early to know who will make a splash in the fantasy football player pool this year but these are the guys who got off to a good start.
5 Players With Fantasy Football Upside From The 2018 Senior Bowl:
1. Josh Allen – QB – 6’ 5” 237: Allen showed a lot of good skills and intangibles after a bit of a rough start. His arm strength is elite and he balanced it with accuracy and touch. The QB also showed leadership and competitive traits that could help him transition quickly to the NFL. If he goes to a good landing spot such as the Broncos in the draft, he may be the rare viable rookie QB for fantasy football.
2. Rashaad Penny – RB – 5’ 11” 220: Penny looked like this year’s Kareem Hunt by showing good burst, balance and vision in the game. He even made a huge play catching the ball which was supposed to be one of his weaknesses. In another strong RB class, he could fly under the radar but return huge fantasy value at some point of the season.
3. Mike White – QB – 6’ 4” 225: After throwing a ball early that fluttered, it was nice to see him put a ball right on the money 45 yards downfield from where he released and to the sideline. White had a big game and could end up on a solid team where he ends up playing at some point this year. Keep an eye on him for later in the season as a streaming option in 2 QB or deep leagues.
4. Kalen Ballage – RB – 6’ 3” 230: Ballage made a bad decision on a short yardage run but otherwise looked like a big back with some burst and wiggle. If given an opportunity, he could flash similar to how Chris Carson did last year. I think there is real upside here as a sleeper.
5. DJ Chark – WR – 6’ 3” 187: Chark is intriguing as he showed explosive speed and requisite pass catching skills to go with height. It will be interesting to see how well he runs at the combine because truly elite speed plus his height could vault him up draft boards. The right situation in the pros could lead to big plays early in his career so he is worth having on your fantasy radar.
Other notable performances: Kyle Lauletta – QB – 6’ 3” 215, Michael Gallup – WR – 6′ 1″ 195, Tre’Quan Smith – WR – 6′ 1″ 200, Durham Smythe – TE – 6’ 6” 237, Mike Gesicki – TE – 6’ 5” 244.