College Fantasy Football Preview: Pac-12 North WRs
Pac-12 Conference – North Division
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WRs Kenny Lawler / Trevor Davis / Darius Powe / Bryce Treggs – California Golden Bears
With strong-armed, future-NFL QB Jared Goff accurately slinging the pigskin to every level of the field, the fantasy opportunity to capitalize on the recipients is now. The FBS’ 6th-ranked offense generated by OC Tony Franklin’s Bear Raid attack will look to reach new heights with hand-picked recruits perfectly suited to the philosophy. At the top of the food chain, and for very good reasons, is former 2012 four-star recruit Kenny Lawler. Returning to the flanker position that rewarded the team with a +9.3 receiving-specific CFF grade in 2014, Lawler will look to claim the no. 1 title after the departure of WR Chris Harper. At 6’3”, 195 pounds, and 4.54-speed, Lawler secured 54/57 catchable targets for a team-leading 2.04 yards/route run (YPRR).
Another factor that will ensure a healthy continuation of targets for Lawler is the fact that he also led the team with a 128.7 WR Rating (WrR). The WrR stat is a great indicator for, not only trust, but for measuring the “compatibility” between quarterback and wide receiver. Another valuable indicator for evaluating wide receiver usage is 20-plus target percentage (20+T%). By appraising this factor, we are provided a look into the mind of both the quarterback and offensive coordinator to find the players they feel offer downfield competence. As for Lawler, he was able to seize all eight catchable targets of 20-plus yards, for three TDs, and a 20.3 20+T%.
At split end, the Golden Bears will welcome the return of Davis who suffered a strained neck in Week 8 against UCLA, affecting him for the rest of the season, and could’ve been much worse. The senior will be playing in his second season in Berkeley after transferring over from Hawaii and redshirting the 2013 season. At 6’2”, 180 pounds and deceptively quick 4.56-speed, Davis is also one of the top return men in the country, and possessing teams best high-point ability (31.6” vertical but questionably higher). He recorded an -0.6 receiving-specific CFF grade on his way to securing 24/26 catchable targets. Building a rapport with Goff that is evidenced by a 112.6 WrR, Davis also efficiently utilized each route to post a highly productive 1.93 YPRR.
Possibly the most important stat to reference his strength, Davis was earmarked with a 27.5 20+T%, secured 5/6 catchable passes, and took four for TDs. In the slot, the team will rely on a combination of seniors in (Tight End) Stephen Anderson and Powe. Stepping onto the field at 6’3”, 220 pounds, Powe, as well as Anderson, provides a huge target for Goff with great athleticism (4.64-speed & 31.1” vertical). His usage from ’14 explains that he took 79.2% of his total routes out of the Y-position with a quality 1.58 YPRR. For the season, Powe finished with a -1.3 receiving-specific CFF grade, a strong +2.7 run blocking grade, and a very reliable 122.3 WrR.
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