Here are some players that have seen their college fantasy football value rise since the start of spring camp. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are worthy of an early draft pick, but that their stock is trending in the right direction for various reasons listed here.
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
TVD finds his way onto the stock-up report a year after making an appearance on the stock-down report. Now, I know what you are thinking. Mario is still in charge, and my concerns for TVD with the new staff in the spring of 2022 were warranted. However, the pace, creativity, and scheme upgrade for CFF when going from OC Josh Gattis to Shannon Dawson is noteworthy. Cristobal is feeling the heat from donors and fans to be less involved when it comes to the offense, and the hire of Dawson is outside his comfort zone. Will it work? TBD. But all indications are that Van Dyke looked great throughout spring in a system that highlights his strengths as a passer. I don’t blame you for being gunshy on a Cristobal QB with what we saw from the Miami offense in 2022, but there are signs of life here for a resurgence.
Davis Brin, Georgia Southern
If the Tulsa QB would have consulted me (which he most certainly did not) on where he should finish his career when he entered the portal, one of the first answers he would have received would have been Georgia Southern. The Eagles averaged a gaudy 47 pass attempts per game in 2022 with QB Kyle Vantrease, good for second most in the country! Now, transferring to the air-raid system with a strong receiver room is nice, but the great landing spot only matters if Brin wins the job. Well, it appears he is in the driver’s seat to do just that after a strong spring game performance where he frequently connected with Hood and Burgess. It appears Statesboro is about to mess around and find out….about Brinsanity!
Honorable Mentions: Jaxson Dart (Ole Miss), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Emory Jones (Cincy), Carson Beck (UGA), Hank Bachmeier (LaTech)
Audric Estime, Notre Dame
Diggs (165 carries), Estime (156), and Tyree (100) saw a fairly even split among the three-man committee for the Irish last year. However, Estime is now the beneficiary of Diggs entering the portal and Tyree transitioning to receiver. The third-year RB had a solid finish to 2022, averaging just under 16 PPG over the second half of the season with limited touches. Now, Estime should be in store for increased volume in 2023 and possesses the physique, at 227 pounds, to carry such a workload. Expect guys like Gi’Bran Payne, Jadarian Price, and Jeremiyah Love to consume some of the leftover snaps from Diggs and Tyree. They may just be getting scraps as Estime is about to eat all that Notre Dame can feed him.
CJ Donaldson, West Virginia
The biggest concern for this 6’2″, 240 lb, tight end turned running back coming into the spring was his health after a season-ending ankle injury in late October. Well, he passed that test with flying colors. He posted workout videos looking like a weight-room warrior early in spring and then was a full participant in the spring scrimmage, where he ripped off multiple chunk plays and scored a TD. His stock got another bump when Tony Mathis, surprisingly, decided to enter the portal after the spring game. New OC Chad Scott was the co-OC and RBs coach when Leddie Brown got 220 and 260 touches and coached Javian Hawkins in his 264-1525-9 season.
Honorable Mention: Roman Hemby (Maryland), Ashton Jeanty (Boise St), Zach Evans (Minnesota), Gabe Ervin (Nebraska)
Carnell Tate, Ohio State, and Jaden Greathouse, Notre Dame
Two for the price of one? Let’s do it! Both these freshmen wide receivers were early enrollees that quickly demonstrated why they were so highly recruited. Tate was the first Buckeye to lose his black stripe this spring, and didn’t stop there. He showed out in each of the scrimmages, including a 3-56-1 spring game performance with the only TD pass from Kyle McCord. Tate ran with the ones each of the handful of series he played. Meanwhile, in South Bend, the drumbeat throughout spring may not have been as loud for Greathouse as it was for Tate, but his spring game performance was absolutely sensational. Greathouse recorded 11 receptions for 118 yards while building a strong rapport with QB Sam Hartman. He seems well on his way to carving out a role as a “wide end/big slot” for the Irish.
DT Sheffield, Washington State
After spending three years in JUCO (yep, that’s real in the Covid-19 era), Sheffield transferred to Wazzu and entered spring at the bottom of the depth chart. But that didn’t last long, as Sheffield was continuously mentioned as a standout in spring practice and worked his way into the starting lineup for the spring scrimmage. The speedy slot receiver became a big play target for Cam Ward and showed out with a 3-123-1 performance. It appears Sheffield has locked up one of the four starting spots in new OC Ben Arbuckle’s offense.
Oronde Gadsden II, Syracuse
Gadsden had maybe the best spring of any player in CFF, and he deserves absolutely none of the credit. Sure, all reports out of ‘Cuse was that he had a fine spring camp, but Gadsden is on this list solely due to Fantrax (rightfully) giving him TE eligibility. As the leading receiver for the Orange, Gadsden played less than 19% of his snaps out wide and is now listed as a TE on the team’s official roster page. Why is this so important? Well, had he qualified as a TE last season, he would have finished as TE4 only behind Bowers, Kincaid, and Mayer. He is a decent option as a WR, but now an elite option as a TE.