Roster management is an underrated strategic necessity as we approach the final weeks of the college football season. The rules are simple. If your team is bad, you should sell off CFF assets for supplemental draft picks. If your team is good, you should be buying. And if your NFL team needs a rebuild, you should be acquiring Devy assets. And you should take the temperature on your players to see if their value has exceeded production or projection.
Kobe Prentice is one such player. Prentice has received some hype this year as the breakout freshman WR in Alabama’s loaded 2022 class. His 30 receptions are third for the Crimson Tide, he’s fifth in receiving yardage (290) and eighth in receiving touchdowns (1). Much of the (deserved) praise thrown his way was due to his early season snap share. But has Prentice progressed since those first few games?
Prentice’s profile makes him a sell for a number of reasons. First, his size and current usage paint him as a slot-only receiver moving forward. That’s not necessarily a death sentence, as players like Wes Welker, Cooper Kupp, and Keenan Allen have shown us over the years. But the problem with projecting those players early in their college careers is that the slot requires a lot of volume for fantasy relevance because it’s generally low ADOT, YAC reliant, and relies on players who can create easy instant separation.
Through Week 11, Prentice is playing 74.5% of his snaps out of the slot. He’s averaging roughly 4 targets per game in those snaps (39 total). 10 of those targets came in Alabama’s game against Tennessee, where the Tide played 88 offensive snaps and threw the ball 52 times. This is a player who has been low volume thus far.
He’s also not been an explosive receiving threat. Prentice has an ADOT (average depth of target) of 6.3, which is extremely low. He’s not working downfield often, which logically makes him less valuable on his current volume. Some players can compensate for this because they’re so dangerous with the ball in their hands. Think of guys like Jaylen Waddle and Rondale Moore over the past few years. They’ve produced big stat lines because they can pick up chunk plays by making defenders miss in the open field.
Prentice isn’t doing this either. He’s currently averaging 4.4 yards after the catch, ranking 263rd in the country. He’s not in bad company in this range (Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze are tied with him), but context is important. Players like Harrison see many contested catch opportunities, which limit YAC ability. Prentice does not face this limitation in his slot role, which makes his lack of YAC concerning.
Not much needs to be said about Prentice’s profile. With the help of our player metrics tools at Campus2Canton, we can see that Prentice isn’t clearing freshman breakout thresholds.
Notably, Kobe Prentice is NOT a Year 1 Zero. For those unfamiliar with this concept, it’s a metric developed here at C2C that uses several minimal offensive thresholds for freshman WRs. The data shows that players who hit these minimum production thresholds are more likely to see future NFL fantasy success. Players who are Year 1 Zeros are probably not legitimate assets. Players who are NOT Zeros are not guaranteed success, but the odds increase. Because Prentice is not a Zero, he should be easier to sell to league-mates who are familiar with this theory.
Finally, Prentice’s situation isn’t getting any better. Bryce Young should head to the NFL this offseason, and the current backups are untested. Even if Young’s successor is great, I have a hard time believing he’ll be better than Young. The slot depth chart is also crowded at Alabama. Prentice will continue to compete with Jojo Earle, Aaron Anderson, and Kendrick Law for snaps.
Verdict: Sell. Prentice is high-profile enough that he’s a prime candidate for a “trade-up.” Pair him with a supplemental pick to get a better WR (Prentice & a 4th for Barion Brown).