Division I transfers can be either stars at a new school or become fantasy kryptonite as it can be more common to showcase one's talent at a smaller conference school, only to go to a major program and be underutilized. This has happened often lately for many players. James Daniels' tenure Tennessee from Howard is a prime example. He led the nation in scoring at 27.1 points a game for the Bison. At Tennessee, he was a bust. He had issues with the coaching staff which led to limited playing time and under-produced as a single digit scorer.
An opposite case is Aubrey Dawkins for Central Florida after transferring from Michigan. He flourished under is father's tutelage and became the focal point of the Knights' offense. He went from 6.5 a game to almost 16 per contest.
This season has several transfers that are worth the gamble, but still beware that the grass isn't always greener. Here's a list of some of the cream of the crop that are eligible immediately to help their teams and yours:
1. Kerry Blackshear Jr. – Florida (from Virginia Tech) Blackshear was a dominant force for the Hokies and should be the best frontcourt player the Gators have had in a while. His production shouldn't diminish in the SEC.
2. Nate Sestina – Kentucky (from Bucknell) The former Bison player is a force inside as he racked up 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Patriot League. His stats may diminish; not because of playing in the tougher SEC, but because he'll have to share more with other incoming star freshmen. He's still worth strong consideration in all formats, not just SEC-only.
3. TJ Holyfield – Texas Tech (from Stephen F. Austin) He may not be Evander, but this Holyfield is a tough, strong inside force who will fit in well in the Raiders' style of play. He should be able to produce similar numbers to the 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds last season for the Lumberjacks.
4. Jason Carter – Xavier (from Ohio) The ex-Bobcat produced 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. Carter, at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, has the kind of bulk Xavier needs to upgrade its frontcourt after losing seniors Ryan Welage and Zach Hankins.
5. Derrik Smits – Butler (from Valparaiso) Who couldn't use a 7-1, 240-pound stronghold in the lane? He has the ability to put up bigger numbers than the 12.2 points and 5.7 boards he did at Valpo, where he took a backseat to other stars. Butler has a history of solid guard play and will hopefully form a very nice inside/outside game with Smits.
6. Luwane Pipkins – Providence (from UMass) An excellent floor general for the Minutemen with 16 points and 5.2 assists a game; he should be able to jump right in as the Friars point man and produce consistently with his numbers at UMass.
7. Brandon Boyd – Cal Baptist (from Idaho State) The point guard averaged just 3.6 assists, but didn't have a lot of talent to distribute to. He is a better floor general than he was able to exhibit and can score, averaging 14.2 points. Cal Baptist is a new Division I team as of last season and was more talented than the Bengals squad. Boyd should step in and be a major contributor from day one.
8. Jake Toolson – BYU (from Utah Valley State) Toolson was a nice scorer at 15.7 PPG clip for the Wolverines. Now he has a chance to continue in a long line of great guards for BYU. He's not Jimmer Fredette, but he'll be able to get the ball in the basket a lot.
9. KJ Feagin – San Diego State (from Santa Clara) Feagin has been a consistent star for the Broncos and averaged 17.5 points and 4 assists last season. He's a nice replacement for Devin Watson.
10. Daniel Utomi – USC (from Akron) He performed more like a power forward than a wing for the Zips with 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds. He is good at either that or the wing as he can be an adequate perimeter shooter. USC hasn't been as successful with transfers lately, but Utomi can buck that trend.
11. Omer Yurtseven – Georgetown (from NC State) The 6'11" center produced with 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds with the Wolfpack, but should flourish as he learns from Patrick Ewing to be a top player in the Big East.
12. Tyler Scanlon – Belmont (from Boston) Scanlon is coming into a new regime after Rick Byrd's retirement. However, he's a "tweener" at 6-7 and a great compliment for their usual offensive sets. He is the type of player that seems to thrive under new coach Casey Alexander coming in from Lipscomb. He averaged 13.8 points, 5.0 boards and 3.3 assists so he has the all-around game craved by fantasy owners.
13. Shakur Juiston – Oregon (from UNLV) The Ducks suffered huge losses in the frontcourt. Enter Juiston from the Running Rebels who showed consistent double-double production his first campaign, averaging 14.6 points and 10 rebounds for the season. Last season, a knee injury limited him to eight games and his production was obviously hindered, but still solid at 10.8/8.0/2.0 per game. If fully healthy, this combo-forward will slash his way to all-conference numbers. Dana Altman has an impressive track record with incoming transfers.
14. Ryan Woolridge – Gonzaga (from North Texas) Woolridge was part of a solid backcourt with Roosevelt Smart last year for North Texas. However, the Mean Green underperformed as a team last year. Woolridge is an all-around point man that averaged 11.7 points, 6.0 boards and 5.0 assists. Gonzaga is good at maximizing talent from its transfers and Woolridge should be a major asset.
15. Justin Pierce – North Carolina (from William & Mary) Pierce is a stat compiler. He did it all for the Tribe with 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1.assists. Based on UNC's losses, I can see Pierce producing comparable numbers despite the conference upgrade.
16. K.J. Lawson – Tulane (from Kansas) He wasn't going to put up All-American numbers like his brother Dedric. However, he could have helped the Jayhawks a lot more, especially for the time LaGerald Vick was lost. Tulane needs a lot of talent and has been down for a while. Lawson could produce numbers more like Dedric as a focal point for the Waves.
17. Christian Keeling – North Carolina (from Charleston Southern) Keeling produced on the wing at a clip of 18.7 and 6.9 a game. As he has to share more, expect the stats to go down, but that doesn't guarantee a significant downswing.
18. Pat Andree – NC State (from Lehigh) He's a stretch 4 forward at the power slot. His 6'8", 215 frame is agile and athletic. NC State has been very guard-oriented recently so Andree will be a welcome addition. He scored 12.9 per game and pulled down 6.2 boards for Lehigh.
19. Quade Green – Washington (from Kentucky) Green had issues at Kentucky and there wasn't enough room among the other high school All-Americans he came in with for the Wildcats, hence, he lost playing time as the season progressed and decided to transfer mid-season. Don't expect Jaylen Nowell type numbers, but he should find his game and be a major producer under Mike Hopkins, while seeing significant minutes when he becomes eligible in January.
20. LaMarr Kimble – Louisville (from St. Joseph's) He was a leader and solid scorer for the Hawks at 15.8 a contest. The Cardinals could use that production in their perimeter game.
21. Jaire Grayer – TCU (from George Mason) Grayer only played eight games because of injury last season and his stats suffered. The previous season, he scored 12.3 while grabbing 7.3 boards. He's strong at the shooting guard position with his rebounding ability and with the Horned Frogs' losses, can have a nice bounce-back season.
22. Matej Kavas – Nebraska (from Seattle) Granted the WAC is one of the weakest conferences these days, but Kovas is just the kind of big man Nebraska needs to anchor their inside game. His scoring went down to 10.3 last season from 15.2 the season before, but if given the opportunities, he can produce well.
23. Camron Justice – Western Kentucky (from IUPUI) Justice is the 2015 Mr. Basketball from Kentucky and initially went to Vanderbilt. He then transferred to IUPUI, where he averaged 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the Jaguars. He now joins the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky in Conference USA which is a good basketball conference and one where his game can continue to produce solid numbers.
24. Jimmy Whitt – Arkansas (from SMU) He gave the mustangs 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. In the Razorbacks up-tempo style of play, he'll have the opportunity to produce higher numbers.
25. Jahaad Proctor – Purdue (from High Point) He's a scoring point guard, although that was in part because of necessity at High Point (19.5 points and 3.3 assists). He's quick and can step in immediately for the graduated Ryan Cline.