Conference Preview: Big 12

Conference Preview: Big 12

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

Welcome to RotoWire's 2020 Conference Preview series as we look ahead to the upcoming season. Many of the top players from a year ago, such as Chuba Hubbard, Sam Ehlinger, Kennedy Brooks, and Tylan Wallace are back to grab the national spotlight once again. At the same time, there's a list of rising stars and new names which will be discussed throughout the preview.

For each conference preview, we will have first-, second-, and third-team All-Fantasy teams as well as sleeper and bust selections. To the right of each player's name will be their overall positional ranking.

All Big 12 1st Team

QB: Sam Ehlinger, Texas (2)

RB: Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State (1)

RB: Breece Hall, Iowa State (9)

WR: Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (3)

WR: Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech (21)

TE: Charlie Kolar, Iowa State (3)

All Big 12 2nd Team

QB: Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (4)

RB: SaRodorick Thompson, Texas Tech (15)

RB: Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma (30)

WR: Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma (27)

WR: Jake Smith, Texas (30)

TE: Cade Brewer, Texas (22)

All Big 12 3rd Team

QB: Brock Purdy, Iowa State (7)

RB: Keaontay Ingram, Texas (38)

RB: Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma (54)

WR: Tyquan Thornton, Baylor (31)

WR: Brennan Eagles, Texas (33)

TE: Easton Dean, Iowa State (24)

Sleepers

Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State (11)

The 11th overall ranked quarterback is hardly a sleeper; however, Sanders has the tools to be an upper-echelon fantasy superstar in 2020. Not only does he have dual-threat ability (628 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2019), he's surrounded by the best running back and wide receiver in the conference in Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace. The production that Hubbard and Wallace will create will set up Sanders to have a fantastic year for his fantasy owners.  

Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas (41)

Going with Jayhawk players as a general strategy is not advisable as they project to be the worst team in the conference, but Williams is an exception after recording back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. His propensity to force missed tackles also makes him valuable in the passing game where he recorded at least 27 catches in each of the last two seasons. Since Williams will most likely be overlooked due to his team, he can yield some nice value at a lower draft position.

Zachary Evans, RB, TCU (55)

Evans enters a perfect situation in Fort Worth after Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua graduated. Evans is a five-star prospect that originally signed with Georgia before changing his mind and returning to his home state of Texas. Assuming Evans wins the starting job which is very likely with no other experienced backs on the depth chart, he will be a workhorse as the Horned Frogs project to have one of the better defenses in the conference. Expect Gary Patterson to lean on his defense and establish the run as he's tended to do in the past.

Tarique Milton, WR, Iowa State (41)

While teammates Brock Purdy, Breece Hall and Charlie Kolar will not go under the radar this season, the Cyclones top receiver will most likely be available in later rounds. Purdy showed surprising volume and efficiency last season and Milton was one of his most efficient receivers while nabbing 35 catches for 722 yards and three touchdowns on 58 targets. He'll eat up a bunch of the targets left by La'Michael Pettway and Deshaunte Jones who combined for 131 catches in 2019.

T.J. Vasher, WR, Texas Tech (44)

Vasher had a disappointing year in 2019 with a two-game suspension and just 42 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns on 83 targets. This after racking up 54 catches for 687 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. One of the primary reasons he was better in 2018 was because he had the opportunity to work with quarterback Alan Bowman who went down with an injury early last season. Bowman is reportedly fully healthy and should look for Vasher early and often this year.

Busts

Charlie Brewer, QB, Baylor (35)

Losing Matt Rhule to the NFL is a big deal as Brewer and the Bears could really struggle in a transition season. Their new head coach, Dave Aranda, is a defensive specialist and Brewer lost his best weapon in wideout Denzel Mims. Drafting the senior quarterback on his 2019 production, 3,161 passing yards, and 32 total touchdowns, would likely be over-valuing the signal-caller. It's anticipated that the Bears will lean a lot more on their running game with John Lovett and Trestan Ebner this year.

Keaontay Ingram, RB, Texas (38)

Anyone that knows my track record with Ingram, this is a painful recommendation, as I have pegged him as a sleeper the last couple of years. The fact remains that quarterback Sam Ehlinger is going to continue scrambling and Tom Herman has no problems utilizing multiple backs as Roschon Johnson had 665 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019. Johnson will continue to be in the mix and the Longhorns have a ton of talented young backs on the team.

Malik Knowles, WR, Kansas State (139)

Knowles is a number one receiver and flashed in 2019 with 27 grabs for 397 yards and three touchdowns on 47 targets. Yet, it's so hard to trust an unreliable passing attack from the Wildcats and a quarterback in Skylar Thompson who prefers to run the ball. Knowles will end up being a solid player, but his fantasy production could be inconsistent which makes it hard to depend on him in the lineup from week to week.

Sam James, WR, West Virginia (81)

James is another number one receiver after emerging his freshman season with 69 catches for 677 yards and two touchdowns on an astounding 115 targets. Anyone looking at targets from the previous year will want James, but West Virginia has a ton of question marks and teammate T.J. Simmons will also be in the mix for the top receiver on the team.

Jelani Woods, TE, Oklahoma State (38)

This comes down to a numbers game and there's just not enough production to feed quarterback Spencer Sanders, running back Chuba Hubbard, wide receivers Tylan Wallace and Dillon Stoner as well as Woods. This was also the case in 2019 when Woods had just 16 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown on 25 targets. The tight end position is a tough one to project for fantasy and this just isn't the place to go at that position.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Grays
Grays covers college football for RotoWire by night and is a Financial Analyst by day.
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