Next in my 2010 College Fantasy Football Analysis is the Sun Belt conference. The Sun Belt is, and probably will always be, the welcome mat for those teams making the jump from FCS (formerly Div. I-AA) to the FBS ranks (I-A).
However, lately some teams have been really cranking out some talent. In fact, Troy is a team that has sent quite a few players to the NFL in recent years. It seems teams in the Sun Belt are getting SEC rejects because they are in the area. And quite frankly, I don't think anyone would turn down a Florida or Alabama third stringer. I know I wouldn't!
With that said, here is a breakdown of the fantasy potential in the Sun Belt conference for 2010.
At one point the Red Wolves of Arkansas State had a few decent fantasy options in the form of Corey Leonard and Reggie Arnold. However, they have graduated and there is not much left.
The only possibility for 2010 is Derek Lawson at running back. Two years ago, Lawson ran for 695 yards and four touchdowns while averaging a gaudy 7.2 yards per carry.
Defensively the Red Wolves are decent in the Sun Belt but are not really worth much.
All in all, I would say that no position from Arkansas State is draft worthy.
Fantasy Prospectus: None
In 2010, FIU might have a couple people to take a look at on draft day.
First, TY Hilton is a dynamic player that should be drafted. He was a bit banged up last year but still performed when healthy.
One player to at least take a look at during the season is Mississippi State transfer Wesley Carroll. He was a starter against the defenses of the SEC so going up against Sun Belt competition should be a breeze. If he shows he is capable of piloting a high flying offense, then he could be someone to pick up on the waiver wire.
Another player who is getting a buzz around Miami is 2010 wide receiver commit Willis Wright. He could make an immediate impact but I do not think he will unseat TY Hilton as the only fantasy worthy wide receiver on the roster.
Wesley Carroll—QB Sleeper
Howard Schnellenberger has done an amazing job in Boca Raton with the Florida Atlantic Owls.
For 2010, the Owls should have a few options to sniff at on draft day. Rusty Smith is gone but his replacement, Jeff Vancamp, could have people getting over the loss rather quickly.
At the receiver and tight end positions, they have lost most everybody. Lester Jean returns for his senior season and should put up decent numbers as the go-to guy for Vancamp.
The feature of the FAU offense, however, will not be the passing game but will be workhorse back, Alfred Morris. Morris was listed last year as a back-up fullback but broke out this year to the tune of 1,392 yards and 11 touchdowns. Morris should be back to form and may even run for more as he works on his speed and works with some continuity at quarterback.
Jeff Vancamp—Someone to watch for a possible QB3
Lester Jean—Someone to watch for a possible WR3
The Ragin' Cajuns had to say goodbye to their top two offensive weapons and viable fantasy options last year in Michael Desormeaux and Tyrell Fenroy.
People then began to wonder if ULL was a good fantasy system for running backs and running quarterbacks or if it was the players in the system. Well it turns out it was the players.
Last year had nothing much to show for from a fantasy perspective. At times tailback Undrea Sails looked good but he got injured midway through the season. Tight end Ledarius Green is also gone.
For 2010, there is really nobody worth checking out on draft day and the only player worth even thinking about is Yobes Walker at running back.
Fantasy Prospectus: None
From a fantasy perspective, there is some viable talent on the Warhawks roster. The main jewel is Frank Goodin at running back.
Last year, Goodin ran for 1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns. A compact back with some wheels, he is able to take the pounding of the game but also has the speed to turn some dump passes into big gains.
Another talented player who will get his chance to be the number one guy is Luther Ambrose at wide receiver. Originally a running back, Luther Ambrose has blossomed into a big play threat both as a receiver and as a returner.
The Warhawks defense proved to be rather stingy at times while operating out of a 3-3-5 stack, but is not worth consideration unless they play someone terrible and you are in a pinch.
Under Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin, MTSU turned into a pretty powerful offensive machine but now they must face next year without him.
However, the cupboards are not bare.
Defensively, the Blue Raiders were surprisingly good. They were second in the country in tackles for loss and 8th in forcing turnovers.
However, the crown jewel of the offense is quarterback Dwight Dasher. He accounted for nearly 4,000 total yards and 72 percennt of his team's offense. Dasher passed for 2,789 yards and 23 touchdowns while also running for 1,154 yards and 13 touchdowns. I don't care who you play for if you are that integral in the offense.
Under coach Todd Dodge, North Texas was supposed to be this high flying passing attack. Well the "attack" has been rather grounded.
Last year though, grounding was not such a bad idea. What I mean is that they found they had a good tailback and decided to run the ball. Rich Rodriguez, if you are reading this, follow their lead and fit your system to your players and not the other way around. (Ryan Mallett running the spread option.)
Yes, Lance Dunbar burst onto the scene with 1,378 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 200 carries!
For 2010, Dunbar is a first tier running back. Outside of him, I wouldn't try and pick one receiver and I have kind of given up on Riley Dodge. One to look for is Oklahoma transfer Tyler Stradford.
Record setting quarterback Levi Brown is on his way to the NFL as is most of the Troy defense. However, there are still some decent options to be had in some leagues.
Jerrel Jernigan is back again and will not only be the go-to receiver but will also man the Wildcat package.
At quarterback, Troy returns former starter Jamie Hampton and the athletic Dantavious Parker. Whomever gets the starting nod is worth an addition to your watchlist.
One of the most frustrating things about the Troy offense last year was their dispersion of rushing carries. Shawn Southward over 600 yards rushing and an amazing 12 touchdowns while former 1,000 yard back Dujuan Harris had nearly 600 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Until one separates himself as the feature back, I would advice you not pick up either.
Now one might say, "Erik, they scored 22 rushing touchdowns between the two of them! One should be worth a look if only because of the touchdowns." Well I would say no because in their offense, Troy moves the balls between the 20s by short passes and then uses the run to punch the ball into the endzone. This makes for good touchdown numbers but poor yardage and terrible consistency.
Since entering the FBS ranks, WKU has done terribly and I don't see this year being any different.
The only fantasy link that the Hilltoppers have is that you play the quarterback and running back of whatever team is facing them.