College Fantasy Football 2019: Mock Draft, Cheatsheet and More Strategy Tips

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 3, 2019

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa throws during the first half the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is expected to once again be at the forefront of the national discussion for the 2019 campaign, and if you are lucky enough, he will benefit your college football fantasy team as well. 

The junior left-handed quarterback is the No. 1 projected player in Yahoo leagues, which uses players from the Power Five conferences. 

Unlike NFL fantasy, signal-callers like Tagovailoa, Texas' Sam Ehlinger and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence are more valuable than running backs due to the massive numbers they are capable of putting up week after week. 

If this season marks the first time you are playing college football fantasy, we suggest going over Yahoo's projected rankings as a cheat sheet before diving headfirst into selecting a team in order to be as prepared as possible to get the best value throughout the draft, which is typically top-heavy.


College Football Fantasy Mock Draft

1st Round

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

2. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

3. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

4. Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M 

5. Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State

6. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

7. Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia

8. Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska

9. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

10. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

11. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

12. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

2nd Round

13. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

14. Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

15. Feleipe Franks, QB, Florida

16. Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA

17. Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame

18. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU 

19. Charlie Brewer, QB, Baylor

20. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

21. A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College

22. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

23. Peyton Ramsey, QB, Indiana

24. Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan


Strategy Tips

Go After Quarterbacks First

Quarterbacks carry significant value in college fantasy football because of the exorbitant numbers they are capable of putting up, especially in the first month of the season against weaker opposition.

Tagovailoa is considered the top player available because of the 3,966 passing yards and 43 touchdowns he recorded in his sophomore season. 

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The southpaw's limited turnover stats also help his case, as he was intercepted on six occasions during Alabama's run to the title game. 

In his first four contests a year ago, Tagovailoa picked up 12 touchdown passes and threw over 190 yards in each of those games. 

With Duke, New Mexico State and Southern Miss on Alabama's schedule in three of the first four weeks, Tagovailoa should get off to another fast start.

Ehlinger is a solid option at No. 2 or No. 3 because of the consistent stats he produced in 2018 and the high-powered offensive style of Big 12 play. 

The Texas gunslinger had 3,292 passing yards and 25 touchdowns while only throwing five picks in his sophomore season. 

Lawrence's overall ranking is a bit lower than his counterparts due to the slimmer numbers he recorded in September while battling with Kelly Bryant, who is now at Missouri, for Clemson's starting gig. 

One thing to consider with Lawrence is Clemson possesses one of the more balanced offenses in the FBS, and with a dominant running back like Travis Etienne also in the backfield, the Tigers do not have to throw all over weaker opponents. 

If you pick at the back end of the first round, there is still value at quarterback through Nebraska's Adrian Martinez and Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

Martinez is one of the better dual-threat signal-callers in the FBS. He ran for over 50 yards in seven games a year ago and scampered into the endzone eight times with his legs. 

In 10 of his 13 matchups, Herbert threw for at least 200 passing yards, so he is a consistent option you can rely on in an Oregon offense that welcomes a high volume of attempts. 

If you pick one of the few non-quarterbacks that should go in the first round, like Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor or Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, keep an eye on LSU's Joe Burrow or Michigan's Shea Patterson in the second round. 

Burrow and Patterson are working with new offensive coaches that are friendly to the passing game, so they could be viewed as steals in the second round. 


Do Not Be Afraid To Take Players You Are Not Familiar With 

Not every player high up on the Yahoo projections is someone you are familiar with. 

Even though you may not have name recognition with players like running backs Joshua Kelley from UCLA, or Oregon State's Jermar Jefferson, they still carry plenty of value. 

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Kelley averaged 5.5 yards per carry for the Bruins while running for 1,243 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Jefferson had 1,380 yards on the ground with 12 trips to the end zone. 

The pair of Pac-12 ball handlers may be unfamiliar to you come draft time because of the location of their schools and the fact that they play for lesser-profile teams out on the west coast. 

That is why research can be key in order to give you an advantage out of the draft and not leave you scouring the waiver wire after Week 1 to do a roster overhaul. 

College fantasy football will make you pay attention to games you thought did not matter in the past because of the players involved. 

For example, Vanderbilt is typically not high on anyone's SEC watch list, unless the Commodores are on the wrong end of a blowout loss to Alabama, Georgia and other powerhouses.

But wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb is coming off a season in which he picked up 10.5 yards per catch and scored nine touchdowns. 

Stars like Tagovailoa are nice to have at the front end of your roster, but if you are unable to get value later in the draft, your team will be unbalanced, which is why the lesser-known players are so important in this format. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com