The final week of most fantasy leagues and it looks like weather should not be a big factor so your players can be evaluated without bitter cold or wind or precipitation. There might be some rain in New England and a drizzle in Buffalo. The coldest game will be the Vikings at Green Bay and that should be right at freezing.
With bowl games coming up, let’s take a look at a couple of guys you should take notice.
1. There’s a new development that might catch fire. There’s long been those college players that skip the combine and give personal work outs because they’d gain nothing by going. Their history is good enough so that alone is enough and they might hurt their stock in the combine.
But now – players are skipping their college bowl game. The best running back is considered to be Leonard Fournette with LSU. Another top back will be Christian McCaffrey of Stanford who just broke Barry Sanders’s record for all-purpose yardage. It is hard to fault them – there’s been plenty of players who are injured in bowl games and cost themselves millions in the draft.
I don’t like that the school that has given them their opportunity to play in the NFL is cast aside when they need the player the most. But let’s be serious. Football is a huge business for the school and the majority of players are there only to play football and not for the education which at best is a nuisance. It is just reality. So I cannot fault players who have been a huge benefit to their school looking out for themselves. These are football players, not academics. I would expect it to happen more.
2. RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State : The Orange Bowl – December 30th, 8 PM ESPN) Junior entry split carries with Karlos Williams as a freshman and still gained 1008 rushing yards. For the last two years, Cook rushed for more than 1600 yards and scored 20 and 19 touchdowns respectively. Broke Warrick Dunn’s single season rushing record by more than 400 yards. At 5-11/213 is the right size and should be drafted in top half of first round.
3. RB Wayne Gallman (Clemson : Fiesta Bowl – December 31st, 7 PM ESPN) – Junior entry who red-shirted his first year. Last two seasons ran for more than 1000 yards and scored 14 and 15 touchdowns respectively for #2 Clemson. Big play potential and a versatile runner but lacks pass protection and receiving experience. At 6-0/210 he has the size for inside work but the speed to take off around the end.
4. RB Samaje Perine (Oklahoma: Sugar Bowl – January 2nd, 8:30 PM ESPN) – Ran for 1713 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman and then 1349 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore. This year has 974 yards and 12 touchdowns and hopes to gain at least 83 yards in this bowl game to make him the all-time rushing yards leader for the Sooners to best Billy Sims and Adrian Peterson. He is 5-10/235 with breakaway speed.
5. WR Mike Williams (Clemson : Fiesta Bowl – December 31st, 7 PM ESPN) – Four-year player that took over in 2014 for Sammy Watkins and ended with 1030 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. In 2015, ran into goalpost in first game and injured his neck. Returned for his senior season to post 84-1171-10 so far with this game left to play. Considered by some as best wideout in draft and has speed and a 6-3/225 frame.
6. WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan : Cotton Bowl – January 2nd, 1 PM ESPN) Just set FBS record with 5007 career receiving yards and turned in over 1400 yards for the last three seasons. Smaller school meant less exposure but the 6-3/205 lb. wideout has NFL scouts clamoring for him. This will be a good chance for everyone to see Davis in action.
And an extra point…
The Cowboys just clinched the NFL East and the #1 seed in the NFC. There is no stated plan to rest players but even this week against the visiting Lions – the game doesn’t matter. Both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot have played obviously well but many rookies get injured or just tired at the end of the season because they do not play 16 game seasons in college. They usually play 12 plus a bowl game so both rookies are already playing longer than they ever have.
If the Cowboys were to make it to the Super Bowl, that would be 20 games – seven more than either Prescott or Ezekiel played last year. Almost like playing a half a season more.