What are your general expectations for the Michigan offense?
To not be the trainwreck that they were last year, that is my expectation. I will touch on Patterson below a bit, but I am expecting an excellent season from him. Not necessarily in terms of college fantasy football, but in guiding this offense back to respectability. He is, by far, the most talent QB they’ve had since Chad Henne (discounting Shoelace as he was a terrible passer). The running game should be solid with Karan Higdon and Chris Evans back, though the offensive line has work to do at the tackle spot. The WR corps is the best they’ve had in quite some time and expect Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones to become household names in college football. The pieces are there to be one of the most proficient offenses in the country. Proficient doesn’t help all that much in terms of college fantasy football, but will help the Wolverines win football games.
Fantasy projections and fan expectations seem to have a large variance when discussing QB Shea Patterson's value. How do you project his 2018 season? Will Harbaugh allow him to take advantage of his full skillset?
Shea Patterson is FAR better than Jake Rudock, but the skillsets are not all that dissimilar. For my baseline projection, I started with what Rudock did in 2015, throwing for just over 3,000 yards with 20 touchdowns and another 166 yards and four scores on the ground. Patterson is a better athlete and with Michigan installing more RPO to suit his strengths, he very well could rush for 200+ yards with five or more TD’s on the ground. That certainly helps his cause in terms of CFF production. I would feel comfortable with him as my QB2 but nothing more.
How do you see the workload at RB being distributed?
Karan Higdon is the clear RB1 with Chris Evans as the change of pace. In years past we have seen a third option emerge, but unless one of the freshmen surprises, I don’t see that in the cards. 65-35-5 percent split between Higdon, Evans and the field.
Will Donovan Peoples-Jones or Tarik Black take the lead at WR or will their production be similar? Who do you see as the best fantasy options at WR?
I don’t see either as top-tier fantasy options, but would prioritize Black (slightly) over Peoples-Jones. The offense just isn’t built that way to have a premier fantasy option at WR. And I love the depth at the position with sophomores Nico Collins and Oliver Martin waiting in the wings. Too many mouths to feed, if you include the gluttony of tight ends, to have a CFF star in this group.
For Dynasty Leagers, who are some young players to draft or keep an eye on?
Shea Patterson will be around for two years maximum, but I suspect with a good season in 2018, he will enter the NFL Draft. I don’t anticipate Brandon Peters to be the guy anymore, so Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton will be the frontrunners at QB in 2019. Milton, by far, has the best arm on the team. At running back, Christian Turner has a chance at winning the RB3 job this year as the team’s highest rated recruit at the position and no evident option to this point.