Few things are more exhilarating than properly identifying and evaluating a prospect in fantasy football from early on in a player’s career. As a devy manager, you can benefit from acquiring that player long before their value has skyrocketed.
Freshman prospects hold a special place in many fantasy managers' hearts. Excitement is plentiful when we see where high school recruits of any level land and eventually make their long-anticipated debut. It can be said without question across all of fantasy football that it’s better to be early on a player than late on a player.
One thing is for certain: the Big 12 was chock full of explosive freshmen in 2020 who are poised to be relevant in the devy landscape for the long haul.
Spencer Rattler, Quarterback, Oklahoma
After leading the Big 12 with 2,784 passing yards, it is safe to say the hype surrounding Spencer Rattler is not going to cool down anytime soon. A stellar 2020 campaign that included 25 passing touchdowns and only seven interceptions cemented him as an elite devy prospect at the quarterback position. Combined with the fact that he added an additional five rushing touchdowns, it’s hard to not get excited over what Rattler can potentially become under Lincoln Riley’s tutelage.
With multiple passing touchdowns in all but two games this past season, the sky is truly the limit for Rattler.
Marvin Mims, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
The beneficiary of a large portion of Rattler’s passing prowess was freshman wide receiver, Marvin Mims. A four-star recruit out of Frisco, Texas, Mims showed an ability to win on routes at every level of the field in his freshman campaign. A willingness to catch the ball over the middle in traffic coupled with a unique ability to win on deep routes is always a combination worth getting excited over. He ended his year with a bang against Iowa State in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship with seven receptions for 101 yards and a score and it’s realistic to expect a significant statistical jump in his sophomore season.
Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, Texas Christian University
The 6’4”, 193-pound Horned Frogs’ wide receiver extravagantly ended the season, eclipsing the 100-yard receiving mark in his final two contests and chipping in a rushing touchdown as well. The combination of size, speed and ability to track the deep ball that Johnston possesses is incredibly intriguing. After averaging over 22 yards per reception in his freshman season, the former four-star recruit from Temple, Texas may very well be one of the most exciting sophomore wide receivers in the entire conference next season.
Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas
If you had been unaware of who the phenom freshman running back at Texas was before their contest against Colorado, you certainly know who he is now. Robinson capped off his freshman campaign with over 200 yards from scrimmage and three total touchdowns against the Buffaloes and the future is brighter than ever before for him. After recording over 700 rushing
yards on only 86 attempts, Robinson is a player that has already entered himself into the discussion of truly elite assets in devy fantasy football formats.
Deuce Vaughn, Running Back, Kansas State
Undersized or not, Deuce Vaughn put fantasy football managers on notice with a freshman season where he averaged over five yards per attempt and scored seven rushing touchdowns. An incredibly shifty runner who has the moves in the open field to make any defender look silly, Vaughn needs to be in the conversation of the most interesting players to monitor moving forward. While he will always hear critics question his size, the facts are that the 5-5, 168-pound running back recorded over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and should lock himself in as a focal point of the Wildcats offense next season.