Iowa football: 5 Hawks to take in your 2019 CFB Fantasy Draft

IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Keith Duncan
IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 12: Kicker Keith Duncan /

College Football Fantasy Drafts are gaining in popularity, and here are five Iowa football players you should select in your 2019 draft.

Although not as mainstream as NFL Fantasy Football, Fantasy College Football can be a blast to play, but it can also be incredibly difficult. With thousands of more players to pick from much bigger disparities between teams and players, there’s a ton of great options making it difficult to field a team that will win you games consistently. If you’re an Iowa football fan and love playing Fantasy College Football, you probably loved last season if you had Noah Fant or TJ Hockenson, and although both of those guys are gone, there are still some fantastic fantasy options on the 2019 Hawkeyes.

Here’s our top five.

Kickers are a necessary evil in fantasy football and although your kicker often won’t win you a fantasy league, it can certainly hurt your team if your kicker isn’t getting enough chances or hitting on those chances consistently enough.

Fortunately, some programs just do a solid job of producing quality kicking talent, and the Iowa football team is one of those programs. Although we aren’t sure who will win the battle between Caleb Shudak and Keith Duncan, whoever does will surely be a top-25 fantasy kicker.

My money is on Duncan who started his freshman season and his 38 of his 39 extra point attempts and 9 of 11 fields.

Moreover, last season, the Iowa football team was 23rd in the nation in field goal attempts. Again, just playing a numbers game, this bodes well if you are looking for a consistent kicker getting consistent opportunities.

This one’s obvious. If Mekhi Sargent is the lead back, he is certainly worth a flyer late in your draft. Last season, he had 745 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. This year I expect bigger things from him although I do feel like bulldozer Toren Young will likely steal a few goal line carries.

The reason why Sargent isn’t higher is we truly don’t know what Brian Ferentz will do with his running back situation. All signs are pointing towards Sargent, but the Iowa football team has shown the willingness to go with the hot hand at times.

Still, if you need a back late in the draft, Sargent is a worthwhile option.

Nate Stanley will likely score the most fantasy points in 2019, but compared to the landscape of college quarterbacks, his stats just don’t compare.

The past two seasons, Stanley came one touchdown away from tying Chuck Long’s season record, and that was only with 26 touchdowns. While there are signs that point to Stanley being able to take the next step, most notably his big-time throw ability and his experience as a third-year quarterback, the Iowa football team’s offense historically isn’t a light it up type of offense.

Last year, the Iowa football team’s 27 touchdown passes (26 of which came from Stanley) ranked just 33rd and their total passing yards were in the middle of the pack. Stanley is worth snatching up as a backup quarterback and a spot-starter, most notably when the Hawks take on Miami of Ohio, Middle Tennessee State, and Rutgers.

The Iowa football team’s defense is one of the best in the nation, and for that reason alone, they should be one of the first defenses off the board. Moreover, they’re one of the best in the nation at forcing turnovers, and their pass rush is one of the top-five in the nation led by future first-round pick AJ Epenesa.

Last year, Iowa’s 20 interceptions ranked 3rd in the nation and their 35 sacks ranked 26th. Additionally, their 17.4 points per game allowed ranked 11th.

Lastly, the Iowa football team has one of the best special teams players in the country in Ihmir Smith-Marsette, the reigning Big Ten Return Man of the Year. I think he has the opportunity to break a few returns for touchdowns last year, which could put him a place to set a Hawkeye record.

This is definitely a boom or bust pick, but it’s an opportunity to make a homerun pick in your upcoming College Football Fantasy Draft, and it’s a bit reliant on what we said above. In order for this mid-round pick to be validated, he will need to break a few returns for touchdowns.

Last season as the number two wide receiver and the fourth option in the Hawk’s offense, Smith-Marsette had 23 receptions for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns. This year, he is likely going to be the first or second option, meaning a probable rise in production so it’s not unrealistic to expect 35 receptions, 500 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Throw in 2-3 return touchdowns and that would be a solid performance.

That being said, this is a boom or bust pick. I think the above projections are the floor, but if he can continue the development of his catching abilities, and if Brian Ferentz attempts to scheme the ball in his hands, he could have a significantly higher ceiling. He’s one of the most explosive athletes in the program, and without Noah Fant or TJ Hockenson, the Iowa football team needs to get the ball in his hands.

Next. Ranking Hawkeye rivalries from worst to first. dark

As you probably noticed, the Iowa football team isn’t exactly a breeding ground for top fantasy football talent, but there are a few guys who could make a big impact on your team because of their high ceilings and likely low draft projections.