1995 Nebraska. 2001 Miami (FL). 2004 USC. These are just some of the teams that are brought up in the discussion of the greatest team ever. They produced 68 total NFL draft prospects between the three of them. This year, however, we may be looking at an even more dominant team in the form of the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide. They are outscoring teams by an average of 35.7 points per game. Their closest game has been a 22 point win against Texas A&M. They are the epitome of the word dominant and for good reason - just look at their roster.
Which brings me to my point, this team has a load of talent that no other team can field. They are solid at every position and they are a team you as a fantasy player need to pay attention to. Their offense is riddled with future stars and their defense is yielding top prospects. They may not be in the most entertainingly close games but they are like watching poetry in motion.
This week they face a competitive Mississippi State team led by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Last year this game came down to the end with Alabama pulling off a 31-24 win. Lots of new faces though that can make an impact that didn’t have a chance last year due to the new passing attack they have. The Tide are benefitting from the better quarterback play this year which is creating opportunities for more players.
Players to Watch
Tua Tagovailoa, QB
Tagovailoa is arguably the best passer in the long history of great quarterbacks at Alabama. Names like Joe Namath and Ken Stabler have left their mark in Tuscaloosa, but Tua might be on a completely different level than either of those Hall of Famers. Now I would be ignorant to compare stats because the game was so different during the days of Namath and Stabler, but Tua has been playing on another level this year. Last week against a tough LSU he finally threw his first interception after going all year with near perfect passing numbers, but even then he was able to lead ‘Bama over a #3 Tiger team. For the year as a whole, he flaunts fantastic numbers such as 68% completion percentage, 2,525 yards, and 31 total touchdowns. While he may not play much if at all this week against The Citadel he will still be a fun watch next week against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Going forward though he will be a star in the NFL draft in 2020, so make sure to plan accordingly in your leagues.
Damien Harris, RB
Damien Harris doesn’t get as much love as he should in due part to the man mentioned above. Since Tua is such a dynamic passing threat, Alabama hasn’t had to rely on the run as much. This year he has just 101 carries for 595 yards and 7 touchdowns, but those stats don’t paint the picture of Harris. He runs with a purpose when he carries the ball and has shown breakaway speed when given the chance (like last year against Vanderbilt). He will be a fun prospect in this upcoming 2019 draft, and if given the opportunity could become a three-down back for a team. Most importantly he will have a lot more tread on his tires, something a lot of college running backs can’t say in this upcoming class.
Jerry Jeudy, WR
Jerry Jeudy is quickly becoming the next standout wide receiver produced by Alabama, joining the likes of Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley. Jeudy has the benefit to grow even further as he will not be eligible for the draft until 2020. This means he and Tua will continue to help each other and their values grow exponentially. This year has really been his breakout from a statistical standpoint, as he has accumulated 45 catches, 925 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He is able to achieve those stats with his size (6’1” and 200 pounds), footwork, and route running which have been on display all year. He is as close to the complete package as any wide receiver in college football. If he were draft eligible this year, he very well could be the WR1.
These are just a few of the many talented names that Alabama has on its offense. Their defense might have even more prospects, which is great news for IDP players. Regardless of your fantasy interests, the talent this team showcases makes it a much watch. There are a lot of players to digest and analyze and if you haven’t started it's not too late just make sure to start this weekend in a showcase game against The Citadel at Noon on the SEC Network.