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Underdog Fantasy: Building a Fantasy Football Team with non-Power Five Players

Some of the biggest stars in the game hail from schools outside the Power Five

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

We’re going to try something a little different today. Let’s take a break from conference realignment talk — and really college football altogether — and focus on our new favorite pastime: Fantasy Football!

In case you’re new here (like myself), it’s important to note that we focus on pretty much most levels and divisions of football outside the Power Five. With that in mind, I decided to embark on the exercise of creating a fantasy football team made up only of current NFL players who did not attend Power Five schools.

I could have gone a couple of routes with this. The easiest would be to list basically an all-star roster of players you love to have on your fantasy team.

But I decided to go deeper.

I went ahead and joined a free league so I could actually attempt to draft a competitive roster and manage it all season. That draft happened, and I don’t hate the results.

The league is pretty straight-forward: ten teams, snake draft, PPR, traditional scoring. You need to start one QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, a TE, a Flex (RB/WR/TE, a kicker, and a defense.

The first step was to create a cheat sheet/queue of the best non-Power 5 players. That was easy enough, as I just went down the rankings and pulled the non-Power 5 guys into my queue.

As far as I know, all other owners in my league are real people. I had pick No. 9 to start things off, which means each round I would alternate between Pick 9 and Pick 2 in the snake draft format.

Here’s how my draft went:

Round 1, Pick 9: Davonte Adams, WR, Packers (Fresno State)

Round 2, Pick 2: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers (Western Colorado)

Round 3, Pick 9, Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams (Memphis)

Round 4, Pick 2, Adam Theilen, WR, Vikings (Minnesota State-Mankato)

Round 5, Pick 9, Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams (Eastern Washington)

Round 6, Pick 2, Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers (Toledo)

Round 7, Pick 9, Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns (Toledo)

Round 8, Pick 2, Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles (South Dakota State)

Round 9, Pick 9, David Johnson, RB, Texans (Northern Iowa)

Round 10, Pick 2, Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Washington Football Team (Harvard)

Round 11, Pick 9, Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams (Western Kentucky)

Round 12, Pick 2, Younghoe Koo, K, Falcons (Georgia Southern)

Round 13, Pick 9, Carson Wentz, QB, Colts (North Dakota State)

Round 14, Pick 2, Latavius Murray, RB, Saints (UCF)

Round 15, Pick 9, Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears (Tulane)

Round 16, Pick 2, Colts D/ST

So there you have it. In all honesty, I landed most of the players who I targeted. It would have been nice to get Travis Kelce, but landing Adams and Ekeler with my first two picks would make most people happy in any draft.

The biggest question marks, in my opinion, are at quarterback. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Wentz are very much “boom or bust” guys heading into the 2021 season. A big year from either one could catapult this team from average to possibly elite.

In any event, with the roster set, I plan on managing this team and keeping you, the faithful Underdog Dynasty readers, informed on its results as the season progress (because nothing is more exciting than hearing about someone else’s fantasy team every week, right?).

Let me know your thoughts on the roster I assembled!