Cleat Geeks

NFL Dynasty Surefire Sleeper

Jose Juarez//AP

Everybody knows, or should know that Wide Receivers are, or should be, the top pick in dynasty. They last much longer in the league than Running Backs. This year, guys like Odell Beckham Jr. and Deandre Hopkins are the top options at 1.01. However, they likely won’t be the 1.01 in 2020. But there are loads of young wide receivers out there everyone thinks could be the next big thing. Cameron Meredith and Corey Davis are two examples of this. Both of these players have great upside, and have the ability to be a great receiver, but neither of them are the guys who will actually be the next star though. The one who will make the jump is Kenny Golladay. Now, anybody who knows me, or simply follows me on twitter, knows that I have overwhelming love for Golladay. There is a reason for this however, besides my blinding Detroit Lions fandom. Buy low on him now like I have, before it’s too late and he’s helping another owner take your money year after year.

Image result for kenny golladay college

Photo by; Detroit Free Press

Kenny Golladay was a college football stud. During his sophomore season at North Dakota, he led the team with 69 catches. These 69 catches turned into 884 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also added a 64 yard punt return for a touchdown. The impressive stats of that 2013 season earned Golladay a bit of D1 attention, which eventually resulted in a transfer to Northern Illinois. After sitting out the 2014 season due to the NCAA transfer rules, he proceeded to light up the MAC conference. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Kenny caught 160 passes for over 2,200 yards, and 18 receiving touchdowns. He also carried the ball 29 times for an average of 7.1 yards per carry, and 3 rushing touchdowns on top of the impressive receiving stats. At the NFL Combine, Kenny Golladay measured at 6 foot 3.75 inches, and weighed in at 218 pounds. Despite being such a big player, he ran a 4.50 40 yard dash, and his hands measured at an impressive 9.75 inches, which is the same size that Calvin Johnson measured when he participated in the combine. These eye popping collegiate statistics, and impressive combine measurements, inspired the Lions to spend a third round draft pick in the 2017 NFL draft on him.

Being a tall receiver, and being drafted by the Lions, fans such as myself inevitably compared Kenny Golladay to the legend that is Calvin Johnson immediately. It didn’t help to calm the comparisons that Golladay was explosive in his first game. In Detroit’s season opener against Arizona, he caught 4 passes on 7 targets for 69 yards and two 4th quarter touchdowns to give the Lions the lead, and the win late in the game. Golladay went on to have several other explosive games in the 2017 season. However, he never could quite break the 100 yard mark. He may have had a chance to had he not missed 5 games due to a hamstring injury in the middle of the season. Injury put aside, when all was said and done, through 11 games Golladay caught 28 of his 48 targets, putting him at about a 58.3% catch rate. To put that in perspective, his teammate Golden Tate led the NFL with a 76.7% catch rate, and Larry Fitzgerald finished 15th with a 67.7% catch rate. Those 28 catches were turned into 477 yards, which works out to just over 17 yards per catch, and 3 touchdowns. Now those numbers may not seem huge, but they’re not bad for a rookie receiver who was arguably the fourth or fifth option on his team and missed 5 games. Golladay also consistently showed that he was a deep threat. He caught 6 passes of 30+ yards, and looked explosive after the catch. He made some ridiculous grabs in tight coverage, showing some of that Calvin Johnson type ability. When you combine the solid numbers with how good he looks when you actually watch him play, you’ll have no doubt that Kenny Golladay really is the next big thing.

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