Got points? There should be plenty of scoring in the Big 12 this season, as the conference's landscape is littered with high-end offensive talent and a multitude of spread offenses. The Oklahoma Sooners look to be the cream of the crop, but don't count out the potent attacks of Baylor and Texas Tech. Let's look at the fantasy studs and duds for the Big 12 in 2014.
TOP-5 FANTASY STARS
1. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Petty was in the running for the Heisman Trophy until Baylor came apart at the seams late in 2013. Still, he had a big 2013 campaign, passing for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns. He was a huge red-zone option for the Bears running as well, rushing for 14 scores inside the 20. Petty threw for at least 300 yards in 10 of Baylor's 13 games last season and tossed double-digit touchdowns in every contest. He's consistent, productive and does not make mistakes, as shown by his inhuman three interceptions in 2013. Petty loses Tevin Reese and Lache Seastrunk to the NFL but will still have plenty of weapons in Baylor's spread offense attack. Petty should be in the Heisman Trophy conversation once again when all is said and done in 2014.
2. Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech
In an unsurprising statement, Webb had some outrageous outputs for the Red Raiders in the high-octane spread attack in 2013. He crossed the 400-yard passing mark four times, including a scintillating performance in the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State. In that contest, Webb completed 28-of-41 throws for 403 yards and four touchdowns. The Red Raiders lost their top two receivers from a season ago, but that should make little difference in an offense predicated on quick throws and a hurry-up attack. Webb tossed at least 40 passes in every full game he played in 2013. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has proven he is not just a pretty face, having played some QB himself and then mentoring Johnny Manziel in his Heisman Trophy-winning freshman season. Webb is not Johnny Football, but certainly has the tools, the offense and the coaching staff to put up some gaudy numbers in 2014.
3. Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
Lockett is arguably the top wide receiver in the country. Despite not being an imposing figure at 5-foot-11, 175, Locket hauled in 81 passes as a junior, gaining 1,262 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns. Lockett is also a superior return man, averaging a staggering 31.1 yards per kickoff return in his career. He has found the end zone four times on kickoffs as well. Three-year starting running back and bell-cow John Hubert graduated, which could make the passing game an even more integral part of the offensive attack for the Wildcats. Lockett should find some stability with Jake Waters under center as well. Lockett also has some added motivation in his senior season; he will attempt to break all of his father Kevin's career receiving records at K-State.
4. Trevor Knight, QB, Oklahoma
Knight put himself on the map with a superb Sugar Bowl against Alabama, one of the top defenses in the nation. The freshman QB was inconsistent during the regular season, while battling injuries as well. However, he picked apart the Crimson Tide to the tune of 348 yards and four touchdowns on 32-of-44 passing in the 45-31 victory over Alabama. Although he threw a pick, it was virtually the only blemish to Knight's name in a stunning win over the heavily favored Crimson Tide. Knight will lose top wideout Jalen Saunders to graduation, but will still have Sterling Shepard at his disposal. Don't forget about Knight's dual-threat ability as well, which makes him an even more desirable fantasy quarterback. He rushed 67 times for 445 yards and two touchdowns this season as well. After showing he can pass as well as throw, Knight could be an extremely dangerous weapon as a sophomore.
5. Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor
The Petty-Goodley combo is not only catchy, but also one of the top QB-WR tandems in the country. Goodley supplanted the now departed Tevin Reese as the top target for Baylor in 2013, snagging 71 passes for 1,339 yards and 13 scores. After coming out of virtual anonymity last season, the senior won't catch anyone by surprise in 2014. However, a Heisman-caliber quarterback and a potent offense means he still should see plenty of balls thrown his way.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
DGB was kicked off the Missouri football team following his sophomore season, yet could end up eligible to play for the Sooners this year. Oklahoma will reportedly file for a waiver that could allow the former No. 1 overall recruit the ability to play immediately in 2014. Green-Beckham is a physical specimen at 6-6, 225. After a rough freshman season, he broke out in 2013, hauling in 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. With Trevor Knight poised for a coming out party of his own, and 1,000-yard receiver Sterling Shepard back in the fold, DGB could be part of something truly special at Oklahoma - if he is indeed deemed eligible to play this season.
Desmond Roland, RB, Oklahoma State
Roland is not quite a sleeper, but he patiently bided his time behind Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith before seizing an opportunity as a junior in 2013. He wasn't even a household name until the second half of the campaign, when he rushed for 664 yards and crossed the goal line nine total times during the final seven games out of the backfield. The Cowboys lost their top three receivers, so expect coach Mike Gundy to rely even more heavily upon the running game this season. Roland should be an impact player during his final season in Stillwater.
Jakeem Grant, WR, Texas Tech
What Grant doesn't have in size, he makes up for in elusiveness. Grant is just 5-6, 160, but averaged 12.2 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns as a sophomore. In his career, he has snagged 65 passes for 796 yards, and figures to play an even more prominent role in the high-octane Red Raiders attack. Texas Tech lost its top two pass catchers from a season ago in Jace Amaro and Eric Ward to the NFL. That leaves Grant as the leading returning receiver. Expect a big year from the diminutive Grant.
Johnathan Gray, RB, Texas
Gray tore his Achilles' tendon against West Virginia last November, but recently was cleared to practice for the Longhorns. Gray rushed for 790 yards in nine games last season before the injury, averaging 4.9 yards per tote. He found the end zone four times over that span. Although he will still split carries with senior Malcolm Brown, Gray is more of a home-run threat than Brown. And even though new coach Charlie Strong will implement an entirely new system, Gray still figures to play a large role in the offense.
Nick Harwell, WR, Kansas
A transfer from Miami (Ohio), Harwell sat out last season after dominating the competition in the MAC. Harwell had a simply monstrous 2011 season, snatching 97 passes for 1,425 yards and nine touchdowns. He regressed a bit in 2012, but still had a solid campaign with 68 grabs for 870 yards and eight more scores. Although the Jayhawks have an unknown at quarterback (sophomore Montell Cozart), Harwell is an experienced target who knows how to get open. He should become the most reliable outlet for the newcomer under center.
E.J. Bibbs, TE, Iowa State
An extra sleeper for the category. Bibbs had an excellent junior season for the Cyclones, hauling in 39 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns. He had at least two receptions in every game last season. However, due to the Cyclones' struggles, as well as an unproven cast of quarterbacks, Bibbs does not get much publicity. ISU has a new offensive coordinator this season, Mark Mangino, whose philosophy is to get the ball into hands of his playmakers and let them strut their stuff. This certainly bodes well for Bibbs, who is a massive target at 6-3, 260. If the Cyclones can get even mediocre quarterback play this season, Bibbs could end up among the elite tight ends in the country.
David Ash, QB, Texas
It's safe to say Ash has not lived up to expectations at Texas. A checkered injury history has been one of the major culprits. Ash missed 10 games in 2013 due to concussion issues. He then broke his foot in spring practice, though appears to be fully recovered entering the season. He'll also be learning a new offense under coach Charlie Strong. On the positive side, has no competition for the starting job, as sophomore Tyrone Swoopes is really the only other option. Ash's best season as a Longhorn came in 2012 when he completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Certainly not awful numbers, but also not the eye-popping statistics expected from such a highly prized recruit. It's hard to trust Ash heading into his senior campaign.
J.W. Walsh, QB, Oklahoma State
For some reason, coach Mike Gundy never seems to totally commit to Walsh. It could be that Walsh has yet to play a full season at Oklahoma State despite being handed the reins each of the last two seasons. As a freshman in 2012, Walsh started five of the first six games for the Cowboys, but a knee injury sidelined him for three games, and he was never able to regain much playing time for the remainder of the season. In 2013, it was inconsistency in the passing game that led to a benching for Walsh, and senior Clint Chelf took over for the final five games of the season. Walsh didn't even sniff the field in the Cotton Bowl loss to Mizzou. Chelf is gone, though, and Walsh should be the man under center for the Cowboys. However, he has been unable to keep the starting job over the last two seasons, and questions remain as to whether he will be able to do the same in 2014. The dual-threat QB has huge hit-or-miss potential.
Matt Joeckel, QB, TCU
Joeckel will be a one-year wonder at Texas Christian, eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. Joeckel has 48 passes to his resume, backing up Johnny Football the last two seasons. With the Aggies looking in a different direction, he decided to give the Horned Frogs a chance. Is this his time to shine? He's largely an unknown commodity due to the lack of playing time, but he brings experience and leadership to the position. TCU will also run an offense similar to that of A&M. But will that be enough? The Horned Frogs still have dual-threat quarterback Trevone Boykin in the mix, who will not cede the starting job willingly. It also remains possible that the Horned Frogs use a two-quarterback system, certainly not ideal for fantasy purposes. As a result, it will likely be best to stay away from this battle until a clear favorite emerges. Even then, the winner may not exactly be an elite fantasy option.
Dreamius Smith, RB, West Virginia
Smith would seem to be the logical choice to succeed 1,000-yard rusher Charles Sims in the backfield, but the Mountaineers are loaded with talent at running back. The former junior college star is the leading returning rusher from 2013 with 494 yards and five touchdowns. However, Wendell Smallwood had a stellar freshman campaign, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Pittsburgh transfer Rushel Shell should be in the mix, as well as Andrew Buie, the leading rusher in 2012, who left school last season but has returned to the fold. Add in Dustin Garrison, the top rusher from 2011, and there's no telling who will end up being the bell cow in this offense. As a result, this may not exactly be a dream scenario for Smith.
Aaron Wimberly, RB, Iowa State
Wimberly is another player with a suspect injury past, making him a risky proposition for fantasy purposes. He had two 100-yard outputs in his first four games in 2013, but missed two games due to back and shoulder injuries. Upon his return, he was not the same player. In total, Wimberly rushed for 567 yards last season, but averaged just four yards per carry and found the end zone on just two occasions. Wimberly has been named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, but as the Cyclones consistently play from behind, the running game sometimes ends up being abandoned. Wimberly will also have to fend off junior DeVondrick Nealy for touches, as well as some unheralded underclassmen as well. With uncertainty under center for the Cyclones, teams may stack the box and force ISU to beat them with the pass. As a result, the running game, and Wimberly, could be unreliable.
TEAM-BY-TEAM FANTASY STARS
Overall position ranking in parenthesis.
QB Bryce Petty (2), RB Shock Linwood (24), WR Antwan Goodley, (1)
Iowa State Cyclones
Kansas State Wildcats
QB Jake Waters (16), WR Tyler Lockett (2)
QB Trevor Knight (21), Sterling Shepard (22), K Michael Hunnicutt (8)
Oklahoma State Cowboys
QB J.W. Walsh (25), RB Desmond Roland (13)
TCU Horned Frogs
Team Defense (12)
QB Davis Webb (12), WR Jakeem Grant (15), K Ryan Bustin (2),