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According to the Data: BCS vs. non-BCS for Fantasy

Jonathan Bales

Jonathan Bales

Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. In addition to RotoWire, Jonathan also provides content to the New York Times, Dallas Morning News,, and NBC.

Are small-school prospects better fantasy options than big-school players?

It seems like the impact of small-school players in the pros grows every season. Players like Vincent Jackson (Northern Colorado) and Marques Colston (Hofstra) have turned in dominant fantasy seasons, despite their humble college beginnings.

Intuitively, it makes sense small-school prospects would be undervalued. As the overall talent level of college players grows, the gap between the big and small schools will shrink. That's primarily because the ground to gain for the elite college prospects is so much smaller than that for, say, DI-AA players, so the latter prospects have been able to "catch up." I also think the fact that NFL teams can find talent from any school has allowed talented high school athletes to attend smaller universities.

Whatever the reason, I've found some evidence in the past that small-school players are undervalued by NFL teams. However, I was inter

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