Division I transfers can be either stars at a new school or end up as fantasy kryptonite, as it's not uncommon to showcase at a smaller conference school, only to go to a major program and be underutilized. This has happened often lately for many players. James Daniels going to Tennessee from Howard is a prime example. He led the nation in scoring at 27.1 points a game at Howard, but at Tennessee, he was a bust. With limited opportunities at the larger program, he finished the season a single-digit scorer.
An opposite case is Aubrey Dawkins for Central Florida after transferring from Michigan. He flourished under is father's tutelage and became the focal point of the Knights' offense. He went from 6.5 points per game to almost 16 per contest.
This season has several transfers that are worth a gamble, but still beware that the grass isn't always greener. Here's a list of some of the cream of the crop that are eligible immediately to help their teams and yours.
Transferring to Power 5 Conferences
Kerry Blackshear Jr. (F), Florida (from Virginia Tech) - Blackshear was a dominant force for the Hokies and should be the best frontcourt player the Gators have had in a while. His production shouldn't diminish in the SEC.
Christian Keeling – North Carolina (from Charleston Southern) Keeling produced on the wing at a clip of 18.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. As he has to share more, expect the stats to go down, but that's not to guarantee a significant downswing.
Justin Pierce – North Carolina (from William & Mary) Pierce is a stat compiler. He did it all for the Tribe with 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1.assists. Based on UNC's losses, I can see Pierce producing comparable numbers despite the conference upgrade.
Pat Andree – NC State (from Lehigh) He's a stretch 4 forward at the power slot. His 6-foot-8, 215-pound frame is agile and athletic. NC State has been very guard-oriented recently, so Andree will be a welcome addition. He scored 12.9 points per game and pulled down 6.2 boards for Lehigh.
Jason Carter – Xavier (from Ohio) As a Bobcat, Carter averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. Carter at has the kind of bulk (6-8, 230 pounds) Xavier needs to upgrade their frontcourt, especially after losing a pair of seniors in Ryan Welage and Zach Hankins.
TJ Holyfield – Texas Tech (from Stephen F. Austin) He may not be Evander, but this Holyfield is a tough, string inside force who will fit in well in the Raiders' style of play. He should be able to produce similar numbers to the 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds last season for the Lumberjacks.
Derrik Smits – Butler (from Valparaiso) Who couldn't use a 7-1, 240 pound stronghold in the lane? He has the ability to put up bigger numbers than the 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds he did at Valpo, where he took a backseat to other stars. Butler has a history of solid guard play and will hopefully form a very nice inside/outside game with Smits.
Nate Sestina – Kentucky (from Bucknell) The former Bison player is a force inside as he racked up 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Patriot League. His stats may diminish; not because of playing in the tougher SEC, but because he'll have to share more with other incoming star freshmen. He's still worth a look in SEC-only formats.
Quade Green – Washington (from Kentucky) Green had issues at Kentucky and there wasn't enough room among the other high school All-Americans he came in with for the Wildcats, so he lost playing time and decided to transfer mid-season. Expecting Jaylen Nowell-type numbers might be too much, but minutes will be there once he's eligible in January 2020.
Luwane Pipkins – Providence (from UMass) An excellent floor general for the Minutemen with 16.0 points and 5.2 assists a game, he should be able to jump right in as the Friars point man and produce consistently with his numbers at UMass.
LaMarr Kimble – Louisville (from St. Joseph's) He was a leader and solid scorer for the Hawks at 15.8 points per contest. The Cardinals could use that production in their perimeter game.
Jimmy Whitt – Arkansas (from SMU) He gave the mustangs 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. In the Razorbacks up-tempo style of play, he'll have the opportunity to produce higher numbers.
Jahaad Proctor – Purdue (from High Point) He's a scoring point guard, although that was in part because of necessity at High Point (19.5 ppg, 3.3 apg). He's quick and can step in immediately for the graduated Ryan Cline.
Daniel Utomi – USC (from Akron) He performed more like a power forward than a wing for the Zips with 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds. He is good at either that or the wing, as he can be an adequate perimeter shooter. USC hasn't been as successful with transfers lately, but Utomi can buck that trend.
Jaire Grayer – TCU (from George Mason) Grayer only played eight games because of injury last season and his stats suffered. The previous season, he scored 12.3 points while grabbing 7.3 boards. He's strong at the shooting guard position with his rebounding ability, and with the Horned Frogs' losses, can have a nice bounce-back season.
Omer Yurtseven – Georgetown (from NC State) The 6-11 center produced with 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds with the Wolfpack, but should flourish as he learns from Patrick Ewing
Matej Kavas – Nebraska (from Seattle) Granted the WAC is one of the weakest conferences these days, but Kovas is just the kind of big man Nebraska needs to anchor their inside game. His scoring was down to 10.3 points last season from 15.2 the season before, but if given the opportunities, he can produce well.
Transferring Outside of Power 5
K.J. Lawson – Tulane (from Kansas) He wasn't going to put up All-American numbers like his brother Dedric. However, he could have helped the Jayhawks a lot more, especially after the mid-season departure of LeGerald Vick. Tulane needs a lot of talent and has been down for a while. Lawson could produce numbers more like Dedric as a focal point for the Waves.
KJ Feagin – San Diego State (from Santa Clara) Feagin has been a consistent star for the Broncos and averaged 17.5 points and 4.0 assists last season. He should be a serviceable replacement for Devin Watson at a position (PG) of need.
Jake Toolson – BYU (from Utah Valley State) Toolson was a nice scorer at 15.7 PPG clip for the Wolverines. Now he has a chance to continue in a long line of great guards for BYU. He's not Jimmer Fredette, but he'll be able to get the ball in the basket a lot.
Ryan Woolridge – Gonzaga (from North Texas) Woolridge was part of a solid backcourt with Roosevelt Smart last year for North Texas, but the Mean Green under-performed as a team last year. Woolridge is an all-around point man that averaged 11.7 points, 6.0 boards and 5.0 assists. Gonzaga is good at maximizing talent from its transfers, and Woolridge should be a major asset.
Brandon Boyd – Cal Baptist (from Idaho State) The point guard averaged just 3.6 assists, but didn't have a lot of talent to distribute to. Cal Baptist is a new Division I team as of last season and was more talented than the Bengals squad. Boyd should step in and be a major contributor from day one.
Tyler Scanlon – Belmont (from Boston) Scanlon is coming into a new regime after Rick Byrd's retirement. However, he's a "tweener" at 6-7 and a great compliment for their usual offensive sets. This is the type of player that seems to thrive under new coach Casey Alexander that was at Lipscomb. He averaged 13.8 points, 5.0 boards and 3.3 assists, so he has the all-around game prospective fantasy owners crave.