Conference Preview: Big 12
Conference Preview: Big 12

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

Welcome to another installment of Rotowire's Conference Preview series. The Big 12 is perhaps the most entertaining from a fantasy perspective as the bulk of their squads play soft defensive schemes which results in a ton of points. This upcoming year should be no different as Oklahoma reloads for another run at the NCAA Playoff and Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas look to light up the scoreboard.

For each conference preview, we will have first-,second-, and third-team All-Fantasy teams as well as sleeper and bust selections. To the right of each player's name will be their overall positional ranking.

All-Big 12 Fantasy Team

First Team

QB: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma (2)
RB: Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma (17)
RB: David Montgomery, Iowa State (18)
WR: David Sills, West Virginia (3)
WR: Hakeem Butler, Iowa State (5)
TE: Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma (6)

Second Team

QB: Will Grier, West Virginia (9)
RB: Justice Hill, Oklahoma State (19)
RB: Sewo Olonilua, TCU (40)
WR: T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech (18)
WR: Dillon Stoner, Oklahoma State (21)
TE: Chase Allen, Iowa State (NR)

Third Team

QB: Sam Ehlinger, Texas (21)
RB: Kennedy McKoy, West Virginia (45)
RB: Darius Anderson, TCU (47)
WR: Collin Johnson, Texas (22)
WR: Marquis Brown, Oklahoma (23)
TE: Andrew Beck, Texas (NR)


Kyle Kempt, QB, Iowa State

Kempt had quite the starting debut in 2017 while throwing for 343 yards on the road at #3 Oklahoma to lead the Cyclones to an unexpected upset of the Sooners. After being granted a sixth year and last year's starter to begin the season (Jacob Park) transferring, Kempt is ready to be the leader in Ames, Iowa. Armed with an experienced offensive line, a stud running back in David Montgomery and talented wideout in Hakeem Butler, Kempt should have a career year.

Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State

If you're familiar with Bill Snyder's Wildcats, you know that they love to establish the run. This has especially been the case the last two years while averaging 199 and 232 rushing yards per game in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Barnes was the team's leading rusher in 2017 with 819 yards at 5.6 yards per carry. Expect Barnes to get over 1,000 yards this season and he'll likely score at a higher clip with touchdown vulture and fullback Winston Dimel gone to graduation.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Teammates Marquise Brown and Rodney Anderson are absolute studs and will deservedly go early in fantasy drafts, but that doesn't mean you can't get a piece of the Oklahoma offense. Lamb should be a value in drafts and what appeared to be raw talent in 2017 should be improved in his second year. Lamb was just the third true frosh in Oklahoma history to start in their opener, so Lincoln Riley likes the kid. Moreover, the Sooners reloaded at quarterback with Kyler Murray.

Gary Jennings, WR, West Virginia

Quarterback Will Grier will ball out in 2018 and it will be thanks to both David Sills and Jennings. While Sills flashed with an amazing 18 touchdowns last season, it was Jennings who led the team with 97 catches and 1,096 receiving yards. While Jennings only had one score, expect the distribution of Grier's 34 touchdowns to change a bit with Ka'Ruan White (12 touchdowns) gone.

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Baylor had a forgettable year in 2017 with a 1-11 record, but Mims was a bright spot with 61 catches for 1,087 yards and eight touchdowns. The junior was a monster versus Oklahoma with 11 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns and he also notched 12 catches versus Texas Tech. The Bears also return senior wideout Chris Platt, but Mims is the better bet for fantasy.


Texas Running Backs

Similar to the Oklahoma backfield entering 2017, the Longhorns' group of running backs have undefined roles and at this point, it's really hard to predict who will be their primary guy. Senior Tre Watson has transferred from Cal, but he will have to fend off Kyle Porter, Daniel Young, Toneil Carter and talented freshman Keaontay Ingram who was a Texas Mr. Football finalist as a high school senior. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger's propensity to make plays with his legs also doesn't help the situation.

Steven Sims, WR, Kansas

This bust designation is more about how bad the Jayhawks are at scoring opposed to an indictment on Sims as a player because the kid is supremely talented. Kansas managed a paltry 18.7 points per game last season and it's likely they don't improve too much as one of the worst teams in the conference. While Sims can explode for over 200 receiving yards at any point like he did versus Kansas State last season, it's difficult to depend on yardage opposed to scores.

Sewo Oloniliua, RB, TCU

Oloniliua is a good player and had seven rushing scores in 2017, but he's more of a power back which leads me to believe he will carve out a more specialized role in the Horned Frogs' offense. Darius Anderson did a fine job of filling in for Kyle Hicks to begin the season last year before a foot injury versus Oklahoma ended his season. Anderson and Oloniliua will likely split carries and it appears Anderson will be in line for more carries as the more speedy and elusive back.

McLane Carter or Jett Duffey, QB, Texas Tech

Back in 2016, Patrick Mahomes was fantasy royalty as the Red Raiders' quarterback in their fantasy-friendly passing offense. Last year's starter, Nic Shimonek, was fantasy viable, but wildly inconsistent. This resulted in his temporary benching for Carter, who didn't show well with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Carter is no lock for the starting job and Duffey is unproven which means that it could take some time for a signal caller to emerge this year.

KaVontae Turpin, WR, TCU

Early in his college career, Turpin looked like a future fantasy stud and it was expected that he would have a huge year in 2017. That didn't exactly happen as Jalen Reagor, John Diarse and Desmon White finished with more receiving yards. Turpin made a bigger impact in the return game where he had some electrifying touchdowns runs. While he could become the team's top option at wide receiver in his senior season, the team is younger at quarterback and the offense is likely to take a step back from the last couple of years.

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Nick Grays
Grays covers college football for RotoWire by night and is a Financial Analyst by day.
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