Conference Preview: SEC
Conference Preview: SEC

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

Welcome to the SEC edition of this year's Conference Preview series. On top of boasting several championship-caliber teams, the Southeastern Conference is also loaded with top-tier fantasy assets from Alabama to Vanderbilt and everywhere in between. 

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-SEC 1st Team

QB: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (9)

RB: D'Andre Swift, Georgia (3)

RB: Larry Rountree III, Missouri (7)

WR: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (4)

WR: Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt (15)

TE: Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (6)

All-SEC 2nd Team

QB: Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (7)

RB: Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (12)

RB: Kylin Hill, Mississippi State (14)

WR: Bryan Edwards, South Carolina (17)

WR: Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (26)

TE: Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt (5)

All-SEC 3rd Team

QB: Kelly Bryant, Missouri (23)

RB: Najee Harris, Alabama (26)

RB: Asim Rose, Kentucky (28)

WR: Elijah Moore, Mississippi (29)

WR: Justin Jefferson, LSU (50)

TE: Cheyenne O'Grady, Arkansas (10)

Sleepers

Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

Despite the lack of wins for the program in 2018, the Rebels still possessed plenty of firepower in terms of throwing the football.  Under the direction of Jordan Ta'amu at quarterback, and with elite talents like AJ Brown, D.K. Metcalf and DaMarkus Lodge at wide receiver, the Rebels ranked 30th in the country in scoring, putting up 33.9 points per game.  All those names are gone, but Corral steps in at quarterback with new offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez's scheme, which could result in even more points in 2019.  Braylon Sanders and Elijah Moore are capable pass catchers to replace the departed wideouts, and JUCO transfer Scottie Phillips remains as the starting running back.  This offense should still be extremely potent with Corral at the helm.

Asim Rose, RB, Kentucky

Benny Snell was the face of Wildcat football during his time at Kentucky, and led the renaissance for the program, capped by a 10-win season in 2018.  Snell has taken his talents to the NFL, though, and left huge shoes to fill.  Enter Rose, a junior who has averaged 6.2 yards per carry behind Snell last season.  Quarterback Terry Wilson is a suspect passer at best, meaning the Wildcats will continue to pound the ball on the ground.  That means plenty of work for Rose, who will attempt to replace over 300 touches out of the backfield.

Jashaun Corbin, RB, Texas A&M

The Aggies have the monumental task of replacing workhorse back Trayveon Williams, who left for the NFL.  Williams had nearly 280 touches and over 1,800 yards from scrimmage in 2018, leaving a massive void in the A&M ground attack.  Quarterback Kellen Mond is poised for a huge season and should take up some of the workload, but Corbin is the leading candidate to gobble up the rest.  He averaged 5.7 yards per carry as the primary backup to Williams last year, and also caught 10 passes out of the backfield despite rather limited playing time.  Coach Jimbo Fisher leans heavily on the running game, so Corbin could be a monstrous breakout candidate.

Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

JaTarvious Whitlow could have also been mentioned here, although he is a bit more of a known commodity after leading the Tigers in rushing in 2018.  However, Williams had a dynamite freshman campaign, and the Tigers lost leading receiver Ryan Davis as well as deep threat Darius Slayton to the NFL.  Williams caught 26 passes for 534 yards and five touchdowns in his first season with the Tigers, and should see even more targets due to the aforementioned departures.  The one question mark for Williams will be who starts under center, either Joey Gatewood or Bo Nix, as Jarrett Stidham is also now in the NFL.  However, both quarterbacks come in as highly regarded, and the design of the Gus Malzahn offense should ease the pressure.  Williams is the No. 1 wideout on this squad, which could surprise on offense despite its relative youth.  The recent broken hand suffered by fellow wideout Anthony Schwartz only further boosts the value of Williams.

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

It's difficult to call Jefferson a sleeper after last season's successful campaign, but he still seems to be flying under the radar for the Tigers.  Though LSU will remain a run-heavy offense, competent play from quarterback Joe Burrow last season showed that the Tigers could also air it out when necessary.  Jefferson was sixth in the SEC in receiving yardage, gaining 875 yards on 54 catches while also hauling in six touchdowns.  That included two scores in the Fiesta Bowl versus UCF.  With limited options at receiver behind him, Jefferson should be targeted early and often by Burrow, who returns for his senior campaign.

Busts

Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

Fromm is an elite talent who could decide to go to the NFL following his junior campaign, and would almost certainly be a top-10 selection if he did.  That being said, he lost virtually his entire receiving corps from a season ago, including talented wideouts like Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley, as well as tight end Isaac Nauta.  Graduate transfer Lawrence Cager from Miami, a big target at 6-foot-5, could play a large role due to the lack of experience elsewhere.  In the end, it may not matter who Fromm has at his disposal, but there could be a small learning curve so that he can get on the same page as his new pass catchers.

Keytaon Thompson, QB, Mississippi State

With Nick Fitzgerald graduating, this was supposed to be Thompson's year to step in and shine.  Instead, Tommy Stevens transferred from Penn State, and since coach Joe Moorhead has familiarity with Stevens from his days in Happy Valley, a full-fledged quarterback battle could be underway.  Thompson is the more explosive athlete but has been underwhelming in terms of passing the ball when given the opportunity.  Thompson completed under 50-percent of his throws in each of the past two seasons, albeit in limited reps. Granted,  Nick Fitzgerald was not a gifted passer either, but was still successful under center for the Bulldogs during his tenure, so perhaps Thompson's lack of accuracy won't be an issue anyway.  That being said, Stevens is breathing down his neck, and both quarterbacks could see the field during the early portion of the 2019 campaign.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

Nick Brossette graduated, and with it took 1,039 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.  On its face that should bode well for Edwards-Helaire, who was the primary backup to Brossette in 2018.  However, the extremely talented freshman John Emery comes to Baton Rouge amid much fanfare, and the Tigers also have freshman Tyrion Davis-Price as well as Leonard Fournette's little brother, Lanard Fournette figuring into the mix.  As a result, though Edwards-Helaire did accumulate 658 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground as a freshman, he faces some stiff competition for touches.

Ty Chandler, RB, Tennessee

Chandler was the most effective of the Tennessee running backs in 2018, though that may not be saying much.  Still, he averaged 5.5 yards per tote, gained over 800 yards from scrimmage and scored seven total touchdowns.  However, Tim Jordan and Jeremy Banks will continue to remain in the fold.  Perhaps more troubling has been the lack of success for quarterback Jarrett Guarantano.  As a result, teams may stack the box against the Vols and force Guarantano to beat them with his arm.  As such, Chandler will face run-focused defenses in a possible timeshare, which is not exactly a recipe for fantasy success.

Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Vanderbilt

Lipscomb has been wildly productive for the Commodores despite not having an elite quarterback under center over the past couple of seasons, but Kyle Shurmur was not as bad as one would think.  Shurmur tossed 50 touchdowns over the past two years, with 17 of them going to Lipscomb.  Shurmur has graduated, though, and there is much uncertainty about who will line up under center for Vandy.  Whether it's Riley Neal, Deuce Wallace or Mo Hasan, there will be a learning curve, and in the rough-and-tumble SEC, that could spell trouble for Lipscomb's numbers.  He is one of the top wideouts in the country, but struggles at the quarterback position could limit both his and tight end Jared Pinkney's statistics.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jesse Siegel
Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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