Conference Preview: ACC
Conference Preview: ACC

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

Welcome to another installment of Rotowire's Conference Preview series. 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-ACC Fantasy Team


First Team

QB: Jawon Pass, Louisville (12)

RB: AJ Dillon, Boston College (6)

RB: Cam Akers, Florida State (31)

WR: Jaylen Smith, Louisville (4)

WR: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (12)

TE: Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (7)

Second Team

QB: Kelly Bryant, Clemson (18)

RB: Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh (41)

RB: Travis Homer, Miami (43)

WR: Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia (16)

WR: Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State (31)

TE: Ravian Pierce, Syracuse (8)

Third Team

QB: Taquon Marshall, Georgia Tech (21)

RB: Travis Etienne, Clemson (53)

RB: Kirvonte Benson, Georgia Tech (56)

WR: Anthony Ratliff-Williams (33)

WR: Ahmmon Richards, Miami (39)

TE: Micky Crum, Louisville (22)

Sleepers

Malik Rosier, QB, Miami

Much of the preseason talk has N'Kosi Perry overtaking Rosier as the 'Canes quarterback. Make no mistake, Perry, and probably true freshman Jarren Williams, will play in lesser matchups to get their feet wet, but head coach Mark Richt has remained steadfast that this is Rosier's offense. His accuracy and decision making need to improve, but Rosier offers rushing upside in addition to having a bevy of weapons at his disposal. Rosier had nearly 3,600 total yards and 31 touchdowns a year ago, and that truly feels like a floor for him. He's being undervalued by a perceived threat to his job that hasn't manifested outside of fans and media. Rosier also did nearly all of his damage last year without Ahmmon Richards, whose return to health only adds to the potential. For what it's worth, Richards seems to be undervalued nationally as well.

Devin Butler, WR, Syracuse

Dino Babers' offenses have a clear track record of providing a clear go-to, top-flight receiver, sometimes seemingly coming from nowhere as evidenced by Amba Etta-Tawo's 94-1482-14 line in 2016. Steve Ishmael was the guy last year, and with both him and Ervin Philips having departed, the Orange must replace 194 catches from a year ago. What they don't have to replace, at least for now given preseason health, is quarterback Eric Dungey. With a veteran under center, the play is strictly system based, but Butler looks like the next man up, poised to more than triple the 33-327-1 line he had a year ago if things break right.

Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia

Perkins is an unknown, which is forcing his cost down to the minimalist of levels nationally, and potentially lower in ACC circles that it should be. His legs are appealing, but all indications are that Perkins remains a pass-first quarterback with great mobility. He's been likened by the coaching staff to former BYU fantasy delight Taysom Hill, and while the offensive scheme here won't be identical, and Perkins probably isn't as fast as Hill, the mere mention of similarities should catch fantasy manager's attention. Virginia has weapons around Perkins, and there's virtually no immediate competition to the job. The Cavaliers schedule is also very favorable to not only a fast start, but sustained production with only Miami and Virginia Tech being top defenses. Perkins arguably has as much potential as any ACC quarterback not named Pass or Lawrence/Bryant, and comes at a fraction of the cost.

Brittain Brown, RB, Duke

Volume has gone from a weakness of Brown's in 2017 to a likely strength in 2018. Duke has long been known to use a committee backfield, but following the graduation of Shaun Wilson, no other Blue Devil back has 100 career rushing yards. Perhaps Duke will lean on quarterback Daniel Jones more in the run game, but with no clear competition for carries, Brown looks like he's in line for a big increase in his workload. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry a year ago, and if you can pencil him in for 15 carries nightly, Brown can flirt with a 1,000 yard season provided he's similarly successful on each attempt.

Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State

The only negative thing said about Terry since last year ended was news of a calf injury that briefly sidelined him last week. He returned to practice the following day, and the hype train appears to be in fully effect. He was the talk of spring ball and prior to the calf ailment, we were treated to multiple reports of "no one can guard Terry." He's 6-foot-4, 208 pounds with great speed to go with it, giving him considerably more upside in both yardage and red zone chances than the 'Noles only real proven receiver in Nyquan Murray. The cost should be minimal for Terry, and the reward could be huge. Terry looks poised for a huge breakout campaign.

Honorable Mention: RB Deejay Dallas and WR Jeff Thomas, Miami:

Yours truly is a die-hard 'Cane, and that homerism usually has me being overly critical on the team I'm as well versed in as possible. But even I'm bullish on this offense that simply has a plethora of weapons. Dallas is reportedly looking at 12-15 touches per game, be it in a Wild Cat package, straight carries or in the passing game. If you believe he'll get that volume, he's draftable in all formats. Thomas meanwhile will be the opposite of volume, but his straight-line speed will make him one of the nation's best deep threats by season's end, even if it comes with 30ish catches.

Busts

Jawon Pass, QB, Louisville

So long as you don't draft Pass thinking you're getting Lamar Jackson 2.0, you should be good to go. Pass has size and dual-threat skills, and is certainly in an offensive system that is fantasy friendly. But Louisville's offense shouldn't be confused with Texas Tech, or Washington State, where we just plug someone in and expect success. Caution should be used when seeing his career 69.3 percent completion rate, as it came in garbage time against Murray State, Kent State, Wake Forest and Syracuse. His schedule does him little favors to start his first year under center with an opener against Alabama. He'll get three softer matchups before facing Florida State, but it seems unlikely we'll really know who Pass is until October. Pass isn't going to flirt with the 1,600 rushing yards Jackson averaged over the last two seasons either. So long as you draft him for potential and not to carry you weekly, you're likely forming a winning strategy. Selecting Pass as your QB1 is a huge leap of faith.

Josh Jackson, QB, Virginia Tech

Jackson's end-season numbers will most likely be fantasy worthy. But he has major accuracy issues and his own fan base is already restless and interested in seeing other options. Jackson's fantasy upside is with his legs, and he'll use those to set up the pass against weaker opponents. But when facing teams like Miami and Florida State, Jackson's legs are likely to be corralled, and he hasn't proven he can beat good teams with just his arm. Virginia Tech lost their all-time leading receiver in Cam Phillips, and have a committee backfield for another year, giving Jackson very few proven weapons at his disposal. In the right matchup, he'll suit his owners well. But Jackson is far from an every-week option.

Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, North Carolina

The Tar Heels program just seems like a mess that should be avoided where possible. Even if you put aside the suspensions the team was just dealt, there's a lack of quarterback upside, and an offensive line that has a ceiling of average/mid-tier in the conference. Ratliff-Williams managed to produce in spite of those issues a year ago, and there's no doubt he's the Heels best weapon. The optimist will point out that Ratliff-Williams had five catches in each of his final three games last year, all with Nathan Elliott under center. The pessimist will note that Ratliff-Williams had five games a year ago with only one catch. If you believe UNC will build their offense to get him the ball, by all means, draft Ratliff-Williams with confidence. But otherwise, he's overly reliant on the deep ball to put up useable numbers consistently and is better off being taken as a depth play in larger pools rather than an anchor to your receiving corps.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Bust here is absolutely a relative term. There's no questioning Etienne's talent, speed and game-breaking, play-making ability. The only question is his volume, which seems highly unlikely to see a significant boost with Tavien Feaster and Adam Choice also getting touches. Expecting Etienne to match his prolific scoring pace from last year (13 touchdowns on 112 touches) seems risky at best. He's a fun player to watch, and those big plays can make him fun to own as well, but there's likely to be some peaks in valleys in his weekly output.

Darin Hall, RB, Pittsburgh

The conference isn't particularly deep with workhorse backs after Boston College's A.J. Dillon. Hall is rightfully placed on the second team above, but that seems more due to a lack of other options moreso than his likely success. Hall remains a great bet to lead the Panthers in rushing scores, but Pitt is going to split carries between Hall and Qadree Ollison, while also mixing in A.J. Davis, Todd Sibley and possibly freshman Mychale Salahuddin. Hall's game logs throughout his career are littered with two or three where he absolutely erupts, and five or six where he absolutely disappears. The vanishing act may dissipate some, but drafting Hall and expecting him to see 15+ carries weekly comes with great risk.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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