This article is part of our College Football Fantasy Five series.
As we enter the summer, it's a perfect time to take a look at some college football futures and identify some early value plays before people buy their college football magazines and place their wagers. Last week I examined the 2022 Championship odds (linked below) and now I'll take a crack at the Heisman Trophy Winner for the upcoming season. In following weeks, I'll assess conference championships and over/under win totals.
For these early betting articles, I'm going to utilize a similar format where I mention my fades (bets to avoid), value plays (decent longshot bets) and favorite play (where I would place my money right now). Odds are subject to change over time.
I'll preface these fades by saying that I love Young and Metchie as players and we all know that Alabama has a realistic chance at this award each and every year. This is purely a statistical recommendation for college football's most prestigious award. Young is an inexperienced freshman and that's a pretty rare thing for the Heisman. Only Johnny Manziel (2012) and Jameis Winston (2013) have won with that designation which means that Young's odds are not long enough in my opinion. Metchie's price is much better, however, prior to Alabama's DeVonta Smith winning in 2020, a wide receiver hadn't won since 1991 (Michigan's Desmond Howard).
4.) Matt Corral (+3300 or 33/1), Ole Miss
Once again, I love Corral as a player, however, it's hard to believe that Ole Miss will be good enough for their signal-caller to get serious Heisman buzz. They're a fringe top-25 team, but not a national contender type of team. From a fantasy perspective, I do think Corral will be a monster because of his dual-threat ability, yet I'm skeptical on him winning the Heisman because he did lose his elite weapons in Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah. He'll have to create some quick chemistry with Dontario Drummond, Braylon Sanders and Jonathan Mingo. More importantly though, he'll have to cut down on his 14 interceptions from a year ago and I just don't see that happening in the Rebels' high tempo play under Lane Kiffin and OC Jeff Lebby.
3.) Malik Willis (+15000 or 150/1), Liberty
There's an argument to be made that Willis was the best player in college football last season with 34 total touchdowns in 10 games as he led the Flames to a surprising 10-1 record. This team returns 20 starters and is pretty much a lock to win double-digit games again with a soft independent schedule. He'll have a chance to show off with games against Syracuse, Ole Miss, and Army which I expect him to do behind an offense that ranked well nationally a year ago. They won't have any shot at making the College Football Playoff, but that's not necessary if you put up video game numbers which Willis will do each and every week. These longshot odds make it a risk worth taking.
2.) Zamir White (+10000 or 100/1), Georgia
If you checked out my national championship article, you know that I love Georgia in that regard. QB JT Daniels is +1000 or 10/1 which is worth sprinkling some funds on, especially considering that the Heisman has went to a quarterback nine times in the last 11 years. But I like White even more because of his longshot odds as he showed some explosive plays last season. He averaged 5.41 yards per carry on 144 totes, which suggests he can handle a full workload and he definitely has a knack for scoring touchdowns with 11 trips to paydirt in 2020. I expect that number to be even better this season although this prediction is cautioned with Georgia's propensity to utilize multiple runners out of the backfield. It's well worth it though when you can get 100/1 odds.
1.) Breece Hall (+4000 or 40/1), Iowa State
Hall is the best offensive player in college football in my opinion as he utilized a top-five workload (23.25 attempts per game) while averaging a strong 5.63 yards per carry. He did this against opposing defenses who knew he was the focal point of the Iowa State offense. The Cyclones return essentially their entire offense and he should be able to rack up even more production once again. He had at least one touchdown in every game last year and multiple scores on nine different occasions. I'm also looking at the top QB candidates for the Heisman (listed below) and there's not a lot of momentum from last year which means it could be a good year for a RB to win for the first time since Derrick Henry in 2015.
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (+450 or 9/2)
Bryce Young, Alabama (+650 or 13/2)
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson (+700 or 7/1)
JT Daniels, Georgia (+1000 or 10/1)
Sam Howell, North Carolina (+1000 or 10/1)
D'Eriq King, Miami (+1600 or 16/1)