Ever have that awkward feeling at a party or gathering of some kind where you should remember certain people, but just can’t quite recall their names? Yeah, me too and apparently so do a lot of fantasy football owners.
Recently, there have been several players from rookies to second-year pros that have gotten our attention with their impressive play. Yet up until recently, no one had any idea these guys were on a team or even active, let alone even relevant.
I love, love, love college football and routinely follow the progression of its players into the NFL. However, I honestly don’t recall the careers of guys like Nick Mullens, David Moore or Gus Edwards. Nothing, nada — I mean zero — memory of these players.
So, I think it’s best if these anonymous fantasy, mystery men introduce themselves — right here, right now.
David Moore, WR, Seahawks
Who am I? Yeah, I guess most folks wouldn’t have heard of me from my college days since it was at a Division-II school. Well, my name is David Moore and I went to East Central University, located in Ada, Oklahoma — population of 17,280. It's roughly one-fourth the size of CenturyLink Field, where I play wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks.
Most teams slept on my measurables, ignoring a 6-foot, 215-pound frame that ran a 4.43 with a vertical of 36.5 inches. As a 7th-round pick in 2017, expectations were low, however I currently lead my team in ADoT (average depth of target) at 14.7 yards. The Top 3 receivers in the NFL don’t even come close to that stat (Michael Thomas/Saints - 8.1yds; Adam Thielen/Vikings - 8.7yds; Julio Jones/Falcons 13.4yds).
Since our Week 7 bye, I’ve averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game. As a matter of fact, in Week 12 vs. the Panthers, I hauled in a 35-yard TD pass to tie the game at 27. It was my first game catching over 100 yds, but my fifth TD this season! Sleep on me if ya like, but if I were you, I’d take my hand off the snooze button and pay attention.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers
In 2017, The Ohio State University had 7 players drafted into the NFL. Three guys were drafted in the first round. Me? Curtis Samuel? I was drafted in the 2nd round, 40th overall by the Carolina Panthers.
Few people remember my final season at Ohio State, when I led the Big 10 conference with 128 all purpose yards per game and scored 15 TDs. My versatility and 4.3 speed with a 37-inch vertical scare plenty of defenders. One coach remarked that, I’m at my “best when matched up in open space, and get faster and more dangerous as the play unfolds.”
I wasn’t as explosive last season, but so far this year, I’ve scored 6 touchdowns — 4 receiving and 2 rushing. Over the last 5 weeks, my Panthers have averaged 29 pts per game. During that stretch, I’ve scored 4 TDs and scored double digit fantasy points 3 times. Right now, I may be touchdown dependent fantasy-wise, but my ability to score receiving or running make me a viable flex option. Plus, I have the easiest remaining schedule throughout the fantasy playoff picture.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Rams
Lots of folks call me “J.R.,” but the name on the birth certificate states: Josh Reynolds. Little known fact: I have the single season receiving record for touchdowns at Texas A&M with 13 scores. Yep, one better than former 7th overall pick Mike Evans (Buccaneers) and I didn’t have a Heisman Award winner tossin' me the pigskin either. Also, my career reception average of 17.0 is better than his 16.5. Just sayin', sometimes people forget unless you remind them from time to time.
If I come across as having a chip on my shoulder, it’s probably because I was picked in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL draft and put on the practice squad. It’s cool though, ‘cause players play and that’s exactly what I’m doing this season. In my last 2 starts, I’ve averaged 17 fantasy points and scored 3 TDs. With my boy Cooper Kupp on IR for the rest of the year, I should get to start the remaining games. Plus, think about it, his 7 targets a game have to go somewhere in this offense that relies heavily on 3 receiver sets.
If I’m keepin’ it real (and I am), I don’t drop the ball when it’s thrown my way. My drop rate is 0v%, whereas my teammates Brandin Cooks is 1.2 %, and Robert Woods a robust 3.3 %. The next 3 teams we face (Lions, Bears, Eagles), rank in the lower half of the league in passing yards allowed. More importantly, they’ve collectively given up 59 passing TDs this season. Time to shine!
Robert Foster, WR, Bills
Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley — these are the Alabama receivers people remember. But not me, Robert Foster. Heck, they even think of linebacker Reuben Foster at Alabama before they think of this Foster. In my injury-plagued four years at ‘Bama, I only caught 3 touchdowns. Yet, somehow I still got invited to the 2018 NFL combine (Roll Tide!), where I ran a 4.41 40 time.
The Buffalo Bills took me in as an undrafted rookie free agent, where I reunited with my college offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll (Roll Tide!). Well, with a little bit of luck mixed in with good health (finally) and opportunity, I’ve averaged 99.5 yards a game over the last 2 games. I also scored my first NFL TD on a 75-yard bomb from fellow rookie Josh Allen while battling the Jaguars. These past 2 contests, I’ve scored 11 and 16 fantasy points, respectively, and look forward to finishing the season strong. The Bills took a chance on me, so maybe it’s time for some fantasy owners to do the same (Roll Tide!).
Nick Mullens, QB, 49ers
No, I’m not surprised you hadn’t heard of me considering the well-known quarterbacks chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft. Jeez, I mean 3 guys (Mitch Trubisky/Bears, Patrick Mahomes/Chiefs, Deshaun Watson/Texans) were selected in the 1st round alone and every QB picked that year was from a power five conference. What? Oh…still don’t know who I am. Right, sorry about that. My name is Nicholas Clayton Mullens, but, I generally go by Nick Mullens — QB for the San Francisco 49ers.
Quiet as it’s kept, I own every statistical passing record at Southern Miss University. My 11,994 passing yards & 87 TDs dwarf Brett Favre's 7,695 yds & 52 TDs at our alma mater. Actually, I threw for twice as many yards and touchdowns as my teammate, CJ Beathard ( 5,562 yds & 40 TDs) and he was selected in the 3rd round in 2017. I signed as an undrafted free agent.
Call it irony, karma or fate but I finally got a chance to prove myself after CJ injured his wrist. Joe Montana, Steve Young nor any other 49er QB debuted the way I did on Thursday night, Nov. 1st, 2018. Passing for 262 yards, 3 touchdowns with a completion rate of 72.7% in front of a national audience was magical. I know I’ve struggled these past 2 road games, tossing 2 TD passes and 4 Ints, but don’t count me out. Three of our next four games are at home and that’s where the “magic” first happened.
Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
Say again? How do I what...like the nickname? Gus “the Bus” Edwards? Yeah, its cool, I like it. What was that? How do I feel about being the second rookie running back in Ravens history, to have back-to-back 100 yard games? I just want to play football. Coach said what?
“He gives us that back that we probably didn’t have earlier in the year. Yes, he’s doing a good job, and he has that big-back-type build, which is a big plus.”
Wow, Coach said all that? Well, it’s a blessing and I’m thankful for the opportunities. I just want to play football. Was I aware that I’m averaging 5.4 yards per carry? Yes. Excuse me…? Please repeat. Oh, you said the next 4 opponents give up a combined 4.8 yards per rush attempt? Good to know. How do I feel about likely starting the rest of the season, even when Alex Collins is back healthy? Man, I just want to play football.