The ACC football season kicks off next Thursday, leaving just over a week for fantasy fanatics to finalize their lineups.
5. Scott Orndoff: 54.4 points
As a junior in 2015, Orndoff was a touchdown-or-bust fantasy player. Not once did he haul in more than two passes in a game, and he finished the year with 13 receptions.
So what’s the catch? He caught five of those for scores.
Of Pitt’s returning players, Orndoff posted the most touchdown receptions and the second-most receiving yards in 2015. With star receiver Tyler Boyd and four-year starting tight end J.P. Holtz now gone, he could become a bigger part of the offense this season.
4. Cam Serigne: 70.2 points
Wake Forest’s running game has been so atrociously bad the last two years that it’s been difficult for the Demon Deacons to open up the pass. Their offensive line should be better this year, however, and if the air attack gets going, Serigne will benefit.
The 6-3, 250-pound tight end logged more than 500 receiving yards each of the last two seasons, scoring five touchdowns in 2014 and four in 2015. His 46 catches represented the second-highest total on the team last fall, and he’ll be one of the top targets in the passing game again as a junior.
3. Bucky Hodges: 97.7 points
While poor quarterback play has plagued Virginia Tech’s offense more often than not in recent years, Hodges has still managed to consistently stay involved in the passing game. He pulled down at least two catches in every game last season and found the end zone seven times (six times through the air, once on the ground).
At 6-7 and 245 pounds, Hodges will literally be a huge target for the Hokies’ starting quarterback. New head coach Justin Fuente ran 90 more plays at Memphis in 2015 than Virginia Tech ran under Frank Beamer, so there will be even more touches to go around in the Hokies’ offense. Hodges should benefit from that dynamic.
2. Jordan Leggett: 100.5 points
Leggett established himself as a boom-or-bust option in his second year as a starter. The Clemson standout finished his junior campaign with 40 catches for 525 yards and eight touchdowns (an ACC high for scores by a tight end), but he was unpredictable on a week-to-week basis.
Against Florida State, Leggett finished with six catches for 101 yards. Against Oklahoma, he was held to a single catch for five yards. The sporadic production makes him a risk, but there’s high reward when he’s at his best.
1. Jaylen Samuels: 192.5 points
Unquestionably the top tight-end option in the ACC, Samuels heads this list by a wide margin. Not only does he make an enormous impact as a pass-catcher (65 grabs for 597 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015), but he’s also dangerous as a runner (56 carries for 368 yards and nine scores).
Samuels stated early last year that he wanted to score at least two touchdowns per game. He didn’t reach that lofty goal, but the fact he got over halfway there says a lot about the type of playmaker he is for N.C. State.
With all the different ways the Wolfpack uses Samuels, he’s essentially a positionless player. He’s listed as a fullback/tight end on the team’s roster, so make the necessary adjustments when it’s time to draft.