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We are now in the “dead zone” of the NFL football year.  This is the time for making sure your dynasty fantasy football taxi squads are full.  Sure these aren’t superstar players, but just like penny stocks their value could soar if you get lucky.  Ifireworks based my write-ups on their performances during their 2014 collegian bowl games.

Jared Abbarederis, WR GB
The wide receiver did not have a very impressive bowl game as he finished with three catches for 27 yards.  He looked like a possession NFL receiver.  Abbarederis ran clean routes, fought for extra yardage, and was a solid run blocker.  The Badgers sent him in motion to try to create separation, but his hands were inconsistent as he caught the ball as much with his body as with his hands.   Abbarederis will need some time to develop to be a weapon in the NFL.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE HOU
The athletic tight end had a decent game (four receptions for 46 yards) in his bowl game. He is not the best inline blocker, but does enough to be dangerous and occasionally splits out in the slot for the Hawkeyes .  Fiedorowicz has soft hands and runs good routes.  He has a little swim move than he uses to get off the line of scrimmage.  If you want to see effort, this tight end has it in spades.  He fully extended his body trying to make a lot of poorly thrown passes and took a lot of punishment whether he caught the ball or not.  Fiedorowicz is a lesser Zach Miller, solid dependable, but may not always be fantasy relevant.

Tyler Gaffney, RB CAR
The young back has quick feet, bounces off the first hit, and can run to daylight in a hurry with his initial burst. He has a good center of gravity, uses phone booth quicks, and catches the ball well.  His problem is that he lacks power, gets knocked around in pass protection, and gets driven back in short yardage situations.  Gaffney almost got tackled for a safety when the Spartans run blitzed him.  The young back needs for his offensive line to create a crease, and if it’s not there, he isn’t going anywhere even if he breaks out a spin move.  He looks like a change of pace NFL back to me or perhaps a returner.

A.J. McCarron, QB CIN
The quarterback should have appeared at the Senior Bowl after having a somewhat productive, but rough bowl game.  He is very accurate with quick short passes, but I wasn’t impressed with how he set his feet before throwing the ball downfield.  McCarron has a decent arm, but can float the ball at times.  He made a few nice touch bucket throws throughout the game, but became unraveled when he faced pressure.  In the NFL, the defenses are better at it than the Oklahoma Sooners!  When the offensive line gave him time, he had time to see down the field and find coverage weaknesses.  Occasionally, the young quarterback escaped for a few yards rushing, but did not look very athletic doing so.   McCarron showed heart trying to fight thru adversity, but stumbled late in the game with a underthrown ball for a pick six and then a strip sack that got returned for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game.  I see him as more of a project quarterback now with that could be developed down the line like Matt Schaub.

Tajh Boyd, QB CLEM now with NYJ
The quarterback looks bigger than his 6′ 1″ 225 lbs. frame.  He had a tremendous effort against Ohio State finishing with over 500 yards of offense and accounting for six total touchdowns.  Boyd has good footwork, steps up in the pocket, makes quick reads, and slings the ball without hesitation trying to hit his receivers in stride.  The signal caller was fairly accurate in 2013, completing over 68.5% of his passes.  He possesses a strong arm, has good timing with his receivers (especially Watkins), and is built to adjust to pressure in the pocket.  Boyd looked his best rolling to his right and hitting Watkins on a frozen rope for a 34 yard touchdown.  His running is almost as impressive.  He ran up the gut on a third and two play for a 49 yard touchdown.  On the way there, the quarterback broke two tackles and screamed down the sidelines.  Boyd is a patient runner, but is willing to run if nothing is there as his 127 yards in the bowl game will attest.  The senior did not have a perfect bowl game as he tried to jump over a defensive back and float the ball to Watkins, but the defender intercepted the pass in the end zone.  He also tried to force the ball late in the game and got picked again nearing giving Ohio State a way to win.  Boyd and Russell Wilson are similar players, but Wilson has more poise and is a smidge better at reading defenses.

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