We continue to roll out, update, tweak, edit and revisit our projections and previews prior to your fantasy draft. And while doing so we're going to occasionally take a more-detailed look at some of the nation's more intriguing stars for 2012.
The players featured over the next month or so may not be the top player at their respective positions, but they'll be ones that caused the most discussion around our roundtable or appear poised for a breakout or letdown campaign.
Breakdowns of college football's top offensive stars can of course be found in the CFFInsider.com 2012 Draft Kit.
2012 Position Rank: 15th ranked QB
2012 Draft Kit Preview:
Like last year, talk of making it through another season unscathed and seeing time at running back or wide receiver will dominate the preseason. That type of talk will once again make Denard a value pick in 2012. He's prone to miss a series or two, but he's escaped the big season-ending hits. If he can do it again, he'll post his third straight 1000-yard rushing season. And it will be interesting to see how many snaps are awarded to talented backup Devin Gardner as the Wolverines look towards a Denard-less 2013. Should Devin spend more time holding a clipboard it will likely mean that Denard is healthy and doing just fine, and that 2013 super recruit Shane Morris may have a legit shot at taking over once Shoelace has moved on. A few subplots here, but there's little doubt that this is Robinson's team, and he'll make plenty of noise once again.
Denard really struggled throwing the football last fall. His completion percentage dropped from 62.5 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2011 and his INTs thrown increased from 11 to 15. It is not that he has become a worse passer, it is that the scheme is different. Under Rich Rodriguez, the threat of the run game kept defenses off balance often leading to receivers finding wide open spaces.
However, the biggest concern has to be the schedule. The schedule set up well for the Wolverines and Brady Hoke in his first season. Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State were all at home. Their biggest road game was at Michigan State. This season that home/road schedule is flipped and they add Alabama at Jerry World. It is no wonder that Michigan's Ease of Schedule (EOS) drops 18 spots and 122 out of 124 teams.
Last year we stuck by Denard despite the fears by some of a potential position switch and fewer shotgun snaps. Denard was ranked as our 5th best fantasy QB in 2011. However, this year we are less optimistic and he drops 10 spots to 15th.The schedule is brutal and the emergence of Fitzgerald Toussaint and Thomas Rawls will keep Hoke & Co. moving closer and closer to a more traditional offense. I believe we'll see the lowest fantasy output from Denard in the last three years.