Dynasty Sleeper: Isaiah Likely

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by Steve Rippy, Fantasy Guides

Pulling thousands of stats and metrics from college prospects is pretty time-consuming and monotonous, and looking at all the stats separately doesn't really paint a clear picture of the prospect you're looking at. Sure, you might see a metric like a quarterback rating that's really high, a yards per carry that's above average, or a 40-time that's really fast, and that might catch your attention. However, you don't get the full picture until you see them all in front of you and compared to their peers. A few years ago when I first thought about making a dynasty guide, that's something I wanted to create. Something visual that gave you a clearer picture of the quality of a prospect. That's my favorite part when working on these dynasty player profiles. Once the stats are input and you press enter and the metric bars populate, you can visually see who stands out. One of those players for me was Coastal Carolina Tight End, Isaiah Likely

Isaiah Likely Dynasty Profile / Preview More Here!
Isaiah Likely Draft Profile


At first look, Likely's draft profile really stands out. He has a similar build to Falcon's Tight End Kyle Pitts. Both weigh in at 245 pounds, Pitts just has an inch on him and a two-inch longer wingspan. Unfortunately, the only testing Likely did at the NFL combine was the vertical leap, and at his Pro Day he ran a very underwhelming 4.80 40-time. However, when you watch him play, he looks much faster than that. He looks much more like a wide receiver than a tight end. There are multiple highlights of him from college outrunning the entire defense. He's obviously not on the same level of a Kyle Pitts or Evan Engram as an athlete, but his on-field speed will remind you of them.

Isaiah Likely Highlights

THE GOOD
During his senior year, he pulled in 59 receptions for an impressive 912 yards. He came close to the same number of receiving yards as the clear-cut leader of this tight end class, Colorado State's Trey McBride on 40 fewer receptions. It's no wonder why he lead all tight ends in yards per route run. His 15.5 yards per reception rank in the 81st percentile of college tight ends according to Player Profiler. He also reeled in 12 touchdowns, 11 more than the aforementioned McBride. Other metrics that stand out are his college dominator rating (91st percentile), his breakout age (97th percentile) and he had a very impressive target share of 24.3%. He ranked 2nd only to McBride in PFF Grading and NFL Next Gen scouts grading. And while he didn't test well in the 40, he did jump an impressive 36 inches. That explosiveness can also be seen in multiple highlights of him Mossing defenders.

THE BAD
One big knock on Likely can be attributed to the lack of competition playing in the Sun Belt Conference. Playing against teams like Appalachian State, Troy and Georgia Southern doesn't exactly compare to NFL-level competition like Kyle Pitts would have seen coming out of Florida. Also, the style of offense run at Coastal Carolina uses a lot of triple-option and RPO's which can explain a lot as to why Lately had such a high yards per reception. You can see it in his film as there are often times he is left all alone after the defense bit on the play-action. Upper Hand Fantasy's Faraz Siddiqi attended this year's senior bowl and had this to say about Likely:

"Isaiah Likely was one of the most efficient receiving tight ends in all of college football over the past two seasons. However, he didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl, and didn’t stand out athletically at his Pro Day." — Faraz / Upper Hand Fantasy

SUMMARY
At the end of the day, Isaiah Likely is a perfect model for a rookie sleeper. He's going a full two rounds after fellow rookie Tight End Trey McBride who also attended a smaller school. I still like McBride more, but Likely is someone I'm also excited about. He's a player currently being taken in rookie drafts in the 4th round. He's a low-risk prospect that has a lot of measurables that are VERY good at translating to the next level and the cost to acquire is practically free. He is a player you should be looking to grab at the end of your dynasty rookie drafts.

Steve is the owner/creator of Fantasy Guides. He's been playing fantasy football for nearly 20 years and has a virtual shelf full of digital trophies thanks to his "healthy" obsession with the game.


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