Hard to believe that the regular season has already come and gone. While it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of coaching changes and the drama of the transfer portal, let’s not be quick to forget about this talented freshman class. This final week saw a balanced combination of continued dominance, and late season emergence. Before we dig into this week’s top performers, I did want to take a second to thank everyone who has taken the time to read even half of one of these articles, it has been a lot of fun for me and I look forward to grinding out some fun articles this offseason.
Clemson – RB – 0.9839 247 composite
Against South Carolina, Shipley continued to be the heartbeat of the Clemson offence. He rushed 19 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. He ran for more yards than DJU threw for (99). During the last four games, he has been on an absolute scorcher. He has hit north of 115 yards in 3 of them and found paydirt five times. He he is locked into the lead back role, despite the strong play of fellow freshman Phil Mafah, and has helped provide a spark sorely missing from the Tigers this year. He was considered a top 3 RB in the class coming into the season, and remains such at this point. I envision him going in the top 20 draft picks in devy drafts this summer.
Tennessee – RB – 0.8680 247 composite
Wright followed up a strong performance against Southern Alabama in Week 12 with an even better game in the regular season finale against Vandy. Wright notched a career high in carries (15), yards (112), and YPC (7.5) leading the team in all categories. Since October 1st, he has rushed for 6.4 yards a carry! His longest run of the season is 21 yards, so he is hitting that 6.4 by being extremely efficient with his touches. With news of Tiyon Evans hitting the transfer portal, there is a good chunk of work up for grabs in an explosive offense next season, provided the Vols do not bring anyone else in. Hold off on drafting him in the top 20 rounds of C2C startups until we have more clarity on how the backfield shakes out.
Oklahoma – QB – 0.9969 247 composite
On the road against top 10 OK State, Caleb did not have his best overall game. He only completed 20 of 39 passes for 252 yards. He was also under duress all night. However he scored 3 touchdowns with no picks. What impressed me more than the touchdown to interception ratio was the flashes that he showed. His third touchdown of the evening, a 10 yard fade to Brayden Willis, was a thing of beauty. Placed just out of reach of the defenders where only Willis could make the grab. Despite constantly being under pressure, he also managed to rumble for 56 yards on a carry, reminding fantasy managers that he has the wheels to go with the big time throws. His future is largely up in the air with Lincoln Riley bolting for USC, but whether he suits up for the Trojans, the Sooners, or someone else, he is poised to crush in his sophomore season. The pain of drafting DJU still lingers, but I suspect I will end up with a lot of Caleb Williams on my rosters if he slips past 1.04 in startups.
Maryland – RB – 0.8464 247 composite
With his second consecutive game with over 15 carries, McDonald made the most of his opportunities against Rutgers. He toted the rock 15 times for 99 yards. With the transfer portal news of Peny Boone and the likely graduation of Tayon Fleet-Davis, the backfield is wide open in Maryland for ’22. The DC native needs to avoid some transfer portal land mines, but could be in great position to lead that backfield next year. I have him in the Jaylen-Wright-wait-and-see camp, but if he avoids a major arrival, he is a sneaky good pickup later in C2C startups next year.
Northern Illinois – RB – 0.8634
The Northern Illinois backfield has been hard to predict so far this season, with RS FR Jay Ducker currently the flavor of the month. There is also Harrison Waylee (RS FR, injured) and Clint Ratkovich (SR) who have had significant roles so far this season. However despite the talented competition around him, Antario Brown has found ways to shine. He currently leads the team in yards per carry (6.5), which becomes a more significant statistic when compared to your own teammates. He has eclipsed 70 yards in 4 of his first 6 career games. Against WMU, it only took Brown 5 carries to reach that mark. He also scored twice. The current backfield competition makes him an undesirable option in the first 20 rounds of C2C startups, but the talent is there and he is someone worth keeping a close eye on.
Brock Bowers – TE – Georgia
Bowers only had 3 catches, but turned it into 2 scores and 100 yards against Georgia Tech. TE2 overall.
Jaxon Dart – QB – USC
Completed 23 of 35 for 248 yards against a solid BYU team. He threw zero interceptions and was responsible for two total touchdowns. Solid game where he started to regain his early season form.
Seth Henigan – QB – Memphis
Seth had another great game, leading all true freshman in fantasy points. He completed 27 of 42 for 336 yards and 3 scores against Tulane.
Eddie Lee Marburger – QB – UTSA
Completed his first throw for a beautiful 67 yard touchdown against North Texas.
Gavin Bartholomew – TE – Pitt
He has been low key productive all season, and had his best game of the year against Syracuse on Saturday. He pulled in 5 catches for 50 yards and a score.
De’zhaun Stribling – WR – Washington St
Hauled in 7 of 9 targets for 57 yards against Washington.