The Campus2Canton writing staff will cover all of the conferences from now until the beginning of the college football season. To view previous conferences, click one of the links below:
- Sun Belt – East West
- Mountain West – Mountain West
- MAC – East West
- AAC – Part 1 Part 2
- C-USA – East West
- Pac-12 – North South
- SEC – East West
- Big Ten – Part 1 Part 2
Traditionally dominated by Clemson, the Atlantic division within the ACC has potential to be one of the most interesting divisions in all of college football. Boasted by a number of veteran quarterbacks, the Atlantic side is loaded with fantasy-relevant prospects, from household names like Sean Tucker to unheralded freshman with the opportunity to make an impact from day one.
For our conference previews, we will try to include all the relevant offensive players for the 2022 season, broken into the following groups:
- Fantasy Relevant
- Roster Fillers
- Players to Avoid at Cost
All teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Boston College Eagles
You can tell just how impactful quarterback Phil Jurkovec is to the Eagles’ offense when the signal-caller missed time last season with a hand injury. His replacement, Dennis Grosel, struggled mightily, only exceeding 200 passing yards once during the four-game stretch. Even when Jurkovec returned, he didn’t seem like the same player that flashed onto the scene in 2020. Despite being looked at often as a pure pocket-passer, the former Notre Dame passer ran for 322 yards and five touchdowns at a 6.5 yards per carry clip. As long as the offense can keep him off the turf, Jurkovec is going to be one of the more productive quarterbacks in the conference.
Not many people are looking forward to Jurkovec’s return more than his go-to receiver, Zay Flowers. A quick-twitch athlete who poses the threat to score at all three levels of the field, the 5’10” 172-pounder has been a major piece of the offense since arriving in Newton and will likely end his career in the top ten in all of the school’s major receiving categories. Even if you think size limitations might impact his ceiling at the next level, which you probably shouldn’t, Flowers still maintains serious CFF value as a top 20 receiver. I believe he is a seriously underrated asset in C2C with an average ADP of 128.3 (WR44).
To be candid, I am a sucker for running backs like Pat Garwo III. Densely built at 5’8” and 208 pounds, he has ‘run-through-your-face’ power, but he possesses nimble enough footwork to make guys miss one-on-one. With the news of stud offensive lineman Christian Mahogany being out for the year with a torn ACL, Garwo will be running behind a completely new offensive line from a year ago, which causes some concern. This, coupled with his lack of work in the receiving game, keeps him outside of our top 140 running backs for C2C leagues. I still like him.
Tight end George Takacs comes over from Notre Dame, joining former teammate Jurkovec and former positional coach McNulty. This is based more on upside, as Takacs has been primarily used as a blocker and has a whopping eight career receptions. But Hafley’s TEs have always been a big part of the offense, and Takacs has enough talent to thrive if given the opportunity. Don’t expect Hunter Long-level production, but he will certainly outproduce what Trae Barry did a year ago.
Boston College has not landed a four-star receiver prospect in the last ten years, so I could see the intrigue behind freshman Joseph Griffin Jr. The 6’4” 200-pounder recorded close to 900 yards and 11 touchdowns last season at Springfield Central (MA). I probably wouldn’t stash him, but I could see why others would.
Tight end Matt Ragan is a legacy commit, as his father (John) and older brother (Sean) both played for the Eagles. The 6’5” 220-pounder is a top-15 tight end in the class, and his tape was fun to watch. Ragan is also a four-year basketball player, which means he HAS to be good, right? He’s worth a look.
Players to Avoid at Cost
By every standard, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei struggled to live up to the hype instilled from his freshman year production. Now, the limited production cannot fall solely on the third-year signal-caller’s shoulders; the offensive line was inconsistent and downright bad at times, and expectations were sky-high. However, he lacked poise throughout much of the season, consistently missing reads and seemingly becoming lost in crunch time. Going into year three, the 6’5” 235-pounder has undergone a drastic physical transformation, dropping 25 pounds over the offseason, and teammates have lauded his improved leadership skills throughout the offseason. Uiagalelei is more valuable in C2C than CFF leagues, as the junior still has a chance to enter next year as a top-five quarterback in the class.
Breathing down his neck is five-star freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik, the number one passer in the class. After an illustrious career at Westlake (TX), the 6’2” 195-pounder has been heavily praised by the offensive staff throughout camp, and it is more likely than not that he makes a significant impact in year one. His high school resume stacks up with some of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory, and Tiger fans are already clamoring about getting the freshman involved early. If Uiagalelei’s struggles continue, the Klubnik era will begin earlier than expected.
Whether he was labeled as the next Christian McCaffrey or Max Borghi reincarnated, sophomore running back Will Shipley was a household name in the C2C community before even stepping foot in Death Valley. In his debut season, the 5’11” 205-pounder made an immediate impact, joining Travis Etienne as the only true freshman back with four multi-touchdown rushing games since 2000. Shipley will once again be relied on heavily in the run game, and his receiving production should only continue to improve. I’m not going to say he’s going to replicate all-purpose production at the level of former Clemson greats Etienne and C.J. Spiller, but that is the trajectory he is on.
As usual, the Tigers’ receiver room is loaded with talent, so it is difficult to predict which prospect(s) end up being fantasy relevant. If I had to pick one, I would lean towards Beaux Collins, a sophomore pass-catcher who broke out towards the end of last season. He’s currently dealing with a shoulder injury, and while we are not sure what his workload will be to begin the season, look for Collins to continue where he left off last season whenever he is available. He was one of the only freshman receivers in the Swinney era to record at least 30 receptions and 400 yards in their first season. Plus he has some chemistry with Uiagalelei, his old high school quarterback. If he remains healthy, the 6’3” 210-pounder should be the top option in the passing game.
The other half of the ‘Collins Towers’, second-year pass-catcher Dacari Collins looks to improve on a freshman season where he took advantage of opportunities due to injuries towards the back-half of the season. The 6’4” 210-pound product from Atlanta, Georgia started three games, recording 16 receptions for 221The depth of the receiver room limited his productionver room, but there are only maybe one or two receivers with the upside Collins possesses. It would not surprise me if the sophomore’s ADP improves by a round or two by next year.
Behind Shipley is a duo of talented running backs in Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah. Pace, a 5’10” 205-pounder, had a mini-breakout season a year ago, averaging over six yards per carry and recording almost 775 yards from scrimmage. ADP tends to indicate people think Pace is the more valuable asset, and I agree. That’s no criticism of Mafah, a powerful 6’1” 230-pound runner entering his second year. He was not quite as productive as Pace, as he averaged a pedestrian 4.3 yards per carry. The sophomore RB needs more game experience, but he’ll play a role in short-yardage situations and in the red zone. I see Mafah potentially transferring after this season, but that is a different story.
Junior receiver E.J. Williams is a top 75 receiver in our C2C rankings, often underlooked by the consistent crop of freshmen receivers joining the ranks every year. He has been wearing the yellow non-contact jersey due to a hematoma on his back, but all signs point to it not being a lingering long-term issue. Thankfully it isn’t, because the 6’3” 194-pounder has the knack for making big-time catches.
I’ll mention senior receiver Joseph Ngata. I would not roster him in any format because he, as well as Frank Ladson Jr., broke my heart one too many times. I can see why one would maintain a little optimism, but all is gone for me.
Second-year tight end Jake Briningstool only recorded three receptions last season, but you cannot ignore the upside that the former number-one tight end prospect would provide for the Tigers’ offense. The 6’6” 230-pounder possesses the best receiving skill set among the tight ends, but there are questions about how the sophomore handles himself in the blocking game. Davis Allen will be gone after this season, but there is room for Briningstool to produce if the Tigers run more 12 personnel. Stash him.
Devy and C2C fans mourned together when news broke that freshman receiver Adam Randall had torn his ACL in spring practice. Arguably the most talented receiver in the class, many believed that we would have to wait until 2023 to see him. Well, less than five months later, the 6’2” 230-pounder is back at practice with hopes to contribute early this year. Randall is still wearing a non-contact jersey, but reports indicate he is ahead of schedule. He sits as a top-40 receiver in C2C rankings and the second-ranked receiver among freshmen. Stash him until he breaks out. Hint: it’ll be this year.
Antonio Williams is another first-year receiver that has gained some buzz throughout camp. Currently rated as our WR72 in C2C leagues, the 5’11” 190-pounder is extremely polished for a freshman and has the versatility to contribute in the return game if needed. Streeter mentioned that his discipline and knowledge of the game stick out for a first-year guy, and Swinney is already having him learn multiple spots. I would keep him stashed for the time being.
Second-year receiver Troy Stellato is a favorite of mine, but he will miss the entirety of the season recovering from a torn ACL. I could see why others would move on, but I still have faith.
Players to Avoid at Cost
Personally, I would opt to grab Klubnik a few picks later than Uiagalelei, but I can understand the reasoning behind someone grabbing the third-year quarterback at his current QB11 price.
Florida State Seminoles
I am not a huge fan of quarterback Jordan Travis’s long-term outlook, but I can see why he can maintain some CFF value. Between the added weapons through the transfer portal and a much-improved offensive line compared to years past, we should see the 6’1” 201-pounder have his best season yet. Add in his ability on the ground, and there’s an argument that his rank of QB42 in our CFF rankings is too low.
Running backs Treshaun Ward and Lawrance Toafili are listed as co-starters on the week zero depth chart, and I expect a pretty balanced workload split between the two throughout the year. Ward succeeded a year ago in a secondary role behind Jashaun Corbin, averaging 6.6 yards per touch on 100-plus touches. Pro Football Focus expects a big year out of the 5’10” 192-pounder, as he was named Preseason All-ACC First-Team All-American alongside Syracuse’s Sean Tucker. Toafili, the 6’0” 187-pound third-year back took advantage of his 42 touches, averaging over five yards a carry and finding the endzone three times.
Wide receiver Mycah Pittman comes in from Oregon with upside, as he was consistently underutilized throughout his time in Eugene. Because of this, he currently holds little-to-no value in fantasy. There’s reason for optimism with Pittman, as the 5’11” 203-pounder is the only receiver to land a starting designation on their opening depth chart. Pittman also appears to be the primary punt returner. In a room filled with uncertainty, it appears the fourth-year receiver has been the most consistent.
Between camp reports and physical attributes, it’s difficult to not get excited about transfer receiver Johnny Wilson. The 6’7” 235-pounder only played in four games last season at Arizona State, but all signs from Tallahassee point to Wilson being a breakout star on the national level. Like Pittman, his prior production limits his current value in C2C and CFF leagues, but I can see them both being rosterable guys by midseason.
The Seminoles have two other transfer receivers, Deuce Spann (Illinois) and Winston Wright Jr. (West Virginia), vying to crack the starting lineup. Until we see how snaps play out, they are no more than late dart throws in deep CFF leaagues.
Tight end Camren McDonald does not hold any C2C value, but it should be noted that the redshirt senior is entering year five with back-to-back 20-reception seasons. With the new faces, it would not surprise me for the 6’4” 245-pounder to play a bigger role.
Freshman quarterback AJ Duffy, an IMG Academy product, should be stashed in all formats. The four-star has impressed head coach Mike Norvell throughout camp, causing him to admit that “he is probably as far along for a newcomer at quarterback than anyone [he’s] had.” Pair that with his performances throughout the summer circuit and his film, and the 6’2” 214-pounder appears to be the face of the post-Jordan Travis era.
Players to Avoid at Cost
Malik Cunningham has been the catalyst for the Cardinal’s offense since taking over the starting job full-time in 2019. The 6’1” 190-pounder has consistently stuffed stat sheets due to his game-changing ability on the ground, and his ability as a passer is underrated on a national level. While Satterfield has been vocal about keeping Cunningham in the pocket more, his production on the college side should not take too much of a hit, especially if the passing attack is more explosive.
Satterfield has mentioned this is the deepest running back room that he has had since arriving in Louisville. Connect the dots – this is going to be a full-blown committee. Tennessee transfer Tiyon Evans is the most talented back in the room and has stood out in fall camp. His combination of size and burst should find success in Satterfield’s zone running scheme. I’m confident he leads the way for the Cardinals, so his current ADP of 197.3 (RB98) is slam-dunk value.
As the leading receiving option from a year ago, tight end Marshon Ford certainly has CFF value, but I have trouble seeing much fantasy relevancy at the next level.
The more I hear about receiver Tyler Hudson, the more I had trouble keeping him out of the fantasy relevant section. The former first-team All-American from Central Arkansas is the lone receiver in the room with legitimate alpha potential, and the rave reviews from fall camp supplement the hype. Considering he’s practically free, I would add him as soon as you finish this article.
Jalen Mitchell led the Cardinals in rushing a year ago and was named MVP of the spring game, so he will certainly have a role in the offense. He does a lot of the same things Evans does, albeit at a lower level. True sophomore Trevion Cooley had a successful first-year campaign, racking up over 400 yards and averaging five yards per carry. A top 25 back in the class of 2021, he has his fair share of fans in the C2C community and certainly possesses some promise.
Receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce is the likely starter in the slot and possesses some value. If you take into account the 95-yard would-be touchdown against Eastern Kentucky where he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line, his first-year stat line would have been 30 receptions for 539 yards and five touchdowns. Despite being vastly undersized at 5’10” 163, I’m willing to roster that production.
Players to Avoid at Cost
It’s difficult for me to justify Cooley at his current ADP of 106.9 (RB42). I don’t hate him as a talent, but the ceiling to his college production is limited. How many reps can we honestly predict he gets this year behind Evans and Mitchell? Sure, things might open up after next year, but the Cardinals bring in a five-star superstar back in Rueben Owens. I’m afraid he sort of slips between the cracks.
NC State Wolfpack
At the forefront of NC State’s meteoric rise to national relevancy over the last few years has been spearheaded by fifth-year quarterback Devin Leary. Completing over 65 percent of his passes in 2021, the 6’1” 216-pounder efficiently picked apart ACC defenses en route to one of the most productive quarterback seasons in school history. While I don’t see him possessing the upside of a fantasy-relevant quarterback at the next level, I do believe he remains a factor in CFF. Whether the offense falters with the departures from last year remains to be seen. One thing will remain consistent: Leary will produce.
While running back Jordan Houston isn’t on Zonovan Knight or Ricky Person Jr.’s level, he is the most experienced back in the room. Despite his production dwindling over the last two years, the 5’10” 190-pounder filled in for Person Jr. back in 2019 and averaged a respectable 5.2 yards per carry clip on 100-plus attempts. It’s not a sexy pick by any means, but you don’t often have the opportunity to grab an experienced runner in a room with 275 carries up for grabs. He’s currently ranked outside of the top 150 backs, so this seems like major CFF value.
Although Emeka Emezie is gone, Thayer Thomas provides Leary with a sure-handed weapon out of the slot. The 6’1” 195-pounder has four years of solid production, providing Leary with an experienced safety blanket across the middle of the field. While his status as a sixth-year prospect is discouraging from a C2C standpoint, I still think there’s some meat on the bones in CFF as Leary’s primary option. Thomas will likely end his career in the top five of all major receiving categories for the Wolfpack.
Sophomore running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye was primarily a special teams contributor in his first year in Raleigh, but the word is the 6’0” 209-pounder will be a factor in year two. I’d keep an eye on him; Sumo-Karngbaye brings a level of physicality that cannot be replicated by the other backs in the room.
Wide receiver Devin Carter is another veteran option for Leary in the passing game, and his 40 games of experience provide some stability. Similarly built to Emezie, the 6’3” 216-pounder started all 12 games last year, reeling in six touchdowns and averaging over 16 yards per reception. Carter is outside of the top 225 receivers in our C2C rankings, so there is value there if you think he gets most of the vacated production from Emezie.
The wild card in the Wolfpack running back room is true freshman Michael Allen. The 5’9” 203-pounder’s name has come up often in camp reports. The first-year back ran a 10.70 100-meter and a 6.28 55-meter as a freshman in high school and has verified sub-4.5 speed. Stoutly built, Allen has the speed to outrun defenders but also possesses enough power to run through would-be tacklers. We could look back in a few years and wonder why the four-star back was not more regarded on a national level.
True freshman quarterback MJ Morris will likely redshirt this year, but it’s difficult not to root for the kid. The 6’2” 192-pounder has been battling with Charleston Southern transfer Jack Chambers for the primary backup role behind Leary. Morris held offers from almost every SEC school coming out of Carrollton (GA), and his senior film was dynamic. Going through his social media, he seems to be soaking up as much knowledge from Leary and the offensive staff as possible. With Leary likely gone after this year, I don’t see why Morris couldn’t be the starting quarterback next season. Stash him.
Players to Avoid at Cost
The Orange offense revolves around running back Sean Tucker and rightfully so. The 5’10” 205-pounder scorched opposing defenses for over 1,750 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns, shattering a multitude of program records en route to All-American accolades. Expect more of the same. We might see a slight downtick in carries with the new staff looking to pass more. It’s hard to project because Anae hasn’t had a running back of Tucker’s caliber. Tucker has made it a focal point of his offseason development to work on his route-running ability, so his overall touch count should not be impacted too much.
Garrett Shrader has been pretty limited as a passer both at Mississippi State and Syracuse but still maintains CFF value due to his ability on the ground. The 6’4” 228-pound redshirt junior rushed for 781 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he only completed 52.6% of his passes and threw for nine scores. There’s serious potential for improvement with offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterback coach Jason Beck coming over from Virginia. From what I’ve gathered from camp reports, he has looked poised and much more confident, so who knows? Will he have a Brennan Armstrong-type season? No. But Beck? has gotten the best out of quarterbacks with similar profiles (Bryce Perkins / Taysom Hill).
If you want to take a dart throw at true freshman running back LeQuint Allen, go ahead. The 6’0” 193-pounder was only a three-star prospect but earned New Jersey’s Gatorade Player of the Year after rushing for over 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns. The last running back to earn the honor was Notre Dame’s Audric Estime. He scored on a 41-yard run in the spring game and has flashed throughout fall camp. I’ve seen players with worse resumes stashed.
Players to Avoid at Cost
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Wake Forest offense under offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero has quietly been one of the best in the ACC over the past few years. Unfortunately, he’ll be working without his full deck, as quarterback Sam Hartman works his way back from a non-football-related medical condition. This is a major hit to the entire offense from both a production and leadership standpoint. Dave Clawson has been adamant about Hartman returning this year at some point, so there’s cause for optimism.
All signs point to third-year signal-caller Mitch Griffis leading the way when the Demon Deacons host VMI next Thursday. The 5’11” 192-pounder has only completed four college passes, but Wake Forest returns enough veteran pieces on the offensive line and in the receiver room for Griffis to work with. He also completed 80 percent of his passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in their latest scrimmage. It should be noted that Ruggiero has coached an All-American quarterback at five of his last six schools, so Griffis could keep this offense somewhat relevant from a fantasy standpoint. If I was a gambling man, I would not take that risk, but stranger things have happened.
But if he does, fifth-year wide receiver A.T. Perry will play a major part. The 6’5” 205-pounder broke out in a major way last year, reeling in 71 receptions for 1,293 yards and a whopping 15 touchdowns, breaking a 30-year school record set by Kenny Duckett in 1980. With Jaquarii Roberson moving on to the Dallas Cowboys, it is likely we would have seen his production increase if Hartman was in the lineup. Still, there is a reason the 6’5” 205-pounder was named a 2nd Team AP All-American. Just temper your expectations.
Don’t forget about wide receiver Donavon Greene. The 6’2” 210-pounder missed the entirety of last season and the spring working back from an ACL injury, but back in 2020, Greene practically doubled Perry’s production. With a career yard per reception average of 19.8, the fourth-year receiver will look to replicate some of the production lost by Roberson. I’m willing to hold on to Greene at the right price.
Last year’s leading rusher Christian Beal-Smith is now at South Carolina, leaving the Demon Deacon offense with some uncertainty in the backfield. From what I’ve seen, this is likely to be an ugly committee for fantasy purposes. Third-year back Justice Ellison, who hit the 500-yard mark last season and added seven touchdowns, so he’ll likely have the first crack at touches, but Christian Turner and Quinton Cooley will also play a role. Despite having 90 career starts returning on the offensive line in front of them, I don’t have too much confidence rostering any of these backs.
There’s not much to hate about freshman receiver Wesley Grimes’ game. The four-star prospect had insane production at Millbrook High School (NC), recording 87 receptions for 1,594 yards and 26 touchdowns. He is already an advanced route-runner compared to his peers and is an effortless glider after the catch. Plus, he’s 6’2” with great timing and ball skills. Wake Forest has not redshirted a freshman receiver since 2015, but all signs point to that streak being snapped in 2022.
First-year running back Demond Claiborne is considered a top-10 back according to 247Sports, so he’s definitely a stash candidate in a lackluster-but-crowded running back room. The 5’9” 197-pounder has top-notch speed evident by his 10.6 100-meter time as a junior, and his burst has been something noted throughout camp. The Demon Deacons haven’t landed a four-star running back in the past 15 years, so it’s safe to say Claiborne will have the opportunity to lead the way at some point. Whether that is this year remains to be seen.
Players to Avoid at Cost
Without Hartman leading the Demon Deacons’ passing attack until further notice, it is tough to justify drafting any of the current receivers at their current ADPs. Specifically, A.T. Perry’s ADP of 11.5 (WR2) in CFF leagues is bonkers, and it’s hard to consider Donovan Greene a top-50 WR asset coming off of injury. Until we obtain some clarity about how the offense will run and how Griffis will distribute targets, I’m staying away from everyone but the freshmen.