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Conference USA is one of the higher scoring Group of Five conferences in the nation. Headlined by an explosive Western Kentucky offense, there are fantasy-relevant players on each team in this conference. Additionally, with the poor defensive play – especially in the East, the offensive production will outpace defenses in 2022. The players for each team are broken down into these categories:

  • Fantasy Relevant
  • Roster Fillers
  • Stashes
  • Players to Avoid at Cost

All teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Charlotte

Fantasy Relevant

The offense in Charlotte revolves around the passing game. Quarterback Chris Reynolds has ample weapons and, in 11 games last season, averaged 243.7 yards per game with 26 touchdowns. He has upside in conference games, going over 290 yards four times and having four rushing touchdowns. He averaged 27.5 fantasy points per game. That will absolutely provide value.

Comparing the receiving yardage market share for the Charlotte receivers in 2021 using Campus2Canton’s Player Plots Tool.

Reynolds has two quality receivers, starting with Grant DuBose. DuBose averaged 15.6 points per game, including three 25-point outings. He’s the primary receiving option in this group and has 1,000-yard upside in 2022. Alongside DuBose is receiver Elijah Spencer. What’s unique about Spencer in comparison to DuBose is how much work he got as a true freshman in 2021. He should see a larger piece of the pie this year despite only a 12.5% receiving market share in 2021. Receiver Victor Tucker also will play a role, but with the emergence of the two mentioned prior, it will be hard for him to carve out more work as he saw in his first two years.

Roster Fillers

None. The backfield is evenly split between Shadrick Byrd and Calvin Camp, making the passing game the only source of value for the 49ers. If you’re rostering one. Byrd is the one to target.

Stashes

None.

Avoids at ADP

None.

Florida International

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of NEC Overtime

Like most Conference USA teams, the passing game is a big part of what the Panthers will do this year. Tyrese Chambers returns for his final year of eligibility and should be the focal point of this offense. In 2021, Chambers posted a 45-1,083-9 line and saw even less competition in 2022. The second-leading option, Bryce Singleton, is in the NFL and was a big part of the offense last year with a 26.7% receiving market share.

Roster Fillers

None. Tyrese Chambers is the only player with rostering on this team in regular leagues.

Stashes

Rivaldo Fairweather is an intriguing name at tight end. A third-year player, there’s the opportunity for him to take a more significant role in this offense after ranking fourth in receiving in 2021. He’s an athletic player who is up to 6’5”, 245lbs. The staff expects him to be a bigger part of the offense. He’s a deep league target.

Avoids at ADP

None.

Florida Atlantic

Fantasy Relevant

The offense functionally runs through quarterback N’Kosi Perry. A quality rusher and acceptable passer, Perry has weekly upside. Perry had games of 44.2, 39.4, 34.8, 29.9, and 26 points. If half a quarterback’s games are over 26 and he has enormous upside – he’s absolutely a fantasy-relevant player. Perry is generally considered unsexy, but the Miami transfer outperformed expectations last year with 2,771 passing yards and 20 touchdowns on a career-high 61% completion percentage.

Roster Fillers

With N’Kosi Perry looking to build on last season, the primary beneficiary should be leading receiver LaJohntay Wester. In 2021, the Owls ranked 83rd in neutral game script pass rate, but their numbers should improve under new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon. If that comes to fruition, Wester should improve on his 65-702-4 line from 2021. The second leading receiver, Je’Quan Burton, is interesting but not worth rostering currently.

I think this offense will be better this year, and a key to that might be running back Johnny Ford. Last season, Ford had over 1,100 yards from scrimmage and is a dynamic receiver. Ford should be productive again this season after an RB34 finish in 2021 after averaging 16.2 fantasy points per game. The offensive line returns three of four starters, and Ford was incredibly efficient, averaging over two yards per carry more than his teammates.

Stashes

None.

Avoids at ADP

None.

Middle Tennessee

Fantasy Relevant

As much as I love a degenerate play as much as the next person, there’s nobody currently fantasy relevant on the Middle Tennessee roster.

Roster Fillers

None.

Stashes

Now we’re talking. Middle Tennessee could be a little more fun in 2022. Ranked 12th in neutral game script pass rate, a full year with Chase Cunningham under center could result in a boom season. He was injured last year in his eighth game but showcased a high upside in good matchups. Cunningham had a 57.5-point fantasy game and a 42.3-point fantasy game. He’s a player that should be rostered in all leagues and is one of the better bye-week fillers.

Knowing Cunningham has upside in quality matchups, that necessitates receiving production. My favorite target in this offense is receiver Jaylin Lane. Lane was fourth in receiving last year, but the top two targets, Jarrin Peirce and Jimmy Marshall leaving, vacate 33% of last year’s receiving yardage production. He secured a 15% market share last season as a second-year player. Lane is a dynamic playmaker who is one of the country’s best returners. Look for the offense to feature him more this year.

Comparing the receiving yardage market share for the Middle Tennessee receivers in 2021 using Campus2Canton’s Player Plots Tool.

Lane does have to compete with Yusuf Ali, who outpaced him in yardage last season. Like Lane, Ali is also a diminutive receiver but was productive last year with a 15.2% receiving market share. As a fifth-year player, Ali is the veteran in this offense, but Lane emerged last season, and if his development continues, I don’t think Ali can outpace him in 2022.

Avoids at ADP

None.

Western Kentucky

Fantasy Relevant

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – THE Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The offense last year was nothing short of remarkable. A record-setting performance behind the duo of Bailey Zappe and Zach Kittley. Both depart in 2022, but some key pieces remain. Offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle is a Kittley disciple. His right-hand man for the better part of three seasons, he knows this offensive scheme better than anyone and will continue to have a near-identical approach. I tend to believe the “Kittley-factor” is a little overblown given that head coach Tyson Helton, when offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers, had Brandon Doughty who led the country in passing yards and touchdowns in 2015. Helton and Arbuckle should be acceptable for this team.

In 2021, the Western Kentucky offense ranked second in neutral game script pass rate at 69%, second in plays per game with 53.6 and fifth in pace of play with 2.71 plays per minute. This catapulted Zappe to the greatest passing season of all time (statistically) and offensive production down the roster. Enter Jarrett Doege. Doege, a transfer from West Virginia, looks to be the favorite to win this job. Although he’s a less efficient passer than Zappe, the offensive approach ensures he’ll be fantasy relevant. In 2021, Zappe didn’t have a single game under 36 fantasy points and attempted 40 passes in all but one contest. If Doege has even close to that level of production, he’ll be very fantasy relevant.

There is a thought that Western Florida transfer Austin Reed can win this job, but the jump from Division II (not FCS) is substantial, and by all accounts, Doege is running ahead right now.

Comparing the receiving yardage market share for the Western Kentucky receivers in 2021 using Campus2Canton’s Player Plots Tool.

At receiver, we should see new faces leading this group. Both Jerreth Sterns and Mitchell Tinsley move on (Sterns to the NFL and Tinsley to Penn State), vacating 54.4% of receiving yardage production from last season – a total of 3,304 yards between the duos This opens plenty of production for Malachi Corley and Daewood Davis. Corley, the younger of the two as a third-year player, will move into a full-time starter role and look to expand on his 11.3% market share. He is generally the first drafted of the two and operates in a similar role to Sterns, making him a preferred target but don’t sleep on Davis.

Davis was the primary outside option last year behind Tinsley for the Hilltoppers and retains the role this season. He’s the most veteran player on the team, entering his sixth year. Historically, the offense works inside to out, but with the production and reliability of Davis, he’s going to be fantasy relevant and has 1,000-yard potential.

Courtesy of TheItem.com

The real wild card is the role tight end Josh Simon will have in 2022. Injured in their first game, Simon was en route to a breakout season. With a 3-72-2 line in their opener, he was a featured weapon in this passing game, and now that he’s fully healthy, there’s little reason to think that changes. I expect him to finish as a TE1 this year, and he has some NFL upside.

Roster Fillers

This offense is clearly one to target for 2022, and in deep leagues, it’s worth grabbing secondary and tertiary options. This includes two transfer receivers in, Jaylen Hall and Michael Mathison. Two MAC transfers, should step into sizable roles for the Hilltoppers this season and are worth taking a flier on at the end of drafts. Hall had a 22.8% market share alongside Skyy Moore at Western Michigan last season, and Mathison secured a 27.1% market share competing with Konata Mumpfield. These are both quality players and will factor into this offense. Last season, this offense had four receivers who ran over 475 routes and three with over 100 targets. It can support these secondary options.

Stashes

None.

Avoids at ADP

Nothing stands out with these values but I think there’s a chance with Malachi Corley’s ADP, you should prefer Daewood Davis at cost.

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