The Campus2Canton writing staff will be covering all of the conferences from now until the beginning of the college football season. To view previous conferences, click one of the links below:

From storied programs like Notre Dame and BYU to one of the premier military academies in Army to newcomers Liberty, the group of independents represents some of the most intriguing teams amidst the new wave of realignment. Notre Dame has 11 claimed National Titles and has two appearances in the College Football Playoff. The Army vs. Navy game dates back to 1890 and is one of the founding pillars of college football. While there may not be much star power among the independent teams outside of Notre Dame, these teams are not to be forgotten and will play a role in the future of College Football. 

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
  • Stashes
  • Player to avoid at ADP

All teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Army West Point Black Knights

Army is a team that runs the ball at one of the highest rates in the country annually, boasting a 12% neutral game pass script last year. While there can occasionally be fantasy value found here, there is none at this point for 2022.

Fantasy Relevant

None

Roster Fillers

None

Stashes

None

Player to avoid at ADP

None 

BYU Cougars

Fantasy Relevant

Image courtesy of 247sports.com

Jaren Hall A 3-star prospect in the class of 2016, Hall didn’t officially join the football team until 2018 due to spending two years on an LDS mission trip. Hall is coming off a QB24 season in terms of fantasy points per game with 22.4 fpg and 2,583 passing yards, 307 rushing yards, and 23 total TDs. Hall’s name has been bandied about in some circles as a potential early draft pick in the NFL draft. But, he will be at least 24 years old by the time he enters the league and has two years of eligibility left. While his NFL future could be met with some skepticism, Hall should once again produce at a high level in college for at least one year, possibly two.

Christopher Brooks – Last season at Cal, Brooks recorded 607 yards and four TDs on 116 carries and 131 yards and three TDs on 19 receptions. Transferring to BYU, Brooks enters a backfield losing its star in Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier recorded 1,607 yards and 23 TDs on 276 carries and 28 receptions for 199 yards on his way to 25.4 fpg and an RB7 finish. While Brooks may not perfectly replicate Allgeier’s production, he should handle the bulk of the backfield work for BYU and produce some excellent numbers.

Roster Fillers

Puka Nacua – A 4-star recruit and the #22 WR in the class of 2019, Nacua entered Washington with high hopes. After minimal production, Nacua transferred to BYU for the 2021 season. Last year, Nacua recorded 805 yards and 14 TDs on 43 receptions for BYU. Those stats were good for 14.5 fpg and a WR81 finish. With Allgeier gone and a strength of schedule in the upper third of the NCAA, BYU may need to rely more on the pass, resulting in increased volume for Nacua.


Isaac Rex – After a mission trip and a redshirt year, Rex had a breakout season in 2020. Rex recorded 37 catches for 429 yards and 12TDs through 11 games with Zach Wilson under center. He then disappointed expectations in 2021 with only 193 yards and three TDs on 18 receptions. Rex is a TD-dependent option at a TE position that can be difficult to find production and does come with three years of eligibility left, which can be useful.

Stashes

None

Player to Avoid at ADP

None

Liberty Flames

Fantasy Relevant

None

Roster Fillers

Dae Dae Hunter – A 3-star RB in the class of 2020, Hunter transferred from Hawaii after recording over 800 all-purpose yards in 120 total touches. Hunter is now joining a Liberty team losing its offensive focal point in fantasy stud Malik Willis. Willis led the team last year in rushing with 878 yards and 13 TDs. With the team searching for an identity, Hunter has an excellent opportunity in front of him.

Demario Douglas – An unranked Athlete recruit in the class of 2019, Demario Douglas had a breakout season in 2021, averaging 14.2fpg and recording 52 receptions for 701 yards and 6 TDs. With journeyman Charlie Brewer expected to be under center in 2022, Douglas could see an increase in volume from a more traditional, pocket-based QB.

Stashes

Kaidon Salter – Salter entered the new look Tennessee under offensive wizard Josh Heupel with high hopes as a 4-star prospect and #19 QB in the class of 2021. Unfortunately, Salter’s immaturity resulted in him being kicked off the team before being able to showcase his abilities in spring ball. After hitting the reset button and transferring to Liberty, Salter still possesses an impressive skill set. While Brewer appears to be the favorite to start this season, if Salter’s able to grow and mature, he could be the starter at Liberty in 2023 and beyond.

Player to Aoid at ADP

None

New Mexico State Aggies

Despite attempting the seventh most passes and having the fourth highest neutral game script pass rate last year, New Mexico State is not a team to target in 2022. This team is devoid of any real fantasy talent, and there isn’t a player on the roster to watch.

Fantasy Relevant

None

Roster Fillers

None

Stashes

None

Player to avoid at ADP

None 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Fantasy Relevant

Tyler Buchner – The 4-star prospect and #11 QB in the class of 2021, Buchner entered college, having only played one full season in his last three. Raw and playing for a coach notoriously conservative with freshmen, Buchner still managed to earn a sub-package role with his athleticism. Buchner recorded 336 yards, three rushing TDs, and a 60% comp for 298 yards, 3 TDs, and 3 INTs. And w, while Brian Kelly has left for purpler pastures, OC Tommy Rees stayed behind with his 30th neutral game script pass rate. Buchner should be a CFF fantasy asset via his legs alone. But if he can make strides as a passer, he also has legitimate NFL upside.

Chris Tyree – As the #1 All–Purpose Back in the class of 2020, Tyree was small but could catch passes well and had speed to burn. While none of that has changed, it did allow him to carve out a role last year with 422 rush yards and a TD on 46 carries and 258 yards and two TDs on 24 receptions. With injuries striking down RB after RB this off-season, Tyree will need to be even more involved with the running game in addition to his expected passing game work. Unfortunately, Tyree’s size may limit his future role in the NFL.

Lorenzo Styles Jr. – As mentioned, Kelly was not the type of coach to give freshmen much paying time. However, after he left for Baton Rouge, Styles erupted for 136 yards and a TD on eight catches in the Fiesta Bowl. The #20 WR in the class of 2021 looks primed to take over as the WR1 in this offense this year. Notre Dame’s WR1 last year recorded 48 receptions for 888 yards and seven TDs. Styles can easily replicate those numbers, if not surpass them.

Image courtesy of on3.com

Michael Mayer – A rare 5-star TE, Mayer entered a Notre Dame system with a history of using the TE. In 2021, Mayer was the true #1 option in the Notre Dame passing attack, as he led the team in receptions on his way to 19.4 fpg and a TE5 finish last year. Mayer should again be the top target in this offense in 2022 and represents one of the safest NFL projections for the TE position in college.

Roster Fillers

Austin Estime – Estime entered Notre Dame with a respectable pedigree as the #14 RB in the class of 2021. And while he may not be the most athletic or versatile RB at Notre Dame, he is essentially the last man standing. Chris Tyree cannot handle a full RB workload, leaving plenty of carries of Estime in an offense that produced 22.2 fpg and the RB13 finish for Kyren Williams. While Estime may not see 200+ carries like Kyren, he should see plenty of work on a team with a good offensive line and a new QB.

Stashes

Jadarian Price – The #17 RB in the class of 2022, Price enrolled early and showed off his skills for the coaches. Price continually earned praise this offseason. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles and will likely miss the entire year. The silver lining is that he should still have four years of eligibility after redshirting. Assuming a full recovery for 2023, Price will be competing with Estime and Logan Diggs, two backs he was able to out-shine this spring.

Tobias Merriweather – A 4-star prospect and the #18 WR in the class of 2022, Merriweather enters a Notre Dame WR room lacking proven talent. Styles looks to be the WR1 at this point, but behind him are Graduate Students/Seniors Braden Lenzy and Avery Davis and 2021 4-star WR Deion Colzie. Merriweather may never be the team’s WR1 with Styles and Colzie in front of him and potentially three 4-star WRs coming in behind him, but he is talented enough to carve out a role in this offense, for what that’s worth.

Logan Diggs – Despite entering a backfield with an established starter, Diggs was able to carve out a role as a true freshman. Diggs ranked third on the team in rushing with 52 carries for 230 rush yards and three TDs and added six receptions for 56 yards and a TD. Looking set to lead the backfield in 2022, Diggs had shoulder surgery that looks to keep him out into the “upper third of the season.” Diggs may earn back some of his role when he returns but is just a stash and hope at this point.

Eli Raridon – A 4-star prospect and the #5 TE class of 2022, Eli Raridon already is close to NFL size at 6’6″ 228lbs. Raridon has a basketball background and displays athletic upside as well. He tore his ACL in December, but reports are that “he’ll be there physically” this season. Stuck behind Mayer for 2022, Raridon was always a play for 2023 any way on a team that produces TEs for the NFL and uses them effectively in college. 

Player to avoid at ADP

Logan Diggs – While his ADP has dropped from 61st to 120th in June, a tenth-round ADP for an injured player who now has someone ahead of him on the depth chart with a nearly identical skillset is far too rich.

University of Connecticut Huskies

Fantasy Relevant

None

Roster Fillers

None

Stashes

Image courtesy of @UConnSN on Twitter.com

Cameron Ross – A 3-star WR in the class of 2019, Cameron Ross broke out as a true freshman with 60 receptions for 723 yards and four TDs. Unfortunately, UConn did not play in the 2020 COVID season and only managed to play two games in 2021. The QB play is likely far from stellar, with Penn State transfer Taquan Roberson projected to start at QB. Ross may struggle to produce consistently. But with few other options on a bad team who is likely to be playing from behind frequently, Ross could see the volume to be worth stashing on your bench for some spot starts.

Player to Avoid at ADP

None

University of Massachusetts Minutemen

Fantasy Relevant

Ellis Merriweather – Merriweather has had a bit of a unique career path this far. Unranked in the class of 2017, Merriweather went the Junior College route for three years. When he elected to transfer, he was a 3-star JUCO transfer in the class of 2020. After UMass only played four games in the 2020 COVID season, Merriweather exploded in 2021 for 1138 yards and five TDs on 218 carries and 22 receptions for 165 yards and a TD. Merriweather closed out the 2021 season with six 100-yard games in his last seven. Likely the focal point for UMass’ offense again, Merriweather should be a very cheap source for solid production.

Roster Fillers

None

Stashes

None

Players to Avoid at ADP

None

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