Hundreds of players will be taken in drafts, most of whom played FBS football last season. Knowing this, it’s easier to project their statistics for the 2022 season. However, those transferring from Junior College or moving from the FCS level are more difficult to project; thus, most have depressed ADPs in Campus2Canton drafts. This uncertainty creates the opportunity to grab players at a discount that could be league-winners if things break right for your C2C teams.
1. Anthony Grant, Nebraska
The number one JuCo RB according to 247, Grant has made an impression at Nebraska already. A one-time Florida State player, Grant hopes to have a strong season for the Cornhuskers, who are in need of a lead back.
Operating as the RB1 in the spring game, Grant posted 71 yards and a touchdown before being taken out as a precaution. Scott Frost went transfer heavy this offseason, likely in a bid to save his job, but Grant could be a hidden gem. His touchdown below was incredibly impressive, but more importantly, he was involved in the receiving game, which could be beneficial under new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.
This play from Grant isn’t something you’ve seen from Nebraska running backs in the last few years. A great cut at the line and explosiveness/burst to pull away from defenders and score. Between Rahmir Johnson and Jaquez Yant, Grant’s spring has stood out according to all accounts. However, last year’s true freshman starter, Gabe Ervin, is still rehabbing, allowing Grant to seize an early in-season role with Ervin recovers.
Grant rarely goes in C2C drafts, and that should change. Nebraska will likely pass more, but as a very unlucky 3-9 team last season, positive regression is in the Cornhuskers’ favor. That means more positive game scripts and a higher rush rate. A key differentiator for the 2022 season is the addition of Casey Thomson. Not nearly the rusher Adrian Martinez is, that should open more running back volume in both phases of the game. I like Grant as a late-round flier.
2. La’Damien Webb, South Alabama
Webb has an interesting story. A one-time Junior College recruit to Florida State left the program to return to the same JuCo school he transferred from, Jones College. Now Webb is at South Alabama and appears primed to take on a large role for the Jaguars. Coming as the JuCo RB3 according to 247 after leading the NJCAA in rushing yards per game with 133.9 along with 14 touchdowns last season, expect Webb to be an immediate contributor.
This year, expect a different South Alabama offense with Jalen Tolbert moving onto the NFL and Jake Bentley exhausting eligibility. Desmond Trotter has experience in the system, and he’s likely the first man up and has been through spring, but Toledo transfer Carter Bradley might get a shot as well. Either way, despite Bentley’s solid showing, both Trotter and Bradley can keep the offense afloat despite the losses.
The drawback with Webb and why he’s not on the C2C radar is a foot injury that will keep him out through summer. Before the injury, he was running as the lead back and looked excellent by all accounts but not you’re running the risk that he isn’t back in week 1 – which, given the conference schedule, might not matter for your leagues.
Webb is the lead back and will reclaim the role when he returns from injury. Despite mediocre RB production from the Jaguars last season, don’t be surprised if that script is flipped. A much better defense, led by a strong defensive line, should keep South Alabama competitive, leading to much better game script situations. A defense ranked 81st by ESPN’s SP+, last year’s 5-7 team could make a jump to bowl eligibility, considering they rank above five other opponents in the same SP+ overall numbers.
Given that positive game scripts should be slightly better this season, Webb can also contribute in the passing game. In his brief stint at Florida State, he caught nine passes despite being featured in only three games, while playing in seven. At Jones College last season, he also had 12 catches for 151 yards, a 12.6 yards per catch – as a running back, that is impressive. Additionally, as a unit, South Alabama’s running backs caught 37 passes, and with Desmond Trotter’s abysmal 5.7 yards per attempt in 2021, they could be featured more heavily – especially when compared to Jake Bentley’s willingness to throw deep, evidenced by his 8.2 YPA.
Webb is under the radar in C2C leagues, deserving a shot to be drafted late. At worse, if the role isn’t there he’s an early season cut candidate but he has the potential to be a sneaky CFF contributor in 2022.
3. Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison
This one is less of a projection and more of a” have this guy on your radar”. Agyei-Obese was injured most of last season, otherwise, he would be going substantially higher in drafts (if drafted at all). A 6-year player on FBS-bound James Madison, he’ll be the workhorse for the Bulldogs in a conference with historically weaker defenses. A two-time FCS All-American in 2019 and 2021 (spring), he should step into a role with 275+ carries on an offense that could surprise people.
Former Colorado State quarterback Todd Centeio is good enough to lead this offense to relevancy year one based on their schedule. Centeio threw for nearly 3,000 yards last season, having a 15-10 TD-INT ratio facing more difficult competition than he will in the SunBelt in 2022. James Madison is favored in at least 6 games in which they are graded higher than their opponents (Middle Tennessee, Georgia Southern, UL Monroe, Texas State, Norfolk State, and Arkansas State.) A 6-6 JMU team would provide enough positive game scripts for Agyei-Obese to be productive.
JMU’s willingness to run the ball in the redzone is a key part of his value, evidenced by his staggering 19 touchdowns in 2019. Despite injuries derailing his last season, Agyei-Obese sounds healthy and ready to contribute as the lead back once again. An all-time James Madison great, this could be an excellent swan song season for C2C leagues.
The drawback with Agyei-Obese is that he doesn’t catch passes. His career-high of six in a season limits his overall upside. He is largely undrafted in C2C drafts and worth the risk. A comparison role-wise is having similar contributions to that of Air Force RB Brad Roberts, a player being drafted much higher. Given his price (or lack thereof), I’m in on the Bulldogs stud.