For part three of this series, we’re digging deep again to find upside in your Campus2Canton drafts. Previously we’ve targeted unlikely situations, uncertain starters, and potential target hogs. We have more coming, and these might be some of our best. You can also find Part I and Part II here.
1. Eddie Lewis, WR, Memphis
The loss of Calvin Austin III looms large for the Memphis Tigers, but they have playmakers available to help. Most C2C drafters are focused on Javon Ivory as the most experienced returning starter. However, Lewis could make a name for himself in 2022. Lewis spent his first two years at Rutgers and a year at the Junior College level. Ultimately, he transferred to Memphis last year for a fresh start. In wake of Calvin Austin III heading to the NFL, Lewis is primed to seize that role as a dynamic playmaker outside. Lewis is the most similar option to Austin. Clocked at a 4.46 40-time in high school, he can operate as a burner, and at his size (5’11 192lbs). He also has legit deep separation ability.
In nine starts last year, Lewis posted 22-349-4, showcasing his ability as a deep threat. However, contending for targets on the outside was difficult given the role Austin was playing. Lewis is the only returning receiver who played more than 40% outside, becoming the primary option on the edge. In 2021 Lewis saw the second-most targets behind Austin, tied with Javon Ivory but given Ivory and Gabriel Rogers fighting for slot snaps and potentially similar roles, it’s logical Eddie Lewis is the one to make the jump. Ivory saw 40% of his snaps out wide last season, and I expect that to jump this year. He does have separation questions on film, meaning he likely plays all over the formation. Give me Lewis at a discount, given his upside.
2. Marcell Barbee / Javen Banks, WR, Texas State
Given both players are undrafted, I’m including both so you can take your shot. Last season the Bobcats ranked 17th in neutral game script pass rate and were above average in pace at 69.1 plays per game. Jake Spavital continues his play-calling duties as head coach but gets additional help to make this offense click. Transfer Layne Hatcher is a huge addition to this offense that, despite their heavy pass rate, averaged a 57.6% completion percentage and 193.1 yards per game. Layne Hatcher should help turn those numbers around and provide productivity to this offense.
Despite splitting time as a starter, in games where Hatcher attempts 25+ passes, he’s averaged 301 yards. The competition shouldn’t change as he moves from one SunBelt team to another, and although he can be inefficient at times (7.1 yards per pass attempt), it’s better than anything Texas State has had.
Javen Banks returns as the leading receiver with 36-548-5 in 11 games last season, a 28.4% receiving yardage share in games he started last season. Playing on the outside, he was the top receiver for the Bobcats but gave way to Marcell Barbee, who could lead the team this season. Barbee, despite playing inside, led Banks in targets, 68 to 65, and was the more dynamic receiver after the catch with 4.5 YAC per reception, compared to Barbee’s 2.4 per PFF. Ultimately, these receivers play two different roles. With Banks’ average depth of target at 18.8 yards, he will operate as a deep threat while Barbee will see more receptions closer to the line of scrimmage with his 11.8 aDOT.
Both players have upside.
3. Quincy Patterson II, QB, Temple
Listen, it’s not every day I recommend Temple’s backup quarterback. However, today is that day. Patterson is only the backup because he hasn’t been on the field yet. A class of 2018 recruit, Patterson was a four-star quarterback who played at Virginia Tech before transferring to North Dakota State. An elite rusher, he’s built like a tank (6’3” 240lbs). There’s no player on Temple’s offense who has the athletic upside of a player like Patterson.
At the FCS level, Patterson started seven games in 2021 and saw rushing packages in North Dakota’s State championship game. As a starter, Patterson only had a 55.4% completion percentage but an 8.05 yards per pass attempt. His throwing motion leaves much to be desired, but he has the arm strength and can post good enough passing numbers in good matchups. His real draw for fantasy production is elite rushing ability. Last season Patterson had 660 rushing yards on 113 carries, again despite starting in only seven games. He also had seven games where he rushed for over 55 yards (which includes sack yardage) and five games over 80 yards.
Patterson has by far the most upside in this offense and was targeted by new coach Stan Drayton in the portal. He also has familiarity with receivers coach and passing game coordinator Jafar Williams from his time at Virginia Tech. It’s hard not to think, with everything going for him, that he is well-liked and handpicked by the coaching staff.
It’s a lofty comparison, but Patterson could see a Garrett Shrader-like 2022 season. Under 1,500 passing yards but upwards of 175 carries for 700-800 yards and near double-digit touchdowns. Compared to Syracuse, this schedule works for Patterson. Games against Navy, UMASS, Lafayette, Duke, Tulsa, and South Florida give Patterson some room to work his magic.