B1G Ten West is loaded with some of the top players in college football. Teams built on running the ball on playing defense. With the West more wide open than recent seasons, we should see some very competitive play this year. Wisconsin and Minnesota are the class of the division. However, Iowa, Northwestern, and Purdue could surprise some teams and cause chaos in the Big Ten and Big Ten West.
For college fantasy purposes, you’ll find quite a few players throughout the Big Ten West that can help you win the National Championship. So let’s take a deep dive into the conference and players.
- Fantasy Relevant
- Roster Fillers
- Player to avoid at ADP
All teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Illinois doesn’t currently have any players that will likely be fantasy-relevant most weeks of the season.
Chase Brown, a sophomore running back, is worth a roster-filler spot. Any starting RB is worth rostering for depth purposes. Brown should see a bulk of the carries in the Illinois offense. Most C2C leagues have deep starting rosters, so there’s a chance that Brown could see your starting lineup with injuries and bye weeks. He finished 104th in points per game last season with 11.06. This year, that could see a jump and should push to be around the 80th rank at his position.
Reggie Love III, a freshman RB, is worth a stash in C2C leagues. Love could be in line to get some carries as early as this year and should see an increase by next season. With Love at this point looking to be the future running game, he’s a worthy stash at this point.
Player values at ADP
Chase Brown has a current ADP of 322.50 as the as 131st RB off the board. This is a great value at his ADP as he likely finishes between running back 80-100 in the 2021 season.
Tyler Goodson, a junior RB, will be whom the offense runs through. Goodson has been a solid starter for the Hawkeyes the past two seasons. He possesses good contact balance and will produce in the receiving game as well. Goodson is primed to be the main three-down back and should produce as a top 20 running back in the 2021 season.
Sam LaPorta, a junior TE, was a wide receiver in high school, showing at the tight end position. LaPorta has excellent hands. He can be used in-line as a blocker and can be flexed to the outside as well. This should help him see more receiving volume as he is the best receiving option on the team. He should finish as a top 20 option at tight end and could be in for a big year in this offense, which could help boost his draft capital.
As of right now, Iowa doesn’t have any players worth being a roster filler.
Spencer Petras, a junior QB, will be the starter for the Hawkeyes. He’s got a big arm and can make plays, but in three years, he hasn’t even thrown 150 passes yet. Petras is worth stashing away on your roster as he has upside. As of right now, though, he needs to go out on the field and prove it before he should be considered a serious bench or starting option.
Player values at ADP
Tyler Goodson has an ADP of 95.71 and is the 31st RB off the board. You’re getting decent value here from him here as he should finish in the top 20.
Mohamed Ibrahim, a senior RB, will be one of the top-scoring fantasy RBs in CFF this year. 5’10 and 2’10 pounds, Ibrahim already has the NFL size required for the next level. He plays with a physical and bruising running style. He lacks some of the burst, and lateral speed to likely be a top-end NFL running back. Overall he looks to be one of the top running backs in college this year and should produce towards the top 5 at the RB position.
Chris Autman-Bell, a senior WR, is the deep threat for the Gophers offense. In the past few seasons, we’ve seen that head coach PJ Fleck’s offense has produced top wide receiver over the past few seasons. Bell, at 6’1″ and 215 pounds, brings the speed to make splash plays. He should be a great WR1 with Daniel Jackson on the other side. With quarterback Tanner Morgan’s ability to push the ball down the field, Bell should be a top 30 option at WR this season.
Tanner Morgan, a senior quarterback, will be looking to improve his draft capital and leading Minnesota to another successful season. As you can see in the graph above, Fleck often passes the ball, which benefits Morgan as well. He has two good wide receivers in Autman-Bell and Jackson. However, even with as successful as Bell can be, Morgan’s upside is a bit limited. Morgan, at best, will finish as a top 100 option at the position. With most leagues starting at least two quarterbacks, the chances that Morgan will ever start for you are slim. He’s still worth being on your roster for the occasional juicy matchups.
Daniel Jackson, a sophomore WR, is the next guy up in this offense. He should be the WR2 in this offense. While Bell will likely be the big-play threat this season, Jackson has more speed. He has a verified 4.5 40-yard dash. Jackson does struggle with catches at times which could hurt his value this year. Jackson is the future of this offense and should still produce this year.
Player values at ADP
Autman-Bell has an ADP of 184.86 coming off the board as WR60. He’ll easily outproduce his ADP this year.
Jackson currently has an ADP of 232.67 and is WR99 off the board. While he likely won’t outproduce that this year, Jackson is the guy for this offense moving forward and is worth the pick.
Adrian Martinez, a junior QB, was a four-star recruit out of high school. He came to Nebraska with all the promise in the world. He has the ability to pass the ball with accuracy anywhere on the field. Martinez can also use his legs to extend and make plays. While Martinez has shown flashes of brilliance, he’s also been inconsistent. He has a shot to put it all together this season and possibly increase his NFL draft stock. Regardless, Martinez should produce on the college side this season. With his rushing upside and the schedule Nebraska plays, Martinez has the upside of a top 40 option at quarterback.
Samori Toure, a senior WR, transferred to Nebraska this season from the University of Montana. Toure left Montana ranking in the top 12 in receiving categories receptions (155), yards (2,488), and touchdowns (20). Toure will likely be the top receiving option for Martinez. While being the top receiving weapon should allow him to get a majority of the targets, the issue is Scott Frost, since being at Nebraska, hasn’t passed the ball much or with much success. Due to the lack of a passing game, Toure likely won’t finish in the top 100 at wide receiver.
Markese Stepp, a sophomore RB, spent three seasons at USC before transferring to Nebraska. Stepp will be the lead back to start the season if he is healthy by the start of the season. Stepp should put up some decent numbers if he can hold on to that job and keep the freshman Ervin at bay. While Frost hasn’t had the most successful passing offense, his rushing offense has produced above-average running backs for college production. With the bulk of the carries, Stepp is trending towards the top 50 at the running back position.
Gabe Ervin Jr., a freshman RB, will be a factor in the backfield. This true freshman has already been getting buzz. He was running with the number one’s in spring and looked good while doing so. While Ervin likely won’t get a bulk of the workload to start the season, he could end up being the starter by the end of the season. Ervin is shifty enough to make plays and is the best receiving option in this backfield. As stated in the graph above, Nebraska typically has a successful rushing offense. Once Ervin takes over the job this year or next, he’ll be a running back worth starting most weeks.
Player values at ADP
Martinez currently has an ADP of 312.00 and is QB 85 off the board. He’s easily worth the value you can get him at in drafts.
Stepp is currently going undrafted in most drafts. He’s worth a flyer on one of your last picks. If he wins the job, he will outproduce his value here.
Ervin has an ADP of 158.43 and is RB57 off the board. This is a bit high for him, in my opinion.
Due to the unfortunate leg injury to starting running Cam Porter, there are now no players that will be fantasy relevant in 2021.
There are no roster fillers on Northwestern.
Cam Porter, a sophomore RB, led the team in rushing in his freshman season. Porter was a three-star prospect in high school and was the 42nd ranked running back in his class. He is also a threat out of the backfield as a receiver as well. Porter looked primed to be this offense. However, he suffered a leg injury that has ruled him out of the 2021 season. He’s worth a stash still as he’ll have the chance to be a top 24 running back once he comes back.
Player Values at ADP
Porter is a screaming value at the running back position. His current ADP is 192.67 and is RB79 off the board. With the chance to finish top 25 at the position, you’re practically stealing.
David Bell, a junior WR, had an early breakout doing so in his freshman season. Bell has sure hands, and while he doesn’t have the top-end speed, he still creates separation. He’s physical before and after the catch. He’s been the main piece of the offense for the past two seasons, and no matter how hard defenses try, they can’t slow him down. Bell will be a dominant force once again this season. He will produce on the college level and should be, at worse, a second-day draft pick.
Zander Horvath, a senior RB, could be a worthy roster filler. He’ll finish in the top 80 at the running back position. He was a weapon out of the backfield in the receiving game (30) receptions last season. This should keep him in most games, and Purdue will likely be behind. Most weeks, you likely won’t need to start Horvath, but he could be a useful bye week fill-in.
At this time, there are no players I would stash on Purdue.
Player Values at ADP
Bell has a current ADP of 12.71 and is WR3 off the board. His ADP is applicable for what he’ll do in college this year. He will likely get drafted in the NFL in the first two rounds.
Jalen Berger, a sophomore RB, is in for a massive season. There are fewer things more certain in life than death, taxes, and Wisconsin feeding their RB1. Wisconsin will once again have one of the better offensive lines in the Big Ten and college. While Berger doesn’t run with the power that the backs previous to him ran with, Berger is the best pass catcher of the past group. Add in his speed, and Berger is poised to have a breakout season as a sophomore and should finish top 10 at running back.
Jake Ferguson, a senior TE, led the Badgers in receptions and yards in 2020. Ferguson is a now fifth-year player and will look to be the top receiving threat for the Badgers again in 2021. He has displayed good hands and some YAC ability. His NFL future might be a bit in question because of his age, but he should produce as a top 12 tight end this year for this year.
Graham Mertz, the redshirt sophomore QB, is looking to put it all together this season. After redshirting his freshman season, he started with a massive game against Illinois last year, passing for five touchdowns. However, as quickly as he started, he also faded. Mertz would end up with Covid and would miss several weeks, after which he struggled and didn’t quite look like the same player we saw in week one. Covid is likely to blame for the weird season. While Mertz doesn’t have any top-end wide receivers, he has the ability to make any throw on the field. The lack of weapons, though, could lead Mertz not to have a great fantasy season. While he’ll likely finish in the top 100, he’s a bench player in most leagues.
There are currently no players worth stashing on the Wisconsin roster.
Player Values at ADP
Berger has a current ADP of 50.71 and is RB15 off the board. This is fair value for what he’ll bring to you this year and next for college production.
Mertz has a current ADP of 140.29 and is QB30 off the board. This is a bit high for his college production but likely inflated due to his possible NFL future.
Ferguson has a current ADP of 296.00 and is TE31 off the board. Ferguson brings some major value here as he’ll likely finish top 12 at the position this season and should be drafted into the NFL.