Conference-USA East has some intriguing offensive teams and players for a Group of 5 conference. As you’ll see throughout this article. Multiple teams have players who finished within the top-30 at their respective positions. With some transfers and players who’ve been with their teams for multiple years. Conference-USA East is set up to have some fun offensive games in 2021. Most of these players are not being targeted in most Campus 2 Canton drafts. These are the players that can win you a college side late in drafts.

For our conference previews, we will try to include all the relevant offensive players for the 2021 season, broken into the following groups:

  • Fantasy Relevant
  • Roster Fillers
  • Stashes
  • Player to avoid at ADP

All teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Charlotte

Fantasy Relevant

Chris Reynolds is the team’s senior quarterback and the top fantasy-relevant player on the Charlotte 49ers roster. Reynolds is a dual-threat quarterback. He’s an above-average passer with decent athleticism. In 2019, we saw him breakout with over 700 rushing yards and 2,500 passing yards. Last season Reynolds took a step back, the 49ers were only able to play in six games. That may have limited him some but he still underperformed compared to his 2019 season. Outside of injury, we should see Reynolds get a full season again here for Charlotte and should be a top 30 option at the position. Reynolds currently isn’t being drafted, so even if you want to wait, he should be available on waivers and for me is a top QB to target towards the end of your drafts.

Courtesy of the Charlotte Observer

Victor Tucker is a redshirt senior wide receiver and should be the main benefactor in the passing game from Reynolds. Much like Reynolds, Tucker took a step back last season. Though that could be attributed to Covid and the team only playing in six games. Tucker is an interesting player as he’s produced over the regression line in his first two years in college. If he can go out and produce again in 2021, he might have a shot at the NFL. If Reynolds can bounce back this season, it should boost Tucker’s numbers as well. Tucker has WR3 upside. Tucker finished as a WR1 for CFF purposes in 2019. If he can get that same volume and production, he’ll be a steal in drafts this year, as he’s not being drafted.

Roster Fillers

Shadrick Byrd is the junior running back for the Charlotte 49ers. Byrd transferred over from Iowa this off-season. He looks to be the lead running back of the offense. However, it’s hard to speculate how good he will be in the offense. Based on past production if given the workload he has a chance to produce as an RB4 for fantasy. So he’s a player I would add as a speculation at the end of your roster.

Stashes

Charlotte doesn’t have any other players I would stash at this time.

Players to avoid at ADP

All the players on the Charlotte 49er’s roster are going undrafted in Campus 2 Canton drafts. I would draft all three players with my last few picks for college production upside.

Florida Atlantic

Fantasy Relevant

FAU likely won’t have any players will real fantasy consequences this season.

Roster Fillers

N’Kosi Perry, the senior quarterback, is the only player worth having on your bench at the moment. Perry a transfer from Miami (FL) was the backup quarterback for three years. He looked to be the guy to take over until D’eriq King announced he was coming back. Perry has some upside as he’s a decent passer and can use his legs to make plays. FAU likely though won’t have an explosive offense and that likely limits Perry overall. With what he can do rushing and being a starting quarterback though he may be worth a late-round grab to have a backup QB. I don’t see Perry finishing inside the top 100 at the position though, so he is a long shot.

Stashes

As of right now, there aren’t any players worth stashing on this roster.

Players to avoid at ADP

No players from FAU are currently being drafted.

Florida International

Fantasy Relevant

D’Vonte Price, the senior running back, is a top option at the running back position. Price was able to return to FIU due to Covid giving everyone an extra year of eligibility. Price has never really been given the opportunity to be the unquestioned starter until last year, which was shortened to five games because of Covid. He will now get that shot this year and likely carry the workload. Head coach Butch Davis Jr. has had success with running the ball as you can see from the graph below. Price has a chance to be a top-25 option at the RB position this season.

Roster Fillers

FIU doesn’t have any players I would currently have as roster fillers at the moment.

Stashes

Shaun Peterson Jr. sophomore running back is a player to stash on your bench. Peterson seems to be the primary backup to Price. If Price suffers any sort of injury, Peterson will be the guy who takes over. Plus Peterson seems to be in line to take over as the guy next season once Price moves on. As shown in the graph above, when your rushing offense can be that successful, you want to have the starting running back.

Players to avoid at ADP

FIU doesn’t have any players being drafted in the top 400. This is why Price is a steal at his ADP. Top 25 running back with production this year.

Marshall

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch

Grant Wells redshirt sophomore quarterback was a top-25 option at the position last year. He started the season going 7-0 and was looking like one of the better quarterbacks in college. However, Covid hit Marshall. leading them to miss three weeks of practice and games, and when they returned the team looked different. His top-25 performance in 2020 was mostly buoyed by his first-half performances. Tim Cramsey has stayed on as the offensive coordinator with the head coaching change. Cramsey and the offense had their best success last year over the past three years and that was due to Wells’s talent. If he can stay consistent this year, Wells should once again be a top-30 option at quarterback for fantasy.

Xavier Gains, the senior tight end, is likely one of the few tight ends that you’ll see is fantasy relevant. Gains is a top target in the Marshall offense and finished top-15 at the position last season. Gains is not being drafted in most college side drafts. Being able to get a player at the top-15 of a weak fantasy position in college is massive.

Roster Fillers

Outside of the top two options on Marshall, I wouldn’t hold onto any players at this time.

Stashes

Marshall doesn’t have any players worth stashing at this time.

Players to avoid at ADP

Grant Wells is coming off the board as the 58th quarterback with an ADP of 222.00. This seems like fair value to me. He has the upside of a top-25 option but he could also falter like he did last season. Gains is not currently being drafted so he’s a massive value.

Middle Tennessee

Fantasy Relevant

Jarrin Pierce is the senior wide receiver and the top option in the passing game. Pierce finished as WR44 last year in fantasy points and likely has a chance to finish as a top-50 player at the position again in 2021. Pierce is not being drafted in most drafts so is a worthwhile player to grab. Most formats allow for up to six wide receivers to start, so he should be a weekly starting option.

Yusuf Ali, junior wide receiver, is the second option in this passing game. Ali projects to be a top-70 wide receiver in fantasy this year. With most leagues allowing deep starting rosters, Ali projects to be a backend starter most weeks.

Roster Fillers

Amir Rasul, senior running back, is worth being a bench player. Rasul has a chance to be a top-70 option at the position. While that doesn’t sound great, in most formats you can start up to five running backs every week. He’s a player who could help fill out your roster and be a spot starter when needed against good matchups or if you lose some players due to injury.

Stashes

There are currently no players on the Middle Tennessee roster I would stash at this time.

Players to avoid at ADP

Currently, none of the players on Middle Tennessee are being drafted.

Western Kentucky

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of NGSC Sports

Bailey Zappe, the senior quarterback, was the top passer in 2020 and transferred to Western Kentucky from Houston Baptist. In 2019, this passing offense was very successful. Last year it took a massive step back. Bringing in a certified gunslinger like Zappe should move this offense closer to the success they had in 2019. With a pass-heavy offense and Zappe’s ability to pass the ball, WKU and Zappe should have a great season. Zappe has a chance to be a top-20 option at QB.

Jerreth Sterns is a junior wide receiver that transferred with Zappe from Houston Baptist as well and set practically every receiving record in the books while there. Much like Zappe, joining an offense that has a chance to return to what it was in 2019 should boost his play as well. He already has the connection with Zappe and should be his number one. Sterns is a likely top 30 option at the wide receiver position.

Roster Fillers

Ben Ratzlaff is another senior wide receiver, and stop me if you’ve heard this before. Ratzlaff transferred from Houston Baptist! He joins his current running mate, Jerreth Sterns, and former quarterback Zappe on the WKU roster. Ratzlaff doesn’t have the speed that Sterns does but he does have the size. He likely has fewer explosive plays so he falls more into the roster-filler section. Ratzlaff will have weeks when he’ll be worth starting, but he falls more into the wide receiver six range for me. He’s at best, a possible starting flex player most weeks.

Stashes

There are currently no players worth stashing on Western Kentucky at this time.

Players to avoid at ADP

Bailey Zappe is the only player currently being drafted. He’s currently being drafted as the 59th quarterback off the board with an ADP of 223.00. This is amazing value for a player who likely finishes within the range of the 15-20 player at their position.

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