Throughout the season I’ve been writing a weekly column on how to navigate the college football landscape and its ever-changing devy values. As I have pointed out, value can be difficult to judge, especially in leagues with so many different types of managers. With College Football heading into Week 8, I wanted to do something a little different this week. I broke down one player from each position that has either improved his stock or seen his stock drop considerably from the 2022 class. With fantasy managers starting to decide if they should retool for next season or make a run at it this year, we need to start ranking the 2022 Class appropriately. Let’s dive in.
QB Matt Corral (JR – Ole Miss) 6’0″, 200 lbs
Corral was my QB3 heading into the 2021 season, but he was clearly outside the top five for most analysts. Fast forward to October, and Corral has put himself into consideration to be the first quarterback drafted in next year’s draft. Corral has thrown for 1,728 yards and fourteen touchdowns this year, while also limiting his interceptions to one this year. The biggest concern for Corral heading into the year was the mistakes he made last season and whether he could develop his awareness. He has shown he has improved in that area, and looks much better. He also still has elite arm strength, and has improved his deep ball accuracy. Corral has proven he can drive the ball in tight windows, and has shown that he can make effective touch passes over linebackers and under safeties. He’s also demonstrated his dual-threat ability this season, having rushed for 450 yards and eight touchdowns! Corral can quite frankly do it all. He’s done more for his draft stock than anyone else has in the 2022 QB class.
QB Spencer Rattler (JR – Oklahoma) 6’1”, 200 lbs
No other player in College Football has seen his stock drop as much as Rattler this season. He got benched in the Texas-Oklahoma game because of his poor play, and looks to have lost his job for good. He showed poor leadership qualities on the sideline of that game, including walking off the field after the Sooners won and not being in the team picture. All around, it was a terrible look from Rattler, and the question is, what do we do with him in our leagues? He’s about as untradeable as an asset gets. If Riley goes back to him this season, he may be able to salvage a little of his value, but I have a hard time seeing Riley do that, especially with how well Williams played last week.
The real question is, will Rattler transfer? If I were in his circle, I would tell him to stick it out this season to show maturity. Or will he declare for the draft? There’s no way he stays in Oklahoma. If he declares, I could see him easily falling out of the Day 1 discussion and maybe even the Day 2 discussion. There is no scenario in which you want Rattler on your devy team right now. If he is, you have to hope he can salvage this season or next, and show NFL scouts that he can play in the league. If he doesn’t, he may go down as one of the biggest busts in Devy history.
RB Zach Charbonnet (JR – UCLA) 6’1”, 220 lbs
Alright, I want to be 100% upfront on Charbonnet. I have never been a believer in him as a running back. As a Michigan fan, it could just be me being jaded. He’s never had the speed I wanted in a runner and had serious production concerns at Michigan. Fast forward to this year, and he started the season out great. Against Hawaii, he had 106 yards and three touchdowns. Even then, I was hesitant to say that his stock was trending up. It is Hawaii, after all. But then Charbonnet went up against LSU. While this version of LSU is far removed from the 2019 national title team, it’s still an SEC opponent. Charbonnet was able to rush for 117 yards and a touchdown on just eleven carries.
Since those first two games, Charbonnet has racked up a total of 697 yards on the season and seven touchdowns. He’s also proved to be reliable in the passing game. If he can add that to his game, then he should be moving up draft boards. He’s been excellent this year. Charbonnet’s contact balance, footwork, and burst have been on full display this season. In a down class, he’s carving out a role for himself in next year’s draft. After starting the year entirely off draft boards, Charbonnet has risen quickly in the ranks.
RB Eric Gray (JR – Oklahoma) 5’9”, 206 lbs
Let’s be as honest as possible about Gray. He has not lived up to expectations this season with the Sooners. He has been out carried and out produced by fellow running back Kennedy Brooks. It looks like Gray will be coming back to school next year unless he unwisely declares for the NFL draft. That’s not ideal for devy managers out there that thought he could be the clear-cut RB3 of the 2022 class. As a non-Gray guy, this is precisely what I was worried about with him. He also doesn’t pop off film for me as a runner. He doesn’t have the top-end speed I would want from a back, and if he’s not getting goal-line work, it severely limits his ceiling.
Right now is not the time to trade him away, though. You need to hope that he can have a couple of bounce-back games before the end of the season. But for me, he’s not an asset I want on any of my rosters. There was always too much risk at his ADP, and in my opinion, he will never live up to expectations.
WR Jameson Williams (JR – Alabama) 6’2”, 189 lbs
Considering Williams had to transfer from Ohio State in the off-season to get playing time this year, his rise has been extraordinary. He has 29 receptions for 587 yards and six touchdowns this year. Williams also has two kickoff return touchdowns and has proved to be one of the best big-play threats in the country. He has exceptional explosiveness and speed. He is a threat to score from anywhere on the field, and if he catches the ball in space, he’s the most dangerous receiver in the country. Williams is that good. He’s also versatile as a receiver. Alabama has lined him out on the outside and in the slot. The NFL will covet William’s speed, and I could see him being drafted in the second round of next year’s draft. His rise has been fun to watch, and it’s not close to being over.
WR Joseph Ngata (JR – Clemson) 6’3”, 220 lbs
People forget that Ngata amassed 188 receptions for 3,682 yards with 55 touchdowns through his high school career. He was one of the best wide receiver prospects in California state history. Unfortunately for Ngata, he has struggled with injuries in his career, which has limited his production at the college stage. The belief was if Ngata could stay healthy, he would be one of the biggest risers in the 2022 WR class. While he has stayed healthy, he, unfortunately, has not produced.
In six games this year, he has 18 receptions for 352 yards and only one touchdown. That’s just not good enough. Clemson’s offense has also been a massive disappointment this season, and Ngata has had chances to break out; he just hasn’t done it. Ngata does have a rare combination of size and athleticism for the position. He has one of the best releases on the Clemson team and is a YAC threat whenever he touches the ball. But we just haven’t seen him put it all together, and sadly it doesn’t look like he will.
TE Trey McBride (SR – Colorado State) 6’4”, 260 lbs
McBride may not be a household name yet, but he will be soon. He has started the 2021 season off on fire. So far, he has forty-nine receptions for 593 yards and one touchdown. McBride is quite literally the passing offense at Colorado State. He is the outlet, the third-down target, and the big-play target.
McBride has a big frame, and he added weight in the off-season. He gets off the line of scrimmage well and does an excellent job of getting into the second level of defenses. His best trait is his ability to find open space in the middle of the field. He is not the most athletic TE, but he does just enough to find and create opportunities for the offense to move the ball in the gaps of defenses. McBride does an excellent job of getting into seam routes and is a pretty good route running TE. He has some versatility at the position, and CSU has lined him up at almost every position on the field this season. McBride has played himself into the discussion to be a Day 2 pick next year, which may be too low. I’ve seen some talk of him being the TE1 of the class. No other tight end in the 2022 class has improved his draft stock as much as McBride.
TE Isaac Rex (SO – BYU) 6’6”, 247 lbs
Rex was on many people’s sleeper list heading into 2021. Last season, as a redshirt freshman, with Zach Wilson throwing him the ball, he had 37 receptions for 429 yards and twelve touchdowns. As a prospect, the first thing that anyone should notice about Rex is his size. At 6’6” 247 pounds, he is a massive presence on the football field. Even though he’s a big TE, he also possesses pretty good athleticism. He was an outstanding athlete in high school, and those skills have translated well into college. His footwork allows him to get off the line quickly, and he doesn’t get jammed by defenders. With both his speed and size, he’s able to get into his routes early and take advantage of mismatches all over the field.
The problem is Rex hasn’t had a great 2021 season. Many realized the touchdowns would regress a bit but no one expected as big of a drop as he’s had this year. This season he has only 13 receptions for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Not the kind of numbers you want to see from a TE you were expecting to be a sleeper in a down class. Rex will need to go back to BYU next year.