The will to win, the desire to succeed. The urge to reach your full potential – these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
– Confucius, philosopher
(Vanderbilt) WR London Humphries — Tr. Fr
Confession: I had no idea London Humphries was white when I picked him up after Week Zero in Nate Marchese’s 24-team-dynasty league. I’m glad I didn’t know. My internal bias might have skewed my judgment on what has been a fantastic pickup for me in that league. Ultimately, the reasons I picked him in that league were 1) his height-weight ratio reminded me of Vandy’s star WR Will Sheppard (Humphries stands at 6’3”, 185 pounds, Sheppard stands at 6’3” 200), and 2) Humphries scored a long TD in his first game of CFB.
Now, I want the reader to understand this fully: in a league where people are routinely dropping 100+ dollars of their $500 FAAB allotment on individual players, picking up a true freshman WR who now has back-to-back games of 20.9 and 19.2 points for free is quite the coup. Humphries has now scored three TDs in his first four games, averaging 13.5 FPG in 1-ppr formats. Granted, this production has come in the out-of-conference schedule, but Vandy’s SEC slate actually isn’t that bad. Are teams like Mizzou, Kentucky, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, and Tennessee really supposed to scare me? I think not.
Either way, Humphries looks to be the heir apparent of Mr. September himself—Sheppard and should be a valuable commodity going forward. His QB—AJ Swann, is a true sophomore currently, so he’ll be back next season. He looks to be much improved (so far) this season. It would appear that these two have established a good rapport (Humphries saw nine targets in his latest game vs. UNLV).
(Purdue) TE Max Klare — RS Fr
Purdue’s redshirt freshman Max Klare (6’4”, 245) is a name you need to know not just this season but going forward. The Boilermaker playmaker now has nine and seven targets in back-to-back weeks vs. Virginia Tech and Syracuse. Of those targets, he’s caught a total of 13 passes in the last two games, netting him 64 and 65 yards, respectively. As is usually the case with breakout freshmen, I expect his role to gradually increase as the season progresses. While it was under a different staff, we’ve seen Purdue TEs be productive in the past with Payne Durham during the last two (three?) seasons. In any event, this staff has shown a willingness to feature him, making him a very attractive dynasty buy right now in a position that is starving for productive players.
(Arkansas) TE Luke Hasz — Tr. Fr
Another freshman (this one’s a true freshman) appears to be coming on in Arkansas’ Luke Hasz (6’3”, 243 pounds). The target volume won’t blow you away (just yet), but he’s been quietly productive with the opportunities he’s been given so far. Last Saturday vs. BYU, he caught four of his five targets for 78 yards and a score. Whenever a true freshman asserts themselves into the starting lineup of an SEC school, that is a notable event. Hasz looks like a potential TE1-caliber player in the near future.
(Alabama) WR Isaiah Bond — Tr. So
Isaiah ‘shaken, not stirred’ Bond (5’11”, 182 pounds) is leading Alabama in targets through three weeks. Granted, we all know they are struggling at QB currently. But imagine for a moment a reality within the near future where they are not. Bond is in prime position to have a massive junior season next year if Bama gets the QB position sorted. Even if it ends up being the same players from this season’s squad, who’s to say we won’t see a much improved Milroe?
Either way, I don’t expect Alabama to walk into 2024 with the QB situation still in flux. Bond, so far (to me), looks to be the best WR on Alabama. He was originally a high four-star recruit committed to Dan Mullen’s Florida before flipping late to the Crimson Tide. Generally, I feel that Buford High products are always overrated, but Bond looks to be living up to the billing.
(NC State) WR Kevin Concepcion — Tr. Fr
Through three weeks, true freshman Kevin Concepcion (5’11”, 187 pounds) leads NC State in targets with 23. Not bad for a true frosh, wouldn’t you say? He’s converted that volume into 16 catches for 122 yards (9.4 FPG in 1PPR formats). The current OC of the Wolfpack—Robert Anae, has a long history of productive pass offenses at stops like UVA and Syracuse recently. He may not be there very long, but he should be there for at least the next season or two. Concepcion is well positioned currently to be the WR1 of a very explosive offense next season, led by the arm of MJ Morris and coach Anae.
(Syracuse) WR Donovan Brown — Rs. Fr
Brown (6’1”, 180 pounds) has quietly become one of Syracuse’s most heavily involved players as a redshirt freshman this season. He has yet to play a game where he saw less than five targets, and on the whole, he is averaging 12.8 FPG, with 12 receptions for 206 yards and a score.
As mentioned above, former OC and offensive guru Robert Anae is gone, but the new OC is his disciple—Jason Beck, who served under Anae from 2013 to 2022 as his QB coach. This is an offense that is going to continue to put points on the board, and while QB Garrett Shrader presumably will be leaving CFB at some point in the future, I have faith that Syracuse will figure that position out with Beck and head coach Dino Barbers in the fold. Redshirt sophomore QB Carlos Del Rio-Wilson figures to be next up, but in the age of the transfer portal, who knows who will be slinging it for the Orange once Shrader leaves?
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