We are coming down the home stretch of the regular season and gearing up for a playoff run in our college fantasy leagues. Here are some players we expect to see an increase in their production the rest of the season to help your rosters finish strong.
Hunter Dekkers, QB – Iowa State
The Cyclone first-year signal caller barely finds himself inside the top 60 fantasy QBs with an average of 20 PPG. That isn’t ideal. But his ranking of 13th in the country in pass attempts through week seven is ideal. His 38 pass attempts and seven rush attempts/game are exactly the volume you want out of your QB. His efficiency leaves something to be desired at just 7 YPA and 13/7 TD/Int. However, there is potential to change as the remaining teams on ISU’s schedule average 93rd in pass defense. Additionally, many of them, like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU, are among the leaders in the pace of play. We could see improved efficiency with continued high-volume performances out of Dekkers, assuming he is healthy after the vicious hit he sustained in the closing moments of his last game against Texas.
Jeff Sims, QB – Georgia Tech
The firing of Geoff Collins has coincided with a profound uptick in fantasy performance for Sims. Is it just coincidence and matchups that have led to Sims nearly doubling his 12.6 ppg with Collins to 24.6 ppg without him? Maybe. But it is clear there has been an increased emphasis on utilizing his ability to run the ball, as he has averaged an additional 6.5 rush attempts and 57 rush yards/game since the coaching change took place. Sims will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions if you put any faith in him, but there are still some juicy matchups left on the schedule for spot start potential should this post-Collins trend continue. Like Dekkers, you will want to monitor his health, as Sims also left his last game early due to injury.
Deuce Vaughn, RB – Kansas State
The electric Wildcat RB currently ranks as RB51 at 16.5 ppg. While that is serviceable, it certainly isn’t returning that first-round draft capital his owners invested in getting him. Touchdown regression is the primary variable here. Below are Vaughn’s touches per touchdown for each of his seasons:
2022: 45.0 (!)
The 12.9 touches/TD of 2021 isn’t sustainable for a guy who is 5’6″ and 172 lbs., but neither is his current pace for such a dynamic, proven RB. Yes, Adrian Martinez is sure to continue his vulturing ways. Still, if we just assume Vaughn can improve to a very reasonable 25 touches/TD, then we would see a 2.5 ppg increase should he continue to see the same amount of touches. An RB25 performance over the second half of the season is within his range of outcomes.
Dominic Richardson, RB – Oklahoma State
I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Richardson hasn’t been good this year. He is averaging just 4.0 ypc on the season and hasn’t had a single game over five YPC. He has a long rush of 19 yards and hasn’t registered a game over 73 rush yards since week 1. Despite all this inefficiency, he averages 22 carries in conference play and over 26 touches if you factor in targets. He has been a pleasant surprise in the pass game, with 17 receptions and 212 yards already. This staff doesn’t trust the RB options behind him. While the “plotter” label is fair, I expect Richardson to pop a few more chunk plays toward the end of the season and has playoff matchups vs. Oklahoma and WVU. Like Dekkers, if he can maintain his current volume, his output will surely rise.
Elijah Cooks, WR – San Jose State
The Nevada transfer is healthy and is the clear primary target for Chevan Cordeiro, but his lack of touchdowns has limited the fantasy production. He is averaging 18.3 YPR but just three touchdowns on the season. He’s been tackled inside the opponent’s three-yard line multiple times already. The lack of TDs is simply a product of bad luck. Expect a positive touchdown regression as he continues to face Mountain West defenses that simply cannot stop him and his 6’4″, 215-pound frame in the red zone.
Benjamin Yurosek, TE – Stanford
Similar to some others here, Yurosek is having a slow start to the 2022 season based on expectations. Yurosek saw significant first-half/second-half splits in 2021, where he nearly doubled his first-half average of 6.5 ppg to 12.3 PPG over his last six games. With EJ Smith out for the season, their continued abysmal rushing efficiency while ranking 110th in Offensive Line Yards created, and it being one of the worst P5 defenses, Stanford will be forced to throw the ball with regularity. Expect one of its more proven receiving targets to see more balls come his way down the stretch.