I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.
– Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
With all due respect to the GOAT, Albert Einstein, not thinking about the future is a luxury we, as CFF players who play in devy or dynasty formats, simply do not have. Perhaps in the silly realm of ‘theoretical physics,’ its agents can afford to be caught up in the moment. But that type of behavior will get you decimated in your home league (with screenshots on Twitter included for posterity) in our domain, which is infinitely complex and impossibly dynamic.
In this article series, the content is all about the future. Here, we examine the basic question: who are the volume pigs of tomorrow? If you’ve missed them, you can find parts one and two of this series on this very website (it’s almost like we’ve set this whole thing up for your convenience…).
There are many names to get into today, so without further adieu, let’s jump in.
UAB WR Amare Thomas — 5’11”, 200 lbs
The true freshman out of Pinson, AL, is off to a terrific start in his first season with the Blazers. He is currently averaging 11.7 points through six games, and he’s been targeted a total of 33 times, catching 26 of those for 285 yards and two TDs. He’s also taken two carries for 39 yards. As usual, however, the aggregate numbers don’t tell the full story. In his last three games, Thomas has scored 21, 18.5, and 18.1 points vs. opponents UGA, Tulane, and USF, respectively.
My man is heating up something serious down there in ‘Bama, and with the way Jacob Zeno is slinging it from the QB position, I’d expect nothing less from the true freshman playmaker.
If you can believe it (you probably can, given he ended up at UAB), Thomas was ranked outside of the top 1,000 players in the 2023 class (1,104 on 247 Sports’ composite score).
But as you’ll notice from the picture above, there was interest from some P5 programs. Namely, Virginia, who looked like they were in the driver’s seat of this recruitment at one point.
He had a pretty good offer sheet in high school, so what gives on the rating? Well, it certainly wasn’t a lack of exposure (the #1 player in Alabama in the 2024 cycle played with Thomas at the same high school). Either way, what does it matter at this point, right? My guy’s balling, and as long as Trent Dilfer is there as head coach, there’s probably going to be value in UAB’s WRs. Thomas looks very promising.
Kent State WR Chrishon McCray — 5’10”, 163 lbs
Redshirt freshman Chrishon McCray originally joined the Golden Flash as an RB recruit by way of Avon, IN. He’s listed as 6’0” on 247 Sports’ but listed as 5’10” on Fantrax. So, who do I trust? The wise man in CFB always goes with the shorter measurement. Just trust me on this one; I’ve got the battle scars to prove my judgment is correct here.
I don’t know what happened (nor would I ever claim to know what’s happening internally at MAC programs), but somewhere along the way, McCray transitioned positions to WR. And I’ve got to say — at least from an outsider’s point of view — that appears to have been a good decision.
McCray now has back-to-back weeks of 14 and 10 targets vs. Miami of Ohio and Ohio University. What did he do with those targets, you might ask? Well, he scored 21.6 and 27.3 points, respectively.
You’ll notice there that McCray’s also taken a few handoffs. That’s one of the nice things about converted RBs to WR is they tend to have plays in the playbook drawn up for them to get the ball in their hands like a RB would.
What’s more, I’d say McCray is not just a dynasty darling this season. Given the former two-star’s uptick in targets in the last two weeks, he’s become relevant in regular CFF leagues. Every year, new league winners emerge in the wonderful conference we call the MAC. Could McCray be next up? Well, who knows at this point?
At the very least, he’s a player I would want a share of in a multi-year CFF league format.
Rice WR Rawson MacNeil — 6’5”, 193 lbs
You know, I really hate to continuously gloat on these articles (do you really, though, VP??). Many of these players are rostered by yours truly in fellow C2C staffer Nate Marchese’s dynasty league I’m in. MacNeil, the redshirt freshman out of Marietta, GA, was a free waiver pick-up for me prior to Week Five. He rewarded me immediately, catching four passes on six targets for 51 yards and a score.
On this week’s waiver article released on VolumePigs.com, I joked that Rice just seems to 3D print these tall and long white WRs every season when you look at the names who have come through there recently (Bradley Rozner, Luke McCaffrey, and now MacNeil).
None of that really matters, though. Ultimately, what’s important is that the player is productive. MacNeil is behind McCaffrey for sure this season, but next year? I don’t know if LM is planning to come back or what, but MacNeil seems like he’s going to be a very productive CFF WR in the near future.
MacNeil is currently averaging 8.9 FPG, but he’s scored 19.3, 15.1, and 15.1 in his last three.
Wake Forest WR Wesley Grimes — 6’2”, 190 lbs
Since Dave Clawson has been the head coach at Wake Forest, there has been one constant: they get the ball to a tall perimeter playmaker. Sage Surratt seemingly started the trend some years ago, and one AT Perry and Jahmal Banks later, and here we are with a pattern. Wesley Grimes is a current sophomore WR for the Deacons out of Raleigh, NC.
He played in only five games during his first season and actually scored his first TD in his second game vs. Army.
This season, he’s off to a slightly hotter start. His season low is four targets in a game, and he’s seen six in a game twice. I won’t speak for Banks, but my inclination is that he’ll probably be gone next year. Grimes looks to be the next name to know for the Deacons.
Arkansas State QB Jaylen Raynor — 6’1”, 200 lbs
Dubbed the ‘G5 Kyler Murray’, true freshman Jaylen Raynor had a hellacious start to this college career, with back-to-back 40+ point performances against Southern Miss and UMass. His star lost a bit of its shine this past weekend when he was shut out vs. a stout Troy defense, but even still. To do what he’s done so far as a true freshman player, and with a nickname like he has, this guy’s got to be on your radar, right?
If you can believe it, the North Carolina native was actually an unranked recruit in high school, according to 247 Sports.
Even though he got blanked by Troy, I’m actually encouraged by the fact that he still didn’t turn the ball over. Through three games as the starter, Raynor has only turned the ball over once. That’s pretty remarkable ball security from a true freshman.
Fresno State WR Jalen Moss — 6’1”, 170 lbs
It feels like basically all of Fresno State’s WRs are popping the **** off this season, doesn’t it? Well, almost; what exactly is Josiah Freeman doing while all these fireworks are going off in front of him? A question for another day, I suppose.
Of all the WRs featured today, redshirt freshman Moss is actually averaging the highest FPG so far. He’s sitting at 15.8 FPG currently as we head into Week Seven. He’s seen season-high of 10 and 11 targets. Erik Brooks appeared to have dominated the target share early on, but FSU seems to be spreading the ball more liberally lately. When Brooks and Gill move on (could very well be this offseason), Moss is probably the guy you’ll want from this room. Or, who knows, maybe Freeman will randomly emerge… right?
Boston College QB Thomas Castellanos — 5’10”, 195 lbs
Castellanos is absolutely on fire this season. Since taking over as a starter for BC, the sophomore out of Waycross, GA, has only scored less than 24 points once (vs. UVA). The potential lack of explosive plays in this offense is offset by his immense rushing upside. My guy literally ran in four rushing TDs last week vs. Army.
Castellanos originally began his career playing at UCF and appeared in six games, likely in mop-up duty when JRP went out. The only mop-up duty he’s doing now is off the opposing team’s defenses.
TC is already performing like one of the best QBs in CFF, so suggesting he’s a dynasty darling is sort of a no-brainer, really.
Like this type of content? I’ve got good news for you; there’s an ungodly amount of it over here: VolumePigs.
You can also find me occasionally tweeting about CFF and CFB over here.