As a Group of 5 conference, not many pay attention to the Mountain West and their players. Late-night games and the weak strength of schedule prevent widespread attention for a lot of players. Headlined by offensive powerhouses in Nevada and Fresno State, the Mountain West has some of the most prolific and fun offenses in the nation. Given the high propensity to pass and high-scoring games, it also represents solid C2C value outside of the major conferences.

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
  • Players avoid at ADP

All teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Air Force

Fantasy Relevant

None. Air Force is not a prolific enough offense to warrant weekly starters. As a service academy, the team not only struggles to produce consistent players at the collegiate level but also generally in the pros. From an offensive perspective, they averaged 52.0 rushing attempts per game with only 10.2 passing attempts – one of the country’s most dramatic splits. This effectively neutralizes any value outside of rushing production.

Roster Fillers

Brad Roberts, a fullback and Air Force’s leading returning rusher could be a solid option. In four games last year, Roberts posted 461 rushing yards and five touchdowns with 7.2 yards per carry. Unranked on Campus2Canton.com, Roberts won’t produce much (if any) receiving production but his 115.3 yards per game is enough to serve as at worst a bye-week replacement and a potential starter this season. Adding to his value, he will be a rising junior, giving you potentially two years of solid production.

Stashes

None. Roberts is the only potential value in the offense.

Avoid

No Air Force players are currently being drafted.

Boise State

Fantasy Relevant

Khalil Shakir, our WR39 should be one of the top producers in college this season coming off a stellar 2020 in which he posted a 52-719-6 line in seven games. Treat Shakir as a slam-dunk top 10 WR this season with league-winning potential on the college side.

Courtesy of KGW8

George Holani missed the majority of the 2020 season, but was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2019 and is looking to return to form. Although the team returns four starters on the offensive line, they struggled to create run lanes, evidenced by the team’s 3.4 yards per attempt. Holani will have an uphill battle but the talented rusher, our RB39, should be solid but the offensive line may limit his upside.

Roster Fillers

None.

Stashes

CT Thomas should operate as the team’s second option but with Shakir’s dominant market share, Thomas is only worth a look in deep leagues.

Hank Bachmeier or Jack Sears. Although Bachmeier likely starts the season, the previous USC transfer Sears could step in if Bachmeier does struggle. While neither are priority targets, the quarterback for Boise State could be in for a solid season given the offensive weapons.

As an offense that averaged 33.9 points per game the prior season (first in the Mountain West), getting pieces of this dynamic situation is important. New offensive coordinator Tim Plough should run a pass-friendly system focused on fast-paced and a high pass-to-run ratio.

Avoid

No other Boise State players are being drafted.

Colorado State

Fantasy Relevant

Dante Wright averaged 105 yards a game last season with 315 on the year, by far the team’s leading wide receiver. His 32.4% weighted dominator should remain consistent if not improve in 2021. Although not necessarily a dynamic passing offense, Wright’s stranglehold on receiving market share should give him value on the college side with additional upside in the pros.

Dante Wright was a mega-producer both year one and year two for Colorado State.

Trey McBride was the leading receiver for the 2020 Rams offense with a 20-330-4 line in four games. Currently our consensus TE16, McBride has the size to be a matchup problem and potential high-end producer for your college team.

Roster Fillers

None. Colorado State had a putrid offensive season last year and will look to build a more consistent in both phases. With the departure of Patrick O’Brien to Washington, the offense will see former Temple transfer Todd Centeio take the reigns.

Stashes

None. See above.

Avoid

None. Very few Colorado State players are being drafted.

Fresno State

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

Jake Haener is the catalyst for the Bulldogs that averaged 356.3 passing yards per game, good for fifth in the country. Haener should be among the nation’s top quarterbacks in collegiate scoring and represents some potential NFL upside. As our QB35, Haener is easily attainable in drafts.

Ronnie Rivers is a megaproducer in his own right. A potential top-5 RB this season, Rivers is prolific in both phases of the game with 507 rushing yards and seven touchdowns to go along with a 27-265-2 receiving line in six games last season. Rivers should be a priority target for winning on the college side and has potential as a day three NFL pick.

Jalen Cropper, a rising junior, should be the lead man after posting 37-520-4 in six games last year. With another year under his belt, he and Haener represent one of the best duos in the country.

Roster Fillers

None. The offense is concentrated around the three above.

Stashes

Jordan Hornbeak could be next in line, post Rivers, and represents good stash potential. A 3-star and 45th RB in the country, pay attention to Hornbeak’s usage this season.

Keric Whitefall had 363 yards in five games and could pay off as a bye-week fill-in for deep leagues. Whitefall is a strong secondary option to Jalen Cropper for the Bulldogs.

Josh Kelly. Although third in the pecking order, his 330 yards in six games means if either two WRs on the depth chart above him go down, he could see a big opportunity.

Avoid

None. The ADP on these players is palatable.

Hawaii

Fantasy Relevant

Chevan Cordeiro should be good enough to support a handful of players and the rising junior could be a stater depending on league depth. Although his passing numbers won’t wow (231.4 yards per game), his 483 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground are more than enough to work into your lineup weekly.

Courtesy of Hawaii Athletics

Calvin Turner tallied 331 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 2020, adding in 546 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He is the most dynamic player on offense and in the return game. Expect him to be a borderline top-20 RB in 2021.

Roster Fillers

None. Although Cordeiro and Turner are potential weekly starters, the rest of the offensive is largely unattractive.

Stashes

Dae Dae Hunter could be a nice stash. As a rising sophomore, he could potentially be the Turner replacement. Last season he posted 183 yards rushing and 12 receptions playing second fiddle to Turner. Keep an eye on his 2021 usage to see what his outlook is.

Avoid

None. The Rainbow Warriors are appropriately priced in ADP.

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