As a Group of 5 Conference, not many pay attention to the Mountain West and their players. Late-night games and 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. This is part two of the series.

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.

Nevada

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Carson Strong is the focal point of the Nevada offense and could see a meteoric rise in the NFL draft as well. With 2,858 yards and 29 touchdowns in nine games last year, Strong figures to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NCAA this season. With a full year and a healthy Elijah Cooks returning, we could see Strong even improve on his 317.6 yards and 3.2 touchdowns per game last season. He’s a must-start for your college team with big-time NFL potential.

Romeo Doubs was the leading receiver for the Wolf Pack in 2020 posting a 58-1,002-9 line in his nine games played last season. With his 17.2 yards per reception, Doubs should maintain his role as one of the premier deep threats in college. The only concern with Doubs repeating a massive line in 2021 is the return of 2019’s leading receiver Elijah Cooks. Although Cooks is a solid player in his own right, Doubs should still maintain his position as the team’s leading receiver.

Cole Turner is exceptionally productive as a TE with a 49-605-9 line in 2020. One of the more productive players at the position, Turner should see an equivalent target share to what he had in 2020 and maintain a high-end role in the red zone again.

Roster Fillers

Elijah Cooks was injured in the first game of the season and missed the rest of the year. However, in 2019, he was the team’s leading receiver with a 28.6% receiving market share. His role in 2021 is still to be determined with the ascension of Romeo Doubs to the WR1 position and the breakout of Cole Turner.

Stashes

Tory Horton should be the WR3 on a productive Nevada offense and could step into a coveted WR2 role if either player above him goes down. For this reason, Horton is more of a stash candidate that has the potential to see weekly boom weeks.

Tao Taua was the team’s leading rusher in 2020 with 675 yards and four touchdowns in nine games. Nevada has continually split in the backfield so Taua doesn’t have a huge ceiling but is certainly someone who could thrive if he does see a bigger workload.

Players avoid at ADP

None. Nevada players are fairly priced at their ADP.

New Mexico

Fantasy Relevant

None.

Roster Fillers

None.

Stashes

None.

Players avoid at ADP

None.

San Diego State

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of San Diego State Athletics

Greg Bell is the San Diego State offense in 2021. In eight games last season, Bell managed 637 yards and six scores rushing, and 114 receiving yards. In 2021, he’s a strong candidate to break 1,000 yards on the ground while catching close to 20 passes. Bell should see the majority of the work for an Aztec offense that averaged over 200 rushing yards per game last season.

Roster Fillers

None.

Stashes

None.

Avoid

None.

San Jose State

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Derrick Deese Jr. has the potential to be among the most productive tight ends in 2021. In eight games last season, Deese posted a line of 20-240-5, which is underwhelming but the real value comes from what’s not there in 2021. San Jose State loses Tre Walker and Bailey Gaither, the team’s two leading receivers last season. Deese was third in receiving behind those two and figures to see a significant jump in volume in 2021 with their departures.

Roster Fillers

Nick Starkel should be rostered in every league as he has potential for massive boom games. In an offense that averages 298 passing yards per game, Starkel should see another strong year in 2021. The former Texas A&M/Arkansas transfer had games of 467 yards and five touchdowns and 453 yards with three touchdowns. He has big-time potential each week and in good matchups is worth starting.

Isaiah Hamilton benefits from the departures of Walker and Gaither the same way Deese does. The fourth-leading receiver in 2020, Hamilton should be in line to be the leading receiver for a Spartans team that averages nearly 300 passing yards per game. Hamilton is currently going outside the top 350 in ADP and has the potential to finish as a top-30 wide receiver for your college team this season.

Stashes

None.

Avoid

None.

UNLV

Fantasy Relevant

None. The UNLV offense doesn’t produce enough to justify fantasy relevance on a week-to-week basis.

Roster Fillers

Kyle Williams is a player worth calling out as he had a monster freshman season in 2020 with a 38.2% receiving yards share. To put that into context – William’s 436 yards in six games was over 300 more than the next closest receiver. The only caveat is that while the market share is fantastic and he’s an early small school producer, he likely has more appeal as a player we’re hoping takes the next step in 2021.

Stashes

Charles Williams is the only other player worth keeping an eye in for the Rebels in 2021. With 495 yards and five TDs on the ground and 13 catches for 44 yards in the receiving game, the sixth-year senior may be worth a spot at the end of your bench in case of injury.

Avoid

None

Utah State

Fantasy Relevant

None.

Roster Fillers

None

Stashes

Luke Bonner or Andrew Peasley should see good production for your college team given the general productivity of new coach Blake Anderson’s offenses. Bonner may have a leg up on the competition as he joined Anderson from Arkansas State but don’t count out Peasley as the starter due to his familiarity with the personnel.

Deven Thompkins could see a massive season in 2021 if Anderson’s trends hold true. The number one wide receiver in a Blake Anderson offense has averaged over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns each of his last three seasons before joining Utah State. With a 24% weighted dominator in 2020, Thompkins is the clear best receiver on the team and could see a big bump in production.

Avoid

None.

Wyoming

Fantasy Relevant

Courtesy of Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

Xazavian Valladay returns to Wyoming as one of the most productive rushers in the country last season. His 110 yards per game ranked among the best and his role should be locked in for 2021. A consistent 100-yard per game rusher, Valladay should have no problem crossing over 1,000 yards with the potential to see a dominant season upwards of 1,300 yards. With Wyoming being amongst the run-heavy teams in the country, Valladay will be getting between 20 and 25 touches a game this season. He’s locked in as an RB2 with potential for RB1 upside.

Roster Fillers

Sean Chambers has increasingly become a site favorite. Averaging over 70 yards and a touchdown per game rushing, Chambers has an average floor of 13 points just on the ground. With the potential for spike weeks, Chambers could see a 1,000 rushing season and even if he averages under 200 yards passing per game, he can still be in the weekly QB2/3 conversation.

Stashes

None.

Avoid

None.

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