The 2020 college football season was crazy and unprecedented for every team and every conference. Due to COVID-19, there was uncertainty surrounding whether it would be safe enough to play close-contact football games. While the BIG-10 was the first conference to cancel the season, the PAC-12 was the last to start. They voted on September 24th and played their first game on November 6th. The late start, coupled with several teams experiencing COVID outbreaks and cancellations, caused many teams to fly under the general public’s radar. Four of the twelve teams only played four games total. Including Arizona State from the South Division, and no team played more than seven games. Seven games is a difficult sample size to use to evaluate a team’s performance for an entire year, and four games is essentially impossible to evaluate the season on. The disjointed nature of the season impacted every team in the country, but none was hit harder than the PAC-12. Many of the well-known players in the conference did not take the step forward expected this past year.
The small sample size and chaotic nature of last season does, however, serve to make many players in the PAC-12 a value heading into the 2021 season. And with COVID-19, hopefully, in the rearview, the PAC-12 could serve as a fantasy goldmine.
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
– Players to Avoid at ADP
All teams are listed in alphabetical order.
None- Ranking 87th in total yards per game and 119th in points per game, the Arizona offense was one of the worst Power-5 offenses last year. With a new coaching staff, the starting QB transferring out, and the leading rusher off to the NFL, this is a team undergoing significant turnover and will be difficult to trust for fantasy purposes.
None- As mentioned above, Arizona is a team in the midst of a massive rebuild. While it is difficult for this team to be worse than last year, it is also difficult to trust this offense.
Tayvian Cunnigham- A 0-star JUCO recruit in the class of 2019, Cunningham earned an immediate role in this offense, ranking third on the team with 383 yards and two TDs on 35 catches. Last year, Cunningham continued to have a similar role, ranking third in receiving yards with 139 and tied for third with one TD. Entering 2021, Cunningham has reportedly been the go-to WR for the QBs through fall camp. If you’re looking for someone to invest in, Cunningham is as good an option as any.
Stevie Rocker- A 3-star prospect and the number 95 RB in the class of 2021, Rocker has been making some noise in camp. He may not earn much of a role this year, but it’s a positive sign he’s been impressing so far this fall. It’s not recommended to chase pieces of this offense. But if you’re looking for someone to invest in, Rocker is as good of a bet as any.
Players to Avoid at ADP
None- No Arizona player has an ADP in our database at this time.
Jayden Daniels- The #2 dual-threat QB and a high 4-star prospect in the class of 2019, Daniels earned the starting role as a true freshman. Daniels had his ups and downs, throwing for 2,943 yards and 17TDs to two INTs and showing off his dual-threat ability with 355 yards and three TDs on the ground. Few teams were hit as hard by COVID as Arizona State in 2020. That, coupled with breaking in an all-new cast of skill players around him; three freshman WRs, a freshman RB, and a JUCO transfer RB. This lead to a tumultuous year for the sophomore QB and the Arizona State team. Daniels ended up regressing with 701 yards and five TDs to one INT through the air and 223 yards and four TDs rushing through four games. From a college fantasy perspective, Daniels finished as the QB29 with 23.6fpg. Daniels has reportedly answered one of his biggest questions from an NFL potential standpoint and is up to 200lbs this offseason. While Daniels needs to take a step forward as a prospect this year to make the 36.8 ADP price tag worth it, he should at least provide solid production in college this year.
Rachaad White- The #3 JUCO RB recruit in 2020, White was coming off a dominant season at the JUCO level with 199 carries for 1,264 yards and 10 TDs and 25 catches for 216 yards and two more TDs. White carried his strong rushing efficiency from the JUCO ranks to the Power-5 level. He led Arizona State in rushing with 420 yards and five TDs on 42 carries and another 151 yards and one TD receiving through four games. White has been running with the first-team offense again this offseason. But for those worried about the other running backs in that room, White ranked second on the team in carries last year, suggesting there is potentially room for more opportunity for White in 2021. While he may not repeat his insane efficiency and RB6 fantasy performance with 24.3 fantasy points per game; White should still produce strong fantasy weeks for the seventh-ranked rushing offense in 2020 on a yards per game basis. At 6’2” and 210 lbs with proven pass-catching ability, White also has lead-back potential at the next level as well. With an ADP of 162, White represents one of the strongest values at the running back position. From both a college production and developmental perspective.
DeaMonte “Chip” Trayanum- A 4-star prospect and the RB23 in the class of 2020, Chip stepped in and made an immediate impact on this offense. Trayanum led the team in carries with 49 and recorded 290 yards and five TDs. Trayanum has also received significant work with the first-team offense this offseason. There will be a likely timeshare between the two RBs like last year. Finishing as the RB86 with 13.5 fantasy points per game, Trayanum can provide some useful fantasy weeks. However, Trayanum’s main value lies in his pro potential. Despite looking like a bruiser back at 5’11” 235lbs, the coaching staff recruited Trayanum hard for his speed and athleticism. Trayanum’s ADP reflects the community’s faith in his pro potential at 33.6 and the RB12 overall. Many at our site share the same faith including Austin (@devydeets), who labeled him as #hisguy back in April of 2020.
None- Arizona State has been a run-heavy team in recent years under Herm Edwards. Ranking 123rd, 83rd, and 70th in pass attempts the last three years, respectively. ASU will likely struggle to produce fantasy-relevant WRs every week. The fantasy production is likely to come from the rushing production of the players mentioned earlier.
LV Bunkley-Shelton- The WR27 and a 4-star prospect in the class of 2020, LVBS (for brevity) was forced into early action last year with presumptive lead WR Frank Darby only playing in two games. LVBS stepped up and led the team in receiving with 11 catches for 100 yards through four games. LVBS has been earning some time with the first-time offense throughout spring and fall camp. While Arizona State’s offense ranked an abysmally low 123rd in the country in pass attempts in 2020, they ranked a more reasonable 83rd in 2019. Despite a likely increase in pass attempts from last year, this is still likely to be a low-volume passing offense that does not produce many fantasy-relevant weeks from WRs. LVBS’ appeal lies in his NFL potential at this time. With an ADP of 147 and WR49, LVBS represents a value compared to our site’s composite rank of WR31.
Elijah Badger- A 4-star prospect and the third-ranked ATH in the class of 2020, Badger did not end up meeting the academic requirements for eligibility at Arizona State last year and was unable to suit up for the Sun Devils at all. Badger was able to redshirt last year and save an otherwise lost year. However, you would never know Badger didn’t play or practice with Arizona State last year based on his play this spring. He impressed in the spring game, making a “slew of catches.” He was also picked as the prediction for the Breakout Player for 2021 for Arizona State and compared to former ASU WR and San Francisco 49ers standout Brandon Aiyuk for his high-level athleticism. Badger may not produce many fantasy-relevant weeks this year. He has not been practicing lately due to an undisclosed reason. But with an ADP of 218, it is difficult to find a more tantalizing NFL prospect in this range.
Johnny Wilson- Listed at 6’7” and 230lbs, the former 4-star prospect, and WR21, represents a very different skill set than the other two highly rated WRs from the class of 2020. Wilson is the definition of an athletic freak, running a 4.59 40 yard dash, 4.29 shuttle, and a 36.9” vertical leap at a massive 6’6” and 224 lbs. in high school. Wilson saw some action last year as a true freshman, earning six catches for 89 yards through three games. Now a redshirt freshman this year, Wilson is locked in a battle to be the starter at the Z receiver. Yet another WR who is unlikely to produce many fantasy-relevant weeks in this offense, Wilson’s NFL potential likely requires a position switch. While it would behoove Wilson to make that switch sooner rather than later, the NFL will likely be very interested in drafted an athletic marvel like Wilson. Wilson is going extremely late with an ADP of 358. Even if you are not convinced Wilson makes a position switch at or before the NFL, Wilson is so cheap that it’s absolutely worth taking a gamble on this size and athleticism.
Chad Johnson Jr- The son of Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Chad Johnson Jr. was a 4-star prospect and the WR62 in the class of 2020. Johnson did record a stat last year and has been reported out of practice for an unknown reason for most of this spring. Johnson’s ADP of 364 is buoyed by his name and recruiting pedigree, not his camp production or buzz. But it is difficult to argue with taking a former 4-star prospect after the 30th round.
Jalin Conyers- A 4-star recruit and the fifth-ranked TE in the class of 2020, Conyers originally enrolled at Oklahoma as a true freshman. Conyers did not record a stat and redshirted his 2020 season before electing to enter the transfer portal. He did not spend much time in the portal, quickly deciding to attend one of the schools that pursued him most aggressively as a recruit and a transfer in Arizona State. Conyers wasted no time impressing the staff at ASU, as he was tabbed as one of the players who “stepped up” and was a “matchup nightmare” during the spring game. Running with the first-team offense this fall as well, Conyers appears poised for a significant role in this offense in 2021 and beyond. Despite ASAU not being a high-volume passing offense and having an excellent WR room, reliable TE production is difficult to find, and Conyers could provide that. But even if he doesn’t, with an ADP of 331, a strong recruiting pedigree, and ready-made NFL size at 6’4” and 250lbs, Conyers represents an excellent value.
Daniyel Ngata- The #3 All-Purpose Back and a 4-star recruit in the class of 2020, Ngata was third on the team in running back carries last year as a true freshman with 26 carries for 108 yards and a TD. Unfortunately for Ngata, White and Trayanum are still on the roster for 2021 and appear poised to repeat as the two leading options in this backfield. That is not to say that Ngata has not impressed, however. According to coaches, Ngata has reportedly bulked up to 5’9” and 200 lbs and has had one of the best camps thus far. Tabbed as one of the 11 most impressive players relative to their expectations, Ngata may also carve out a nice role. However, with an ADP 258, Ngata is not typically taken in a range expected to be a weekly starter for your college side. With his high-end, all-purpose recruiting pedigree and near-NFL size, Ngata has more NFL potential than most options you’ll find in that range. And when White likely leaves for the NFL after this year, Ngata can step into his role for 2022.
Players to Avoid at ADP
None- A run-heavy offense with at least a two-way split in the backfield and a low-volume passing offense with a QB still in need of some development may not sound like the most appealing option for fantasy assets. But both running backs were productive last year, the QB brought fantasy production with his dual-threat ability, and the WRs were all 4-star recruits. Arizona State is a team that recruited very well, which may have contributed to the ongoing investigation, littered with talent. The most expensive pieces at each position in Daniels, Trayanum, and LVBS likely require some faith in the NFL future at their current ADPs, but the other options on this team represent values at their current ADPs.
Jarek Broussard- At 5’9” and 171 lbs and the 88th ranked ATH in the class of 2018, Broussard redshirted his true freshman season and saw his rFr season in 2019 cut short in September with a knee injury. So it is easy to forgive overlooking this diminutive running back entering the 2020 season under brand new Head Coach Karl Dorrell. However, no one should be making that mistake heading into 2021 after Broussard assumed a bellcow like 26 carries per game. Broussard turned that heavy workload of 156 carries into 895 yards and five TDs and added nine catches for 65 yards through six games on his way to PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors. While a backfield dominator rating of 75.9% last year and an RB17 fantasy finish may be difficult to repeat for Broussard, he should still be a high-end fantasy producer in 2021. However, his small stature and lack of receiving prowess to this point in his college career make his ADP of 186 a bit harder to stomach.
Brendan Lewis- A 3-star QB and the 17th ranked dual-threat QB in the class of 2020; Lewis didn’t see action until the bowl game debacle against Texas. Lewis performed admirably, going 6 for 10 for 95 yards through the air and showing off his dual-threat ability with nine carries for 73 yards and a TD. With his main competition for the starting QB role in JT Shrout is sidelined with a knee injury, Lewis appears poised to start the season at QB for the Buffs. With a non-existent ADP in our database, Lewis is at least worth drafting due to his dual-threat ability and potential to be a fantasy starter.
None- Finishing last year as the 82nd ranked offense in terms of passing attempts per game and starting a developmental dual-threat QB, Colorado’s passing offense is likely one to avoid for fantasy production. And given that the offense funneled 75.9% of the backfield production through Broussard, there likely isn’t much room for another fantasy producer there either.
Ashaad Clayton- The 17th ranked RB and a 4-star prospect in the class of 2020, Clayton had offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas, and Texas A&M and yet perplexingly chose to go to Colorado. Clayton didn’t receive much work last year but did earn 24 yards and two TDs on four carries on his way to PAC-12 Freshman of the Week honors against Arizona. At 6’0” and 200lbs, Clayton has a chance to be the thunder to Broussard’s lightning this year after leading the team in rushing in the spring game this spring with Broussard sitting out. His ADP of 220 reflects his recruiting pedigree than his likely production this year but is still not cost-prohibitive. Clayton is certainly not a value, but there are also worse options in that range.
Players to Avoid at ADP
None- While Broussard has an ADP that is a bit high given his NFL future, it is not too high that he would be a player to avoid, particularly given his likely production this year. No other Colorado player has an ADP that is high enough to warrant being a player to avoid.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson- A high 4-star prospect and the second-ranked dual-threat QB in the class of 2018, Thompson-Robinson (DTR) was recruited heavily by Alabama, Miami, and Michigan, among other high-level programs. However, DTR elected to stay out west and become the crown jewel of Chip Kelly’s recruiting tenure at UCLA. DTR became the starter in week 1 as a true freshman after starting QB Wilton Speight was injured and didn’t relinquish the job until suffering an injury of his own late in the season. The true freshman who had only been playing QB since his senior year of high school predictably had up and downs, throwing for 1,311 yards and seven TDs to four INTs while completing 57.7% of his passes. However, he has gradually improved each year in college to the point where he threw for 1,120 yards and 12 TDs to 4 INTs for 65.2% of his passes through five games in 2020. However, DTR’s fantasy production comes from his rushing ability, where he ran for 306 yards and three TDs on his way to the QB12 fantasy finish last year. DTR has the toolsy skill set that the NFL covets now, and with another strong year, was my bold prediction to sneak into the back half of the first round of the NFL Draft on the first episode of the Campus 2 Canton podcast’s Summer School series. However, DTR’s ADP 202 is cheap enough that the high-end college production is worth it at that price. If he pans out as an NFL prospect, that’s highway robbery.
Greg Dulcich- A walk-on at UCLA as a WR in the class of 2018, Dulcich made the switch to TE right away and redshirted his true freshman season after seeing action in only one game. Dulcich managed to break out as a rSo in 2020 on his way to leading UCLA in both receiving yards and TDs with 517 yards and five TDs on 26 catches. Listed at #4 on 24/7’s list of most important Bruins for 2021, Dulcich appears poised to repeat his strong performance and could reasonably finish as the TE5 again in terms of fantasy points per game. Dulcich comes from a UCLA offense that highlights the TE and has produced several prospects at the position to be drafted the past few years. And with the converted WR skill set that the NFL has been trending towards, Dulcich looks likely to follow in those footsteps. Even with the 64 spot rise in our ADP from June to July, Dulcich is still only going at 187 overall and the TE12 off the board, which is far too low for his expected production and NFL potential.
Zach Charbonnet- The RB4 and a high 4-star prospect in the class of 2019, Charbonnet originally enrolled at Michigan. Charbonnet made an immediate impact as a true freshman, leading the team in rushing with 149 carries for 726 yards and 11 TDs on the ground, and 8 catches for 30 yards through the air. However, despite his impressive 45.7% backfield dominator rating as a true freshman, Charbonnet, perplexing, only saw 19 carries through five games in 2020. However, he managed to maintain his efficiency on those 19 carries, where he had 124 yards and one TD and contributed six catches for 41 yards.
Wisely electing to transfer back home to California and attend UCLA, Charbonnet enters a Chip Kelly offense that ranked 11th in rushing attempts per game and 12th in rushing yards per game in 2020 that likes to run when the game script calls for it and lost its leading rushing from the previous year in Demetric Felton. Only Brittain Brown, a former Duke recruit as a Safety/RB in the class of 2016, stands in Charbonnet’s way for carries at the moment. If Charbonnet can unseat the incumbent Brown before the season starts, he could be looking at finishing near the RB10 on a fantasy points per game basis as Felton did in 2020. That potential production coupled with his actual NFL potential as a high-end recruit with NFL size at 6’1” 220lbs could make Charbonnet a massive value at his ADP of 104.
Brittain Brown- A former 3-star prospect in the class of 2016 who was listed as Safety in some places and an RB in others, Brown redshirted his freshman year at Duke. He narrowly finished second on the team in carries and yards with 130 for 701 and led the team in rushing TDs with seven. After battling injuries and only playing nine and three games in 2018 and 2019, Brown transferred to UCLA. He played second fiddle to Demetric Felton to the tune of 82 carries for 543 yards and four TDs, six catches for 84 yards, and another TD. Brown is leading returning rushing for a run-heavy offense and is the penciled-in starter according to 24/7 sports as of late July. Should Brown earn the starting nod, he could put up many fantasy-worthy weeks. With an ADP of 376, Brown falls squarely in the range of other ambiguous backfields and is cheap enough to take a shot on.
DeShun Murrel- A 3-star prospect and the RB31 by the composite, Murrel is more highly regarded by 24/7, who ranks him as a 4-star recruit and the RB24 in the class of 2021. While Murrel will likely not see much time this year behind Brown and Charbonnet. Brown is a fifth-year senior, and if Charbonnet has a year like his freshman year at Michigan, he could potentially bolt for the NFL. With a potentially wide-open depth chart ahead of him on an offense that wants to be run-heavy, Murrel could be an excellent stash with an eye towards 2022. With an ADP of 400 in our database, Murrel is going at the very end of drafts. Any startable fantasy production is a value in this range, even if it’s a year away.
Players to Avoid at ADP
None- Charbonnet is the only UCLA player with an ADP that represents anything costly at 104; however, even he could be a value given his perception just one year ago, the rushing volume he could see, and his NFL potential. The rest of the players listed are going late enough that it is easy to justify selecting them at their current ADP.
Drake London- A 4-star prospect and the WR35 in the 2019 class, London chose to attend USC to play football and basketball. With him not seeing quite the amount of playing time he was hoping in basketball, London focused on football for the 2020 season. While he had a role as a true freshman recording 39 catches for 567 yards and five TDs, his decision to focus on football paid off. London was the second leading receiver for USC in 2020, recording 33 catches for 502 yards and three TDs through six games. With leading WR Amon-Ra St. Brown off to the NFL, London is expected to lead the Trojans in receiving this year for the team that finished second in pass attempts per game last year. His ADP of 35 is expensive, but his expected production and NFL potential as a top 50 player in college, according to ESPN, should help to make it worth the price.
Gary Bryant Jr.- The #7 WR and a high 4-star prospect in the class of 2020, Bryant saw limited action as a true freshman recording seven catches for 51 yards through five games. Bryant left spring as the predicted starter at the Y position, a role that has been lucrative for a fantasy perspective in Graham Harrell’s air raid offense. Bryant has been battling injuries this fall, but so have several other members of the USC WR room. With an average ADP of 190 that has fallen to 221 in July, Bryant’s projected role in this offense alone makes him a value. But with the recruiting pedigree and the NFL caring less about size in recent years, Bryant Jr. also has solid NFL potential to boot.
Keaontay Ingram- A 4-star prospect and the sixth-ranked RB in the class of 2018, Ingram earned an immediate role for the Texas Longhorns. Ingram was the second leading rusher as a true freshman with 142 carries for 708 yards, and three TDs on the ground and 27 catches for 170 yards, and another two TDs through the air. As a sophomore, Ingram led the backfield with 853 yards and seven TDs rushing and 29 catches for 242 yards and three TDs receiving. Like most of us, Ingram had a tough 2020, dealing with fumbling issues, an ankle injury that limited him to six games, and the emergence of potential future superstar Bijan Robinson in his absence.
Seeing the writing on the wall with Bijan, Ingram elected to transfer to USC. He has become one of the top options for this backfield despite being sidelined this fall and not participating in the most recent scrimmage. USC was one of the worst rushing offenses in the country last year, ranking 116th in both rushing attempts per game and yards per attempt and 121st in yards per game. While that is likely to improve some in 2021, USC has been a low volume and an efficient rushing attack in 2019 and 2018. Given his production history early in his career, size, and all-around skill set, Ingram will likely be a better pro next year than college producer this year. And with an ADP of 111, he will have to be to pay off that price.
Jaxson Dart- Once of the more prolific risers in the class of 2021, Dart rose from the 300th ranked prospect in October of 2020 to the 68th ranked prospect in February of 2021 on his way to becoming the National Gatorade Player of the Year for 2020. This offseason, Dart has been drawing endless praise from multiple sources and is projected to earn the #2 role on this depth chart. With the injuries and reports of lacking confidence surrounding Kedon Slovis, Dart may be called on earlier than expected if that continues into the regular season. More realistically, though, Dart is a high-end stash with an eye towards 2022. Dart is certainly not priced like most stashes, with an ADP of 97 overall and 80 in July. However, we’re talking about the Quarterback position here. Dart represents one of the last QBs in that range with true high-end NFL potential, making his cost much palatable even if he isn’t the value he was earlier in the offseason.
Miller Moss- Originally the highest QB recruit in the class of 2021 for USC, Moss is a 4-star prospect and the twelfth ranked QB. And while Dart has drawn more intense buzz this offseason, Moss has reportedly improved steadily as the offseason has worn on and even looked better than Dart at times. However, Dart is still likely the future of the USC QB room and has better physical tools than Moss. Moss’s potential likely hinges on a transfer; however, that is proving more and more common in today’s age. With an ADP of 249, there are worse options in this range than stashing Moss in the hope that the highly-rated recruit transfers somewhere more appealing.
Michael Jackson III- A 3-star prospect and the WR59 in the class of 2021, Michael Jackson III entered a very crowded USC WR room with modest expectations. However, after a strong showing in the spring that has carried over into the fall and several injuries and other issues with other WRs in that room, Jackson is suddenly looking at a potentially significant role as a true freshman. While Jackson is still more likely to serve in a complementary role this year, his talent may continue to push him up the depth chart when this WR room thins out a bit more in 2022. Jackson’s ADP has actually dropped 63 spots to 345 in July and 310 overall, representing a phenomenal value for those looking towards 2022.
Tahj Washington- The WR216 and a 3-star prospect in the class of 2019, Washington chose Memphis from a list of less than impressive offers. While he didn’t earn much of a role as a true freshman, his 2020 season was much improved. Washington was the second leading receiver last year for the Tigers with 43 catches for 743 yards and 6 TDs through 11 games on his way to the WR77 fantasy finish in terms of points per game.
Electing to transfer to USC was a bit perplexing at first. But after a strong offseason and some WRs originally ahead of him now not practicing for a variety of reasons, Washington has become one of the top performers who folks are saying flashes “just get him the football ability.” Washington is now the projected starter at the Z WR position and should earn a significant role in this offense. A starting WR for the second-ranked offense in terms of pass attempts per game going at an ADP of 247 already represents great value. If Washington can continue to develop into a potential option at the next level, this could be one of the better values at the WR position.
Michael Trigg- A 4-star prospect and #4 TE in the class of 2021, Trigg had offers from 49 schools, including Alabama, Ohio State, and notorious TE factor Notre Dame. And he is already making waves at camp, drawing rave reviews from everyone who watches practice, including Head Coach Clay Helton. Listed at 6’4” 245lbs with the athleticism of a 3-star Shooting Guard prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State, among others, Trigg oozes NFL potential. And after earning the “Alpha tag” at practice last week, Trigg may force his way onto the field sooner rather than later. Trigg has an ADP of 334 in our database and represents one of the best values at any position at this time. GO GET MICHAEL TRIGG BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
Brandon Campbell- The 22nd ranked RB and a 4-star prospect in the class of 2021, Campbell enters a backfield riddled with upperclassmen ahead of him. He reportedly had his fair share of highlights through spring but has cooled off some this fall and has failed to capitalize on his opportunities. Campbell will likely not see the field much as a true freshman, and his college production is capped as long as this current offensive staff is in place. However, his recruiting pedigree and athleticism, coupled with many of the upperclassmen ahead of the depth chart likely to leave after this year, make Campbell an intriguing option at his ADP of 292.
Players to Avoid at ADP
Kedon Slovis- A 3-star prospect and the 26th ranked Pro-Style QB in the class of 2019, Slovis entered his true freshman season behind 5-star QB JT Daniels. When a season-ending injury to Daniels thrust Slovis into the starting lineup as the QB for USC, Slovis stepped up in a big way. Slovis threw for 3,502 yards and 30 TDs to 9 INTs with a 71.9% completion percentage and 8.9 yards per attempt, leading some to even make a bold prediction that he would win the Heisman in 2020. However, that didn’t happen as Slovis battled through injury on his way to throwing for 1,921 yards and 17 TDs and 7 INTs and 7.3 yards per attempt.
Despite his confidence reportedly being shaken and 4-star recruit Jaxson Dart impressing early, Slovis is still the presumptive starter. As long as Slovis is still the starter, he should at least replicate his QB33 fantasy finish on a per-game basis from 2020. However, with an ADP of 27, anyone drafting Slovis will need him to return to his 2019 form and become the high-level pro prospect that some thought he could develop into in order to make the selection worthwhile. But with Slovis reportedly not looking as sharp as he needs to for opening day, it is looking less likely that he will be able to return to that form.
Bru McCoy- After being arrested for domestic violence and suspended from USC, Horace “Bru” McCoy should not be on your draft radar at all. Even if the charges get cleared for some reason, McCoy has not produced enough to this point in his career to warrant taking a shot on. Use his roster spot somewhere else.
Brant Kuithe- The 91st ranked ATH and a 3-star prospect, Kuithe earned a nice role as a true freshman at TE with 20 catches for 227 yards and 1 TD. He followed that performance with 34 catches for 602 yards and six TDs as a true sophomore, leading the team in all receiving categories. Kuithe again led the team in receptions last year in 2020 and looked primed to have another significant role in this passing attack for a third straight year. Despite leading the team in receiving multiple years, Kuithe still only managed to turn in TE25 numbers on a per-game basis last year, a testament to the run-first nature of this team. However, at position short on reliable college producers and even shorter on NFL talent, Kuithe represents a nice intersection of both. And at an ADP of 260, his cost is more than palatable.
Britain Covey- A 3-star prospect and the 29th ranked All-Purpose Back in the class of 2015, Covey made waves immediately as a returner, earning All-PAC-12 honorable mention honors as a return specialist. However, Covey took a two-year hiatus for a mission trip in 2016 and 2017 and will now be entering his sixth year removed from high school. Covey did manage to lead the team in receiving yards and TDs with 19 catches for 264 yards and three TDs through six games on his way to a WR50 fantasy finish. Covey will likely never be anything more than a return specialist at the next level. However, he is worth a look as a potential spot starter and is so cheap he does not have an ADP in our database.
TJ Pledger- The former #4 All-Purpose Back and 4-star prospect in the class of 2018, Pledger accepted an offer to Oklahoma out of high school. Pledger did not see much action in his first two years in Norman. However, he finished last year as the second-leading rusher for Oklahoma with 95 carries for 451 yards and five TDs while adding nine catches for 77 yards. Pledger transferred to Utah and is now the co-starter on a run-first offense’s projected two-deep depth chart. Pledger represents a solid value at his ADP of 333, especially if he can seize control of this backfield.
Tavion Thomas- A 3-star prospect and the number 18RB in the class of 2018, Thomas had offers from schools like Ohio State and Oklahoma, but elected to stay close to home and attend Cincinnati. As a true freshman, Thomas saw action in eight games and recorded 89 carries for 499 yards and six TDs. However, after seeing his playing time decrease, Thomas elected to transfer to the Junior College ranks. Now back at the Power-5 level with Utah, Thomas has reportedly made a strong impression on the coaching staff so far and appears in line for a significant role in this offense. Thomas has no ADP in our database and is likely not on many radars at this point. However, Thomas is worth keeping an eye on if he earns the starting job and can command a significant amount of carries in this run-first offense.
Peter Costelli- The 26th ranked QB and a 4-star prospect in the class of 2021, Costelli enrolled early at Utah and impressed right away and earned the first-half reps with the second unit in the spring game. While he is not listed on the current two-deep roster projections, the QB room in front of him consists of fifth-year senior Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer, former Texas transfer Cameron Rising who has not been able to stay healthy to this point of his career, and a player that 24/7 sports called a “likely hybrid linebacker” in Ja’Quinden Jackson. Costelli is a stash with an eye towards 2022, hoping he can overtake the other QBs left in that room after this year and presents a solid fantasy floor with his dual-threat ability. With an ADP of 288, Costelli has actually seen a 65 spot rise in his ADP in July. However, he still represents a solid value at his current ADP.
Players to Avoid at ADP
Chris Curry- A former 4-star prospect and the RB15 in the class of 2018, Curry began his career at LSU, where he saw limited action in his first two years on campus while redshirting after four games his true freshman year. In 2020, Curry was third on LSU in rushing yards with 145 and only received 45 carries total through seven games. He then chose to transfer to Utah, perhaps hoping for more playing time. Curry is listed as tied for the #2 role on the current projected two-deep depth chart. However, with three other players at RB, Curry’s future role in this backfield is unclear. While it is hard to say any player with an ADP of 385 is a true avoid, Curry will likely just take up a spot on your roster until he ends up appearing fourth on the depth chart and can be dropped for a more promising free agent.