Welcome to Championship Week! Here is hoping all your teams are still alive and your buddies are left wondering what happened to their squads if they didn’t check out Campus2Canton.com all season. Let’s recap a couple of things and then look to 2024.

Unexpected Wide Receiver Success

Here are some WR spots that I simply avoided based on historical data or situations, and they have simply made me look like a fool:

Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Virginia – Malik Washington is the CFF WR3, and even Malachi Fields has averaged double figures. This room was an abject disaster in 2022 under Tony Elliott, with a bunch of solid players returning and no WR going for more than 580 yards and two TDs. Washington moves on, but Fields has two years left with the opportunity to become Colandrea’s alpha option.

Florida – Color me shocked that SunBelt Billy and Graham Mertz could support not one but two fantasy-relevant WRs. Ricky Pearsall is the CFF WR26 and true FR Eugene Wilson is averaging 17 PPG since October started (six games). Wilson has eight or more targets in every game over that stretch and will be the featured WR without Pearsall in 2024.

LSU WR2– I was sure Malik Nabers could produce, but I didn’t expect CFF WR1 level of production. But even more unexpected is Brian Thomas as the CFF WR7. Brian Kelly and OC Mike Denbrock have shown flashes of their WR1 producing but nothing substantial from the WR2. You have my attention for 2024. Could be a great portal WR spot.

FCS to FBS WR Success

More and more successful FCS WRs will transfer up to FBS each year. We need to get used to it. Especially post-Covid, when high school evaluations were insufficient and often inaccurate. Here are the top performers in this category for 2023 that still have eligibility left:

Joey Hobert, Texas State– Just under 17 PPG, but does he really count, given that this junior started his career at Wazzu prior to dropping down to FCS Utah Tech?

Elijah Sarratt, JMU– The sophomore from Saint Francis is averaging just under 15 PPG and has the makings of a monster dynasty asset with McCloud likely returning and Reggie Brown moving on.

Gage Larvadain, Miami, OH– the SE Louisiana transfer got off to a scoring start after going 8-273-3 in Week 2. Injuries have slowed him down since.

Jayden Higgins, Iowa State- The Eastern Kentucky transfer got some buzz in the preseason and has mostly lived up to the hype in his junior season, averaging just under 11 PPG.

Kole Wilson, Texas State– This sophomore followed his head coach from Incarnate Word to the FBS. He’s been sporadic but has had three games with 10+ targets, including 16, most recently in Week 12.

Naiem Simmons, USF- The junior transfer from Wagner has been mostly quiet but showed his ceiling with a loud Week 4 performance with 272 yards. He resides in a high-ceiling offense but has been overshadowed by a more consistent Sean Atkins, who has another year left as well.

Wacky 2024 Scheduling and Week Zero

Every program should have two bye weeks in 2024. For those playing CFF in 2019, the last time this happened, you will remember how much of a pain in the arse this was. This will result in a couple of things:

  1. Two bye weeks over a 12-game season means the byes will need to be spaced apart some. This inevitably will lead to more CFF playoff week byes. The new Big 10 is the only conference yet to release completed schedules for the 2024 season, and this theory holds true with approximately half the Big10 programs having a playoff week bye
  2. Those playing in Week Zero will have three bye weeks throughout the season. These teams include Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Mexico. Oregon also plays Week Zero, but playing at Hawaii means they will play 13 games (but will have a semi-final bye week).

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat your turkey, drink your booze, enjoy your family time, and crush your CFF championship matchups!

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