Every week we’ll feature some under-the-radar players to start and some not-so-obvious sit candidates. For in-depth rankings, the team is providing ranking for each position, found here. The total rankings are updated weekly, and this article will be built using some of those insights.

Start: Mike Wright, QB Vanderbilt vs. Elon

Rank: QB13

Mike Wright was arguably the star of Week 0. He dominated the Hawaii defense en route to a 169-rushing yard performance showcasing his speed and elusiveness all game. Wright is one of the fastest players at the position and is a competent passer, giving him true dual threat upside. His 46 fantasy points led all players last week, and while Hawaii is a bad team and Vanderbilt took advantage, the Commodores get Elon and Wright has another smash spot this week. Don’t overthink the Vandy QB, and keep starting one of the best athletes in the country.

Vanderbilt Quarterback Mike Wright ran wild against Hawaii last week and has another good matchup in Elon Week 1. Image Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics.

Sit: Collin Schlee, QB Kent State @ Washington

Rank: QB57

I love Collin Schlee. Shoot, everyone at Campus2Canton loves Schlee. But not this week. Kent State historically schedules a very tough out-of-conference group of games, and this week they get Washington. Last year, Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum averaged 10.8 points per game in the season’s first three weeks. Schlee likely sees a similar output.

The defense, specifically secondary, for the Huskies last year was better than the group they bring this year, but it’s still a better team than the Flashes. Zion Tupuola-Fetui is one of the country’s best EDGE rushers, and there’s no player on Kent State who can manage his presence. I love this offense but not this week.

Start: Tyjae Spears, RB Tulane vs. UMASS

Rank: RB13

Spears ended the season on fire last year with 747 yards in his final six games. Running as a man possessed, he became the focal point of the Tulane offense, one looking for an identity. Tulane gets a UMASS team this week – as the kids say – is down bad. Last season, UMASS ranked 121st in EPA/Rush Attempt, and they return essentially the same group. I’m very skeptical as to whether this front seven can pose a threat against a dynamic back in Spears. If I’m rostering him, he’s someone I’m not sure I can sit this week.

Sit: Israel Abanikanda, RB Pitt @ West Virginia

RB: RB69

Realistically, how can anyone be confident in the Pittsburgh rushing split? Despite returning five offensive linemen, this team will likely feature a rotation again in 2022. Last season, Abanikanda had 31% of the rushing yard market share on 24.2% of the carries while operating as the second RB in carries per game.

PlayerAttempts% of Attempts
Vincent Davis14227.90%
Israel Abanikanda12324.17%
Rodney Hammond Jr10220.04%
Kenny Pickett9719.06%
Rushing Breakdown for the Pittsburgh Panthers in 2021.

This is a fine matchup against West Virginia this week, but predicting the rushing split is going to be the toughest thing about this Pitt squad this season. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is now with Nebraska, but confidently projecting what happens this week will be challenging. Abanikanda was listed first on the depth chart released on Monday, but there are still questions. I’m taking the wait-and-see approach to this backfield.

Start: Hassan Beydoun, WR EMU vs. E Kentucky

Rank: WR23

Hassan Beydoun rarely makes this list, but he’s a player you can roll out this week confidently. Beydoun, the leading receiver at Eastern Michigan, is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. In his last nine games (conference play), Beydoun averaged 20.3 points per game, buoyed by his massive reception share, averaging 9.1 per game in this span. Eastern Kentucky is worse than his traditional MAC competition, and despite the questions at quarterback for EMU, you can feel good starting Beydoun this week.

Sit: Tyrin Smith, WR UTEP @ Oklahoma

Rank: WR45

Tyrin Smith was a star in Week 0, posting a 7-127-1 line in the opener. Smith has emerged as the primary target for the Miners, garnering 16 against North Texas for a 33.5% target share. This week, UTEP goes against Oklahoma, a top-10 team in the country and a team that boasts one of the better secondaries in the Big 12. This matchup assumes that Smith likely sees corner Woodi Washington in coverage most of the game. Smith is a good receiver who is startable most weeks – this is not one of those weeks.

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