The second week is in the books, and we should have more clarity in some situations. But in some, it’s become even murkier. It was fun to see Texas beat Alabama, shaking up the college football hierarchy a little, even if it was somewhat expected. It looked like Jalen Milroe was the answer for Alabama, but that seemed very wrong on Saturday.
In this article, we’ll be discussing players who should be widely available on your CFF/C2C teams. In order to accomplish this, we’ll only look at guys who are rostered on only 30%-ish of teams or less. This article is geared towards rest-of-season value as opposed to one-week pickups that have good matchups in Week 3.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t always just target the top performers from the week before. Context matters even more in college fantasy than it does in NFL fantasy. A guy going off for 200+ yards and three touchdowns is great, but when it only comes on five touches versus an FCS opponent, you don’t want to fall for that fool’s gold.
Kaidon Salter, Liberty – 21% Rostership
Head coach Jamey Chadwell built Grayson McCall into a fantasy star in CFF, and now it’s his turn to make Salter into one. And it’s gone well in the first few weeks, and Liberty has a sweet schedule coming up.
Salter threw for 276 yards and a pair of scores, then added 43 yards and two more scores on the ground versus New Mexico State. His completion percentage is abysmal, but that doesn’t affect his fantasy value. Salter is a dual-threat signal-caller, and Liberty’s offense is going to push the pace and try to score every series.
The upcoming schedule is littered with powerhouses like FIU, Sam Houston State, MTSU, and Old Dominion. There’s a high likelihood that Salter finishes as a top-ten quarterback in fantasy, and he’s only rostered in a fifth of leagues. That needs to change ASAP, Salter is a guy you want to roster in CFF and as depth in C2C as well.
Jacob Zeno, UAB – 6%
In his fifth season, Zeno has replicated his passing numbers over nine games last season in only two games this season. He’s been efficient and calculated, throwing for 676 yards and five touchdowns over two games, and he gives your team a tiny bit of rushing upside – but he’s going to make his hay by throwing.
It was a bit uncertain how new head coach Trent Dilfer would attack teams, but it’s become clear quickly that he’s going to push the ball, and they are going to throw. The schedule for Zeno isn’t quite as juicy as Salter’s; they do face Georgia and Tulane soon. There are many matchups that are enticing, so Zeno is someone you can target now or maybe wait and get if someone releases him the week they play Georgia. I’m not spending a lot on a claim for Zeno, but he’s someone I want on my team from Week 6 on.
Dante Moore, UCLA – 30%
- He’s getting hot and is not afraid to push the ball. He’s rostered in dynasty or C2C leagues already, but Moore may be available for CFF.
Kedon Slovis, BYU – 16%
- This feels dirty, but Slovis torched Southern Utah and has a great grasp of a potentially potent offense.
AJ Swann, Vanderbilt – 14%
- I love Swann, and he’s been impressive as Vanderbilt’s offense has looked good. Obviously, the SEC schedule looms, but he’s going to have startable weeks.
Darius Taylor, Minnesota – 10%
Unless you live under a rock, you know the Gophers have a strong history of fantasy-relevant running backs. Sean Tyler was supposed to be “the man” and was drafted as such in CFF drafts.
My top pickup for the week is Taylor, the Minnesota freshman back, and I am targeting him aggressively in waivers. He torched Eastern Michigan for 193 yards on 33 carries. He caught a few passes to add to that also. Taylor is 5’11” and over 200 pounds, a much better size than Tyler, and I loved him coming out of high school.
There’s a chance Tyler limits Taylor’s upside, as Tyler also had 17 carries for 93 yards. But we can’t take a chance when you see a back like Taylor put up a stat line like he did for an offense with a history of featuring backs. Taylor is in a position to win you leagues potentially, and he’s my top pickup for the week.
Elijah Gilliam, Fresno State – 6%
Before I delve into the Bulldogs’ running back, let me pause for a second to reflect on my shares of Malik Sherrod and give them a moment of silence.
Sherrod was one of my favorite sleepers in draft season, but Fresno State has featured Gilliam, and it’s not going to change. Fresno State has produced fantasy-relevant backs, and Gilliam is giving us fantasy goodness. He’s rushed for 227 yards over the past two games and scored a pair of touchdowns. Fresno State is facing one of the easiest schedules in the country, with their toughest game being Arizona State next week. Which is a team they will still score on and run against.
Gilliam is another back I am going to target aggressively, and possibly is a safer option than Taylor, as Fresno State is not giving any other backs much attention. It’s clearly Gilliam’s backfield, and he’s a strong option for the rest of the season.
Makhi Hughes, Tulane – 1%
- The carries are a bit spread out, but Hughes has been the primary back, getting 23 carries for 92 yards and a score last week versus Ole Miss. If he’s the man, you want the primary Tulane back with the schedule they have.
Nathan Carter, Michigan State – 33%
- This week may not be a week to start Carter, with all the turmoil in East Lansing and the Washington Huskies coming to town, but Carter is the featured back and has been a strong fantasy asset. Jalen Berger has an undisclosed injury and left the game, leaving Carter as the only man standing essentially.
Keith Willis, Louisiana Tech – 2%
- Against Northwestern State, Willis was featured and had 13 carries for 188 yards and two scores. He’s BY FAR the most talented back and a freshman, and I expect the Bulldogs to feature him more as the season progresses.
Gage Larvadain, Miami of Ohio – 11%
I am surprised 11% owned Larvadain, but he did have 12 targets in Week 1. However, his 12 targets in Week 2 turned into 8 receptions for 273 yards and three touchdowns. If you were one of the 11% that owned Larvadain and if you had the cojones to start him, congratulations on your week two victory.
Larvadain has now accounted for 353 yards of Brett Gabbert’s 429 yards passing – an absolutely ridiculous share – and he’s the WR1 in an offense we had an eye on. It was unsure who would emerge, and I gambled on Miles Marshall in a few leagues.
The RedHawks face the typical MAC schedule, and the combination of Gabbert and Larvadain will have opportunities to feast. Jack Sorenson and Mac Hippenhammer have been fantasy assets in the offense with Gabbert at the helm. The upside of Larvadain is enormous, and he could end up as a top-twenty fantasy WR. Aggressively target the RedHawk receiver – Larvadain could be a league-winning asset.
Kris Mitchell, Florida International – 33%
It’s just over the 30% threshold, but I wanted to make sure I got Mitchell in here, as I have seen him available in nearly all my leagues. Mitchell has 16 catches for 295 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games.
The Golden Panthers don’t have a proficient offense but will be in many games in which they are going to have to score. And Mitchell has emerged as the top target; I don’t see anyone challenging him, and he’s in line for some fantasy production. He’s going to see ten or more targets every game for the rest of 2023.
Xavier Legette, South Carolina – 22%
- With Antwane Wells out, Legette has feasted – with 15 grabs for 296 yards over the first two games. His upside will be capped when Wells returns, but he has a strong rapport with Spencer Rattler. Legette may not be relegated entirely when Wells returns.
Sam Brown, Houston – 15%
- Houston has an alpha receiver in Matthew Golden, but the offense throws enough to feature Brown as a valuable WR2. He has 15 catches for 244 yards through two games and will continue to be fantasy-relevant.
Hudson Clement, West Virginia – 1%
- This could be a flash in the pan, but Clement is worth keeping an eye on. The offense is devoid of standouts, and this redshirt freshman caught five passes for 177 yards and three scores against Duquesne.
Harrold Fannin, Bowling Green State- 10%
A favorite of our own Chris Moxley, Fannin is the only tight end I am even putting any FAAB juice behind, and it wouldn’t be a big chunk. The Falcons’ tight end leads the team with nine receptions and 138 yards through two weeks. Those are not amazing stats, but the tight end position has been fairly fruitless in 2023 thus far.
Isaac Rex, BYU – 36%
- Rex leads the Cougars in targets, turning them into six receptions for 127 yards and a score. Again, not amazing stats, but he will continue to be featured by Slovis.
Holden Staes, Notre Dame – 6%
- Three touchdowns help his fantasy output, and it’s clear Sam Hartman is looking for Staes in the red zone. He’s got five grabs for 119 yards and is a former four-star recruit.