12 Team Leagues
QB - N’Kosi Perry, FAU | 27% Rostered
Formerly a highly touted recruit at Miami who got a chance to assume the starting QB role before D’Eriq King transferred in last year. He then understandably chose to transfer up the road to Boca Raton where he played well enough in training camp to earn the opening day nod. Since then, Perry has been a revelation for the Owls, leading them to a 14.8% explosive play rate while ranking ninth nationally in points per scoring opportunity.
FAU’s 73.2 plays per game ranks 29th in the nation while their 39.1 yards per drive average is the 29th best in FBS. He is ranked 27th in air yards while the Owls are hitting plays of 20 or more yards at a 9.3% clip, 34th best. Perry has been at his best in blitzing situations, posting a blistering 42.7% success rate in such scenarios while hitting on big plays on 11.1% of them.
Though Perry has clearly been more explosive than efficient, his keen ability to extend drives has been exceptional. He helped FAU convert third-and-long situations at a 38.7% rate (8th nationally) while excelling in third-and-medium scenarios at a 63.6% clip (14th). Though he only put up 21.9 points against a very good UAB defense on the road last week, his schedule for the remainder of the year is a dream:
Week 8 - at Charlotte
Week 9 - UTEP
Week 10 - Marshall
Week 11 - at Old Dominion
Week 12 - at Western Kentucky
Week 13 - Middle Tennessee
With that creampuff slate to end the season, Perry is still woefully under-owned at his current 27% rate.
RB - Kobe Pace, Clemson | 14%
The recommendation for Pace’s pickup shouldn’t be viewed through the prism of how Clemson’s offense has performed through the first four the season. Which is to say, egregious. Despite their overall incompetence offensively, their rushing attack was quite effective against Boston College last game. For his part, Pace went from 9 offensive snaps in Week 4 against NC State, to 46 snaps in Week 5 after Will Shipley went down. Though he has been consistently used to spell Shipley over the first four games, Pace logged only 20 totes in that span as opposed to 18 carries against BC alone. His increased usage bodes well for him going forward until the five-star freshman returns. As does his ability to produce out of the backfield, with Pace securing all four of his targets on the year, including catching two passes for 41 yards last game.
Clemson’s pass attack has been nothing short of morose - ranking in the bottom-15 in completion rate (54.8%), Passing Success Rate (32.9%), Air Yards Per Pass (7.1) and Passing Marginal Explosiveness. However they’ve been much better on the ground, ranking 35th in Rushing Marginal Explosiveness, 34th with a 52.6% Opportunity Rate and 13th in Stuff Rate. It’s reasonable to suggest the Tigers will lean on Pace and the running game over the next three weeks against Syracuse, which ranks 68th in defensive rushing success rate, a Pitt team that ranks 121st in suppressing rushing explosiveness and Florida State who is...Florida State. He should be an instantly playable option in most formats until Shipley returns.
RB - Rahmir Johnson, Nebraska | 2%
A three-star recruit from the 2019 prep class, Johnson was rated as the 32nd running back according to the 247Sports composite rankings. A slightly built all-purpose back at 5’10/185, he was overlooked in favor of 2020 prospect Sevion Morrison and USC transfer Markese Stepp heading into the season. However after three games of poor performance and attrition in the running back room, Johnson earned his first start against Oklahoma when he rushed 11 times for 42 yards in addition to securing all three targets for 48 yards in the narrow loss.
His versatility, toughness and dependability, he’s never fumbled in 119 career touches, showed HC Scott Frost that Johnson is up to the task of being Nebraska’s starting running back. His choice has proven to be prescient, as Johnson has posted 47 rush attempts, 214 yards and two touchdowns in addition to nine receptions and 121 yards receiving over the last three games. He would help to boost the Cornhuskers’ rushing metrics, as the team ranks 26th in rushing explosiveness and 33rd with a 52.9% opportunity rate with an overall rushing performance ranking of 38th in the nation according to the excellent CFB Winning Edge’s advanced analytics.
With HC Frost finally infusing Nebraska with the explosiveness that were a hallmark of his UCF teams, Johnson stands to gain from the offense’s ascension, as they currently rank 14th in explosiveness per play. With two games on tap against the soft underbelly of the Big Ten in Minnesota and Purdue, Johnson should be able to extend his current four game streak of double-digit point showings for at least a couple more games.
WR - Konata Mumpfield, Akron | 3%
A former backup QB to NFL legend Payton Manning and head coach of UT-Chattanooga, Akron HC Tom Arth was hired as the Zips’ eighth head coach since 1960 immediately after the conclusion of the 2018 season. He had to rebuild the program from scratch, as Akron was unquestionably one of the dirt-worst programs in the FBS for several years prior to his arrival. In the three years since, Arth has reformed the Akron program with a quick, rhythmic passing game that ranks 13th in the country with a 69% completion rate. Rest assured, the Zips ranking in the top-15 in anything was not a reality prior to his arrival. That’s not to say Akron is an offensive juggernaut, but their 53rd overall passing explosiveness rating and 65th pass efficiency rank is a drastic improvement.
Perhaps the primary reason, and beneficiary, for Akron’s increased proficiency is Konata Mumpfield (6’1/180). Since a Week 1 60-10 evisceration at the hands of Auburn, Mumpfield has been one of the most consistently productive receivers in the country. Over the last five weeks the Akron wideout has secured 25 passes on 34 targets for 331 yards and six touchdowns. He has scored a touchdown in every one of those games while earning a stellar 136.5 passer rating when targeted according to PFF College. His impressive campaign peaked last Saturday in Akron’s stunning 35-20 upset over Bowling Green as Mumpfield caught all six of his targets for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the contest. He has posted a minimum of 16.9 points in each of the last four games and has been extremely effective in the 0-20 yard range, catching 18-of-20 targets to go with a 92.6 PFF receiving grade on short-to-intermediate routes.
Simply put, Mumpfield’s 3% ownership rate is embarrassingly low given his consistent playability this season. With the Zips entering their MAC schedule, expect to see their top receiver continue to be relevant in leagues of all sizes going forward.
WR - Dante Cephas, Kent State | 3%
I got a front row seat to the “Dante Cephas Comes Alive” show this past weekend against Buffalo, when the ascending sophomore incinerated the Bulls’ secondary to the tune of 13 receptions on 18 targets for 186 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-38 barn burner. It wasn’t his first huge game of the year however, as the Golden Flashes’ primary outside wideout also put it on Maryland two games ago by grabbing 10-of-12 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. And when I say he’s the primary outside wideout, I mean it, as Cephas has logged 80, 81 and 79 snaps over the last three games.
Even though he’s running, by a significant margin, the most routes on the team, Cephas is averaging 2.82 yards per route which ranks 22nd in the nation in that metric. For perspective, Ohio State wide receiver and premium NFL Draft prospect, Chris Olave, is tied with Cephas at 22nd in YRR. He does the majority of his receiving work within 10-yards of the line of scrimmage, catching 28-of-37 targets for 276 yards and three touchdowns in that range. However 18.5% of his looks have been at least 20-yards downfield, with Cephas catching 4-of-10 targets for 162 yards, 40.5 yards per reception and a touchdown on deep shots.
While his 12.2% drop rate is not optimal, it’s expected that high-volume collegiate wide receivers are going to have some hiccups. With Cephas rating 16th nationally in targets, his overwhelming usage rate makes the drops an acceptable hazard. Cephas will see his ownership skyrocket this week, jump on board and take the ride.
TE - Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion | 15%
Cash in your preseason CFF Bingo card if you predicted Zack Kuntz being one of the most highly utilized tight ends in the country so far. With the lone exception of Colorado State’s all-world tight end Trey McBride, no other TE in the land has received more than McBride’s 48 targets. That’s not to say there aren’t faults to Kuntz’s game, as he is mired in an inconsistent offense that sports a terrible 34% success rate and 53.1% completion percentage in addition to a punchless 122nd rating in marginal explosiveness. The poor offensive efficiency helps to explain Kuntz’s 56.3% catch rate that ranks among the lowest of all tight ends with at least 30 targets.
However when we peel back the layers on Kuntz’s usage, it reveals the bigger picture regarding his sub-standard catch rate. When it comes to downfield targets, Kuntz leads the entire country in targets of 20+ yards with 13. The next closest tight end in terms of deep shots is Derrick Deese with nine, with a third-place tie between Cole Turner and Xavier Gaines with seven. He’s almost doubling the downfield usage of the third place tight ends, simply incredible. With deep shots being obviously more difficult to connect on than short passes, Kuntz has only reeled in two of those 13 passes, for 62 yards and a touchdown to go with his 81.8 PFF receiving grade on such targets and zero drops. If you control out the 13 deep passes, Kuntz has snagged 25-of-35 targets of 20-yards or less for a strong 71.4% catch rate.
Old Dominion has a nice stretch of C-USA games lined up against Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Florida International and FAU. Kuntz should have ample opportunities to produce positive fantasy value in leagues of all shapes and sizes for the remainder of the year.
Deep/Dynasty Format Adds
QB - Max Bortenshlager, FIU | 2%
RB - Sean McGrew, Washington | 3%
RB - Antario Brown, NIU | 2%
WR - Blake Hester, Akron | 0%
WR - Quian Williams, Buffalo | 8%
TE - Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford | 1%