2021 CFF Quarterback Rankings, Profiles and Projections
As I sit down to write College Fantasy Football player profiles, I am outside on the back deck with my faithful companion Mora sleeping at my feet. She is a wonderful dog who does not mind when I write on my iPad under the shade.
For the eighth year, I have the honor of providing insight and projections for CFF diehards like myself. Before starting, I reflected back on the leading passers in 2014 to see who decorated the leaderboard. So many great memories from Brandon Doughty, WKU, Shane Carden, ECU, Marcus Mariota, ORE, Jameis Winston, FSU, Connor Halliday, WSU, and Bryce Petty, BAY, who all ranked among the Top 10 in passing yards.
There was not one SEC passer among the Top 10 quarterbacks, and Dylan Thompson, SC ranked highest at No. 14 with 3,564 yards. Blake Sims, ALA and Dak Prescott, MSST were the only other SEC signal-callers in the Top 20.
College Fantasy Football provides alternative-reality zealots, NFL Draftniks, and Dynasty and Devy owners a competitive advantage against their opponents. What are you waiting for this summer? Get off the sideline and into the game on Fantrax. We guarantee that you will not regret playing in a CFF league this fall.
Over the past eight years, the SEC embraced the spread offense and recruited top athletes at quarterback and receiver to implement the wide-open scheme. The changes have clearly impacted college fantasy football. In 2020, three SEC pitchers—Kyle Trask, Mac Jones, and Matt Corral—ranked in the Top 10 of passing yards. The college football landscape has shifted and our hobby has never been better.
For readers in 2021, I have placed the quarterback profiles in tiers—Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude—to provide flexibility for CFF managers based on their league’s scoring format, roster construction, and starting lineup requirements.
It is clearly more appropriate to provide college fantasy footballers with player tiers. In addition, Nicholas Ian Allen, @CFBWinningEdge, has provided projections for passing and rushing yards, total touchdowns, and fantasy points per game.
Also please check out my CFF player rankings!
Enjoy my fellow CFF diehards!
2021CFF Quarterback Rankings and Profiles
Summa Cum Laude
Malik Willis, Liberty
In 2020, Malik Willis became a league-winning, waiver-wire pickup in college fantasy football leagues. I acquired him in two leagues after his 168-yard, three-touchdown performance on the ground against Western Kentucky. By the end of the season, he had passed for 2,260 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 944 yards and 14 scores.
The former Auburn quarterback took over the reins of the Liberty offense and led the team to a 9-1 record, missing the game against North Alabama. He tied a school record with six aerial strikes against Southern Mississippi and guided the Flames to their first victory ever against an ACC opponent: Virginia Tech.
At 6’1” and 215-pounds, Willis is an electric dual-threat signal-caller who owns a rocket arm and dynamic legs. Can Willis be better in 2021? Coach Hugh Freeze and Willis focused on improving mechanics and eliminating gaffes during the offseason. “I just think it’s me going out there trying to get better and working at it. That’s all it is—repetition, muscle memory, that’s it really. I’ve just got to go out there and try to be the best that I can be. Go out there and be accurate, go out there and make good decisions, and good decisions come from preparation,” Willis said during spring sessions (newsadvance.com).
With a favorable schedule in 2021, Willis and the Liberty offense will crush opponents once again. Without any reservation, the Flames’ quarterback is the top college fantasy football player in the nation.
Passing Yards: 3,389
Rushing yards: 885
Total Touchdowns: 43
Fantasy Points: 37.7 ppg
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
Under coach Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma has become a quarterback factory over the past five years. Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts all flourished in Riley’s scheme, and Spencer Rattler rose to CFF prominence last season as a first-year starter.
The redshirt freshman—and five-star recruit—watched and learned for one season under Riley. A quick study, he completed 214 passes for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns. Rattler also gained 160 yards rushing and six scores. He earned First Team All-Big 12 and was named National Freshman of the Year by CBS Sports.
At 6’1” and 210-pounds, Rattler has illustrated stupendous arm strength and zip on the ball downfield. A pro-style quarterback, he owns good athletic skills, easily avoids pass rushers, and finds the open man downfield.
“Offseason wise, I’ve been making jumps. Feel stronger. Feel faster. Put on some weight. I’m up to 210 now. I lost a couple percent (of) body fat. Still gotta work on that of course. But I got sharpened up in all different places. I still have work to do. I still have goals I need to make,” Rattler proclaimed during the spring (oklahoma.rivals.com).
The sensational Sooner is an obvious Top Five selection in college fantasy football drafts and surely improves on last year’s numbers. Do not overthink drafting Rattler…just select him and enjoy the weekly production in 2021.
Passing Yards: 3,469
Rushing yards: 195
Total Touchdowns: 41
Fantasy PPG: 31.1 ppg
Matt Corral, Mississippi
I always chuckle when football fanatics ignore coaches and their offensive schemes. In 2019, Matt Corral could not unseat John Rhys Plumlee behind center in former offensive coordinator Rich Rodriquez’s scheme…enter coach Lane Kiffin and OC Jeff Lebby last season.
In a better system, the redshirt sophomore soared above everyone in the SEC not named Mac Jones. Corral passed for 3,337 yards, rushed for 506 yards, and totaled 33 touchdowns. He posted seven games with over 300 passing yards, including a career-best 513 versus South Carolina, and five outings with three or more aerial strikes.
The only blemish on the resume was a less than impressive 29:14 TD:INT ratio, but six interceptions came in one game against Arkansas. Corral has worked throughout the offseason on correcting mistakes and taking another leap forward. “Our quarterback comes back from a really good season, at times, and (I) look for him to improve offensively…I think that Matt and I have gotten along real well. Really easy kid to get along with, wants to be great, laid-back, California personality…he’s really special,” coach Kiffin proclaimed on The Pat McAfee Show in the offseason (247sports.com).
Corral concluded spring workouts where he left off last season. In the Rebels’ spring game, he logged 208 passing yards and two touchdowns in the opening four drives. How high can the junior gunslinger rise? The gambling public and Las Vegas continue to support Corral in the Heisman race: He opened at +5000 and now hovers around +3000 in most sportsbooks. Astute CFF diehards concur with Vegas, and the Mississippi dual-threat comes off the board early in drafts.
Passing Yards: 3,385
Rushing yards: 513
Total Touchdowns: 32
Fantasy PPG: 29.8 ppg.
Magna Cum Laude
DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
Over the past decade, the Clemson Tigers have produced elite college fantasy football quarterbacks. The incredible run started in 2011 with Tajh Boyd and both Deshawn Watson and Trevor Lawrence continued the offensive fireworks in coach Dabo Swinney’s explosive scheme.
During the past decade, the last four first-year starters—Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson, Kelly Bryant, and Tajh Boyd—for coach Dabo Swinney averaged over 3,500 passing yards, 541 rushing yards, and 35 total touchdowns. It does not take a Ph.D. in mathematics to forecast a five-star recruit, who plays for Clemson, as a future CFF star.
At 6’5” and 250-pounds, DJ Uiagalelei possesses all of the skills to be the next great passer in Clemson, SC. Need evidence of his superior ability? Turn on the tape from the two games that Uiagalelei started against Boston College and Notre Dame last year with Lawrence sidelined by COVID-19. He completed 59 passes for 781 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 27 yards on the ground with two scores.
The sophomore has a rocket arm and packs a punch when running the ball. There is no question about his passing proficiency. In the offseason, Uiagalelei has worked on his leadership skills. “I am trying to be a little more vocal this year. But I want to try to lead by example. Let my play do the talking. I want to be the most accountable guy on the team. I feel like as long as you lead by example, people will follow,” Uiagalelei stated in the spring (rubbingtherock.com).
If the future Clemson star falls into the second round of a CFF draft, he must be taken off the board immediately. Uiagalelei has a solid floor and sky-high ceiling as a fantasy starter in 2021.
Passing Yards: 3,289
Rushing yards: 318
Total Touchdowns: 37
Fantasy PPG: 30.2 ppg.
Dustin Crum, Kent State
At one time in the NFL Draft process, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. ranked Dustin Crum among his Top 10 quarterback prospects in the 2020 Draft. Luckily for Kent State and college fantasy footballers, the NFL Draft Advisory board projected Crum as a late-round selection, and the fifth-year signal-caller returned to campus.
As a junior in 2019, Crum finally earned the starting gig and accumulated 3,329 total yards, rushing for 707 and passing for 2,622. He also completed 20 aerial strikes and rushed for six scores. At the end of the season, Crum was named Offensive MVP of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl with 289 passing yards, 147 rushing yards, and two touchdowns.
Last year, the Flashes played only four games, posted a 3-1 record, averaged over 49 points and produced a whopping 606 total yards per game. Crum earned First Team All-MAC honors after throwing 12 touchdowns, rushing for 240 yards with four touchdowns, and leading the conference in completion percentage at 73.2%.
“I do feel like the offense was really clicking. It’s cool thinking what we might accomplish next year. We want to achieve a lot more, and the way we were trending I think we can do a lot more. We’re motivated for next season,” Crum proclaimed (news-herald.com).
At 6’3” and 207-pounds, the scrambler ranks among the elite playmakers in college fantasy football. Unfortunately, in the opening month of the season, Kent State faces a daunting schedule at Texas A&M and Iowa. When MAC games kickoff in October, the schedule becomes much easier, and Crum will prosper behind an offensive line that returns all five starters.
Passing Yards: 3,168
Rushing yards: 664
Total Touchdowns: 22
Fantasy PPG: 26.8 ppg.
Bryce Young, Alabama
When I recommended selecting Tua Tagovailoa in 2018, many CFF fanatics scoffed at my rankings and advice. Last year, I stated that Mac Jones might be the best value in drafts based on his low ADP. In 2021, Bryce Young ranks among my Top 10 quarterbacks. Finally, the CFF community realizes that Alabama is a bedrock of fantasy production.
Alabama won the National Championship last year, but OC Steve Sarkisian transferred to Texas to coach the Longhorns and QB Jones and WRs DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are in the NFL. Despite the turnover, the Crimson Tide are loaded on offense again, and Young steps into a huddle surrounded by playmakers.
At 6’0” and 194-pounds, the sophomore was the No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback and top overall player in the county by 247Sports in 2020. The California native was named Gatorade Player of the Year and Offensive National High School Player of the Year. Expectations exceed any reasonable standard in Tuscaloosa, AL: the Crimson Tide faithful believe that Young will become an immediate star.
“His arm looks strong while he’s been out here for the last month. He’s looked fast, strong, and I see more of a confidence with him, just with the way he’s talking and talking about the summer program and how he’s excited to get back and get those player-run practices going and building his relationship with (OC) Bill O’Brien,” Taylor Kelly, quarterback instructor for 3DQB, informed BamaOnLine in May.
In CFF leagues, high-ceiling quarterbacks often lead fantasy owners to championships, and Young’s resume foreshadows fantasy greatness. If he remains on the board in the second round, do not let Young drop any further.
Passing Yards: 3,056
Rushing yards: 158
Total Touchdowns: 37
Fantasy PPG: 26.8 ppg.
CJ Stroud, Ohio State
The Buckeyes lose Justin Fields; yet, the offense should not miss a beat with a pair of future All-Americans battling for the top spot on the depth chart. CJ Stroud and Kyle McCord are both highly-recruited quarterbacks who are more than capable of leading Ohio State in 2021. Coach Ryan Day has not formally announced a starter for the upcoming campaign, but Stroud leads the pack heading into training camp.
In the Spring Game, Stroud impressed Ohio State fans with an eye-opening performance. He completed 16-of-22 throws for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Buckeyes’ field general also attended Steve Clarkson’s “QB Retreat” in late May and continued to sway onlookers.
“The one quarterback I saw who probably threw more than anyone and looked very good doing it was CJ Stroud. Physically, Stroud looks great and has really filled out in his upper body. He made a few throws during 7v7s that looked like NFL level throws and he would be a good candidate to have if you’re looking for a breakout player this fall,” stated 247Sports scout Greg Biggins, who watched Stroud at the QB Retreat (thespun.com).
A five-star recruit in 2020, Stroud was rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback and a top-50 player overall in the county. The redshirt freshman was a top competitor at the Elite 11 Finals, earning MVP honors. At 6’3” and 215-pounds, Stroud stands tall in the pocket with poise, accuracy, and arm strength.
In early ADP compiled by Jared Palmgren, Stroud is being drafted at pick No. 41 overall (Round 4), which is currently one of the best values in college fantasy football. The Buckeyes’ quarterback commands an aerial assault with the top receiver duo—Garret Wilson and Chris Olave—in the nation and a dynamic offensive scheme. I am acquiring Stroud as often as possible at his current ADP.
Passing Yards: 2,601
Rushing yards: 492
Total Touchdowns: 33
Fantasy PPG: 26.9 ppg.
Sam Howell, North Carolina
NFL scouts, and Devy aficionados, are already debating who is the No. 1 pick in next year’s Draft Class. While Sam Howell has proponents and detractors as the top pick, I am more interested in enjoying the UNC signal-caller for one more season in college fantasy football.
In his first two seasons as a Tar Heel, the junior has flourished and posted incredible statistics in coach Mack Brown’s passing game. He has tossed 68 touchdowns with only 14 interceptions while completing 64.4% of his passes. Howell has totaled 7,227 passing yards and a 168.8 QB rating. On the ground, he has crossed the finish line eight times and registered 205 rushing yards.
High expectations on the UNC campus for the Heisman candidate: “Howell is a guy that loves to be pushed. He kind of lives with that chip on his shoulder to show everybody how great he is. So I think the challenge of being a top-10 preseason team, the challenge of him being one of the best quarterbacks in the country, is really healthy for him,” coach Mack Brown said at the end of spring practice (thetimesnews.com).
The football program promoted the hashtag #He7smanHowell on Twitter, and BetMGM has posted Howell’s odds at +700 for the coveted trophy. Among the Top 10 CFF quarterbacks, Howell enjoys the highest floor for production with an enticing ceiling. With an early ADP at #22, the possible No. 1 pick next April is a nice value in CFF leagues.
Passing Yards: 3,257
Rushing yards: 132
Total Touchdowns: 35
Fantasy PPG: 26.9 ppg.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Identify your primary target among dual-threat quarterbacks in 2021 College Fantasy Football drafts after the top ones are off the board?
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA: 24%
- Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati: 42%
- Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina: 21%
- Brennan Armstrong, Virginia: 13%
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
When coach Chip Kelly took over the Bruins’ program, confidence climbed that he could turn the team into a PAC-12 powerhouse. Woefully, Kelly has recorded a 10-21 mark overall and 10-15 in the conference in three campaigns.
Despite a lack of victories, the former Oregon coach has found an exciting dual-threat quarterback, who begins his fourth season in Los Angeles, CA. It is now the time for Dorian Thompson-Robinson to lead UCLA to prominence. In 25 games, the senior has logged a 2:1 TD:INT ratio (40-20) and scored seven rushing touchdowns. He has also totaled 5,132 passing yards and 572 rushing yards.
At 6’1” and 200-pounds, Thompson-Robinson kicks off his senior crusade with a nice amalgam of ability, experience, and desire to earn All-PAC-12 honors. “I really wanted to pursue working with a quarterback who’s got a lot of experience and a ton of talent, and kind of a different skill set than what I’m used to. He really wants to learn. He wants to know the bad—he doesn’t just want to be told what he’s doing right. We’ve had an awesome experience so far,” new Bruins’ quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson said (dailybruin.com).
If Gunderson can unlock Thompson-Robinson’s potential, how high is his fantasy ceiling? Two games illustrate his prospective stardom. In 2019 against Washington State, DTR passed for 507 yards and five touchdowns and scored twice on the ground. Last year versus Colorado, he registered six total touchdowns and surpassed 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. Over the past two seasons, he averaged 28.9 (2020) and 20.6 (2019) fantasy points per game.
In CFF leagues, I often draft for upside and Thompson-Robinson satisfies my criteria among field generals. In current drafts, the 2020 second-team All-PAC-12 QB is climbing up the ADP rankings and is currently being plucked off the draft board in Round 4, which is a nice value for a second quarterback.
Passing Yards: 2,770
Rushing yards: 498
Total Touchdowns: 23
Fantasy PPG: 24.1 ppg.
Dillon Gabriel, UCF
Since UCF posted a winless campaign (0-12) in 2015, the Knights have turned around the program under coaches Scott Frost and Josh Heupel over the past five seasons. In 2021, there is a new coach in town, Gus Malzahn.
Dillon Gabriel returns at quarterback after two stupendous seasons on campus. The junior has produced a resume second to none: He has tallied a 61-11 TD:INT ratio, passed for over 7,200 yards, and recorded a 156.6 QB rating. Why would Malzahn dramatically revise a scheme that has worked so well? It would be coaching malfeasance to change too much of the playbook.
“Change is inevitable and you just have to soak it all in. My whole approach is to forget what happened, you’re in the present and this is what’s happening. You have to adapt, and that’s something I pride myself in is my ability to adapt. It’s been good so far and there’s going to be some ups and downs, but you have to stay positive and push forward,” Gabriel elucidated in the offseason (orlandosentinel).
For CFF diehards, adaptation by Gabriel sounds perfect as long as the results are similar. Since moving from Mililani, Hawaii to Orlando, Florida, the 6’0” and 186-pound lefty has dominated the AAC. He has exceeded 300 yards passing 11 times and established a school record with four games over 400 yards in the air.
The Knights’ junior field general should continue to produce plenty of fantasy points on a weekly basis despite the potential tweaking in the passing game under a new staff. I expect Gabriel to reach 3,500 passing yards and 30 aerial strikes once again.
Passing Yards: 2,930
Rushing yards: 181
Total Touchdowns: 24
Fantasy PPG: 21.8 ppg.
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia
Cavaliers’ Bronco Mendenhall has provided CFF diehards two electric dual-threat quarterbacks during his head coaching tenure. In 2013, Taysom Hill produced an unforgettable campaign with 2,938 passing yards, 1,344 rushing yards and 29 total touchdowns. Two seasons ago, Bryce Perkins recorded 3,530 passing yards, 769 rushing yards and 33 total touchdowns.
Last year, Brennan Armstrong won the starting assignment in Charlottesville, VA, and became the third stupendous signal-caller in Mendenhall’s offensive scheme. In nine games, the junior totaled 2,117 passing yards, gained 552 rushing yards, and logged 23 total touchdowns in nine contests.
“I marvel sometimes at just that arm strength and some of the throws that he makes in some of the windows that he throws them into. And his confidence and how fast he makes decisions,” stated Mendenhall (richmond.com).
Virginia returns all five offensive linemen, who collectively have 100 starts as a unit. Also, the offense returns nine starters and averaged 423 total yards and 30.7 ppg in 2021. All of the components are in place for Armstrong to succeed in the fall.
2021 Fantasy Projections*
Passing Yards: 2,811
Rushing yards: 569
Total Touchdowns: 29
Fantasy PPG: 27.0 ppg.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Coach Luke Fickell has turned the Bearcats into one of the top squads in the nation, recording a 35-14 record during four seasons on campus. Last year, Cincinnati posted a 8-0 regular-season mark, captured the AAC Championship against Tulsa, and earned a Peach Bowl invite against Georgia. Unfortunately, the Bearcats lost the New Year’s Day contest on a last second 53-yard field goal.
While the defense deservedly received national recognition and awards, QB Desmond Ridder established himself as a CFF luminary and NFL prospect. Finally, the industrial draft complex has caught on to Ridder, who I have discussed extensively over the past two years on the CFF: On Campus podcast, as an under-appreciated quarterback.
“Desmond Ridder will be one of the best quarterbacks in the class. He has the ability to create magic with his legs that he will presumably need to survive, given recent offensive line activity in Houston,” stated Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network in regard to Ridder being the third quarterback selected in the 2021 Draft (cincinnati.com). While I do not expect the senior to be a first-round selection next April, the hyperbole showered on the Bearcats’ signal-caller illustrates a ton of interest.
In 35 career starts, Ridder has guided the Bearcats to a 30-5 record and was named the AAC Player of the Year in 2020. In three seasons, the senior has passed for 6,905 yards with a 57:20 TD:INT ratio and accumulated 1,825 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. During the past two seasons, the dual-threat QB averaged 30.2 (2020) and 19.5 (2019) fantasy points per game.
At 6’4” and 215-pounds, the Cincinnati field general can ascend draft boards even higher with another productive campaign. I will be scouting Ridder all season and drafting him as often as possible on CFF rosters.
Passing Yards: 2,470
Rushing yards: 730
Total Touchdowns: 30
Fantasy PPG: 28.1
Carson Strong, Nevada
Offensive Coordinate Matt Mumme (son of Hal Mumme) has installed one of the more exciting and explosive offenses in the nation, scoring 30.8 ppg in 2020. The Wolf Pack employ NFL-level talent on offense, and QB Carson Strong leads the unit. At 6’4” and 215-pounds, the junior passed for 2,858 yards, tossed 27 touchdowns, and earned the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year last year. Strong produces zero fantasy points with his legs, which limits upside production.
Passing Yards: 3,767
Rushing yards: 16
Total Touchdowns: 29
Fantasy PPG: 25.6 ppg.
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Last year, was there a better story in college football than Coastal Carolina? The Chanticleers return nine starters on offense, including All-Sun Belt quarterback Grayson McCall. In 2020, the redshirt sophomore totaled 2,488 passing yards with a conference-leading 26 touchdowns and gained 569 yards and seven scores on the ground. He was named Conference Player of the Year despite missing one game. At 6’3” and 200-pounds, McCall excels on RPOs in the pistol formation and easily absorbs big hits. An excellent second quarterback on CFF rosters in 2021.
Passing Yards: 2,466
Rushing yards: 591
Total Touchdowns: 32
Fantasy PPG: 27.1 ppg.
Preston Hutchinson, Eastern Michigan
The Eagles won only two of six games last season, but the team uncovered a rising star behind center. A junior, Preston Hutchinson called signals for the first time in Ypsilanti, MI, and recorded career highs across the board. At 6’2” and 203-pounds, he rushed for 206 yards and eight touchdowns and passed for 1,662 yards and 12 aerial strikes. Eastern Michigan returns its entire starting offensive line, and the schedule does not appear daunting. Expect Hutchinson to continue recording stellar fantasy production.
Passing Yards: 3,111
Rushing yards: 409
Total Touchdowns: 26
Fantasy PPG: 26.5 ppg.
Kedon Slovis, USC
Coach Clay Helton is under pressure to win a PAC-12 title and guide the Trojans to a CFP invite. If Helton hopes to achieve the expectations of fans and alumni, QB Kedon Slovis must rebound after an erratic campaign. In 2020, Slovis compiled a 17:7 TD:INT ratio and passed for 1,971 yards. As a freshman two years ago, the pocket passer tossed 30 touchdowns with only nine interceptions and tallied 3,502 passing yards. The Trojans are loaded at the skill positions with game-breakers, and Slovis just needs to execute OC Graham Harrell’s game plan effectively to rebound in 2021.
Passing Yards: 3,567
Rushing yards: 14.3
Total Touchdowns: 25
Fantasy PPG: 23.4 ppg.
Jake Haener, Fresno State
Often college football fanatics on the East Coast fall asleep before many Mountain West games kickoff on Saturdays. Many likely missed Jake Haener’s first season at the helm of the Bulldogs’ offense. A transfer from Washington, Haener sat out the 2019 campaign before calling signals last year for Fresno State. In six games, he completed over 64% of his passes for 2,021 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Bulldogs have averaged over 30 ppg. for three consecutive seasons and return all three of their top pass catchers: Jalen Cropper, Karic Wheatfall and Josh Kelly. Haener is poised to smash the 30-touchdown barrier in 2021.
Passing Yards: 3,455
Rushing yards: 89
Total Touchdowns: 22
Fantasy PPG: 23.1 ppg.
Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan
Playing college fantasy football for 13 seasons, the Mid-American Conference has provided so many productive quarterbacks: Nathan Rourke, Cooper Rush, Zach Terrell and Logan Woodside come to mind immediately. In 2020, Kaleb Eleby earned the starting nod at Western Michigan and became a CFF stud in the six games he played. He tossed 18 touchdowns and rushed for four scores. He added 1,715 passing and 38 rushing yards. At 6’1” and 215-pounds, the sophomore signal-caller easily exceeds last year’s fantasy production.
Passing Yards: 2,852
Rushing yards: 122
Total Touchdowns: 25
Fantasy PPG: 22.1 ppg.
Twitterverse on Fire!
Among the following pocket passers, who will post the most college fantasy football points in 2021?
- Kedon Slovis, USC: 39%
- Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky: 7%
- Carson Strong, Nevada: 42%
- Jake Haener, Fresno State: 12%
Clayton Tune, Houston
As an American Athletic Conference fanatic, I have witnessed so many explosive offensives over the past decade. Coach Dana Holgorsen took over the program two years ago, and the Cougars have posted a 7-13 mark. Last year, Houston averaged over 30 points per game; yet Clayton Tune finished eighth in the ACC in passing efficiency. He passed for 2,048 yards and 15 touchdowns but was picked off 10 times. Luckily, he rushed for over 250 yards and scored five times to boost his overall fantasy production. If Holgorsen’s Air Raid ascends to unprecedented heights in his third season, Tune will surely be the key piloting the passing game. Huge upside for the junior quarterback.
Passing Yards: 2,865
Rushing yards: 687
Fantasy PPG: 24.8 ppg.
D’Eriq King, Miami
D’Eriq King continued to shine in Miami after transferring from Houston in 2020. Last year, he was named a Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards semi-finalist. The redshirt senior completed over 64% of his passes for 2,686 yards and logged a 23:5 TD:INT ratio. He also established a program record for quarterbacks with 538 rushing yards and scored four times.
At Houston, King finished his career with 78 total touchdowns (50 passing and 28 rushing) and recorded 6,346 total yards in three seasons. He injured his knee in the Bowl game against Oklahoma State; yet, is on target to begin the season under center. Currently, the Hurricanes’ dual-threat playmaker is one of the best ADP values (74 overall) at quarterback in drafts.
Passing Yards: 2,775
Rushing yards: 500
Total Touchdowns: 29
Fantasy PPG: 26.5 ppg.
Malik Cunningham, Louisville
A trio of explosive game-breakers—RB Javian Hawkins, WR TuTu Atwell and WR Dez Fitzpatrick—moved onto the NFL. Fortunately for coach Scott Satterfield, he can rely on third-year quarterback Malik Cunningham’s leadership to keep the offense flying.
The redshirt junior has passed for 5,153 yards and rushed for 1,588. He has also tossed 43 touchdowns and crossed the finish line 18 times. According to ADP, Cunningham is the 20th quarterback selected and 1o6 overall pick in CFF drafts. I cannot allow the Cardinals’ dual-threat to fall any further and love Cunningham as a third quarterback on CFF rosters.
Passing Yards: 2,423
Rushing yards: 614
Total Touchdowns: 27
Fantasy PPG: 25.3
Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech
Looking at CFF rankings from other experts, I am clearly more bullish on Jeff Sims than the rest of the field. Coach Geoff Collins inherited an offensive roster composed of triple-option athletes under former coach Paul Johnson. Collins has recruited explosive athletes for his offensive scheme and started two freshmen last year, QB Jeff Sims and RB Jahmyr Gibbs, who both immediately impacted games.
At 6’3” and 215-pounds, Sims is a dual-threat game-breaker, who improved as the season progressed last year. He passed for 1,881 yards and 13 touchdowns, gained 492 yards, and scored six times on the ground. He did throw 13 interceptions but eight were recorded in the first three games of his freshman campaign. Sims takes a significant leap forward in his second season.
Passing Yards: 2,288
Rushing yards: 669
Total Touchdowns: 24
Fantasy PPG: 24.4 ppg.
Max Duggan, TCU
From 2014-17, coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs’ dominated Big 12 opponents. Unfortunately over the past three seasons, they have stumbled, posting a 18-17 record. Max Duggan begins his third campaign as the unquestioned starter at TCU and guides a powerful ground attack that paced the conference in rushing last year. The junior led the Frogs on the ground with 526 yards (the first TCU QB since 1950) and touchdowns with 10. He has recorded back-to-back crusades with over 500 yards, and in 22 career games, he has completed 25 touchdown passes. An underrated scrambler in CFF drafts this summer.
Passing Yards: 2,513
Rushing yards: 687
Total Touchdowns: 23
Fantasy PPG: 25.2
Twitterverse on Fire!
Based on early ADP, who are you targeting as a third quarterback in CFF leagues this summer?
- Tyler Shough, Texas Tech: 16%
- Michael Penix, Jr., Indiana: 33%
- J.T. Daniels, Georgia: 32%
- Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland: 19%
“Honestly, most would say J.T. Daniels. Some think Tyler Shough at Texas Tech because it is the Red Raiders. Many like the Taulia Tagovailoa bloodlines. Me? I really like Michael Penix, Jr.” @Masterjune70
“Taulia Tagovailoa has the right skill set for CFF, and Maryland has the most manageable schedule they’ve had in years. Tagovailoa to the moon.” @InsiderCff
“For me, the safe bet is Michael Penix with his dual-threat ability that we’ve seen! However, J.T. Daniels is a great swing for the fences pick as your backup QB! If you miss, it’s not like there’s not more QBs on the waiver wire to pick up. But if you hit…” @CFF_Jared
Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
During the offseason, Western Kentucky welcomed a new quarterback into the locker room; Bailey Zappe transferred from Houston Baptist in the Southland Conference (FCS level). He joins three other former Huskies in Bowling Green, KY: offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zach Kittley and wide receivers Jerreth Sterns and Josh Sterns. Kittley coached Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech and coordinated HBU’s explosive offense over the past three seasons while Zappe mastered the Huskies’ Air Raid offense.
In only four games last year, Zappe passed for 1,833 yards and posted a 15:1 TD:INT ratio. In 2019, Zappe completed 357-of-560 passes for 3,811 yards, 35 touchdowns, leading the nation during the regular season, and 15 interceptions. He paced the Southland Conference, ranking second nationally, with 317.6 passing yards per game. Coach Tyson Helton wants to return WKU’s offense to the halcyon days of 2015-16 when the passing game rated among the Top 10 in the nation…I can’t wait.
Passing Yards: 3,820
Rushing yards: 14
Total Touchdowns: 25
Fantasy PPG: 24.6 ppg.
*Fantasy Projections by Nicholas Ian Allen, @CFBWinningEdge
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