Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa St (10-8-128-3)
Hutchinson broke the Iowa St single-season receptions record in 2021 with 83 and he looks ready to break it again. He is a matchup nightmare for defenses with his ability to line up all over the field. With the departure of Charlie Kolar, Hutchinson is the go-to guy in the red zone for the Cyclones.
Rashee Rice, SMU (12-8-166-1)
After biding his time behind Reggie Roberson and Danny Gray, Rice is finally primed to break out. He has electrifying straight-line speed but was underutilized in the vertical pass game last season with just 6 deep receptions (20+ yards). In Week 1, Rice had 4 such catches for 126 yards and 1 TD. The Mustangs offense has funnel potential with Rice receiving 8 more targets than the next highest receiver.
Jacob Cowing, Arizona (10-8-152-3)
Cowing transferred from UTEP to Arizona to be closer to his son and has found instant chemistry with Wazzu transfer QB Jayden de Laura. Cowing was one of the most efficient deep threats in the nation for the Miners last season, but his development into a more complete receiver with the Wildcats is something worth monitoring.
Zay Flowers, Boston College (15-10-117-2)
Flowers has led BC in targets each of the last two seasons and will continue to be the engine of the Eagles offense. He has elite quickness and great separation ability and has the trust of QB Phil Jurkovec, receiving over half of his 3rd down targets. Look for Flowers to continue to be force fed the ball throughout the season.
Mitchell Tinsley, Penn St (12-7-84-1)
After taking Jahan Dotson’s number for the Nittany Lions, Tinsley is trying to replicate his production as well. He is a menace in the short and intermediate areas, and as long as veteran Sean Clifford remains under center, those are the areas of the field the Penn St offense will operate in most.
Brant Kuithe, Utah (9-105-1)
Returning senior Brant Kuithe made the decision to return to Utah and play his final season with the Utes. He made the case for himself getting a chance at the next level with a big day, leading the team with a 9-105-1 line. It wasn’t the finish Utah wanted in Gainesville, but they were able to move the field and produce as an offense, with Kuithe being a large part of their identity and production. Look for him to build on this performance and be a strong play in C2C and CFF formats.
Bryson Nesbit, UNC (3-47-1)
The son of Jamar Nesbit, the former offensive guard on the Saints Superbowl team, sophomore tight end Bryson Nesbit is delivering on increased usage with the Tar Heels. Already tying his reception totals from ‘21 (7), and surpassing the previous year's mark on touchdowns (2), he and fellow teammate Kamari Morales have been busy with high-value targets in the UNC passing game. There’s not a ton of volume to be had, however, buy the kid if you have room to stash for the road ahead.
Luke Musgrave, Oregon St (6-89-1)
Luke Musgrave is a Bruce Feldman Freak and an integral part of the Beaver’s run-heavy offense, both as a blocker and receiving option. Having gone run heavy in their opener, and logging one of the nation's slower paces for week 1 (61 plays), Musgrave still found the ability to deliver a big fantasy day on 6 catches. The day was largely saved thanks to a big touchdown catch where he aligned in-line to the strong side on a play-action call, where he sold the run block and quickly got up to speed, wheeling across the defense and up the boundary side for a big catch behind the defense. He should be a target hog for C2C and CFF, but the value of those targets may fluctuate throughout the season.
Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas (6-85-1)
Sophomore Ja’Tavion Sanders was a highly recruited two-way player. A true-blooded football player who has maturated into an offensive weapon with a defenders mentality, he has the nuanced athleticism to be more than just a combination of strength, quickness, and speed. He led Texas receivers with a 6-85-1 line in week 1 and showed he has the ability to be one of the best tight ends in the nation.
Trey Knox, Arkansas (6-75-2)
The former high school wide receiver from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was busy in the Razorbacks' narrow victory over Cincinnati. The senior was a productive force for CFF rosters delivering a 6-75-2 line, and showing off the speed to turn any defensive error into a big gain, as was displayed on the shallow out that he turned into a 32-yard score up the sideline.