Next Man Up - New Wide Receivers Starting in 2022 College Football
College football isn’t the same as it once was. With the prevalence of the transfer portal and some of the best talent ever leaving for the NFL Draft, it can feel like the entirety of college football gets shaken up every season. Need some help monitoring who is out and who is filling in? CFBDynasty has you covered. There are this year’s Next Men Up for the WR position across the NCAA.
Finding the new Wides for the Crimson Tide
Jameson Williams and John Metchie III both provided incredible production in fantasy play. But with both of them out, the Crimson Tide are looking for their next big wideout prospect. Thankfully, it’s Alabama, so they’ve got some great options lined up. Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton leads the pack and will probably get the majority of the touches. Expect some big time production from sophomore standout Ja’Corey Brooks and junior Traeshon Holden as well: both of them played substantial minutes last season and should see the field a lot.
Time to replace Thompkins
Deven Thompkins is out after taking college football by storm this season and averaging more than 20 FPTS per outing. For Utah State, the next steps in replacing the newly signed Buccaneer will be more complicated than intended. Back up wideouts Brandon Bowling and Derek Wright have left the squad as well, so expect to see lots of balls being tossed to Redshirt Senior and former JUCO transfer Justin McGriff. The 6-6 wideout averaged a solid 11.8 yards per rush on minimal touches last year and should make a rather immediate impact for the Aggies this season.
No more dots to Jahan Dotson
Jahan Dotson has graduated and moved on as a new wideout option for the Washington Commanders. However, unlike some of the other teams whose best wide receiver declared for the draft, Penn State leaves its receiving core in good hands. Dotson’s complement and former WR2 Parker Washington should fit nicely in the role. Despite only having a few TD catches last season, Washington has 2 years of solid play under his belt, catching an impressive 820 yards last season. He should not only see an uptick in the amount of targets he gets, but he has the necessary skills to convert those targets into yards and should be a really solid fantasy pickup.
Moving on from Wan’Dale Robinson
Wan’Dale Robinson’s incredible season put him in the position to hear his name called by the New York Jets in the second round of this year’s draft. While that’s great news, Kentucky still needs to find their guy for next season. Kentucky may have found their guy in Virginia Tech transfer Tayvion Robinson. Despite the similarity in last name, Tayvion is no Wan’Dale. His numbers at VT were solid over his career, but I wouldn’t rely on him to be a huge factor on any fantasy team.
Staying relevant post-Jack Sorenson
After Jack Sorenson’s incredible season for Miami-Ohio, he landed a deal recently and will be signing an UDFA deal with the Bengals. Miami will turn to redshirt transfer and former Penn State wideout Mac Hippenhammer to fill the gap. The 5-11 wideout caught for almost 800 yards and 5 touchdowns last season. Similar to Parker Washington, this team leaves their receiving core in good hands and I know they will still be successful in Sorenson’s absence. Look at Hippenhammer as a solid draft selection if you need a competent wide receiver.
Trying to replace Treylon Burks
You could argue that Treylon Burks is one of the best football players in Arkansas history. While he’s busy having to replace A.J. Brown, the staff at Arkansas are looking for a replacement of their own for the standout. Look for Oklahoma transfer Jadon Hasselwood to try to ride the Arkansas wave and find himself in the top-20 draft pick conversation last year. He was Oklahoma’s best receiver and is hoping to find more success in a system that has been built around a wide receiver heavy load.
A new look after Drake London
Drake London went off the board at No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons after an insane season at USC that put him at over 24 FPTS a game. But while USC will miss the generation WR’s production, they’ve got a crowded receiving core that is expected to combine for substantial production this season. Kyle Ford, Kyron Ware-Hudson and Michael Jackson III are all solid returners, and a host of transfer portal guys like Washington’s Tyrell Bynum, Oklahoma’s Mario Williams, and Colorado’s Brendan Rice will also be vying for looks. Expect some friendly competition amongst these guys until a clear WR1 candidate emerges.
NOTE: Now they’ve added Jordan Addison from Pitt. This corps is loaded! That also may prove detrimental for college fantasy purposes.
A dubious post-Doubs future?
Romeo Doubs is heading to cheeseland after being nabbed by the Packers in the 4th round of this year’s draft. With both him and big time QB Carson Strong out, the Wolf Pack is looking for a brand new start to their offensive arsenal. Sophomore Tory Horton returns for the Wolf Pack, and was the second best receiver for the Wolf Pack last season. His 659 yards last season were modest, but expect him to get an uptick in touches with Doubs off the field.
Ringing the panic Bell
Purdue’s David Bell ended up going off the board in the top-100 as the No. 99 selection for the Cleveland Browns. He leaves a big hole in the Purdue offense. Milton Wright will probably take the load of the offense. The true senior has been with the Boilermakers for his previous 3 years and caught for 732 yards last season. He has proved he can catch the long ball and will hopefully be able to get through some injuries that have plagued him recently. He should be the main guy in Indiana if he can stay healthy.
Looking past Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave
Ohio State has been one of the best football teams in the country for years, and their receiving cores have been instrumental in ensuring that. With both Wilson and Olave heading out of Columbus, Ohio State turns to some new faces to get some assistance outside of the obvious (and our #1 fantasy WR). Jaxon Smith-Njigba. OSU already has a very competent wideout in Julian Fleming, who picked up some starts last season. Marvin Harrison will also get a ton of looks in his redshirt sophomore season. Freshman Kaleb Brown could also get some looks if he can prove himself in camp. It will become clear with time who should get the primary touches, but for the start of the season, expect these guys to share them pretty evenly.