Conference Preview: Mountain West
Conference Preview: Mountain West

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

For each conference preview, we will have first-,second-, and third-team All-Fantasy teams as well as sleeper and bust selections. To the right of each player's name will be their overall positional ranking.

All-Mountain West Fantasy Team

First Team

QB: Ty Gangi, Nevada (29)

RB: Juwan Washington, San Diego State (9)

RB: Lexington Thomas, UNLV (14)

WR: KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State (20)

WR: McLane Mannix, Nevada (22)

TE: Dax Raymond, Utah State (27)

Second Team

QB: Arion Worthman, Air Force (30)

RB: Alexander Mattison, Boise State (21)

RB: Kelton Moore, Nevada (61)

WR: John Ursua, Hawaii (29)

WR: Brendan O'Leary-Orange, Nevada (37)

TE: Jared Rice, Fresno State (NR)

Third Team

QB: Armani Rogers, UNLV (34)

RB: Taven Birdow, Air Force (70)

RB: Tyrone Owens, New Mexico (NR)

WR: Olabisi Johnson, Colorado State (49)

WR: Austin Conway, Wyoming (NR)

TE: Chase Blakley, Boise State (NR)


K.J. Carta-Samuels, QB, Colorado State
Last season, Nick Stevens was the runaway top quarterback in the Mountain West. He threw for a whopping 3,799 yards. The second-highest total was 2,877. It's not like Stevens was a rare talent, either. Whoever steps into the starting quarterback role has the potential to have a breakout season. Carta-Samuels seems primed to be the one who gets the spot under center. The Washington transfer has gotten a ton of praise so far, and he seems like an outsized talent to be playing in a conference like this. Now that Carta-Samuels is finally getting a chance, he could be a major fantasy breakout.

Izzy Matthews, RB, Colorado State
It's a good year for sleepers with the Rams, evidently. Last season, Matthews lost carries to Dalyn Dawkins, and also to the fact he missed two games with injury. Despite that, Matthews notched 613 yards and eight touchdowns on 132 carries. This came a season after he had 734 yards and 13 touchdowns on 153 carries. The senior is the lead back for Colorado State now, and could finally get 200 touches. If he does, he can clearly do something with them.

Tyler Nevens, RB, San Jose State
Nevens was eased into the lineup as a freshman. He didn't get a carry until the Spartans' third game, and didn't get double-digit touches until their fifth. Nevens finished with 94 yards or more in four of the games he played, though he only got one touchdown. It would be surprising to see him only find the end zone once this season, especially since he's primed to be the top back for San Jose State.

A.J. Richardson, WR, Boise State
The Broncos have been the cream of the crop in the Mountain West for years, and Brett Rypien is still under center, which bodes well for their passing game. However, last season Cedrick Wilson sucked up all the oxygen in the receiving room. He had a whopping 83 catches for 1,511 yards, dwarfing all other Boise State players. Wilson has moved on, and now Richardson seemed likely to climb to the top of the depth chart. Though Richardson may not replace Wilson's numbers directly, there's going to be a lot of targets to go around, and Richardson will likely be the top beneficiary.

Ron'quavion Tarver, WR, Utah State
Unlike a lot of sleepers, Tarver isn't stepping into a void. He led the Utes in receiving last season with 569 yards and seven touchdowns. He's one of the top-10 returning receivers in the conference, and his receiving numbers have been consistent in the two years of his college career. At the very least, he should be good for around 47 catches and 585 yards, and could certainly do better than that if things break right.


Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Last year, Dru Brown put up solid numbers under center for Hawaii. Maybe McDonald can do that, but we simply do not know. He has thrown all of nine passes in his career. On top of that, the top two running backs and three of the top four receivers from 2017 are all gone. The one receiver who returns, John Ursua, is coming back from a torn ACL. McDonald doesn't have any experience, and he will be breaking in a whole new set of weapons.

Trey Woods, RB, Wyoming Woods got the bulk of the carries for the Cowboys, and had the most yards, but he arguably was outperformed by Kellen Overstreet. In fact, Woods only averaged 3.5 yards per carry, which isn't going to wow anybody. Woods may only be a sophomore, but he has a lot left to prove. Additionally, as overrated as Josh Allen may have been as a pro prospect, his absence won't help Wyoming's offense in 2018.

Jordan Mims, RB, Fresno State
Jordan Mims ran well as a freshman, notching 627 yards and six carries. However, the backfield may be too crowded for the Bulldogs for Mims to take things to the next level. Both Josh Hokit and Ronnie Rivers got over 100 carries as well, and they both averaged more yards per carry than Mims (4.2). Marcus McMaryion also does a little damage with his legs also. Mims should be fine, but if you are expecting him to take it to the next level, Fresno's committee may have a say in that.

C.J. Johnson, WR, Wyoming
Johnson had seven touchdowns last season, which stands out. That being said, he did that on only 30 catches. That's a conversion ratio unlikely to be sustained. Additionally, 10 of those catches, and three of those touchdowns, came against Gardner-Webb and Texas State. To make matters worse, he's dealing with an injury that could keep him out to December. If that holds true, he's definitely an afterthought. James Price would likely step into the number-two receiver role in that case, but he likely would prove a bust for fantasy owners as well.

Fred Trevillion, WR, San Diego State
Trevillion averaged an impressive 27.3 yards per reception last season, and now he is in line to be the top receiver on the depth chart for the Aztecs. However, that 27.3 YPC was on a mere 12 receptions, and only 19 targets. That's a small sample size, and he may be hard pressed to make that happen again. There will assuredly be more targets coming Trevillion's way, but he likely won't be able to do as much damage with each one. What's more, the Aztecs run one of the most run-heavy offenses among non-option teams, so the pass is hardly a priority in this system. Thus, volume will be hard to come by for Trevillion.

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Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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