This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
Welcome to the MAC edition of Rotowire's Conference Preview series. Ohio's Nathan Rourke is of course the conference's headliner from a fantasy perspective, but there's a sneaky amount of talent dispersed throughout the MAC that will be useful in any format.
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-MAC Fantasy First Team
All MAC Fantasy Second Team
QB: Mike Glass III, Eastern Michigan (44)
RB: Jaret Patterson, Buffalo (78)
RB: Jo-El Shaw, Kent State (155)
WR: Mike Carrigan, Kent State (166)
WR: Jack Sorenson, Miami of Ohio (144)
TE: Ryan Luehrman, Ohio (83)
All MAC Fantasy Third Team
QB: Woody Barrett, Kent State (79)
RB: Tre Harbison, Northern Illinois (94)
RB: Kevin Marks, Buffalo (109)
WR: Arthur Jackson, Eastern Michigan (109)
WR: Justin Hall, Ball State (129)
TE: Tony Poljan, Central Michigan (35)
Jaylon Bester, RB, Miami of Ohio
Multi-year producers Alonzo Smith and Kenny Young are gone from Miami of Ohio's backfield, so there's a void to be filled. Bester had 78 total yards in last year's finale, and he topped 50 rushing yards in two games last year as he averaged 5.4 yards per carry in limited action. He should also be involved in the passing game, with 13 catches on 15 targets in 2018. It could be a running back rotation for the Redhawks, with Maurice Thomas and Davion Johnson in the mix, but Bester has the highest fantasy ceiling.
Jaylen Hall, WR, Western Michigan
Jayden Reed has transferred to Michigan State, leaving his 56 catches, 797 yards and eight touchdowns from last year. Hall had just 11 catches for 170 yards over seven games as a freshman last year, but there's a bigger role in front of him and that 15.5 yards per catch average points to his potential. Starting quarterback Jon Wassink's inability to stay on the field is a concern, but Kaleb Eleby showed some promise at the end of last season and looks like a capable fill in. Hall's arrow is pointing up.
Walter Fletcher, RB, Ball State
Caleb Huntley topped 1,000 rushing yards as a freshman in 2017, and he averaged 4.9 yards per carry last year before missing the final six games with an Achilles' injury. Enter Fletcher, who had over 1,300 rushing yards, 15 rushing scores and 29 catches over nine games last season...for Division II Edinboro. The step up in level is worth noting, but any setback for Huntley or a simple ease into action would open the door for Fletcher to shine.
Jonathan Ward, RB, Central Michigan
A concussion in the season opener derailed Ward's 2018 campaign, as he finished with just 76 carries for 212 yards in nine games. But let's not completely forget his breakthrough 2017 season, when he topped 1,000 yards on the ground (1,019 yards) with 48 receptions (9.8 yards per catch) and 13 total touchdowns (10 rushing, three receiving). Romello Ross and Kumehnnu Gwilly linger in the mix for carries, but the Ward bandwagon should easily fill up again.
Andre Williams, WR, Akron
Williams broke through in 2018, with 46 receptions for 646 yards (14.1 yards per catch) in 11 games. A catch rate below 50 percent is not so good (94 targets), but if Kato Nelson takes a step forward and is more consistent this year in a pro-style offense that will naturally improve. An Akron defense that's replacing eight starters promises some extra pass volume this year, and Williams will directly benefit as Nelson's top target.
Marcus Childers, QB, Northern Illinois
Childers is a legit running threat, with 11 touchdowns on the ground in two seasons. But he completed less than 59 percent of his passes last year, and he topped 200 yards through the air just twice in 14 games. Cal transfer Ross Bowers appears to be on equal ground in any competition for the starting job during fall camp, so Childers may not even last the season as the starter if he doesn't improve as a passer.
Andrew Clair, RB, Bowling Green
Clair is averaging 5.9 yards per carry for his career, but even with missing just one game in each of his two seasons he has been limited at times or just inexplicably underused. Now with Jarret Doege leaving after spring practice, Bowling Green has a quarterback question to go with some notable losses at wide receiver. Clair may get all the work he can handle, but it's hard to see him being up to the task or being consistently productive.
Mitchell Guadagni, QB, Toledo
When he played and was fully healthy last year, Guadagni was quite good (nine touchdown passes over the first three games, at least 62 percent completion rate in all three contests). But a concussion derailed him, then a shoulder injury ended his season after seven games played. Toledo also lost Cody Thompson, Diontae Johnson and Jon'Vea Johnson from what was an experienced wide receiver group, so there's a natural downgrade there. With injury risk, and a depleted group of pass catchers, Guadagni's bust potential has to exceed his breakout promise.
Jon Wassink, QB, Western Michigan
Wassink had multiple passing touchdowns in four of his first five games last year, with a game against Michigan as the lone (and expected) exception, and he has been quite good over the last two seasons. But he has only played 17 games over that span, with collarbone injury in 2017 and a foot injury last year ending his seasons early. Losing wide receiver Jayden Reed to transfer will hurt, but the Broncos have a lot of other skill position talent to go with an experienced offensive line. But Wassink has durability concerns until further notice, and that puts him firmly on the fantasy bust radar.
Kevin Marks, RB, Buffalo
Marks was the other half of Buffalo's prolific freshman running back tandem last year, with 845 rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns on the ground. But as Jaret Patterson's workload increased as the season went on (15 or more carries in seven of the last nine games), Marks fell off with 10 or fewer carries in four of the last six contests. Touchdowns are random by nature, as partially evidenced by two separate five-game scoring streaks last year, and Patterson was no slouch in that area himself with 14 rushing scores in 2018. The Bulls should be running the ball plenty with notable losses at quarterback and wide receiver, but Marks has a lot of week-to-week downside as long as Patterson is healthy.