2023 Pac-12 Conference Preview: Sleepers, Busts and All-Conference Teams

2023 Pac-12 Conference Preview: Sleepers, Busts and All-Conference Teams

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

Our college football conference previews roll on with the Pac-12, where 2023 could spell the end of the conference as we know it. USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are off to the Big Ten next year, while Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Arizona State are slated to be Big 12 members in 2024. The future of the conference looks exceedingly grim but will be relevant for one more year. Twelve very competitive teams will vie for the Pac-12 title, and an unbeaten winner will almost assuredly find a berth in the College Football Playoff.

Check out the 2023 College Fantasy Football Draft Kit, sleepers, busts and All-Conference fantasy teams below.

2023 College Fantasy Football Draft Kit

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Pac-12 All-Conference Fantasy Teams

All-Pac-12 First Team

QB Caleb Williams, USC

RB Damien Martinez, Oregon State

RB Michael Wiley, Arizona

WR Rome Odunze, Washington

WR Jacob Cowing, Arizona

TE Brant Kuithe, Utah

All-Pac-12 Second Team

QB Michael Penix, Washington

RB Carson Steele, UCLA

RB MarShawn Lloyd, USC

WR Jalen McMillan, Washington

WR Troy Franklin, Oregon

TE Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford

All-Pac-12 Third Team

QB Bo Nix, Oregon

RB Bucky Irving, Oregon

RB E.J. Smith, Stanford

WR Tetairoa McMillan, Arizona

WR Dorian Singer, USC

TE Jalin Conyers, Arizona State

2023 Pac-12 Sleepers

Jayden de Laura, Quarterback, Arizona

After manning the helm of a high-powered offensive attack with Oregon Stae in 2021, de Laura kept the ball rolling in Tuscon with the daunting duo of Jacob Cowing and Dorian Singer as his top targets during the 2022 season. Although Singer has departed for USC, de Laura will once again have Cowing lining up outside with Michael Wiley behind him in the backfield. Opponents can no longer chalk up a win against the once-lowly Wildcats, largely thanks to de Laura's aerial antics and propensity for the long ball. Although he is sometimes reckless and fails to check down efficiently, he chalked up an impressive 3,685 yards through the air while completing 62.5 percent of his passes in 2022. He ended the season ranked a surprising third in passing yards for the Pac-12, trailing only Caleb Williams and Michael Penix in the category. His 13 interceptions in 2022 certainly warrant some improvement, but big numbers could be in store for the junior as he tackles Arizona's playbook in his second year with the team. 

Dante Moore, Quarterback, UCLA

The departure of Dorian Thompson-Robinson left a huge hole in Chip Kelly's offense, but he had no shortage of talent at the position as the team entered spring practice. Ethan Garbers (DTR's backup last year) and Kent State transfer Collin Schlee appeared to have the early edge in the quarterback room, but Moore's performance in camp has flipped the script. As the second-ranked quarterback in the 2023 recruiting cycle, Moore was a huge get for the Bruins after battling with Oregon to sign him. Moore has all the skills to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country, and despite needing some seasoning at the college level, I believe Kelly will pull the trigger and start Moore. The team wouldn't want the youngster to get impatient and bolt the program for other suitors willing to give him a starting gig - Kelly won't take that risk.

Cameron Skattebo, Running Back, Arizona State

Skattebo was the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year last season, tallying 1,373 yards and seven touchdowns for Sacramento State. He arrives in Tempe via the transfer portal at a time when the Sun Devils' backfield is in flux. Fellow transfer DeCarlos Brooks provides some competition for the starting job, but Skattebo enters camp as the clear frontrunner. His FCS pedigree makes him less of a sleeper, but he will be an unfamiliar name climbing up the rushing standings in the conference this season.

Josh Kelly, Wide Receiver, Washington State

The Cougars will look nothing like 2022's squad, as offensive savant Ben Arbuckle will call the plays for the offense. He was the co-offensive coordinator for one of the most powerful passing offenses in the country with Western Kentucky, and the team wasted no time to give Arbuckle some blue-chip transfers to utilize. The wideout room is almost completely transformed, with Kelly (Fresno State), Isaiah Hamilton (San Jose State), Kyle Williams (UNLV) and DT Sheffield (JUCO) comprising a huge transfer haul for the Cougars. Of the group, I think Kelly is the player best poised for a breakout season. An injury forced him off the field for most of 2022, but the 6-2 receiver flashed for 778 yards and three touchdowns in his first season with the Bulldogs. Cameron Ward should find Kelly early and often.

2023 Pac-12 Busts

Trenton Bourguet, Quarterback, Arizona State

Arizona State's quarterback battle is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing stories in the Pac-12. Bourget, Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne and blue-chipper Jaden Rashada are all in the running for the starting job. Rashada is likely the team's QB of the future, but since Bourget already has real-time experience with the Sun Devils, he will be the likely signal-caller to begin the season. If the Sun Devils falter early, they would almost certainly bench Bourguet in favor of Pyne, who ousted Tyler Buchner in South Bend and led the Irish to an 8-2 record after taking over the gig. Bourguet will be on a short leash that will likely become shorter as the season progresses.

Alton McCaskill, Running Back, Colorado

McCaskill currently sits atop Colorado's depth chart, but I think the former Houston standout has a lot to prove. A torn ACL kept him out of action for 2022, and although his 2021 stats (961 yards, 16 touchdowns) were stellar, the knee injury is concerning. He's currently limited in camp, and there's a heap of talent in line behind him. Kavosiey Smoke is a quick and shifty back who transferred in from Kentucky, and he distinguished himself as a key replacement for the Wildcats when Chris Rodriguez went down with an injury last season. Dylan Edwards is a four-star freshman addition who will also compete for touches, and holdovers Anthony Hankerson and Charlie Offerdahl are in the RB room as well. If McCaskill falters, Coach Prime may elect to give Smoke and Edwards the first-string duties.

Tahj Washington, Wide Receiver, USC

While USC's wideout corps will excel with another year of Caleb Williams under center, the depth chart is as crammed as ever. Although Jordan Addison is gone, the Trojans snagged Dorian Singer in the transfer portal, who lit up the boards with 1,105 yards and six touchdowns last season with Arizona. The team is also bound to showcase five-star freshman Zachariah Branch, who has dazzled in camp and will compete for a starting role. Washington was a mainstay at the slot for three seasons, and Mario Williams' injury issues kept Washington relevant in 2022, but Caleb Williams' former teammate in Oklahoma has already leapfrogged Washington on the preseason depth chart at the position. If you add Branch, Singer, a healthy Williams, Michael Jackson and the explosive Brenden Rice to the equation, Washington could find himself as the odd man out.

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Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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