Stem cells support tissue maintenance, but the mechanisms that coordinate the rate of stem cell self-renewal with differentiation at a population level remain uncharacterized. We find that two PUF family RNA-binding proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2 have opposite effects on Caenorhabditis elegans germline stem cell dynamics: FBF-1 restricts the rate of meiotic entry, while FBF-2 promotes both cell division and meiotic entry rates. Antagonistic effects of FBFs are mediated by their distinct activities toward the shared set of target mRNAs, where FBF-1-mediated post-transcriptional control requires the activity of CCR4-NOT deadenylase, while FBF-2 is deadenylase-independent and might protect the targets from deadenylation. These regulatory differences depend on protein sequences outside of the conserved PUF family RNA-binding domain. We propose that the opposing FBF-1 and FBF-2 activities serve to modulate stem cell division rate simultaneously with the rate of meiotic entry.