2021 Devy Fantasy Football Rankings: The Top 120 College Prospects

2021 Devy Fantasy Football Rankings: The Top 120 College Prospects article feature image

Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Texas RB Bijan Robinson

Last week, I dug into the 2022 NFL draft class for the first time and published two way-too-early pieces based on my research.

And now here I am, staring up at you from a rabbit hole of my own digging, asking you not to help me out of this pit but rather to jump into it with me so we can explore together my most recent discovery — an invention unforeseen.

I'm talking about my top 120 devy fantasy football rankings.

What Is Devy Fantasy Football?

I've never played in a devy league before. I probably never will: I think I'd get obsessed with it too easily, and I'd start to ignore everything else of value in my life, and that would be the end of my marriage.

So the devy fantasy format is not for me: If you know you're predisposed to addiction, you should avoid addictive things.

But I know I'd like devy if I played it: Dynasty is my favorite format and devy feels like an extension of dynasty.

For those unfamiliar, Sports Illustrated offers this basic breakdown of the traditional devy format.

  • Per usual, you roster NFL players and win or lose your matchups based on how they perform. As is the case in dynasty, you keep your entire team year over year.
  • In addition to the NFL roster is a college-only roster, essentially a taxi squad full of "developmental players." When your devy players move from college to the NFL, they also transition from your college roster to your active roster.

I think that's about it.

If you're into college football and you like dynasty, I imagine that you would love devy.

From what I've seen, most 12-team devy leagues have 3-5 college placeholders on the taxi roster, but some leagues — those that cater to the true fantasy degenerates among us — have as many as 10 placeholders per team. Hence, I've included 120 players in my devy rankings.

Why I Created Devy Fantasy Football Rankings

I have no idea. Again, I've never played devy before.

While researching the 2022 draft prospects last week, I had a thought: "Why don't I see how the skill position players are valued in the devy market?" But devy average draft position isn't widely available, so I turned to the experts and decided to check out an array of devy fantasy rankings.

And what I found surprised me: Outside of the obvious players, there's little consensus on which players are valuable and how much they're worth.

I have a sort of embarrassing confession: As much as I like dynasty, I've never played in a devy league before.

I'm starting to research the format, and I've got to say …

… it's wild out there.

Seemingly, a lot of disagreement on how to value players.

— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) May 10, 2021

If you search the internet for redraft rankings, cut and paste the first 10 rankings you find into a spreadsheet and then run a correlation on the data, you'll find that they're all rather similar to each other.

And you'd find the same thing (albeit to a lesser extent) if you did that exercise with dynasty rankings.

But with devy rankings, the set-to-set similitude is drastically reduced.

Most rankings will have the same 5-10 running backs and wide receivers at the top of the board, but even within those players the ordering can vary markedly, and after them the rankings often diverge.

In my survey of the devy rankings, it was not at all uncommon to see a player ranked in the teens in one place and in the 60s in another. One running back in particular was in the 20s in one data set and unranked in the next data set.

Some rankers seem to value college production. Others value recruitment status. And others, expected years left in college.

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Faced with the hodgepodge of devy rankings data, I didn't feel I should include any of it in the creation of my top 50 big board, which I assembled using only mock draft data, historical draft trends, recruitment grades and college production.

But I also decided it might be a fun exercise for me to create my own devy rankings as a way to think through the relative long-term valuations of the many skill-position players still in college. So that's what I did — and now that I have devy rankings, I figure that I might as well publish them, for a couple reasons.

  1. I'd love to hear feedback from people in the devy community. Where am I right? Where am I wrong? And, most importantly, why am I right or wrong?
  2. Given what I've seen, my rankings are unlikely to be much worse than a lot of what's out there. Just saying …

These rankings have something of a superflex/two-quarterback lean. In one-quarterback leagues, I would move many passers down the board.

Also, you should know that there's a difference between how some players are ordered in my top 50 big board compared to how they're ordered in my top 120 devy rankings — my big board is for the NFL draft, where I am most focused on pick accuracy. My devy rankings are for fantasy leagues, where I am targeting value and future production. I think that explains the difference.

2021 Devy Fantasy Football Rankings

RankPlayerDraft Class
1Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas2023
2Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State2022
3Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma2022
4Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina2022
5DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson2023
6Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn2023
7Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State2022
8Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Georgia Tech2023
9George Pickens, WR, Georgia2022
10Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M2022
11David Bell, WR, Purdue2022
12Bryce Young, QB, Alabama2023
13Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU2023
14Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas2022
15Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame2022
16Kedon Slovis, QB, USC2022
17Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma2022
18Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State2022
19Jase McClellan, RB, Alabama2023
20Arik Gilbert, TE, Transfer Portal2023
21Kendall Milton, RB, Georgia2023
22Zachary Evans, RB, TCU2023
23JT Daniels, QB, Georgia2022
24Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland2023
25Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State2022
26Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson2022
27Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State2023
28John Metchie, WR, Alabama2022
29Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma2023
30Drake London, WR, USC2022
31Jerrion Ealy, RB, Mississippi2022
32DeaMonte Trayanum, RB, Arizona State2023
33TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State2024
34CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State2023
35Zamir White, RB, Georgia2022
36Julian Fleming, WR, Ohio State2023
37Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame2023
38Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina2022
39Jalen Berger, RB, Wisconsin2023
40Joe Ngata, WR, Clemson2022
41MarShawn Lloyd, RB, South Carolina2023
42Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma2022
43Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma2024
44Jordan Addison, WR, Pittsburgh2023
45Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia2023
46Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M2022
47Will Shipley, RB, Clemson2024
48Demond Demas, WR, Texas A&M2023
49Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State2024
50DeMarkcus Bowman, RB, Florida2023
51Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina2023
52Max Borghi, RB, Washington State2022
53Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Alabama2022
54Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State2022
55Parker Washington, WR, Penn State2023
56Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma2022
57Camar Wheaton, RB, Alabama2024
58Trey Sanders, RB, Alabama2022
59EJ Williams, WR, Clemson2023
60Bru McCoy, WR, USC2022
61Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama2022
62Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati2022
63Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi2022
64Frank Ladson Jr., WR, Clemson2022
65Sam Huard, QB, Washington2024
66Tyler Buchner, QB, Notre Dame2024
67Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA2022
68Donovan Edwards, RB, Michigan2024
69Carson Strong, QB, Nevada2022
70Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU2023
71John Emery Jr., RB, LSU2022
72Kyle McCord, QB, Ohio State2024
73C.J. Verdell, RB, Oregon2022
74Seth McGowan, RB, Transfer Portal2023
75Keyvone Lee, RB, Penn State2023
76Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa2022
77Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati2022
78Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC2022
79Brock Vandagriff, QB, Georgia2024
80Jacorey Brooks, WR, Alabama2024
81Agiye Hall, WR, Alabama2024
82Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State2022
83Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State2022
84Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State2023
85Wan'Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky2022
86LJ Johnson, RB, Texas A&M2024
87Jonathan Mingo, WR, Mississippi2022
88Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College2022
89JoJo Earle, WR, Alabama2024
90Master Teague, RB, Ohio State2022
91Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College2022
92Graham Mertz, QB, Wisconsin2022
93Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA2022
94Chris Tyree, RB, Notre Dame2023
95Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina2024
96Tyler Shough, QB, Texas Tech2022
97Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M2022
98Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota2022
99Austin Jones, RB, Stanford2022
100Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington2023
101E.J. Smith, RB, Stanford2023
102Hudson Card, QB, Texas2023
103Destyn Hill, WR, Florida State2024
104Harrison Bailey, QB, Tennessee2023
105Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State2022
106SaRodorick Thompson, RB, Texas Tech2022
107Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon2024
108Gee Scott Jr., TE, Ohio State2023
109Haynes King, QB, Texas A&M2023
110CJ Johnson, WR, ECU2022
111Christian Leary, WR, Alabama2024
112Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU2022
113Zonovan Knight, RB, North Carolina State2022
114Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State2023
115Jaylan Knighton, RB, Miami (FL)2023
116Bo Nix, QB, Auburn2022
117Noah Cain, RB, Penn State2022
118Mario Williams, WR, Oklahoma2024
119Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State2024
120Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin2022

Matthew Freedman is 1,051-849-37 (55%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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