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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

Rank Player Draft Class
1 Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas 2023
2 Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State 2022
3 Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma 2022
4 Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina 2022
5 DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson 2023
6 Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn 2023
7 Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State 2022
8 Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Georgia Tech 2023
9 George Pickens, WR, Georgia 2022
10 Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M 2022
11 David Bell, WR, Purdue 2022
12 Bryce Young, QB, Alabama 2023
13 Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU 2023
14 Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas 2022
15 Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame 2022
16 Kedon Slovis, QB, USC 2022
17 Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma 2022
18 Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State 2022
19 Jase McClellan, RB, Alabama 2023
20 Arik Gilbert, TE, Transfer Portal 2023
21 Kendall Milton, RB, Georgia 2023
22 Zachary Evans, RB, TCU 2023
23 JT Daniels, QB, Georgia 2022
24 Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland 2023
25 Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State 2022
26 Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson 2022
27 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State 2023
28 John Metchie, WR, Alabama 2022
29 Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma 2023
30 Drake London, WR, USC 2022
31 Jerrion Ealy, RB, Mississippi 2022
32 DeaMonte Trayanum, RB, Arizona State 2023
33 TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State 2024
34 CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State 2023
35 Zamir White, RB, Georgia 2022
36 Julian Fleming, WR, Ohio State 2023
37 Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame 2023
38 Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina 2022
39 Jalen Berger, RB, Wisconsin 2023
40 Joe Ngata, WR, Clemson 2022
41 MarShawn Lloyd, RB, South Carolina 2023
42 Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma 2022
43 Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma 2024
44 Jordan Addison, WR, Pittsburgh 2023
45 Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia 2023
46 Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M 2022
47 Will Shipley, RB, Clemson 2024
48 Demond Demas, WR, Texas A&M 2023
49 Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State 2024
50 DeMarkcus Bowman, RB, Florida 2023
51 Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina 2023
52 Max Borghi, RB, Washington State 2022
53 Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Alabama 2022
54 Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State 2022
55 Parker Washington, WR, Penn State 2023
56 Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma 2022
57 Camar Wheaton, RB, Alabama 2024
58 Trey Sanders, RB, Alabama 2022
59 EJ Williams, WR, Clemson 2023
60 Bru McCoy, WR, USC 2022
61 Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama 2022
62 Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati 2022
63 Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi 2022
64 Frank Ladson Jr., WR, Clemson 2022
65 Sam Huard, QB, Washington 2024
66 Tyler Buchner, QB, Notre Dame 2024
67 Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA 2022
68 Donovan Edwards, RB, Michigan 2024
69 Carson Strong, QB, Nevada 2022
70 Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU 2023
71 John Emery Jr., RB, LSU 2022
72 Kyle McCord, QB, Ohio State 2024
73 C.J. Verdell, RB, Oregon 2022
74 Seth McGowan, RB, Transfer Portal 2023
75 Keyvone Lee, RB, Penn State 2023
76 Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa 2022
77 Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati 2022
78 Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC 2022
79 Brock Vandagriff, QB, Georgia 2024
80 Jacorey Brooks, WR, Alabama 2024
81 Agiye Hall, WR, Alabama 2024
82 Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State 2022
83 Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State 2022
84 Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State 2023
85 Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky 2022
86 LJ Johnson, RB, Texas A&M 2024
87 Jonathan Mingo, WR, Mississippi 2022
88 Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College 2022
89 JoJo Earle, WR, Alabama 2024
90 Master Teague, RB, Ohio State 2022
91 Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College 2022
92 Graham Mertz, QB, Wisconsin 2022
93 Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA 2022
94 Chris Tyree, RB, Notre Dame 2023
95 Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina 2024
96 Tyler Shough, QB, Texas Tech 2022
97 Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M 2022
98 Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota 2022
99 Austin Jones, RB, Stanford 2022
100 Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington 2023
101 E.J. Smith, RB, Stanford 2023
102 Hudson Card, QB, Texas 2023
103 Destyn Hill, WR, Florida State 2024
104 Harrison Bailey, QB, Tennessee 2023
105 Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State 2022
106 SaRodorick Thompson, RB, Texas Tech 2022
107 Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon 2024
108 Gee Scott Jr., TE, Ohio State 2023
109 Haynes King, QB, Texas A&M 2023
110 CJ Johnson, WR, ECU 2022
111 Christian Leary, WR, Alabama 2024
112 Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU 2022
113 Zonovan Knight, RB, North Carolina State 2022
114 Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State 2023
115 Jaylan Knighton, RB, Miami (FL) 2023
116 Bo Nix, QB, Auburn 2022
117 Noah Cain, RB, Penn State 2022
118 Mario Williams, WR, Oklahoma 2024
119 Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State 2024
120 Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin 2022

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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