2021 Devy Fantasy Football Rankings: The Top 120 College Prospects
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.
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.
- 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?
- 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
CLICK THE DROPDOWN TO THE LEFT OR SCROLL FOR A SORTABLE VERSION OF THE RANKINGS
|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.