Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with the game of Texas Hold’em. When I was a kid, I watched Chris Moneymaker bluff his way to the Main Event title in 2003, and I have loved everything about the game since then. In a way, Texas Hold’Em has a lot of similarities to playing in Devy and C2C leagues. It may be one of the reasons I was drawn to the format when I first starting playing in dynasty leagues. Like Texas Hold’Em, devy leagues require skill but also luck when it comes to finding elite prospects. Over the years, you start to hone your processes, but you can miss on prospects even then. Each devy selection comes with risk, and even with analytics and scouting, prospects can miss. Just like your best hands at the table.
But even the best devy manager will overplay their assets, just like some in poker overplay their cards. Whether it be because of stubbornness or the need to be correct, it’s hard for devy managers to admit when the prospects they drafted don’t hold the same value. While everyone hates folding their hand, sometimes it’s necessary, just like offloading prospects before their value drops out completely. But if you’re like me and a gambler, sometimes the rush of going all-in is too exciting to pass up. As the season comes upon us, here are the seven riskiest prospects that Devy managers will be going all-in on this season.
Kedon Slovis (JR – USC) 6’2″, 200 lbs
Devy ADP: 29.39 QB5
C2C ADP: 27.20 QB5
Perceived Value: 1st Round SF Value
Actual Value: Late 2nd-3rd Round SF Value
After taking over for the injured J.T. Daniels in 2019, Slovis looked well on his way to becoming a first-round selection in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. As a freshman in 2019, Slovis threw for 3,502 yards, 30 touchdowns, and nine interceptions, which propelled his stock to an all-time high heading into 2020. In most drafts last offseason, he was drafted in the first round.
Then the 2020 season happened. While Slovis showed flashes of his talent, throwing for 1,921 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, he struggled with accuracy, as demonstrated by a 4.9% drop in completion rate. Although that’s alarming, his lack of arm strength concerns me the most. We heard rumblings that he dealt with a shoulder injury that caused issues for the second consecutive year. That’s not ideal for the position. He also saw a decline in his Yards Per Att last season.
As you can see from the chart above, I have valid questions about whether or not Slovis has an arm good enough for the NFL. In my honest opinion, I just don’t see it. He also has minimal rushing upside and needs to prove he’s not a liability with his legs. Based on his ADP, Slovis is still being drafted too high in devy and C2C leagues. There are currently only four quarterbacks I would draft in the first three rounds of devy drafts, and Slovis is not near that list. To be quite honest, I don’t even think he’s the best quarterback on that roster with incoming Freshman Jaxson Dart coming on campus this season. Slovis’s ADP is so high there are plenty of quarterback prospects out there that you could trade for.
Potential QB Trade Targets:
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral
Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels
North Carolina QB Drake Maye
Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall
JT Daniels (RS-JR – Georgia) 6’3″, 210 lbs
Devy ADP: 42.30 QB8
C2C ADP: 45.00 QB11
Perceived Value: Late 1st Round/Early 2nd Round SF Value
Actual Value: Late 2nd-3rd Round SF Value
People forget that JT Daniels was the number one ranked recruit in high school when he was a member of the 2019 recruitment class. Daniels would enroll a year early at USC, ranking him third only behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. In just three seasons at Mater Dei High School, Daniels threw for 12,014 yards and 152 TDs with just 14 INTs. He would go on to win the starting job at USC as a freshman.
Unfortunately for Daniels, USC had a disastrous season going 5-7, and Daniels demonstrated flaws within his game. The most glaring weakness was his completion rate which was only 59.5%. Then he tore his ACL in the season opener his sophomore season and ended up transferring to Georgia. While he didn’t play the whole season at Georgia while waiting to get medically cleared, he did throw for 1,231 yards and 10 TDs with just two INTs. He also finished with a 67.2% completion percentage, albeit a small sample size.
As a quarterback, Daniels does possess good strengths. When he has good consistent footwork, he can be a very polished passer with excellent arm strength. He has always shown to be a student of the game and has picked up multiple offensive systems, including USC’s, as an early enrollee. Unlike Slovis, Daniels also pushes the ball down the field. Last season he had an adjusted yards per attempt of 11.3 and routinely put pressure on defenses by going over the top. His willingness to attack defenses sets him apart from other quarterback prospects. The problem is Daniels will never be a rushing threat which limits his upside in fantasy. His mechanics can be very inconsistent, and that leads to his poor completion percentages and turnovers. When watching him on tape for every great throw, he makes he follows it with two mind-boggling inaccurate throws. If he doesn’t correct those mistakes, I can’t see him being a first-round draft pick next year.
As far as what to do with him as an asset, I am personally selling. Daniels just doesn’t have enough upside at the position. I could understand why some managers are holding out hope, but it’s just too much of a risk for me. Based on Daniel’s ADP, here are some other quarterbacks you could target in a potential trade.
Potential QB Trade Targets:
Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall
Jaxson Dart QB USC
JJ McCarthy QB Michigan
Kevin Harris (JR – South Carolina) 5’10″, 225 lbs
Devy ADP: 26.30 RB12
C2C ADP: 38.10 RB14
Perceived Value: Early 2nd Round SF Value
Actual Value: Early 2nd Round SF Value
I always try to be upfront with my readers and supporters. So I will be honest, Kevin Harris is one of those prospects I genuinely don’t know what to do with as an asset. He is currently my RB9 in the 2022 class at that could be too high or entirely too low. In ten games last season, he rushed for 1,138 yards on 185 attempts, scoring fifteen touchdowns. He also had 21 receptions for 159 yards and a TD. He was the most improved player in the SEC last season, and putting those numbers up against SEC opponents is nothing to look over. In his ten games against the SEC, he averaged 114 yards per game and tallied two 200-yard performances against Kentucky and Ole Miss. The numbers certainly look great, but the real question mark is if he can repeat it.
As a runner, Harris knows his strengths well. He has a big frame and uses his size well. He can run upright at times, but he gets positive gains each time he touches the ball. Harris also exhibits outstanding patience. He reads his blocks well, which contributes to his positive gains. I also think he does have underrated agility skills. I didn’t love the Gamecock’s offensive scheme last season. When watching the tape, they utilized a lot of counters and zone stretches that limited Harris’s abilities a bit. He demonstrates good balance through contact and is a pure downhill runner. He has enough speed to break runs but will never be a burner in the NFL.
Part of my hesitation with him as a prospect is the Gamecocks will be getting back 4-star RB MarShawn Lloyd, who suffered a torn ACL before the 2020 season. Lloyd has a highly touted prospect and should eat into Harris’s workload this season. Without getting the volume needed, Harris will struggle to increase his potential pro potential. He is a true wildcard in the devy space. If you hold your share, there is so much that needs to go right for Harris to exceed his current ADP. With that being said, holding him is probably the right move. With the numbers he put up and his potential, I could see a scenario where he could at least hold his value throughout the season. Then I would potentially move him before the draft.
Zach Evans (SO – TCU) 5’11″, 212 lbs
Devy ADP: 19.90 RB10
C2C ADP: 17.00 RB7
Perceived Value: Late 1st/Early 2nd Round SF Value
Actual Value: Mid to Late 1st Round SF Value
With how good the freshman running back class played in 2020, people forget that Zach Evans was the second-ranked player in that class. Evans closed his high school career with nearly 5,000 yards rushing and 76 touchdowns. He was the leading rusher as a senior for a North Shore team that won its second-straight Texas 6A Division I State Championship in 2019. He was a monster on the football field and became the first-ever 5-star signee in TCU history.
Evans’s expectations were high, but unfortunately, he dealt with Covid-19 early in camp, which saw him get off to a late start. Once he fully recovered from Covid-19, the season had started, and he was already behind learning TCU’s system. However, he still finished strong with 415 yards on 54 attempts and scoring four touchdowns. Evans averaged 7.7 yards per attempt and had two 100 hundred yard games over his final three games.
When you watch his tape, you’ll quickly find out that this young man can flat-out play. As a runner, he has incredible power, and his jump cut is one of the best in the country. He can alter his running style and is the type of back that can score any time he gets the ball. His ability to turn every run into a net positive gain is what excites me the most, and TCU could challenge Oklahoma as the best offense in the country next season. He also has gained weight and strength, being listed at 212lbs on TCU’s website. If that number is valid, I’m going to be even higher on him this year. While I´m higher on Evans than most, there are some question marks about his maturity. He also needs to show that he can be better with his lateral movement and burst at the line of scrimmage. I believe he possesses adequate long speed, but he needs to show development in his lateral movement. If he does that this season the sky’s the limit.
Based on his current ADP and talent, Evans is the biggest value in devy leagues and should see enough production on the field to be a value in C2C leagues. Here are some potential assets that I would be willing to give up to get Evans. Most of these assets below could be moved for Evans plus.
Potential Trade Targets:
Kedon Slovis QB USC
Eric Gray RB Oklahoma
JT Daniels QB Georgia
David Bell WR Purdue
Justyn Ross (RS-JR – Clemson) 6’4″, 205 lbs
Devy ADP: 32.20 WR12
C2C ADP: 44.20 WR15
Perceived Value: Late 1st Round SF Value
Actual Value: Mid 2nd Round SF Value
Justyn Ross is the ultimate all-in prospect, especially this season. Had you drafted him last year, he very well could have been the biggest value of drafts, but this season he is being drafted solely based on past precedent. And that is a dangerous game. Ross is on this list, but it has very little to do with his ability and most everything to do with health concerns. He missed all of last year after having surgery to repair a congenital fusion in his spine. The condition looked to be career-ending, but Ross was just recently cleared for contact. People are making a mistake thinking he’ll be ready to go week one of fall camp. Essentially he hasn’t played full-contact football for two years, not to mention he has to sit out for Covid protocols for the next week. Ross currently has a third-round ADP. There is too much risk in drafting him.
Ross has shown flashes of potential, but he’ll need to improve on the field this season after a so-so sophomore campaign. In two healthy seasons, he amassed 112 receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. But questions arose about his game after his sophomore season. He struggled to gain separation against press coverage, and his route running took a step back in 2019. There are a lot of question marks surrounding him not only off the field but on as well.
Although the talent is there, he’s not draftable at his current ADP. If you can sell Ross for any player that is more valuable, I would do that as fast as possible. The problem will lie with where you drafted him. If you drafted him this season, then you’ll need to hold onto him and hope that he has a successful comeback. Even if he stays healthy, I have a hard time seeing him get first-round draft capital. One player I would try to target for him right now is George Pickens. With his torn ACL, he’s easily gettable and, in my opinion, a better asset to own. While I’m rooting for Ross’s return as a Devy manager, I’m out on him in my leagues. He’s just not worth the risk.
Julian Fleming (SO – Ohio State) 6’2″, 205 lbs
Devy ADP: 53.10 WR18
C2C ADP: 66.50 WR23
Perceived Value: 2nd Round SF Value
Actual Value: 3rd Round SF Value
Julian Fleming is the one prospect that I have scouted the past three seasons where I never understood the hype. He came into Ohio State as the number one receiver in the 2020 class, but his offense ran the Wing-T in high school. The Wing-T is a run-heavy offense that is elementary to its core. Not only did I play in that offense, but I also coached it as an offensive coordinator at a high school. Receivers are asked to run very simple routes. Their numbers can be inflated because of targets and the use of heavy play-action passes. When he got to campus, he dealt with a nagging shoulder injury and the shortened off-season due to Covid-19. He just never had a chance last season.
Now fast forward to this off-season, he had shoulder surgery and was seen with the third-team receivers wearing a non-contact jersey during spring practices. While that could have all been a cautionary decision, the reason to fade Fleming at his current ADP is how crowded Ohio State’s receiver room is. Ryan Day has made it a point to stack talent up and make them compete for their position. The issue for Fleming is he’s now been behind on not one but two off-seasons. Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njogba, Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard, and Jeremy Ruckert all compete for targets in that Ohio State offense; it’s hard to imagine Fleming producing much of anything this season. He may be the 5th best option on that roster.
Suppose you are holding out hope that Fleming will break out next year with Wilson, Olave, and Ruckert all leaving. In that case, Ohio State already has four excellent 2022 commits in Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown, Kojo Antwi, and Kyion Grayes coming to school. The room is just going to get more crowded. Fleming is my pick to transfer. That may be the best move for him and devy managers everywhere. In my opinion, he’s a wasted C2C pick with his current situation. Here are some other wide receivers to target using your Fleming share.
Potential WR Trade Targets:
Oklahoma WR Mario Williams
Oregon WR Troy Franklin
Mississippi State WR Jaden Walley
Darnell Washington (SO – Georgia) 6’7″, 265 lbs
Devy ADP: 113.50 TE8
C2C ADP: 125.50 TE5
Perceived Value: Mid 2nd Round SF Value
Actual Value: 3rd Round SF Value
The tight end position is challenging to draft in devy league and C2C leagues. Most tight ends take two to three years to develop. Combining that learning curve with a player’s college eligibility can mean a long wait for most managers. If your league is not a tight-end premium league, you can afford to wait on the position. But if you choose to draft one, Darnell Washington should not be one of them.
While he is a tremendous athlete for the position, I question his ability to make an impact. He has average hands, struggles with running routes, lacks fluidity on the field, and is already maxed out physically. While he’ll break off some big plays, he likely won’t be a consistent player at the position. With the addition of Arik Gilbert and incoming freshman Brock Bowers, I question Washington’s upside in all formats. If you drafted him at his current ADP, it was a massive reach for someone who has a career with seven catches. Washington is my biggest sell right now. Penn State’s Theo Johnson is a better value pick at their respective ADPs.
Potential TE Trade Targets:
Penn State TE Theo Johnson
Washington TE Cade Otton
Arizona State TE Jalin Conyers
Oklahoma TE Austin Stogner