The world of Campus to Canton can be a complicated place. Managers juggle college fantasy and devy information and combine them into a single package. This is not an easy feat. Following the growth of the format, and college football, in particular, I’m going to spend some time this offseason getting back to the basics of devy and Campus to Canton to help those considering the format take the plunge. 

In volume one of this series, I’m diving into the difference between the different college-adjacent fantasy formats. What is the difference between devy and campus to canton? What platforms can I play these on? And what kind of settings and challenges can I expect to find with each?

DEVY

Credit: The Houston Chronicle

A devy league is a basic add-on to a traditional dynasty league. In most dynasty leagues, an initial start-up draft is conducted, and after that draft, rosters carry over on a yearly basis. To account for the incoming rookie class each season, an annual rookie draft is held. This draft is typically 3-5 rounds and includes every player in that particular draft class.

Devy leagues take dynasty a step further by adding an additional yearly draft. In this draft, managers are able to select any non-draft eligible player. This is often limited to players that are enrolled in college, although that is not always a requirement in deeper leagues. 

Once these players are drafted, they sit in a sort of limbo. The rights to these players are held by the team that drafted them until they declare for the NFL Draft. At that time, the player transitions onto the manager’s dynasty roster. In the meantime, these players do nothing. They don’t accrue any points and are often on some sort of side taxi squad. In the overwhelming majority of leagues, these players and picks are available for trade, just as any active player would be.

Devy drafts can be as long or short as you like. Some leagues just dip their toes into devy with a one or two-round devy draft. Others go 10+ rounds deep. The depth of the draft is an important consideration when building a league, so keep that in mind.

As you can imagine, when players exit the player pool early it weakens the annual rookie draft. While some players burst onto the scene late, many top prospects are already rostered before they declare for the draft. As such, rookie picks are often devalued in devy drafts. Depending on the depth of the devy draft, rookie drafts may be slim pickings. 

Most devy leagues are hosted on MyFantasyLeague because they allow placeholder players to be used as devy player stand-ins until those individuals reach the NFL. For super deep leagues or for those that aren’t fans of MFL, any other website can be used in conjunction with a spreadsheet that tracks player names. While it’s not a perfect solution, it works for those with an MFL aversion.

COLLEGE FANTASY

Credit: The Herald Dispatch

College fantasy football (“CFF”) is precisely what it sounds like. CFF leagues mirror their NFL counterparts, but the player pool is reduced to only players that are active in the Football Bowl Subdivision. College fantasy has many of the same format options that regular fantasy does. CFF redraft, dynasty, and best ball are all popular and occupy their own space within the CFF sphere.

CFF comes with some interesting challenges that are not present in NFL dynasty. First, the sheer number of teams involved is almost four times more than the NFL, which can make it more difficult for managers to have an all-encompassing knowledge of the format on a yearly basis. Second, the nature of college football means that players stay in college for 4-5 years max before graduating or moving to the NFL. Third, there are no mandated injury reports or media sessions with college athletes, which can make roster management tricky.

While these challenges undoubtedly exist, they also equal the playing field greatly, and with a new emphasis on the CFF landscape, access to news has grown exponentially in the past few years. Some leagues will limit the player pool to just teams within the G5, or other conference combinations.

The only platform available for college fantasy is Fantrax. While the site can be confusing for those who have never used it before, it becomes much easier to navigate after a few weeks of usage. Most of the features on Fantrax are available with the free version, so extra payment is not required. The site also features its own version of “League Safe,” which can be handy for commissioners.

CAMPUS TO CANTON

Credit: NBC Sports

The namesake of this website and my favorite format of fantasy, Campus to Canton (“C2C”) combines aspects of both devy and CFF into one. A C2C league is essentially two leagues merged into one. Each manager has a full CFF Dynasty roster and a full NFL Dynasty roster, and the two are connected by a talent pipeline that feeds NFL prospects from college to the NFL. Both rosters accumulate separate weekly point totals and have separate weekly matchups. To account for all aspects of a C2C league, college rosters are typically larger (45 is standard), while NFL rosters are standard dynasty size with a taxi squad attached.

Beyond the initial start-up drafts, which are also conducted separately and can be done in any order, both sides of a campus to canton league have an annual draft. On the college side, this draft is typically referred to as a freshman or supplemental draft and includes all incoming FBS freshmen along with other free agents that carry over from the year before. This draft is usually 15 rounds, although they can be longer or shorter depending on league settings.

When a player from a manager’s college roster declares for the NFL draft, that player is added to their NFL roster. Because of this, the annual NFL rookie draft is usually very shallow, which decreases the value of those picks. League settings can be adjusted to help with this slightly (limiting waiver claims for college teams is the most common one), but there just isn’t much of a solution beyond that.

There are no “standard” settings for campus to canton leagues, some things generally remain consistent. Most leagues limit the amount of waiver adds on the college side, although the amount will vary. Some leagues do two adds, some do four, and some even completely ban college waiver adds. Some leagues have also drifted toward college best ball settings due to a lack of injury information for college athletes. However, these leagues are extremely customizable, which is one of the appealing parts of C2C.

There is currently no platform that can handle all of the nuances of a C2C league. Fantrax is king when it comes to college, and while they can handle NFL dynasty as well there is no mechanism to move college between the rosters automatically. With that in mind, leagues have their pick of NFL dynasty platform.

As this series continues, Campus2Canton will provide more in-depth knowledge on a variety of subject areas, so stay tuned for future installments. If you are interested in any of these format types, the Campus2Canton discord is an excellent place to find a league, talk strategy, or discuss players.

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