Overvalued Devy Players (2021 Fantasy Football)
The hardest part about devy leagues is handling the ever-changing values of college football players.
Unlike the NFL, where players’ values don’t often drastically change from year to year, amateurs can see a dramatic shift in just one season. We’ve recently seen this with Chuba Hubbard, Joe Burrow, Mac Jones, Zach Wilson, Seth Williams, and Tamorrion Terry, who either sharply rose or declined.
This unpredictability can be one of the most challenging aspects of the devy format. As a devy manager, it’s essential to get ahead of these value drops before your league-mates. Let’s dive into five overvalued prospects.
Note: ADPs from Devy Watch
Kedon Slovis (QB – USC) – Devy ADP: 29.00
After taking over for the injured J.T. Daniels in 2019, Slovis looked well on his way to becoming a Round 1 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, he was drafted in the first round.
Then the 2020 season happened. While he showed flashes of his talent, throwing for 1,921 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, he struggled with accuracy, as shown 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 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 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.
Jerrion Ealy (RB – Ole Miss) – Devy ADP: 33.75
Jerrion Ealy is a great running back. Over his last two seasons at Ole Miss, he has amassed 1,467 yards on 251 attempts and scored 15 touchdowns. The issue is that Ealy is also an extraordinary baseball player. He was rated the No. 1 baseball prospect in Mississippi in 2018 and drafted by the Diamondbacks after his senior season of high school.
While he’s an above-average football player, the way the NFL has drafted running backs of his size the past two years makes me question his long-term outlook. For example, former Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell, whose athletic profile is similar to Ealy’s but with much better production, didn’t get drafted until the fifth round in this year’s draft. That should throw up immediate red flags.
Ealy is currently drafted as a top RB in devy leagues, but his profile does not warrant that selection. If you’re looking for other running backs around that ADP with a better NFL outlook, target South Carolina’s MarShawn Lloyd, Texas A&M’s LJ Johnson, or Georgia’s Zamir White.
Bru McCoy (WR – USC) – Devy ADP: 74.50
After redshirting his freshman season because of a crazy recruiting situation, McCoy had 21 receptions for 236 yards and two touchdowns in his first year playing for USC. The redshirt sophomore is a fine player, but his ADP suggests that he could be a top WR in his class. That’s not a scenario I see.
First, McCoy will battle for playing time and targets with Drake London, K.D. Nixon, Gary Bryant Jr.., John Jackson III, Kyle Ford, and Malcolm Epps. USC should place more of an emphasis on their run game after Texas RB Keaontay Ingram transferred to USC this offseason. Graham Harrell’s offense also isn’t the most creative system in college football. As a result, McCoy could struggle to get the targets needed to break out this season.
McCoy is a possession receiver at best and does not possess nearly the speed you need to play on the outside. He has minimal upside paired with an inability to put pressure on defenses downfield. Other receivers I would rather draft at his ADP include Zay Flowers, Marvin Harrison Jr.., Jalen McMillan, and E.J. Williams. All have better skill sets and more upside than McCoy.
Justyn Ross (WR – Clemson) – Devy ADP: 31.75
Listing Justyn Ross has very little to do with his ability and most everything to do with health concerns. Ross missed all of last year after having surgery to repair a congenital fusion in his spine. The injury looked to be career-ending, but he returned to Clemson’s campus after.
However, Ross still isn’t cleared for contact. He has a one-year physical set in June to determine if he’ll even be cleared to return to on-field activities. Ross currently has a third-round ADP. Those two statements shouldn’t go together. 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. Although the talent is there, he’s not draftable at his current ADP.
Darnell Washington (TE – Georgia) – Devy ADP: 113.31
The tight end position is challenging to draft in devy leagues. Most tight ends take two to three years to develop. When you combine that learning curve with a player’s college eligibility, it can be a long wait for most devy 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 route-running, 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. Penn State’s Theo Johnson is a better value pick at their respective ADPs.
Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with Starting Your Own Fantasy Football League or head to more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.