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Devy 101: An Intro to Devy Leagues

As the format continues to grow, our Devy Team is producing content every day to help managers dominate their leagues. @FF_Hulsey is here with a guide for beginners looking to navigate this format.

For redraft and dynasty managers seeking their next thrill, look no further than devy fantasy football. Not only is the format growing across the industry, but it is also growing rapidly here on Dynasty Nerds. Our Devy Team is cranking out unique, actionable content daily to help beginners and seasoned managers. Some of our latest content includes player profiles, positional battles, freshman coverage, reaction pieces, and updated top 150 devy rankings. The Dynasty Nerds Discord, available with a #NerdHerd subscription, has an active devy chat room where you can interact with the entire Devy Team and even join a Dynasty Nerds-commissioned devy league. There is no better time than now to graduate from dynasty and test your skills like never before. Here is a guide for beginners looking to navigate this format.

What is Devy, and Why Should I join?

Devy is a branch of dynasty fantasy football that allows you to roster college players. Devy roster sizes vary, but essentially you can stash blue-chip prospects who are elevated to your dynasty roster when drafted to the NFL. The term “devy” itself stands for a developmental player, which is usually a college prospect but can sometimes include high school recruits depending on your league. Devy is that sweet spot where fantasy football, talent evaluation, and risk tolerance all intersect. It is the pinnacle for all football nerds.

If you have a passion for dynasty fantasy football, joining a devy league is a must. These leagues give you a massive advantage and a leg up on your dynasty league mates. This is very apparent during rookie draft season. Imagine drafting NFL rookies who have been on your radar for years against managers who have studied them for only a few months. At the very least, I recommend following the devy coverage here at Dynasty Nerds to help with this. Another gratifying aspect of being a devy manager is the thrill you get during the NFL Draft. In this game, nothing tops the feeling of hearing your favorite prospect’s name called in the first round. Keep in mind that this may come after years of stashing said player. What better way to validate your ability to scout talent?

How Do I Join a Devy League?

This is a question I get all the time, which is encouraging because it assures me that the format is growing fast. First of all, nothing is stopping you from converting your existing dynasty league into a devy league if your managers are on board and it is structured appropriately. Of course, you always have the traditional option of starting or joining a devy startup league. I recommend joining the #NerdHerd and becoming an active member of our Discord community. There will undoubtedly be opportunities to join a Dynasty Nerds devy league in the coming weeks leading up to the 2022 season.

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@FF_Hulsey) where I frequently promote startup leagues from community members who I know and trust. Startups and orphan leagues surfacing on social media all the time. Just make sure it is a commissioner you trust and always utilize an online payment solution like LeagueSafe.

What does “devy depleted” mean?

First-time devy managers will often hear the term “devy depleted” and may not know exactly what this means. To understand this, you first have to understand how devy players are acquired. The initial devy startup draft will eliminate many top prospects from future rookie drafts. This is compounded every year as managers select more devy players in the annual draft.

Because many prospects are rostered before they become rookies, the number of high-impact players available in rookie drafts is lowered. For example, in many devy leagues this spring, Ken Walker, Jameson Williams, and Kenny Picket were the top players available in rookie drafts. This skewed value of rookie picks is an excellent example of what someone means by “devy depleted”. The rookie pool has been depleted by years of devy selections.

What is a Campus 2 Canton league?

A more hardcore variation of a devy league is a Campus 2 Canton (C2C) league. With this format, you have two teams that you manage and earn fantasy points from. You have a roster that consists solely of college football players, and a traditional dynasty roster of NFL players. Unlike a devy league, your college players earn fantasy points as well. This kind of league has two separate championships, one for each level (college + NFL), so the strategies you could potentially employ are endless. Just like a devy league, your college players are elevated to your dynasty roster when drafted to the NFL. With such a large player pool, this format can be particularly overwhelming for beginners so I often recommend limiting your college pool to just the Power 5 conferences when starting. Fantrax is the platform that is typically used for C2C.

Can Sleeper Host a Devy League?

Yes, absolutely! Let’s see if I can navigate this without invoking the regurgitated Sleeper vs. MFL debate. I am in several devy leagues and all are hosted on Sleeper’s platform. There are two ways to do this and I have never encountered issues doing either. You can roster placeholders (kickers, defensive players, retired players) for your devy prospects and assign nicknames. However, my preferred method is to keep a league spreadsheet for all devy information and history. This usually includes devy rosters, draft results, and future draft orders.

I expect that royalty check to come in the mail any day now, Sleeper.

Tips for Beginners

Something that I continue to preach is to avoid overvaluing and over-drafting the QB position. Looking back, there have been so many misses on high-profile quarterback prospects lately. You can look at DJ Uiagalelei, Spencer Rattler, Shea Patterson, Jacob Eason, and many others. I have scouted QBs all over the Midwest for several years and I can tell you firsthand that this is a uniquely difficult position to project. Your best bets will come from QBs with rushing upside who play for one of the top 20 programs in college football.

One of my favorite things about devy is how many different strategies there are. Top-end RBs are typically going to be your best return on investment. Another important thing to remind managers is that pedigree matters. Five-star recruits are drafted to the NFL at a near 60% rate. It’s very predictive, relatively speaking. “Stars don’t matter” is a fun narrative during the NFL Draft but really, they matter quite a bit.

First-time managers will notice that league mates adopt the “go get your guy” mindset more than ever in startup drafts, especially after the top-tier players are off the board. This creates some interesting opportunities. Most importantly, I recommend either having your own devy rankings to refer to, or using Dynasty Nerds as your go-to resource for that. Our devy rankings go 150 players deep and are updated frequently (mine were updated just a few hours ago). Our Devy Team has worked tirelessly in 2022 to flood your timeline with actionable content. Consider joining the #NerdHerd today and use our tools to dominate your leagues.

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