Fantasy football is a constantly evolving game. There are so many different versions of this game that we love. One version growing in popularity is Devy fantasy football. For those looking to dive in for the first time, here is a quick primer on how to play devy fantasy football.
What are Devy fantasy football leagues?
For those unfamiliar with Devy leagues, check out my “What is Devy fantasy football?” article. Before getting into how to actually play Devy fantasy football, familiarize yourself with what it is and how it differs from traditional dynasty leagues.
How to play Devy fantasy football
Before jumping into a devy league, the first thing you need to do is increase your knowledge of college football. If you’re serious about competing long-term, you can’t just rely on your NFL knowledge and hope to “wing it” when it comes to the Devy side of things.
In Devy leagues, the way you supplement your NFL roster is by having players on your Devy team that go on to be come successful professionals. Unlike traditional dynasty leagues, you’re not drafting these players after they’ve completed their collegiate careers. You have to draft them, for the most part, as incoming freshmen.
If your Devy roster is filled with players not considered top NFL prospects, you’re going to have a difficult time maintaining a competitive NFL roster. There are plenty of resources out there covering recruiting classes and incoming freshmen. You can find prospects’ high school stats and metrics. Study this information. Pinpoint the players you project to be future stars and draft them onto your Devy roster.
Embrace the uncertainty
Devy picks are like rookie picks, but with even less certainty. In traditional dynasty leagues, fantasy managers draft rookies when they enter the NFL. At that time, we have the advantage of knowing how they produced in college. Even equipped with that knowledge, plenty of them bust.
In Devy leagues, we’re projecting these players even sooner with far less information. Embrace the uncertainty. Use it to your advantage.
Everyone is in the same boat operating under the same set of circumstances. Understand that projecting future NFL stars before they’ve even played a down of college football is incredibly challenging.
Like any dynasty league, don’t get too caught up on age
One of the major pitfalls of dynasty managers is the obsession with age. Of course, we all want rosters full of young, talented players. However, veterans are who win you your league.
Let’s say you draft a superstar freshman onto your Devy roster. You’re confident this player will be a stud in the NFL. Even assuming you’re correct, you know that’s at least three years away. If you have an NFL roster capable of winning in the present, don’t be afraid to trade away the potential of your Devy players for the certainty of established veterans that can win you a championship now.
The reality is most college players don’t pan out. Even guys who are top prospects heading into their final year in college can see their NFL draft stock torpedo in just one season.
Dynasty managers love to hit on the next big superstar. Use that against them. You can win Devy leagues by constantly turning your Devy players into established veterans.
Know when it’s time to rebuild
Admittedly, much of my focus in this article has been on winning. Sometimes, you just can’t win. Fantasy football is a game based on another game. Players get hurt. Players underperform. What once looked like a stacked roster can become barren seemingly overnight. If and when that inevitably happens, don’t burn future assets trying to chase an unattainable title.
If you find yourself in this position, consider trading away your aging veterans. However, you don’t necessarily need to trade them for Devy picks or players. You just want young assets.
If there’s a college sophomore you’re in love with, perhaps you get him. You could also trade for players in their final collegiate seasons or even NFL rookies. Rebuilding doesn’t automatically mean trading NFL players for Devy picks or players. Focus on making deals that provide the best value and set your team for future success.
Most importantly, have fun!
Devy is a very challenging version of fantasy football. It requires knowing college football at nearly the same level as you know the NFL. This may not be for you and that’s okay.
But if you’re a big college football fan and the idea of watching players grow from college freshmen to NFL studs appeals to you, perhaps it’s time to give Devy fantasy football a shot.