Fantasy football is a constantly evolving game. It’s hard to imagine the creators of fantasy football could ever have predicted the game’s various iterations that would emerge. One of the more recent versions is Devy. What are Devy leagues, and how do they differ from more traditional dynasty fantasy football leagues?
What Is Devy?
At this point, it feels like just about every conceivable version of fantasy football exists. It doesn’t. There will be more innovations because there always are. Yet, it certainly feels that way.
We started with just NFL players. Then, dynasty leagues added the concept of drafting rookies. However, Devy fantasy football takes it to the next level. It involves drafting an entire collegiate roster in addition to your standard NFL roster.
How Do Devy Fantasy Football Leagues Differ From Traditional Dynasty Leagues?
In traditional dynasty fantasy football formats, managers supplement their rosters each offseason with a rookie draft. Those don’t exist in Devy leagues. Instead, their version of the rookie draft is the college freshmen draft. There is a draft of incoming college freshmen — and other non-rostered college players — and once a college player is drafted into the NFL, he becomes part of your dynasty roster.
The primary difference is instead of waiting for college players to enter the NFL Draft before fantasy managers draft them, you’re selecting them while they’re in college.
Devy fantasy football leagues pose a whole different type of challenge for fantasy managers. You don’t have the benefit of watching a player play in college before deciding if you think he will make a productive pro.
If you really want to gain a leg up on your fellow competitors, you’ll have to go the extra mile and scout high school athletes before they even get to the collegiate level.
Fantasy managers need to have a vast knowledge of players to try and find the next superstars before they prove themselves on a college football field.
How Does a Devy Draft Work?
Each offseason, fantasy managers will draft a specific number of non-rostered college players onto their Devy rosters.
The number of players allowed is entirely up to your commissioner and your league. Some leagues may only have a few. Others can have many. There’s no hard and fast rule governing how many players can be on a Devy roster.
Will There Still Be a Rookie Draft?
For this one, the answer is… maybe. Given the unpredictability of the NFL and the inexact science that is evaluating players, the odds are high that there will be players every year who emerge as potentially productive NFL players that aren’t on Devy rosters. Your league needs a way to inject these players into the player pool.
I would recommend having a separate rookie draft in addition to a Devy draft. The rookie draft can be as short as 1-2 rounds. It should consist of college players entering the NFL Draft but not already on Devy rosters.
Do Devy Players Accumulate Fantasy Points?
If you thought that Devy was as deep as it gets, you’d be wrong. Much like in the movie “Inception,” there’s always a level deeper.
The next evolution of fantasy football beyond Devy is what is known as Campus to Canton leagues. In this format, the performance of Devy players matters because you have an entire college portion of your fantasy football league. However, that’s another article for another time.
In Devy leagues, your college players are merely placeholders. They are there, waiting in the wings to be called up to your NFL roster, if and when they make it to the pros.
Your Devy players’ performance in college doesn’t actually matter in terms of scoring fantasy points for your team. Of course, though, their performance matters greatly as it relates to their chances of being productive NFL players.
Should You Join a Devy Fantasy Football League?
I’m not one to believe that as you progress in your fantasy football career that you need to keep going deeper down the dynasty rabbit hole. It’s entirely up to you and the investment you want to make in this game we all love.
Dynasty fantasy football leagues test your ability to predict how players will perform throughout their NFL careers. Devy leagues start that clock from the moment a player enters college. It’s perfectly fine if you’re content with standard redraft leagues. That doesn’t make you any less of a committed fantasy manager.
Do you consider yourself an expert college scout? If not, do you want to become one?
We’ve all pinpointed breakout stars in fantasy football before. If you find that feeling immensely rewarding and want to compound it tenfold, try predicting a future stud when he’s just an 18-year-old.
If this is something you find appealing, perhaps now is the time to dive into your first Devy fantasy football league. And, if so, here’s a primer on how to play Devy fantasy football.
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