Developmental leagues or Devy leagues are starting to gain some popularity in some diehard fantasy football circles. The main difference between a Devy league and a dynasty league that in Devy leagues you draft players that are not yet eligible to play in the NFL and place them on your taxi squad. A lot of times there will be a separate draft held for Devy picks. The better leagues that I’ve heard of will have unlimited taxi squad places to encourage trading and not punish the fantasy players that want to take a chance on a freshman entering college.

The reason I like to play in a Devy league is that it eliminates the age-old dynasty question of: “How do you eliminate tanking in a dynasty league?” If you look at how much hype Saquon Barkley received building up to the 2018 draft, a lot of dynasty teams were accused of losing on purpose to try to land him on their team. In Devy leagues, however, he more than likely would have already been on someone’s team. Yes, there are times players such as Rashaad Penny or DJ Moore end up in the free agent/rookie draft, but the Barkley’s will rarely be there.
I also like playing in Devy leagues because it is for the easier rebuild and better trade bait. If you need that final piece to put you over the top to win the championship, it might be easier to put a trade together for a veteran player by using Devy players rather than draft picks. Offering someone Calvin Ridley or Nick Chubb can be more appealing than saying, “I’ll give you my first-round pick”. Which also brings up why it is easier to rebuild. By talking to the other owners in your league you can gauge interest in all the players on their roster and taxi squad. If you own AJ Green and are out of contention halfway through the 2018 season, you can pick which incoming rookies you wish to build your team around plus current players for AJ Green, instead of gambling on draft picks.
One of the first things that people ask me about Devy fantasy football is what is my draft strategy? The answer here is simple, you want to draft the best player available. One way to look at it is to approach the Devy draft like it is a startup draft. If you are an active owner you can’t draft based on team need, your team could look a lot different after a year or two.
Another question I get asked a lot is, “How do I come up with my rankings?”. I read as much about their rankings from every website I can find, then I look to see their recruiting profile on 24/ and After that, I go to or any other place to watch a streaming video about the players I’m trying to learn more about and watch as much video that I can find on the prospects. I also listen to numerous podcasts and read as much as I can about each player. From there I evaluate everyone and start my ranking system. Sounds like a lot of work? It is, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Below I have the Devy players I am keeping an eye on. I have included multiple categories including the ratings each player had coming out of high school from and 24/ All the categories I’ve included are statistics that I consider when doing my rankings for Devy players.
Let’s start off with the wide receivers.

Wide Receivers:

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TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 09: Wide receiver N’Keal Harry #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils catches a five yard touchdown pass against cornerback Ron Smith #17 of the San Diego State Aztecs during the first half of the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2019 is going to be the year of the Wide receiver again. With the likes of N’Keal Harry (ASU), AJ Brown (Miss), and Kelvin Harmon (NCST) leading the way this class has a chance to be as deep and as good as the ultra-talented 2014 draft class. If you are in need of a wide receiver I wouldn’t hesitate to grab a first round pick in 2019.

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Running Backs:

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – OCTOBER 21: Runningback Cam Akers #3 of the Florida State Seminoles on a running play during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. Louisville defeated Florida State 31 to 28. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

The 2019 draft class might appear to be a little light with just David Montgomery (Iowa St), Myles Gaskin (Wash), and Bryce Love (Stanford) leading the way. However, the 2020 class is where everyone is looking. The top running back prospects in that class include Cam Akers (FSU), JK Dobbins (OSU), D’Andre Swift (Georgia), and Jonathan Taylor (Wisc).


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ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Jarrett Stidham #8 of the Auburn Tigers looks to pass in the second half against the UCF Knights during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

There are a couple of quarterbacks to keep your eye on in the next couple of years. Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) and Justin Herbert (Oregon) have been getting a lot of attention among Devy players, but keep an eye out for Nick Fitzgerald (Miss St) and Shea Patterson (Mich) to turn some heads this year as well.

Tight Ends:

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LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: Tight end Noah Fant #87 of the Iowa Hawkeyes signals against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

As you can see, I believe that tight end is going be a little thin in the next couple of drafts. What does that mean? Even if you don’t play in Devy leagues, you might want to trade for a younger tight end of the future before the season starts. Whether it is George Kittle (SF), Njoku (CLE) or even Henry (LAC).

Thank you for checking out Intro to Devy Leagues and my rankings. If have any questions about Devy leagues you can hit me up on the group chat. For more articles like this and more check out

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