⛽️🔥Michael Mayer: The next Great TE?

James Cook: Breakout?, Trade of the Week and More

Destination Devy has been a staple in the fantasy community for over three years. Y'all know prospect identification and evaluation is the name of the game in dynasty fantasy football. Destination Devy is the place to be to get ahead and stay ahead of your league mates. Founded by Ray G, we aim to give you actionable and some of the most entertaining football content on the planet. Dynasty fantasy football is a game of chess, not checkers. The more you know about college prospects and upcoming classes, the better equipped you will be to position your dynasty rosters for short and long-term success. Tap into the best community for that below! Enjoy! 

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Michael Mayer has been considered the TE1 of the 2023 NFL Draft Class since his huge freshman year. Although it may not seem like much, a true freshman having 42 catches, 450 yards, and 2 TDs at Notre Dame is very good. He followed that season up with two 800-yard seasons, totaling 16 TDs over his final two years. The production is there, but his athletic testing was the biggest question entering this draft cycle. That was pretty much put to rest when the 6’ 5” 249 TE ran a 4.70 40-Yard Dash (60th percentile since 2014) and a 102.9 Speed Score (63rd percentile). With those numbers, he hit the required threshold to be fantasy relevant. However, the biggest question surrounding him during rookie draft time is, “Can he be elite?” To answer that, let's compare him using our Destination Devy Prospect Comparison App to some of the currently elite TEs.

When comparing Michael Mayer to the prospect profiles of George Kittle, Kyle Pitts, and Mark Andrews, Mayer falls a bit short for me. His production is great when looking at Best Season Yards per Team Pass Attempt and Average Reception Share, but the lack of Yards After Catch is a bit of a yellow flag for me. Both Kittle and Andrews showed they were able to do something with the ball in their hands, and while Pitts is only slightly above Mayer’s mark, Pitts’ Speed Score shows that he is a superior athlete. 

Underdog is currently hosting the Big Board tournament in Superflex format, which has been a nice change up from the traditional 1QB style they normally run.  This week I decided to isolate the 2023 rookies from the Underdog ADP and put it up against our Destination Devy ADP from the numerous mocks we have run.  Each entry in this tournament is $10, so the ADP generated feels more realistic to what people are actually expecting for year one production on these rookies.  Here are some of the notable differences comparing both sources.

Kendre Miller (RB, TCU) - Our current RB4 ranks much lower in these Underdog tournaments as the RB9.  Achane, Spears, and Tucker are all more likely to be taken ahead of Miller at this time, so be patient if you believe in his talent and want some shares in this tournament.

Israel Abanikanda (RB, Pitt) - Izzy is our RB7 in April with the Underdog community coming in much more confident than even we are in his talent at RB4 right now.  Abanikanda has the size and speed to earn an opportunity that underdog drafters are clearly confident will come at some point in 2023.

Roschon Johnson (RB, Texas) - Johnson is another prospect that Underdog drafters are more confident in than our community, positioning him at RB7 in the class vs. our present RB11 ADP for the Longhorn.  I personally feel we are too low on Roschon as he has the body type that could earn a sizable role at the next level.

Tank Dell (WR, Houston) - The most stark difference of all in this exercise is Tank Dell who ranks as our WR19 but on Underdog comes in at WR11.  I will admit the only place I would want to roster a profile like Dell would be in bestball, but I will pass at this price and in most cases will not be constructing my rosters around any rookie WR without top 40 capital.


We're excited to announce that Destination Devy is gearing up for Underdog Fantasy's season-long bestball contests for the 2023 NFL Season. It's a great way to put your skills to the test against us and other top fantasy football analysts this off-season.

And here's the best part: if you use promo code "WakeUP" when signing up, you'll get a 100% deposit match up to $100. AND if you deposit $10, you'll get access to strategize with us in the Destination Devy Discord, where you can get additional stats, tips, and so much more to dominate your drafts.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to underdogfantasy.com, sign up, and let's make this season one to remember. 

Injury Profile: Justin Herbert, QB LAC

Herbert had surgery this off-season in late January in order to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. On the surface, that would be concerning for a quarterback. However, the injury and repair were on his non-throwing shoulder. Typically this would only affect a small portion of his throwing motion, particularly deep throws or throws that require more velocity and full-body mechanics. The good news here is that optimal recovery takes no more than six months, which places his full-go timeline at around July for unlimited activity. Great news for an upcoming huge year for Herbert, his first working with an upgrade at OC with Kellen Moore, which should lead to a higher upside passing game. At this point, we do not need to be concerned about his prior rib, shoulder, clavicle, or knee injuries that have not created lingering or recurrent issues since the initial incident. We should see a huge year incoming with minimal injury risk or concern moving forward. Invest accordingly.

Follow me @jmthrivept for live updates over the off-season.

Beyond the Mic🎙

The NFL Draft is only two weeks away, and dynasty managers are anxiously awaiting this event. Make sure you are tuning into the Destination Devy live stream during the NFL Draft! People are talking about the 2023 class at length (rightfully so) because the draft is right around the corner. It is also startup season, and there are tons of startup drafts going on as well. This makes this a great time for me to remind you to think 4D. There are three primary assets in dynasty. Startup picks, rookie picks, and players. I am seeing all kinds of trades go down with all different combinations of these three assets. Make sure you implement this simple strategy to shift your mindset a bit on asset evaluation and feel much more confident and not get overwhelmed in bigger trades. Make yourself equate every asset in each form using startup ADP. 

Here is one example for each asset. You have 2023 1.05. Using ADP- the player is Jaxon Smith-Njiba, and that is startup pick 4.04.

You have the 3.04 in a startup. Using ADP, the player is Chris Olave, and 2023 1.03 is going one spot behind the 3.04.

You have CeeDee Lamb. Using ADP, he is going at the startup 1.12, and 2023 1.01 is going one spot ahead of CeeDee Lamb.

Using this startup ADP to track this will give you a great sense of market values. Simply use this as a frame of reference. This doesn’t mean that you should take CeeDee Lamb at the 1.12 or that you should prefer the 1.01 to him slightly. However, understanding this will give you a great sense of the market, help you evaluate big trade offers with lots of moving pieces, and utilize these values to get specific players or picks you want.

Year 2 Breakout candidate: James Cook. @Just_Ike09 weighs in

When it comes to Year 2 breakouts at the running back position, James Cook stands out for quite a few reasons. While he didn’t get a ton of touches & opportunity in 2022, he was pretty efficient when he was on the field - #1 in the NFL in breakaway run rate, #2 in “true” yards per carry (5.7) & #3 in yards per touch. In 4 of the Bills’ last seven regular season games, James Cook had at least nine carries & averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

Let’s also not forget about how prolific of a receiver he was coming out of Georgia - he was top 10 in YPRR (yards per route run) amongst RBs coming out of the last four draft classes. 

The Bills did sign Damien Harris in free agency, but as we saw his career unfold in New England (ultimately losing his spot to Rhamondre Stevenson), he wasn’t on the field on 3rd downs/in the passing game - which is where James Cook will also thrive. 

Cook has 2nd round draft capital & the Bills have big plans for him this season. He is currently being drafted as the RB31 (pick 90) on Underdog; take advantage & snag a few shares of him so you can reap the benefits as he smashes his ADP this season!

We are getting closer and closer to the draft. As many of you know of the big pieces of info dropped this Monday from the Athletic, Dane Brugler dropped his “Beast” guide for the NFL draft. Personally, it is one of the highlights of my draft season, and Dane does an amazing job year after year with the Beast. So for this week, I want to highlight my favorite player who is not being talked about enough at each offensive fantasy position for this season and talk about them a little bit. 

So if many of you know me at QB, the guy I’ve planted my flag on this season was QB Aidan O’Connell from Purdue. Now one of the big things with O’Connell is a little bit of a lack of mobility, which I believe in the NFL nowadays, you need to have at least some capability there. He’s one of the guys who is very coachable and a hard worker. He is very accurate with the ball, and his ball placement I found to be really good as well. His arm is solid, and he can layer throws really well. He actually is Purdue’s record holder in completion percentage for a career, better than Drew Brees. I think if he ever became a starter, he could be a winning QB in the NFL, in my opinion. Where do I think he goes in the NFL draft? I think he is going to be a third RD draft pick, but wouldn’t be shocked if he was a fourth-rounder. 

At the RB spot, I like RB Evan Hull from Northwestern. Now Northwestern was pitiful last season as a 1-win squad, and Hull was the lone bright spot. He was the only running back in college last season to have 50+ catches. He had 55. One of the problems, though, is his pass protection, so he’s going to need to improve heavily in that area. He has 4.47 speed but really needs to show it off for big runs. What he does do well is he’s a very patient runner and maneuvers well through the gaps. Along with his catching upside, this is a guy in the 3rd/4th RD of my rookie drafts I would like to take. Where do I think he gets drafted in the NFL? I am hoping he goes in the fifth round, where Tyler Allgeier went last season, but I am thinking he will probably be a sixth-round pick.

WR spot I have really grown to love Jonathan Mingo from Ole Miss more and more through this process. He’s 6’1, 220 LBs and he really has a solid game. A lot of people have compared him to A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel type players and you can see that. He is a monster in the screen game, his YAC ability really shows up and he runs a 4.46 40 at 220 LBs. I don’t think Mingo has met his full potential yet. His body control and massive hands make him a big play threat down the field as well. He needs to get a little better with his route running and such but I really believe he is the sleeper WR of this class who is going to do well in the NFL. I think Mingo is going to be a second round pick in the NFL draft, maybe a third Round pick but I believe he’s going day two for sure.

Lastly, the Tight End I am really beginning to like in this class is TE Sam LaPorta from Iowa. Now Mike from 4D Chess will love seeing this! LaPorta was the best receiver on Iowa’s team last season. According to Dane, LaPorta needs to get better at his blocking but he has soft hands and a really solid catching the ball. He was the only TE in the nation last season to have 20+ force missed tackles. He can play both inline or out wide and I really feel like LaPorta has a lot more upside in the NFL then he has being given credit for. Dane’s comparison to him was Austin Hooper. I think he can be a little better than him. I am hoping for more Dawson Knox level here. I think LaPorta ultimately is a second round draft pick, and if not definitely a third round draft pick. Really exciting about LaPorta’s future in the NFL! 

Check out this week's Overreaction Pod as Chase and Cody go over how to approach an orphan from different perspectives. Subscribe to the Destination Devy Podcast feed to check out the pod. Also, Follow Chase (@TrophychaseTFDR) and Cody (@CodySmithTFDR)on Twitter.

Dynasty Trade of the week

The good people of DD bring this trade to you in our exclusive Dynasty Trade-Show channel, where we only post and discuss dynasty trades. 

What side of this deal do you want? Barkley/Jacobs/Jamo or thee package of youth?

Tell us on Twitter @DestinationDevy.

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