⛽️🔥 We're onto 2023...

Reflections on the 2022 Fantasy season and what's to come in 2023

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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Earlier this week, Ray hosted a Discord-only Film Review on UAB’s DeWayne McBride, so why not look at the analytical side too?

McBride has good size and has posted a 90+ PFF RUN Grade in all three of his collegiate seasons, including a 93.5 in 2022, which was good for 4th in all of NCAA (only behind Bijan Robinson, Blake Corum, and Zach Charbonnet). He was also 3rd in the nation with 1,072 yards after contact (4.60 yards after contact per attempt). He also added 76 missed tackles forced (6th in NCAA) and had an elusive rating of 150.8, which was good for 12th in NCAA with a minimum of 50 carries.

So with these rushing numbers and prototypical size, what’s not to love? Well, McBride is virtually a zero in the receiving game. The RB totaled ten targets over 3 years, which was good for a 1.2% target share across his entire career. This is a huge red flag from an analytical standpoint. Nothing against the UAB wide receivers, but there is nobody in that WR room that is commanding the ball like McBride should be. He is the best player on UAB and should have been schemed touches in the screen game if anything. It somewhat makes me think the coaches feared giving him the ball in the passing game.

The two critical bowl games we were monitoring this past weekend saw upsets for TCU and Georgia as they advanced to the national championship on Monday. This should be a fun finale to watch, but I am sad the two teams I was rooting for didn’t make it. All eyes will be on Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU) as he continues to elevate his draft stock with jaw-dropping performances. This week against Michigan, on the biggest stage of his career so far, he put up 163 yards on six receptions and scored a touchdown to help lead TCU to victory. Johnston is our current WR2 by our winter ADP at 7.2 and is commonly taken in the mid 1st of most of our mocks. He has fluctuated quite a bit in our mocks with all his ups and downs this season, but the NFL draft community is high on him with rumors of him going in the first round of the NFL draft.

Zachary Evans (RB, Ole Miss) has been steadily falling down our 2023 rookie mock boards of late. The devy community has known and loved Evans for years now, dating back to his time at TCU before he transferred to Ole Miss. Evans is still our RB3 in our winter ADP at 11.0 but he has been falling into the mid-second in more recent mocks. Some folks think he’s the RB2 in terms of talent on film next to Bijan, and others find it concerning that freshman RB Quinshon Judkins was able to eat significantly into his workload and look better on film than him while doing it. In any event, he remains a polarizing prospect in the community, and I am personally excited to see where he lands and what kinda draft capital the NFL will give him.

Thank you for listening to the injury pod all season. I trust you used it to guide your teams to fantasy championships! Follow me @jmthrivept for live updates over the off-season.

Beyond the Mic🎙

We are here! The class that has been hyped for so long and seemed so far away is now the incoming rookie class, and conjecture season will be in full swing soon. As the focus starts to switch to these young men entering the NFL, many names will start getting bumps in value as well as losing based upon NFL mock projections, pro-day performances, combine performances, etc. Bijan Robinson is the one player in this class that has the least variance in value. This is one of the most hyped rookies we have had in dynasty, and he is going to be highly valued in any landing spot. The only thing that could truly change that would be an unfortunate injury working out in the offseason. Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are locked in high draft pick in this class, but the landing spot could certainly change their value. Will Levis and Anthony Richardson have even more variance as both of these players with great draft capital, and good landing spots would have dynasty managers salivating, and either one could be the QB1 of this class, but If the draft capital is not what we expect, their value could fall quite a bit. Jahmyr Gibbs also has fairly stable value due to his pass-catching prowess, his overall profile, and likely high-end draft capital. His weight at the combine is one to watch that could swing his value one way or the other for people, as right now, he is believed to be very close to the 200-pound number.

Kayshon Boutte coming back to the 2023 class was something that definitely helps further improve the depth of this class but also gives another potential high-end WR for people to invest in. Boutte, Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Jordan Addison all feel like very secure first-round picks in dynasty Superflex drafts. Jordan Addisons weigh in especially, is one to watch for potential value shift. I hope that people have learned from DeVonta Smith not to put too much emphasis on weight. Addison is currently right around the 170-pound range which would make him the exact same height and size as Smitty. Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s fall from grace this season due to injury, and I have heard some draft capital concerns coming his way, so his draft capital could make his value fluctuate quite a bit. Quentin Johnston is a specimen, and as long as his athletic testing is excellent like we expect it to be, it could be arrow up all offseason for this young man. The one thing with him that is still intriguing to me is the helmet scouting that can occur due to him playing at TCU, and let's face it, Jalen Reagor burning the dynasty community is the reason for that.

Michael Mayer is the one tight end that is being discussed very early in Superflex drafts. I have been on record saying that I’m highly unlikely to invest in him this year, but the combine for him is the biggest piece of value change that can come his way. Many people don’t believe he will test. If he were to participate, how he tests and what his RAS score looks like will be massive to his dynasty value.

After this group, we get to a lot of different prospects, which could see pretty real value shifts. Zach Evans, Kendre Miller, Sean Tucker, Devon Achane, Zach Charbonnet, Tank Bigsby, Blake Forum, and Chase Brown are the next group of running backs. Jalin Hyatt, Josh Downs, Marvin Mims, Zay Flowers, and Cedric Tillman are the next group of WRs. There are always late risers, and some of these guys will likely take big falls in value. The point I want to stress, especially with this group, is not to try and pencil in right now who you want at 1.11 or 1.12 in your SF rookie drafts. A lot of information will continue to come out for these guys.

The 2023 class has a lot of exciting players in the first two rounds, and the depth of this class, especially at running back, is huge given the current landscape of the position. The values of all of so many players in this class can swing. When they get a lot of buzz and subsequently get value surges, people will begin to foam at the mouth for a lot of these 2nds that you couldn’t sell for a loaf of bread a couple of weeks ago on a contender. This is also why we stress how the pick carries more weight than the player, because of all the value shifts that can happen to the majority of the incoming rookies each year. Dynasty degenerates, hold those 2023 picks a bit longer and sit back and watch the rookie fever slowly make your leaguemates become rabid.

The fantasy season is over, and during this time, I like to reflect on convictions I had going into the season, which of those I leaned into the most, and how it affected my team builds.

One of my convictions was that the “old” running backs like Ekeler, Jacobs, Mixon, Conner, Chubb were not going to be the guy’s nor outperform their ADP. These running backs had narratives like new staff, not wanting to give them less of the workload or they are just old and crusty. So I wanted to get rid of these guys and lean into the new crop of RBs like Etienne, Stevenson, Kenneth Walker, Brian Robinson and etc. About quarter into the season, you could see that these old guys were still depended on and scoring a lot of points. So of course, the ones that were competing for a title, we had to buy back in at prices you were not that comfortable with but that’s part of the game of chasing the ring.

We did have some injuries that derailed some young running backs from probably getting into the top 12, but I think a big lesson here was to draft these guys as they were dropping in your drafts at value instead of being scared because of age and age alone. As we saw during the course of the season per usual, these players were dropping on a weekly basis, and if you were deep in the position with some of the older guys, you were in great shape.

 @EricVanekNFL has some waiver wire darts to stash/Drop for the off-season.

So now that the season is over, it is time to focus on getting the right players onto your rosters and also getting the roster cloggers off your roster. In this article this week, I am going to highlight a few players you should keep and/or pick up, as well as someone guys who should be dropped.

Let’s start with the positive firsts, in the off-season is when you want to be dropping most of your backup QBs, roster clogger WRs, and TEs. Please listen back to the AFC and NFC Depth Chart podcasts, where myself and Scott Connor go over every single offensive player in the NFL and give you our thoughts on them.

The first player I am highlighting is Malik Davis, RB, Dallas Cowboys. There is a shot that next year Malik Davis could very well be the Dallas Cowboys RB2 going into next season. Tony Pollard is a free agent, and it’s legit 50/50 if he will be back with the team or not. Davis was impressive in his limited work, and Ezekiel Elliott’s receiving work, and usage have gone down each year. Davis could be useful in that area of the game for Dallas, and I think he’s a great stash.

The next player I am still stashing is RB Jerome Ford of the Cleveland Browns. Ford has a very good shot to be the RB2 in Cleveland next year as well. Kareem Hunt is a free agent and most likely gone, same for D’Ernest Johnson. Ford has a chance to be the RB2 in Cleveland next year and I think with his speed he will add a different element to this offense next season. Still going to hold onto him.

Now for a couple of players, I would drop, and it’s pretty simple here. They’re roster cloggers. Two WRs who fall out the threshold for guys you would hold onto, and now that the season is over, you don’t need to carry these WRs anymore that you may still be holding onto. First up is Ben Skowronek for the Rams. He fell into a bigger role with a lot of injuries to the Rams, and Skowronek is just someone you don’t need to hold onto anymore. He will never be more than a WR3 on his own team.

The next WR I am looking to drop now is Quez Watkins. Quez actually has some talent, and I do like him, BUT I don’t think Jalen Hurts can support AJ Brown, Devonta, Goedert, and himself. Quez is just going to be someone who is super inconsistent to know when to play, and for that, I will be dropping him off my rosters and finding a useful RB on my waivers that I could use to take his spot.

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