⛽️🔥 Has Rookie Fever hit its peak yet?

Tua Injury Profile,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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Last week we looked at a decision tree to try to predict the incoming 2023 WR Rookie class. To follow that up, we’ll be taking a look at the Year 2 Decision Tree this week, trying to see who is predicted to regress or take the next step from the 2022 WR Class.

Year 2 Decision Tree

Once again, a decision tree is essentially a series of questions that you answer about each prospect until you get to the bottom. At the bottom is your final Year 2 PPG prediction.

I talked about the Rookie Year Decision Tree as well as the Year 2 Decision Tree on this last week’s episode of Who’s Next, but one of the biggest takeaways here is that first question: “Did the WR score less than 5.45 PPG in their rookie season?” If they did, you move downward to the right, which is the “good” way. If they didn’t, you’re moving downward to the left toward the “bad” outcomes. The 2022 WRs that ended up in the top tier for this exercise: Atlanta’s Drake London, New York’s Garrett Wilson, New Orleans’ Chris Olave, and Green Bay’s Christian Watson.

I went into a bit more detail in our Analytics Channel on Discord and was able to take a look at a few different other outcomes with different stats added/removed. If this type of analytics is up your alley, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @JordanBackes33 or jump into our Discord at the All-American tier or higher!

The NFL Draft has come and gone along with many of our rookie drafts. We are entering the summer months, where we need to occupy our time until the regular season, resisting the temptation to tinker with our dynasty rosters out of boredom. There is no better way to kill an hour than with an Underdog entry in one of their various tournaments. The first iteration of The Puppy filled in the blink of an eye as gamers now focus on some of the higher stakes tournaments like The Dalmation and The Bulldog. Here are some of the notable ADP trends from this week.

Dalvin Cook - Rumors continue to swirl that Dalvin Cook will be cut in the coming weeks. With the uncertainty of where he may land and a long history of injuries, his ADP has fallen to the middle of the sixth round this year for the once-prominent fantasy staple. If he does get cut, I’m sure there will be suitors for his services in 2023, so enjoy the discount now before his ADP goes up closer to the start of the season.

The Kansas City Chiefs - When you win a Superbowl on the back of Patrick Mahomes, every piece of the offense becomes inflated as we chase best ball spike weeks in a high-power offense. Kadarius Toney (ADP 71.5), Rashee Rice (ADP 128.8), and Jerick McKinnon (ADP 131.9) are all up double-digit figures in ADP this week. Reaching for players can be very risky, so with this inflation, if you already have shares, I would enjoy your current exposure.

Van Jefferson - The Rams have such a shallow depth chart this year, giving the appearance that Van Jefferson could emerge as the number two option in this wide receiver room. His ADP is up more than any other player this week, increasing 20 spots to 173.9 as the WR75. The Rams' offense does offer achievable stacks this season if you feel like they will bounce back after the Superbowl hangover we witnessed last year.

Quarterbacks - The most notable trend this week for me is how many quarterbacks are slipping down the board, particularly in the QB2 range. This makes sense to me because if I don’t end up with an elite QB, I absolutely don’t want to overpay for a QB2. Why take Cousins in the ninth round when Goff is available in the 11th round? Let those QB2 types slide and take depth at your skill positions.


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Injury Profile: Tua Tagovailoa

Tagovailoa has had multiple injuries in his career, including a high ankle sprain that required a tightrope procedure and a fractured hip that required immediate surgery. While those are slightly concerning, ultimately, they have very low recurrent rates individually. The truly concerning part of his injury history though? You guessed it: Concussions.

Suffering multiple concussions spread out across a few years is very concerning (see Brandin Cooks, Pat Freiermuth, etc.), but players can move beyond those long-term concerns with each year past their last incident. Why is Tua’s more concerning? Well, not only did he have three concussions, but he had two within four days, then suffered his third only 12 weeks later. So he suffered three major concussions within a 15-week time-frame. This is high-level brain trauma that occurred, so much that it took another two months from his last concussion to be fully cleared for return to activity. When it comes down to it, what we really need to know here is if he is more prone to further concussions in the future, to which I don’t have that answer. In theory, yes, he would be more prone to further brain damage moving forward and one of the riskiest assets in fantasy right now.

There is a solid argument to simply steer clear of Tua in your leagues. The challenge is if you want to gamble his ability to remain healthy moving forward because if he were to stay healthy and avoid any further concussions, this is likely the cheapest Tua will ever be again in Superflex leagues. These types of moves can help maximize your profit, but it comes with the significant risk of him suffering another concussion and having to retire medically. I can’t make the decision for you, but my cautious gut feeling is that he will stay healthy and pay off at a discount. If you go that route, I wish you luck.

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

Beyond the Mic🎙

You know your league better than anyone else. While it may seem prudent to make win-now moves at this time due to league circumstances(amount of rebuilders), I’m cautioning you to be smart about them. If it’s a market underpay for an older, aging win- now piece, by all means. Examples would be your 1st and 2nd for a CMC type. That’s a guy who can lock down a championship and doesn’t cost the full boat. The moves I’m strongly against would be your future first for those fringe 1st type assets. These were moves I made many times last year and deeply regret to this day.

Let us dive into one example that was brought up. Diontae Johnson. I am probably higher on DJ than consensus. I don’t think last year was as bad as it was made out to be. Today, there is no way I’d pay my future 24 1st for DJ. Why, you may ask? Think of it this way. I have to make that bet on a single player right now. I’m making the bet with absolutely no meaningful snaps being taken. I’m making the bet with plenty of time left for a whole laundry list of bad things to pop up. Maybe he hates his contract and holds out. Maybe he isn’t gelling with his teammates. Maybe he only produces in even-numbered years. I’m making a bet on a player in a very wide and deep tier. I'm going to single that player out of that tier in May. I can think of at least fifteen wide receivers with very similar values to DJ currently that I would be comfortable with. Why wouldn’t I hold that pick, keep my options open, and negate any risk until September? It seems ridiculous to have to close and pay for a house today that I can’t move into for four months. This is just covering one aspect of purchasing an asset like DJ today.

You also have pick value, the dynasty cycle, and how the community will value an older asset like him if he fails. With all these factors in play, the smart money is to hold onto your 1st. Diamond hand it for another few months. The time to strike will be soon, just not right now.

This week I want to take a look at some UDFAs that I want to either select late in my draft (4th or 5th RD picks) or pick up for free off waivers who I think look decent.

So obviously, this first one is the biggest name UDFA, and that is Sean Tucker, who ended up with Tampa Bay. So Tucker obviously had some medical issues that caused him to slip out of the draft. Tucker, fortunately, got to pick his spot, and he joined a pretty wide-open backfield. I think Tucker has a good shot to make the team. If not, he will definitely end up as a practice squad player with Tampa or another team. Tucker shows good vision and burst, and some upside in the pass game as well. So Tucker is someone I would definitely take a shot at in RD 4 of my rookie drafts.

The next one is Mohamed Ibrahim of Detroit. Ibrahim has had some significant injuries in his past, which most likely led to him going undrafted as well. When you watch him though, he is just a really good back. He’s not going to kill you with speed, but if you need a couple of yards, he’s going to get it for you. So if the way Detroit plays the game stays the same and let’s see something happens to David Montgomery this year. I could see Ibrahim getting a shot at at least being a short-yard/goal-line type back for Detroit.

Deneric Prince, who went to Kansas City, is the next one up. He has a little bit of an uphill battle to make the roster, but I think he will have a shot at their practice squad. Now CEH most likely is a goner next season. McKinnon keeps signing one-year deals, and Pacheco is still there as a 7th RDer. Prince might have to wait a season, but if he proves worthy enough in the pre-season he could be a backup for them in 2024. Prince had the highest speed score of every RB at the combine at 216 LBs.

The last back I want to talk about is Emari Demercado, who went to Arizona. Now Arizona is another backfield that is absolutely wide-open. Conner is a little long in the tooth, and contract comes to an end soon (or at least the Cardinals can get out of it). Keontay Ingram, drafted there last year, didn’t show much on the field. Demercado was another back at TCU behind Zach Evans and Kendre Miller. Demercado ended up playing a lot in the playoffs for them and really did well when things mattered. He has 4.43 speed and is a big-time run-to-daylight type runner. I want to stash Demercado and see what happens in the pre-season!

Hopefully, y’all can pick up a few of these guys off your waivers or draft late for your RB stash teams that Eric and Scott talk about on America’s Game frequently.

While we love to overreact here on the overreaction pod, we also want to call out the fantasy community when we, as a whole are overreacting. The rookie hype is out of control and has only seemingly built since the end of the NFL draft. This is no better highlighted than by the meteoric rise of Dalton Kincaid.

While not an end-all-be-all, the KTC values of players can give us a good overall view of the consensus market value of a player. Here's a snapshot of Kincaid's KTC positional value since it was created on the site.

Kincaid has risen from his original value of TE 20, 15 total spots, all the way to where he sits currently at TE 5 above TE 6 George Kittle. He's also risen 8 spots since right before the NFL draft kicked off.

Now I understand the hype. Kincaid was the first TE selected in the draft, traded up for by the high-powered offense of the Buffalo Bills, and attached to the arm of Josh Allen. He also has a slew of headlines like these coming out that add fuel to the fire. From PFF's Monson: "I see a lot of similarities' between Dalton Kincaid and Travis Kelce." From NFL Rookie Watch, "Dalton Kincaid is reportedly going to be utilized in a “similar fashion” to the way the Chiefs utilize Travis Kelce."

However, I think we need to tamper expectations here. For Kincaid to be worth a TE 5 price point of a mid-1st round pick in rookie drafts, he almost certainly needs to produce at a high-level year one for it to be worth the return. An outcome that at the TE position hasn't come to fruition for many.

Using Jordan Backes Analytics Database on the Destination Devy Discord, I looked at the PPG production of all rookie TEs going back to 2014 in standard formats. The leaders are Evan Engram in 2017 with 11.6 PPG, Kyle Pitts in 2021 with 10.4 PPG, and Pat Friermuth with 9.5 PPG. If we compare this to last year's scoring at the position, Evan Engram's highest rookie performance only would have tied Zach Ertz for TE 6 in PPG. Friermuth's 9.5 would have tied Schultz's TE 9 finish. No other rookie in the last nine years has produced over 9 PPG meaning that every other TE over that span would have been outside of the top 12 TEs. The narrative that rookie TEs don't produce early is still true, and Kincaid would have to break this mold to be a top 2 or 3 rookie producer over the last ten years to be worth the price of investment, in my opinion, regardless of what the rest of his career has in store.

The other narrative behind Kincaid's rise is his push to be used as the main slot receiver for this offense. This feels like a narrative that we continually fall into the trap of year over year. Just look at this offense last year with James Cook being talked about in the same light turning into a whopping 32 targets for 21 catches. The average amount of targets for TEs in this offense over the last three years is just 75 targets. This is not nearly enough usage from the position to sustain Kincaid, let alone the seemingly forgotten man in Dawson Knox. I'll rely on what this offense has shown me in the past rather than what it's promising for the future.

Don't get me wrong, I like the upside with Kincaid. But the cost of acquisition is just too high for my taste. A mid to late first-round pick in NON-TEP rookie drafts is ludicrous to me. TE 5 over the likes of Kittle, Goedert, Friermuth, Waller, and Engram is straight out of banana land for a guy we've never seen take an NFL snap yet. There is a large discrepancy in value at the TE position in dynasty between the haves and the have-nots. Let's not overreact and put Kincaid with the haves before we truly know anything about where Kincaid will fall in his range of possible outcomes.

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? Taylor and a 24 2nd or the package of Allen/Jeudy and 2.07?

Tell us on Twitter @DestinationDevy.

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