⛽️🔥 Senior Bowl Week and Super Bowl Prop Leans

Epson Partnership, Javonte Williams Injury Profile 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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WAKE UP Video of the Week

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We’ll be going back to the player spotlight this week as we take a look at one of the hottest names coming out of Mobile, Alabama, and the Senior Bowl. We already looked at Tyjae Spears back on January 13th, so we’ll be taking a deeper dive into Texas RB Roschon Johnson.

Johnson measured in at 6’ 0”, 225lbs, which is absolutely perfect for an RB prospect. He looked great all week until he was sidelined with a broken hand, which is very unfortunate for us, and that wanted to see him show out all week. Sadly, we’ll probably never know what could have been here.

Looking at Johnson’s 4-year career at Texas, it was pretty underwhelming from a pure statistics standpoint. However, when you put it all into context, there is some silver lining. During the 2019 season, Roschon showed up to Austin as a 4-star, dual-threat QB. Yes, a QB. With Sam Ehlinger as a Heisman hopeful, there was nowhere to go on the QB depth chart for Johnson, and with an offense with not much talent, he stepped up to play RB. Not only did the true freshman have about 650 yards on the ground, but he also added 23 receptions and 158 yards through the air. A pretty solid season for a freshman learning a new position. 

In 2020 and for the rest of Johnson’s career, he was the backup RB for the Longhorns as they turned the backfield over to a 5-star prospect who will more than likely be a first-round NFL selection and the 1.01 in all formats. However, when Bijan needed a breather, Roschon stepped up, averaging 5.7 yards a carry and adding a good amount of work through the air. 

By no means is Roschon Johnson a top-tier prospect, but the size and ability are there for a team to take a shot on in Day 2 or 3 of the NFL Draft. He could end up being one of my most heavily targeted players in the 3rd round of rookie draft in May.

Ray and JRich have been down in Mobile attending the Senior Bowl this week, which means the discord has been filled with videos of practice highlights and live discussions about these prospects in attendance.  Most of them are living up to expectations, and some are even being slept on in our 2023 rookie mocks.

Puka Nacua (WR, BYU) - Puka has been turning heads at practice this week as his stock continues to rise during the offseason amongst NFL circles. Currently, he is going undrafted in our mocks, but with the positive buzz from Senior Bowl, I expect his ADP to begin to rise in February.

Nathaniel Dell (WR, Houston) - “Tank” Dell has been torching defenders in 1 on 1 drills but came in even smaller than expected, with official measurements listing 5’8” 163 lbs. It’s hard to predict how he will be viewed by the NFL, but he is fun to watch out there. Dell has an ADP of 44.0 in January as our WR15 this month.

Eric Gray (RB, Oklahoma) - Gray is one of those prospects that has become largely forgotten from where he once was viewed in devy circles years ago.  With an ADP of 39.9 in January, he is our RB17, so he can definitely be had at a value in most drafts. Gray may not be a flashy name so far but could be a solid pickup in the later rounds of our rookie drafts.

Camerun Peoples (RB, Appalachian State) - Sometimes, when I am listening to Ray in our Heisman voice chats, certain statements just stand out to me. So far, Camerun Peoples has done nothing to impress and looks to be a plodder at the next level; no thanks.  In our community, he has been mostly undrafted and should continue to stay in the gutter as our RB23 in January.

If you would like to participate in our rookie mocks and help shape our ADP this off-season, click the link below!

Javonte Williams, RB Denver

An unfortunate end to a hyped-up season, Williams suffered a significant knee injury on October 2, 2022, that would require season-ending surgery. In total, he suffered a right ACL, LCL, and PLC (not PCL) injury. This is very similar to JK Dobbins’ knee injury but less severe, as Dobbins had an ACL, LCL, PCL, meniscus, AND a hamstring tear. Dobbins was able to return in 12 months, though dealt with stiffness in his knee and scar tissue that required a second surgery, though eventually returned to form nearly 14 months post-injury. I don’t expect this with Williams, considering these setbacks are fairly rare and likely related to how the individual heals. The main area of concern involves the posterolateral corner (PLC), which could lead to lateral movement deficits or difficulty in return of those movements (longer than your typical 8-9 month ACL return). In theory, Williams should be able to return within 10-11 months, which would give him a shot to be ready for week one of the 2023 season at nearly exactly 11 months from date of surgery.

He should be able to return well to form from this serious injury considering his skill set does not rely heavily on speed and elusiveness. He relies more on power, strength, and great contact balance, which shouldn’t be significantly impeded in his return to play. It would not surprise me to see Williams return to near full form by August, with elusiveness and lateral agility returning during the early portion of the season. He may start out slow, however, by mid-season, I would expect him to be full-go. The other variable also involves the fact that this season will mark Javonte Williams’ third head coach and third offensive coordinator in three seasons, so hopefully, he can survive the regimen change and scheme variance. At least general manager George Paton has remained constant throughout those three seasons since Williams was drafted. The other bright side is, as the Broncos have shipped off most of their high draft capital, they don’t have a clear path other than free agency (with cap limitations though) to replace Javonte Williams, so he’s likely to remain the main guy for a while.

Statistically, he was nearly on par with his 2021 season through 3.5 games, earning 2.84 yards created per touch, 19 evaded tackles in 69 overall touches, 4.4 yards per touch, 1.36 yards per route run, and a 17.5% target share, although his target share primarily came in game one with 12 targets. He only had one RB1 week, occurring in week one as the RB12, thanks to his 11 receptions. Otherwise, he finished as the RB25 and the RB33 in weeks two and three, a rough start to the season as Denver attempted to build an identity. It was an absolutely brutal start to the year for the team before they eventually fired Nathaniel Hackett. The hope is that Sean Payton can salvage Russell Wilson within this entire Broncos offense and hopefully lean on Williams as their stud RB1 once he is healthy enough. The question remains, at what cost…

In DLF startup ADP data, Williams slots in as the RB16, directly behind Tony Pollard (who is also now injured), Derrick Henry, and Rhamondre Stevenson, while being ahead of JK Dobbins, AJ Dillon, and Dameon Pierce. On KeepTradeCut, he slots in as the RB8, which might be closer to his actual price to acquire from a manager who is hoping not to lose on his/her investment. At that cost, I am either Holding or Selling him, as I do believe he can eventually return to full form given his skill set; however, RB8 is an astronomical price for the hype of a potential committee RB. We very well could see Williams’ in a JK Dobbins-like early season production and value dip, which could drop him into the late teens or early 20’s in price (at which point you should definitely Buy Low if possible). I don’t believe right now is the best time to Buy Javonte Williams, but be patient – the time will come.

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

Beyond the Mic🎙

Adam gives some strategy for moving off top 2023 picks.

The focus for a lot of sharp dynasty gamers is already shifting toward the 2023 class, and even more, casual dynasty gamers are shifting attention to the 2023 class now. Ray and JRich are currently at the Senior Bowl, getting a look at some of the prospects that are rising and falling in this draft class. The value of this 2023 class is only getting stronger, and that value will only increase up until the NFL Draft. With value guaranteed to increase, typically, I am in favor of holding 2023 rookie picks, especially in the first two rounds, as opposed to trading them today. For those of us who have leveraged a multitude of picks, I want to discuss some specifics where I am in favor of trading premium picks for players today.

Elite Quarterbacks.

When you think about how a startup will look in the 2023 season, the first round is currently all quarterbacks and the receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. You start to see the draft picks come off the board typically in round 2. Many believe that Bijan Robinson will be a first-round pick when it’s all said and done, and that very well could be the case. However, he is not going to pass Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, or Justin Fields (if he does, that is a mistake, in my opinion). If I can trade one of my early 2023 1st (1.01, 1.02, and 1.03 specifically) in a package to get into the aforementioned quarterbacks, this is a scenario I am pouncing on to utilize this built-up leverage to cash out now. To give you a recent example, I traded away the 1.02 and Breece Hall for Lamar Jackson and Brandon Aiyuk in a 12-team, start-nine-lineup league. While I will likely get my choice of quarterback in this 2023 class at 1.02, I will take the upgrade of Lamar Jackson over that quarterback, even when the cost is the exchange of Breece Hall for Brandon Aiyuk.

Jefferson or Chase.

The 2nd scenario where I will move some of this built-up leverage today would be if I am able to net one of these superstar wide receivers. These two are not only young and scoring high-end points in your lineup today, but they also have a built-in value retention that VERY few players in dynasty have. When Cooper Kupp got hurt, his value in dynasty crumbled due to his age. When Ja’Marr Chase got hurt this season and was set to miss multiple weeks during a crucial spot in the fantasy season, there was almost no value dip which meant there was not truly much of a buy window. I’m not 100% locked into moving the 1.01 for these two because I think that Bijan will likely net three firsts, and that is about what Chase and Jefferson also net. But starting at 1.02, I am absolutely in on this type of move.

Bestball Package

The final scenario only applies to bestball, so please do not make this type of move in lineup leagues. In a bestball league, I am willing to move off of one of these early 2023 1st round picks if I am able to net a return of 2-3 dynast assets in roughly the top 50 range that have age flexibility (depending on how far down the list they are). In shallow lineup leagues, an offer like Brandon Aiyuk, Michael Pittman, and George Pickens for the 1.01, I am definitely declining. That type of offer in a bestball league, is something that I would be more interested in. There is a chance you can net a package even better than the aforementioned return, so, in bestball leagues, go out and see what type of return those early 2023 firsts can net you back in a package.

@fantasygenes gives some early Super Bowl Prop leans

With the Super Bowl around the corner, it is never too early to get in on some bets before the books move the lines.  Here are a few early bets that I have placed:

  • Pat Mahomes O 24.5 completions on PP

    • Most sportsbooks have this number at 25.5

  • Quez Watkins U1.5 recs on Underdog, DK, Fanduel

    • Has hit both weeks in the playoffs.  Only one target in 2 games

    • Right now odds are to the under between  -133 to -155

  • Juan Thornhill U5.5 tackles + ast on PP

    • This is a number he has not gone over in the 2 playoff games

    • Right now odds are to the under between -130 to -145

 @EricVanekNFL wants you to keep buying the 2023 2nds and 3rds.

The Senior Bowl is here, as well as the Shrine Game, and we keep hearing a lot about these running backs that are performing right now.

Tyjae Spears, Eric Gray, Chris Rodriguez Jr, Kenny McIntosh, the list goes on and on right now. This is just making me want more and more 2nd, and 3rd RD rookie picks for 2023. 

This running back class coming in this year is deep and talented, and I just want to take as many shots as possible at these guys. So how do we do it? Auto-accept trade blocks are one way to do it, which I’ve highlighted here and talked about on the podcast with Scott Connor. I also highlighted trading multiple picks to move up a little bit if you know you can get in the high second range. I think the top of the 2nd RD in rookie drafts is going to be a good spot to pick up some really good players as well. 

Start identifying the parts of your roster that are replaceable. Start determining who is a “roster clogger” on your team and make some moves now if you can. Try and get a 2nd or 3rd thrown back in some deals because getting a lot of these RBs in this coming 2023 class, I think, is going to be key. 

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