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The Devy Weekly: Week 17

A weekly look at Devy Dynasty players, broken down by draft eligibility and position.  This week, we look at the Top 10 devy players without regard to draft class.

There is a growing movement in the Dynasty community toward “devy” players.  The term “devy” refers to developmental players carried on the dynasty league rosters.  These devy players are usually college players but can even be high school athletes.  During each week of the season, we will look at a different set of devy rankings. 

We began the season looking at the potential 2017 NFL Draft class, beginning with the quarterbacks. All positions in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 draft classes were addressed this season. For the last three weeks, we took a look at overall devy rankings without any regard for draft class.  We value the players entering the 2017 NFL Draft higher than future classes just due to the added risk associated with projecting into the future. 

As we survey devy prospects, we will be looking at traits, abilities, and skill sets that will translate to the NFL.  This week, we will look at the Top 10 devy players without regard to draft class.

10. Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) – The versatile back is so good that most evaluators are searching for comparable players.  For us, the 6’0”, 200-pound back will likely be relegated to passing-down specialty and sub-package player.  McCaffrey does run a 4.48 40-yard dash and is quick.  We also admire the way he runs hard, even in the middle of the field.  But, it is our belief that he is too light in weight to touch the ball more than 200 times in an NFL season.  Going for him is age.  McCaffrey is just 20 years old and will not have a birthday until after the NFL Draft, assuming he declares. Versatility and play-making ability on special teams may help move McCaffrey up to the first-round territory. His fit in the right offense could still put up viable fantasy numbers, but we doubt there is huge fantasy upside unless in leagues rewarding return yardage.  McCaffrey posted monster numbers down the stretch.  He finished the 2016 season with 1,603 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on just 253 carries.  McCaffrey added another 310 yards and 3 scores through the air.  The Junior has an amazing two-year total of 3,622 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground, plus another 955 yards and 8 scores through the air. 

9. N'keal Harry (Arizona State) – Harry is a big receiver (6’3”, 210 pounds) who has made a big impact early in his college career.  In the loss to Utah last month, the true Freshman had his best game of the season, hauling in 8 passes for 114 yards.  For the season, Harry caught 58 passes for 659 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Sadly, the Sun Devils lost six consecutive games to close out the season, and are not in contention for a bowl game.  In high school, Harry grabbed 119 passes for 2,715 yards and 25 touchdowns.  Rivals ranked Harry as the top wide receiver and the 18th best prospect in the country.  His stellar pedigree and quality play as a Freshman vault Harry to the top of our list of players available for the 2019 NFL Draft.  He has an exciting future.

8. Calvin Ridley (Alabama) – Ridley enjoyed an impressive Freshman season.  The 6'0”, 180-pounder easily seized the WR1 duties for the Crimson Tide in 2015.  We expect Ridley to continue to add bulk to his slight frame.  He is a dangerous receiver down the field and with the ball in his hands.  But, Ridley has impressed most with his ability to win contested passes.  He has an incredible ability to high-point the ball and aggressively attack it.  This is a trait which will translate well in the NFL.  For those who track the age of the incoming rookies, Ridley is one year older than most of the other Sophomore receivers, and two years older than one or two top pass catchers in his draft class.  He turned 22 years of age this past week (December 20).  He still is a great prospect, nonetheless.  After catching 89 passes for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns as a Freshman in the Alabama offense, Ridley had another great season in 2016.  In the victory over Kentucky earlier in the year, Ridley caught 11 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.  It was an impressive showing.  The stable of tailbacks and an athletic quarterback have been awesome for the Crimson Tide.  There is reason Alabama has thrown less this season.  A nagging knee injury and the run-oriented offense have limited the pass targets, but Ridley has still been strong.  He has hauled in 66 passes for 727 yards and 7 touchdowns this year. 

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