Devy Fantasy Football is an exploding trend; appealing to diehard fantasy football players, college football fanatics and anyone looking for a new way to challenge themselves, while engaging in fun leagues. This is meant to be an introduction for players who are new to devy fantasy football and want to learn more about how they can get involved with one of the hottest and exciting trends in fantasy sports.
What is Devy Fantasy Football?
Devy is a combination of traditional NFL fantasy football leagues and college football. In these leagues,’ managers roster college football players, in addition to their NFL players. Like dynasty fantasy football leagues, after each season the managers retain all their NFL players. Unlike those leagues, in devy leagues, you also retain your college football players. Once a college football player gets drafted into the NFL, they are promoted to an NFL player on the roster of the manager that already has them.
College Football Player Placeholders
In traditional devy leagues, the college football players do not score points for the manager’s fantasy football team. Instead, these players act as placeholders.
The amount of college football player placeholders varies widely based on the league. In beginner-friendly leagues, a cap of 3-5 college football placeholders per roster can make learning the game easier. In more advanced devy leagues there may be an unlimited number of college football player placeholders in the league. Leagues also may not require that rosters have a particular number of college football player placeholders, instead allowing managers to have more flexibility over their strategy.
In most leagues, the college football player pool includes all active college football players, beginning with incoming freshmen who have committed to a college football program. Unless it is a multi-copy league, each college football player can only be a placeholder on one roster in the league.
College football player placeholders are what is more commonly referred to as “devy players”. They are the developmental players ready to be added to your roster once they turn pro. For the remainder of this article, they will be referred to with the term “devy player”
Adding Devy Players to Fantasy Football Rosters
Traditionally, there are two times when a devy player can be added to a manager’s fantasy football roster.
The first is during the initial creation of the fantasy football league. The league will hold a one-time “start-up devy draft” where all college football players are eligible to be drafted. The league rules surrounding how many players may be added to each roster must be set in stone to properly perform this draft. Some leagues may forgo a separate start-up draft just for devy players and instead hold a start-up draft where you can select the devy players from the same player pool, as you select your NFL players. Another option is for leagues to allow managers to draft devy draft picks in the same player pool as NFL players. The league would then hold a separate devy draft with the order determined by the picks selected in the initial start-up draft.
The other opportunity to add devy players to your roster is during an annual devy draft. This annual event takes place during a league’s offseason (usually April-June) and is very similar to a rookie draft in a dynasty fantasy football league; players will take turns making devy selections to add as placeholders to their roster.
The eligible player pool for a devy draft is any college football player that is not already on another manager’s roster, including the new class of incoming freshmen. In most leagues, the draft order is determined by reverse standings of the prior year. Devy draft picks can usually be traded in the same way as rookie draft picks in dynasty leagues. It is important to be intentional about the number of rounds in the annual devy draft; the more rounds conducted each year the weaker the overall pool of players will be in subsequent years.
Devy leagues may also have a rookie draft. During a rookie draft manager select from a pool of any college football player that is not already on another manager’s roster. In these leagues the rookie draft is usually limited to no more than two rounds, to keep the devy draft pool as strong as possible. Rookie drafts usually occur before a devy draft. If a league has both a rookie draft and a devy draft you may hear the devy draft referred to as a “depleted” devy draft because the pool has been reduced.
It is not common for devy fantasy football players to be added through waiver wire bids at any point in the regular season or offseason. It is common for managers to be able to trade devy players during the regular season and offseason.
Starting and Managing Devy Fantasy Football League
Devy fantasy football leagues are easy to start and be the commissioner for. Creating a system for placeholders and managing an additional offseason draft are the only major additional responsibilities, compared to a dynasty fantasy football league. Commissioners have two choices when deciding where they want to play devy fantasy football.
The first is to use a website that allows for placeholders to be added to rosters. In this case, commissioners can either add placeholders, by anticipating the players most likely to be drafted, to the league site before running a draft on the league site or can run the draft off-site (using google sheets or a live draft board) and then create placeholders on the site and add them manually to individual rosters following the draft.
The second option is to use a website that does not allow for placeholder picks. In this case, the commissioner must create a shareable document, such as google sheets, where they can hold the league’s devy draft and track the devy fantasy football players on everyone’s roster. In this case, devy players involved in trades should be made public during trades either through notes attached to a trade or a league-wide announcement upon completion of the transaction.
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