Fantasy Football: Mailbag Questions - Can Wan’Dale Robinson of Kentucky get day two draft capital?

Answering all of your questions related to the NFL Draft, or fantasy football? Get them in each week.
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Get your fantasy football questions in each week!

Now that the college season is underway, every week will feature a mailbag article where readers can ask their devy questions. Send a tweet to @skipnewton31 to add your question to a future article!

Can Wan’Dale Robinson of Kentucky get day two draft capital? - Footsteps Falco (@FabFalco)

More and more wide receivers under six feet tall are drawing the attending of NFL scouts and general managers. Ainias Smith, Zay Flowers, and Jahan Dotson headline the list of 2022 draft-eligible pass-catchers expecting to hear their name called on day one or two of the NFL Draft. Robinson is making a solid case to add his name to that list.

In his first two seasons with Nebraska, the four-star prospect was a dynamic play-maker as a runner and receiver. Robinson finished with more than 700 scrimmage yards in both seasons, but he only averaged 6.2 and 7.2 yards per play. The lack of big plays was surprisingly low given how dangerous Robinson is with the ball in his hands. After transferring to Kentucky for the 2021 season, Robinson looks more explosive than ever.

The former Cornhusker has been dominant and explosive in his first three games with the Wildcats. Robinson has eclipsed 100 yards receiving in every game, averaging a game-breaking 18.7 yards per catch. He’s also run the ball three times for 73 yards. Robinson has scored two touchdowns and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He will be a lock for day two draft capital if he continues this production against SEC competition.

Fantasy players need to keep an eye on Robinson for the rest of the season. He is 5’11, 185-pounds, which is enough size to be successful at the next level. Devy managers should look to acquire him now. His value increases with every 100-yard game and will soar if he stays hot. When you add production to a dynamic athletic profile, Robinson has a chance to skyrocket up draft boards between now and April.

Where do you have Zach Evans ranked? Can he find himself in the discussion as a top-three back in the 2023 class? - Kevin (@DaBoys_22)

The only thing stopping Texas Christian University sophomore Zach Evans is Zach Evans. The five-star prospect has as much talent as anybody in the 2023 draft class. He has break-away speed and can make people miss. Despite being 5’11, 195-pounds, he runs strong and displays excellent balance through contact. Evans appears to glide with smooth strides and utilizes jump cuts to avoid tacklers. The talent is not the issue with Zach Evans.

The concern is some of the off-field reports. Evans did not start the 2021 season-opener due to breaking team rules. He played sparingly, finishing with five rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown in that game. Evans returned as the primary ball-carrier in the Horned Frogs’ second game and was dominant. The second-year player ran the ball 22 times for 190 times and a touchdown while catching one pass for 14 yards.

In varying order, most devy analysts have the same three running backs at the top of the 2023 draft class. Texas’ Bijan Robinson, Georgia Tech’s Jahmyr Gibbs, and Tank Bigsby from Auburn look like future NFL stars. If Evans can continue to make news for his performance on the field, he has the talent to vault into the top three of his class. All he needs to do is continue to run for dominating performances, and people will forget the minor transgressions off the field as long as they stay in the past. Devy managers in need of a future running back might want to trade for Evans now before his production makes him a guaranteed stud.

How do you value devy players compared to NFL players when trading? - Matthew Jackson (@DevyMatt)

Trading devy players is one the most challenging aspects of playing in a devy league. What is a good college prospect worth compared to a player already playing in the NFL? There are a few steps devy managers should go through to determine player value.

Most devy managers have played in non-devy dynasty leagues, so they are familiar with rookie drafts. Dynasty managers usually have a good idea of what a player is worth in terms of a rookie draft pick or picks, giving them the experience they can leverage in their devy leagues.

The first step is to utilize mock drafts to see which prospects are likely first and second-round picks. Then managers should perform mock rookie drafts to determine where devy prospects are likely to fall based on the draft capital from the mock draft. This exercise helps determine the value of the devy player. The last step is to determine the value of the NFL player in terms of rookie draft picks.

For example, a manager makes a trade offer of Breece Hall and Spencer Rattler for Kyler Murray in a Superflex league. The team that has Murray should have a good idea of what he is worth in a dynasty league and can use that experience to evaluate this trade. Breece Hall should be a late first or second-round pick in the 2022 draft, while Rattler will likely go in the top ten picks. That would make both a first-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts. Would managers trade Murray for two first-round picks in a dynasty league? The answer is no. The offer is not even close.

The final thing to remember when evaluating the value of a devy prospect is that no matter how good the player is, he is still a prospect. There are several reasons why college players fail in the NFL. The player could be a bust, get injured, or there could be off-field issues. The further a prospect is from playing in the NFL, the more obstacles there are for that player to provide your fantasy team with points. There are many players whose top value for a roster is when they’re still in college. A good player in the NFL is more valuable than a good player in college unless the NFL player is getting too old. Devy managers need to remember that when making trades or risk having a team too young to compete.

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