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The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 100-96

Rob Willette kicks off this year’s Devy 100!

Brian Thomas

The fantasy football off-season is a long and arduous journey for many. You battle through the final weeks of winter with a forced smile and a warm, potentially spiked beverage. Yet for many in the fantasy football community, the off-season is a busy time in which you’re recalibrating rosters and forecasting the future.

Devy is one such area this occurs. Devy owners are constantly seeking the next fantasy star, often discovering them during a review of the previous season. The Devy 100 is intended to forecast those next stars and identify which talent is worth investing in. For the first time, these are in a superflex format due to this becoming the default at DLF.

100. Jaylan Knighton, RB Miami Hurricanes (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: An explosive athlete with a north-south running style, Knighton has been limited by a suspension and the general inconsistencies of the Hurricane offense. A talent like Knighton should not hover around four yards per tote in each of his first two seasons, and while he has to shoulder some of the blame, the hope is a revamped coaching staff and commitment to the football program helps him reach his potential.

The good news with Knighton is he has shown plus receiving skills over his first two seasons. He has caught 31 passes in the timeframe, showcasing soft hands and the ability to terrorize defenders in the open field. If he can showcase improved interior running skills within the new offense, his stock could soar.

2022 Outlook: New coaching staffs always put incumbents on notice. Mario Cristobal and company brought in transfer running back Tiyon Evans, though on the plus side Cristobal did offer Knighton while he was at Oregon. The new staff should still lean on its best returning weapons, and Knighton counts among them as a gifted playmaker.

99. Raleek Brown, RB USC Trojans (2025 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: The hiring of Lincoln Riley at USC had a massive ripple effect across college football. One of the first dominoes to fall was the flipping of Brown, who reneged on his Oklahoma commitment to join Riley in Los Angeles.

Brown immediately becomes a centerpiece of the Trojan rebuild, a dynamic playmaker who can score from anywhere on the field and offers immense upside as a pass-catcher out of the backfield or from the slot. If he can add on to his 185-pound frame without losing his explosive athleticism, he can mature into a blue-chip prospect.

2022 Outlook: Riley brings an entire new offense with him to LA. Gone is Keaontay Ingram, the team’s leading rusher in 2021. Riley brought in transfers Travis Dye and Austin Jones, poaching them from conference rivals. Dye is the most accomplished back and figures to lead this backfield, but Brown’s talent and versatility should allow him to make an impact as a true freshman.

98. DJ Uiagalelei, QB Clemson Tigers (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: With an explosive two-game cameo in place of the Covid-stricken Trevor Lawrence in 2020 combined with a seductive skill set, it was wheels-up for Uiagalelei in 2021. Clemson had been a well-oiled machine churning out high-end NFL talent. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, just about everything. Uiagalelei did not merely underwhelm; he was genuinely bad. He tossed nine touchdowns against ten interceptions while completing a mere 55.6% passes for 6.0 yards per attempt. There are few positives to glean from his first full season as a starter. DJU is still a large man with incredible arm talent and plus athleticism. It is the tools that are keeping him on the list, as the on-field performance has been subpar.

2022 Outlook: Uiagalelei is the favorite to assume the role of starter in 2022, though it is not nearly guaranteed. Clemson welcomes five-star Cade Klubnik and there is no reason for Dabo Swinney to give his veteran quarterback a long leash as he simply has not earned it. If Uiagalelei loses his job at any point, it could lead to an eventual transfer as he falls completely off the devy radar.

97. EJ Williams, WR Clemson Tigers (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: After a promising freshman season, Williams’ sophomore campaign was all but wiped away due to injury. A thumb injury, a knee injury, and a bout with Covid all conspired to force Williams to miss a ton of time. When he is right physically, Williams is a tall, lean receiver who can chew up ground to get on defenders in a hurry and make acrobatic plays downfield. He is an ideal out-of-sight, out-of-mind add for devy managers.

2022 Outlook: Clemson’s passing offense as a whole is a big question. The aforementioned Uiagalelei needs to show considerable improvement if we are going to give these receivers their usual respect. The Tigers lose Justyn Ross to the NFL and Frank Ladson to the transfer portal, but return established players in Joe Ngata, Dacari Collins, and Beaux Collins. Williams has work to do if he is going to regain his promising career arc.

96. Brian Thomas, WR LSU Tigers (2024 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: For all the turmoil surrounding LSU in 2021, they had a lot of young receivers make an impact. Perhaps none more than Thomas, a big and physical receiver who plays up to his size. He’ll expertly climb the ladder to high point, routinely treating defenders draped over him as though they’re merely a gnat to be swatted away.

With a basketball background, elite height, and excellent hands at the catch point, it is easy to dream of a Tee Higgins type of upside for Thomas as he matures into the next great LSU receiver.

2022 Outlook: Thomas has a unique skill set that should earn him targets, but he is listed as a backup at the ‘X’ receiver slot behind Kayshon Boutte. You’re not stealing looks from one of the nation’s elite receivers. LSU would be wise to move Thomas around the formation to create mismatches. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Brian Kelly handles this offense.

The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 100-96
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