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.
70. Hendon Hooker, QB Tennessee Volunteers (2023 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: For the first time in ages, the Tennessee Volunteers may have tangible hope to cling to. A big reason for cautious optimism is Hooker and his development under Josh Heupel. The former Virginia Tech quarterback thrived in 2021, looking comfortable slinging the rock around Rocky Top to the tune of a 31-3 TD-INT ratio and 9.8 yards per attempt.
On the downside, Hooker will be 25 by the time his NFL career kicks off. Fortunately, quarterback is a position with longevity, and a strong 2022 will help give him strong draft capital. Hooker can fire it around the gridiron with NFL arm talent and he has made great strides with his accuracy since his Virginia Tech days. He is also a high-end runner, piling up exactly 620 yards in both his final season at Virginia Tech and his first season at Tennessee. It is tough to see Hooker cracking round one with his age and late breakout working against him, but he could be a day two selection who contributes right away to fantasy teams.
2022 Outlook: Hooker is locked in as Tennessee’s starter, and the offense should continue to thrive in year two of the Heupel Era. He is a strong bet to have another successful season as he joins what should be a much stronger quarterback crop in 2023.
69. Keagan Johnson, WR Iowa Hawkeyes (2024 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: The Iowa Hawkeyes have a well-earned reputation of being a machine when it comes to churning out NFL talent along the lines and at tight end. Recently, they have started to produce more talent at the skill positions and perhaps no player embodies this more than Johnson. Despite being a true freshman in 2021, he was a bully after the catch, routinely shaking defenders with his 6’1” frame which should carry well over 200 pounds in a few years.
Johnson is a smooth athlete who can change directions effortlessly and turn a sliver of daylight into a big play. His experience on both sides of the ball shows when he has the football; he is aggressive and physical, showing a flair for playmaking. He’s currently being far too undervalued, seldom drafted even in the deepest of leagues.
2022 Outlook: Iowa will never be confused for a passing juggernaut, but it shouldn’t stop Johnson from continuing to grow in 2022. He should crush his 18-352-2 line from his freshman season, especially with experienced quarterbacks Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla back under center.
68. Devin Leary, QB North Carolina State Wolfpack (2023 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: The North Carolina State Wolfpack quietly had a tremendous 2021 season and no player deserves more credit than Leary. He threw for 35 scores and 3,4332 yards, leading the team to nine wins in his junior season. After promising results early in his career, he took the next step to establish himself as a legitimate NFL prospect.
Leary throws a beautiful football and seldom wastes time in the pocket; he is a decisive passer who goes through his reads quickly. He is athletic enough to make plays out of structure and can make some big-time NFL throws despite having a relatively average arm. He is a bit on the small side at 6’1” and 212 pounds, and he will never be the most physically impressive prospect on the football field. He does, however, check a lot of boxes as far as traits are concerned. The NFL could view him as a high-floor passer with starting potential.
2022 Outlook: The Wolfpack have a strong roster heading into 2022 and it will be Leary who stars on offense once again. This team could flirt with the top 10 throughout the season, elevating the draft profile of all their players. Expect to see Leary gain more draft buzz once we hit the fall.
67. Ainias Smith, WR Texas A&M Aggies (2023 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: One of the nation’s most versatile offensive weapons, Smith has played both running back and receiver during his career at Texas A&M and his skillset is one that indicates he can serve in a similar role at the NFL level. He is electric in tight spaces, leaving defenders looking foolish as they grasp at shadows. It helps him dominate after the catch and do serious work in the intermediate game.
Smith has uncapped upside as a downfield weapon. Jimbo Fisher has yet to truly unlock the Aggies’ passing game and it has hindered passing game prospects in their development. If Smith can add more complexity to his route tree, he could really appeal to teams as a day two playmaker.
2022 Outlook: Texas A&M is loaded with freshman receivers, though it should impact a proven talent like Smith. The Aggies’ biggest question mark is under center, where Haynes King returns from injury to compete with transfer Max Johnson and ballyhooed freshman Conner Weigman. The winner of the competition should be an upgrade from Zach Calzada, affording Smith the opportunity to thrive as a senior.
66. Trevion Cooley, RB Louisville Cardinals (2023 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: Quietly productive as a true freshman, Cooley’s devy stock is soaring as more people are becoming aware of Louisville’s ascending star. The compact runner piled up 431 yards on the ground in 2021 and added 173 via the air, showcasing a rugged running style with a flair for the big play. Cooley’s running instincts are the hallmark of his game, as he seldom misses a read and combines an excellent combination of patience and decisiveness.
At 5’10” and 200 pounds, Cooley has a workhorse build and could easily weigh in at 210 to 215 at the conclusion of his collegiate career. A savvy runner who demonstrated receiving chops as a true freshman, his arrow is pointing straight upwards. Still a lesser-known name despite off-season buzz, he is an excellent value in devy drafts.
2022 Outlook: The Cardinals brought in a talented transfer in Tiyon Evans, creating a murky depth chart and pumping the brakes on the Trevion Cooley breakout. Cooley will still be heavily involved as he operates as part of the committee. Without injury, however, we are unlikely to see him work his way to 200 touches and have a true breakout season.
- The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 5-1 - August 12, 2022
- The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 10-6 - August 9, 2022
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: New York Jets - July 30, 2022