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The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 50-46

We cover more rising stars in college football and their prospects for 2023 and beyond.

Zach Charbonnet

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.

50. Devin Neal, RB Kansas Jayhawks (2024 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: Rarely do the Jayhawks land top talent – even local talent like Neal – but the tide may be slowly changing with underrated head coach Lance Leipold at the controls. A product of Lawrence, Neal was ready to handle a heavy workload right out of high school thanks to his sturdy, 5’11”, 208-pound frame. It helped him rumble for 707 rushing yards as a true freshman, including a breakout performance in Kansas’ stunning upset of Texas.

Neal’s build and his play strength allow him to work for tough yards while still possessing the burst to hit big plays in the open field. While the opportunities in year one were limited, he’s demonstrated soft hands and natural pass-catching ability. Seldom do we pay much attention to the Kansas football program, but between Neal and their newest transfer class, we may start to see talent matriculate to the NFL level.

2022 Outlook:  After establishing himself as the lead back in year one, Neal’s role should only continue to grow. The only hurdle is the addition of talented Minnesota transfer Ky Thomas, who should work his way into somewhat of a backfield split. However, Neal is the most gifted runner in this backfield and has the skills to surpass 200 touches. A strong campaign is on deck for 2022.

49. Tyler Van Dyke, QB Miami Hurricanes (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: Van Dyke awakened a perennially sleepy Hurricane offense over the second half of 2021, posting monster boxscores as he went from national afterthought to serious player in the 2023 draft class. The burly pocket passer is willing to chuck the football all over, utilizing his plus arm strength to challenge the defense and give his receivers a chance to make a play.

While not one to hit another gear once he gets out of the pocket, Van Dyke has functional mobility, navigating the pocket as he surveys the field. Overall, however, he is not going to be piling up many fantasy points with his feet. It is the major drawback for an otherwise promising prospect.

2022 Outlook: Mario Cristobal is by most measures a quality head coach, yet he put restrictor plates on Justin Herbert at Oregon. We have to hope he doesn’t shackle Van Dyke. With a strong 2022, he could enter the early round mix in 2023, though he has plenty of time to continue his development in Coral Gables if needed.

48. JoJo Earle, WR Alabama Crimson Tide (2024 Draft-Eligible)

Profile: A perfect encapsulation of the phrase “he can score from anywhere on the field”, Earle is a big play waiting to happen. He has legitimate, verified track speed and incredible suddenness in tight space. His explosive traits also aid him as a pure receiver, as he leaves defenders helpless off the line of scrimmage due to their inability to get him in their grasp.

Earle had limited reps as a freshman, posting a modest 12 receptions for 148 yards, failing to find the end zone. It was a touch disappointing given his skillset can demand manufactured touches, though of course the Tide were comfortable funneling a high number of looks to Jameson Williams and John Metchie. The Tide have a pair of explosive, smaller receivers in Earle and the previously discussed Christian Leary. It will be fascinating to see if one or both reach their ceiling.

2022 Outlook: Though Williams and Metchie move on, the Tide brought in Jermaine Burton to be their top target and Tyler Harrell to be a field-stretcher. Nick Saban is going to make his young receivers earn their playing time. Fortunately for Earle, his role does not overlap with Burton or Harrell, giving him a grand opportunity to thrive in 2022.

47. Miyan Williams, RB Ohio State Buckeyes (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile:  A compact and explosive runner, Williams is quietly one of the conference’s best runners without being the best back on his own team. When he gets the opportunity, he excels at ripping off chunk plays, hitting the hold decisively and punishing defenders who meet him at the point of attack. At 5’8”, 227, few are going to match him pound for pound.

Three-star recruits seldom gain traction at a place like Ohio State, yet Williams proved early he was overlooked on the recruiting trail. He has the frame and skillset to be a true bellow and only TreVeyon Henderson is preventing him from touching the ball 200 times. Even without a ton of exposure, Williams is an intriguing prospect.

2022 Outlook:  The aforementioned Henderson is the king of this backfield. He is simply a special talent. Williams, however, is the clear backup. He will spell Henderson and would take over as the clear lead back if an injury hit. At the very least, Williams should flirt with 100 touches as an offensive piece on what should be a dominant team.

46. Zach Charbonnet, RB UCLA Bruins (2023 Draft-Eligible)

Profile:  Rejuvenated out west after a two-year stop in Ann Arbor, Charbonnet quickly became the focal point of the UCLA offense. At 6’1” and 220 pounds with light feet and soft hands, he was built to be a feature back. Chip Kelly gave him the opportunity, feeding him 20 carries or more in six contests and leaning on him when the Bruins needed tough yards. Charbonnet runs with the toughness you want to see from a big back, routinely eschewing arm tackles as he gets to the second level.

It is fair to wonder why he returned for his senior season. Was there an unfavorable outlook from the NFL, or did he simply have unfinished business? It is unlikely we ever know for sure. We do know Charbonnet is a well-rounded runner with an NFL-ready frame. Those two factors make him a name to know in the 2023 running back mix.

2022 Outlook:  UCLA’s offense should benefit from solid continuity in 2022. Dorian Thompson-Robinson returns under center and Chip Kelly’s system has been in place for quite some time now. Charbonnet should breeze past his career high of 226 touches as he attempts to set himself apart from a deep mix of backs who figure to be drafted in 2023.

The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 50-46
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