For many fantasy football managers, the period immediately following the Super Bowl is a chance to relax, reflect, and disconnect from the rollercoaster which is a fantasy football season. For dynasty managers, there may be no busier time. In fact, some say there is no off-season. It is a mantra I have seen somewhere. I cannot quite put my finger on it.
For devy managers? Clear your schedule, because the work starts now. The devy community now has to juggle two signing days and a transfer portal which creates unceasing player movement. It is both fun and impossible to manage, yet we persevere. Below are the top devy talents in the land, contained within an infallible list that requires no criticism.
100. Chris Marshall, WR Ole Miss (2025 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE)
Profile: 2022 was supposed to be a coming-out party for Marshall. He was one of the most prized prospects within Texas A&M’s epically loaded recruiting class, checking in as a composite five-Star recruit with offers from all of college football’s heavy-hitters. Much like the Aggies season, things went off the rails fast.
Marshall hauled in 11 passes for 108 yards within a backwards offense before a “locker room incident” led to him being suspended indefinitely prior to hitting the transfer portal. Assuming this was a lapse in judgment and not an indictment of his character, Marshall has every opportunity to get his career back on track in Oxford. Marshall has an NFL frame as a teenager and uses it to bully defenders both before and after the catch. His raw athleticism is his calling card as he can run by you or through you with relative ease. The tools for stardom are there. We will learn early on if Lane Kiffin is the man to unlock the upside.
2023 Outlook: The Rebels lose their top two receivers in Jonathan Mingo and Malik Heath. There is a huge opportunity for a receiver to step up, especially given Ole Miss is now loaded with quarterback talent after adding transfers Spencer Sanders and Walker Howard in addition to incumbent starter Jaxson Dart. Marshall is the most gifted player in this receiver room. It would be of little surprise if he stepped right in and posted numbers like Mingo and Heath.
99. Squirrel White, WR TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2025 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE)
Profile: Buried on the depth chart for most of the year, White slowly worked his way to prominence and saved his best for last, hanging a 9-108-1 line on the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. He took advantage of the absence of both Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt and established himself as a big part of the offense moving forward.
White is an electric athlete who can embarrass defenders off the line of scrimmage. He has track speed and it translates, allowing him to make plays vertically and after the catch. It was an extremely impressive debut for White and he figures to be a bargain in devy drafts this off-season given the name-brand value has not caught up to the talent yet.
2023 Outlook: The Volunteers turn over a lot of talent at the wide receiver position. Breakout star Hyatt and the steady Tillman are both gone, opening the door for new leaders at receiver. Hyatt was Tennessee’s big play machine; White figures to assume his role given the dynamic athleticism he possesses.
98. Joe Milton, QB TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (2024 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE)
Profile: If you had a lab dedicated to building the prototype at quarterback, chances are you would produce something like Milton. He is 6’5” and 245 pounds. He has arm strength seldom seen. Few quarterbacks possess Milton’s raw tools; he simply has special natural talent.
Of course, there is a reason he is entering his sixth year on campus. Milton has struggled with consistency throughout his career at both Michigan and Tennessee, showcasing questionable accuracy and decision-making. The good news is he looked much improved in the Volunteers’ bowl game against Clemson. It is merely one game, but it showed all the good Milton has, and illustrated he has perhaps eliminated some of the bad. You are not investing much in him, but he has a valuable lottery ticket who may be able to thrive after several years of tutoring from Josh Heupel.
2023 Outlook: Milton’s performance in the Orange Bowl has placed him as the favorite to be the team’s starter in 2023. It is not, however, a lock. Nico Iamaleava is the future of the position in Knoxville and could be talented enough to push for reps early. Assuming Milton wins the job, he is well-positioned to put up big numbers in Josh Heupel’s quarterback-friendly offense.
97. Alton McCaskill, RB HOUSTON COUGARS (2024 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE)
Profile: After a fantastic true freshman season, McCaskill suffered a torn ACL in spring ball which wiped out his 2022 season. It was a terrible development for a back who was just starting to earn the respect his game deserves.
McCaskill in 2021 was as advertised. He is a lean-framed, tall runner who has a slashing running style and excellent long speed. He looked well on his way to becoming a star and had rounded out his game as well. Despite the lost season, there is still plenty of talent here and he should be ready to rock come the fall of 2023. It is enough to keep him on the radar despite strong depth at the running back position at the collegiate level.
2023 Outlook: No back stepped in to fill the void left by McCaskill. The Cougars settled on a committee, and it was quarterback Clayton Tune who led the team in rushing. McCaskill should be able to slide right back into his starter role, especially as he will be close to 18 months removed from the ACL tear.
96. Kaleb Johnson, RB IOWA HAWKEYES (2025 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE)
Profile: Johnson set an Iowa freshman rushing record in 2022, a feat made more impressive when you consider he was tethered to Brian Ferentz as his play caller. Johnson utilizes his upright running style to bring a no-nonsense approach to the position, patiently waiting for holes in the defense and finishing his runs with panache. He brings a physicality that is the hallmark of Iowa football, making him an ideal fit for this program.
Iowa has a well-reputed strength program which should aid Johnson in adding good bulk to his already filled-out frame. He could be a six-foot, 220-pound plus back when his college days are over. A big runner with wheels is always an enticing prospect and Johnson brings both factors in spades. His development will be one of the big stories in the Big Ten.
2023 Outlook: Johnson has already succeeded within an offense that was a total eyesore. The Hawkeyes are returning Brian Ferentz – because nepotism never fails – but transfer quarterback Cade McNamara should at least create some improvement on the offensive side of the ball. If he can get them to average, Johnson will have the opportunity to be one of the league’s most productive backs.
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