For many fantasy football managers, the period 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.
45. Tetairoa McMillan, WR Arizona (2025 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: A huge add as part of Jedd Fisch’s rebuild in the desert, McMillan stepped right into the Wildcat offense to become a premier playmaker. McMillan’s volleyball and basketball background shine through when he is on the gridiron, as he plays above the rim and uses his 6’5” frame as a weapon. His skills were on display all fall as he stepped right into the lineup to post a 39-702-8 line.
McMillan uses his long strides to get vertical and is surprisingly agile after the catch for such a tall, sinewy receiver. After weighing in at around 185 pounds as a freshman, he is up to 205 this spring. he profiles as a jumbo receiver who can win vertically and in the jump ball game, with juice after the catch which offers him value in the intermediate game. He checks all the boxes of a potential star.
2023 Outlook: Despite years in the abyss, the Wildcats return an extremely exciting offense. Quarterback Jayden de Laura is back after throwing for 3,685 yards in 2022, offering stability for Arizona’s receiver group which includes Jacob Cowing and McMillan. After losing top receiver Dorian Singer, even more opportunity is afforded to McMillan within an offense that has a fairly concentrated target tree.
44. Bucky Irving, RB Oregon Ducks (2024 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: A transfer add from my Golden Gophers, Irving exploded in his first season with the Ducks. Irving ran for 1,058 yards and added 31 receptions for 299 yards. It was a star turn for Irving after he turned in a promising freshman season at Minnesota.
His slashing style was a natural fit for Oregon’s new-look offense. Despite his frame currently sitting at just under 200 pounds, Irving runs with power and has a unique toughness in traffic. Add in soft hands and above-average receiving chops, and you have a strong all-around runner whose best football may still be ahead of him.
2023 Outlook: Irving is one of the Ducks’ most important players and it will continue in 2023. Despite starring in 2022, he only touched the football 187 times, a relatively modest number for a college lead back. He will continue to split work with Noah Whittington but should surge past 200 touches for his best year yet.
43. Jalen McMillan, WR Washington Huskies (2024 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: What a difference a year makes. The Huskies had quickly become a moribund program under Jimmy Lake, a stark contrast from the golden years of the Chris Petersen Era. Enter Kalen DeBoer, a respected offensive mind who quickly turned several Washington players into stars, including receiver McMillan.
McMillan’s calling card is his athleticism. He moves effortlessly, demonstrating an ability to change directions naturally while having the juice to get vertical in a heartbeat. He is a natural catcher who displays toughness over the middle despite a light frame (one which could use another year in the weight room). If McMillan can add good weight while maintaining his overall athleticism, he could become a factor on day two in 2024.
2023 Outlook: The Huskies have pretty much run it back on offense, returning star quarterback Michael Penix along with starting receivers McMillan, Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk. It is a loaded group, though this offense is prolific enough to get everyone involved heavily. Odunze led the team in receiving in 2022 (1,145 yards to McMillan’s 1,098) and both are going to battle to pace this team in 2023.
42. Adam Randall, WR Clemson (2025 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: A torn ACL put a damper on Randall’s freshman season. A quick recovery, however, allowed him to make his mark before the year was out. He collected ten receptions for 128 yards, saving his best for last with a three-catch, 44-yard performance in the Orange Bowl against Tennessee.
Randall is already a rocked-up 6’3” and 230 pounds, and his advanced physical development shows every time he touches the football. Randall is a bowling ball when he gets moving and can terrorize defenses after the catch by simply overpowering defensive backs. He is not electric off the line of scrimmage, but he has excellent top-end speed which enables him to make plays at every level of the field. A notoriously hard worker – as can be seen by his quick return from a serious injury – Randall figures to be a physical marvel by the time he is draft-eligible. If he can carve out a big role in the Clemson offense, the ceiling – as Michael Jordan would say – is the roof.
2023 Outlook: The Tigers have a gifted if unsettled depth chart at receiver. Beaux Collins has had big moments though has never had an extended stretch of elite play. Antonio Williams looked very good as a freshman, though has a distinct role that should not overlap with Randall’s. There is every opportunity for Randall to become the top dog in this passing game. He has the best toolkit at the very least.
41. Kaytron Allen, RB Penn State (2025 Draft-Eligible)
Profile: We all expected Nicholas Singleton to take the Big Ten by storm. What was unexpected was the freshman year breakout from Kaytron Allen, the far less ballyhooed of the two Nittany Lion freshman backs. Allen toted the rock 167 times for 867 yards and ten scores, chipping in additional 20 receptions for 188 yards. It was a remarkable campaign for the Virginia native.
In retrospect, an early impact should not have been much of a surprise. Allen was pushing 215 pounds entering the fall and has legs that never quit on a play. His ability to accelerate through the hole and finish runs with panache gives him excellent two-down ability and he demonstrated excellent pass-catching skills as a true freshman, a relatively rare feat. Allen has a strong build and is a well-rounded runner. While Singleton has more juice, it would be unfair to paint Allen as a mere thunder type of complement back. He is well-equipped to lead a backfield and his competitive style endears him to coaching staffs.
2023 Outlook: Little should change in the Penn State backfield. Singleton is the more explosive back, though they will lean on both runners heavily as they make a change at quarterback to the talented yet inexperienced Drew Allar. Allen actually led the Nittany Lions in touches last year and this backfield should be a fairly even 50/50 split.
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