The 2022 draft is right around the corner. But devy never sleeps – and which prospects from future classes are causing a conundrum?
Spencer Rattler – Quarterback, South Carolina
If you had drafted Spencer Rattler in your Devy leagues from 2019 to the start of the 2021 season, you’d feel good about your investment. We all expected Spencer Rattler to be at the top of 2022 draft boards. From the bookmakers favorite to take the 2021 Heisman trophy, to being benched in week 6 against Texas.
His fantasy stock has taken a hit since then. Rattler had the talent around him at Oklahoma, but inconsistency was a regular occurrence. Week 1 against Tulane was an example of the regular mistakes Rattler made over the first 6 games. Rattler became erratic with his throws, trying to fit passes into windows that weren’t open. Regularly holding onto the ball too long and forcing the ball down field.
The massive bump in the road sees him stay in school, but not as a Sooner. Instead, Rattler hit the transfer portal and in early December South Carolina was the team he decided to head to. The Gamecocks have brought in a target Rattler knows well, in talented TE Austin Stogner. The offence stuttered when in scoring positions last season. Quarterback play was cited as being the main reason, so Rattler will be expected to improve that area.
Risking it for Rattler
The general feeling is if you can pick up Rattler for a 2nd round 2022 devy pick, I’d be tempted to take that trade. Rattler’s stock can’t get much lower than it is right now. Because, there is a player in there and if he can clean the on field problems up and maybe his off field attitude, he’s worth more than the above. It’s a big if and therefore wouldn’t advise that move if you were rebuilding your team. If you are a play-off team, with no immediate big rebuild over the next couple of seasons, it’s a chance worth taking in my eyes. If you already hold shares in Rattler, sit tight. You don’t want to get back a small amount and he turns it around in 2022. If somebody is willing to give you a 1st round 2022 devy pick then that would be different.
Heading into the 2022 season, Rattler is a hard sell or buy decision. Whichever way you decide to go, you might get burnt. If you do want to take a stab and trade for him, make sure the risk isn’t too high with what you are giving up. Managers who have Rattler shares may be more willing to let him go, with him being very up and down over the last two seasons.
DJ Uiagalelei – Quarterback, Clemson
After Trevor Lawrence left for the NFL in 2021, DJ Uiagalelei was slated to be the next man up for Clemson at QB. A 5 star prospect out of California, DJ showed his ability with his two starts in 2020. 2021 looked to be the year he put his best foot forward, alongside Bryce Young and CJ Stroud.
Although drafted early in the 1st round of most devy leagues, it’s been a tough year for the Quarterback. The Clemson offence struggled for most of the season. With inexperienced players in key positions, the pressure took its toll on Uiagalelei. The offensive line group had just one guy (LT James McFadden) who managed an above 80 PFF grade. Problems came from the inside, with all 3 interior lineman hitting a 69.0 or lower PFF score. If they can’t get the offensive line right, it could be another tough season for Uiagalelei again.
Elsewhere, Clemson lost receiver Justyn Ross to the draft, but they still have the talent around the unit. That talent includes 4 star freshmen receivers Antonio Williams and Adam Randall. Uiagalelei just needs to be protected better by his lineman. There is a chance these 2nd and 3rd year guys on the line will take a step forward.
Down on DJ
Where does that leave you with Uiagalelei if you have him on your devy roster? More than likely you picked him up in early round 1. In devy start-ups today, he’s not even getting picked up in 3 rounds.
So with the fall from grace, what do you do with his stock? Exactly the same as Rattler, sit tight. You aren’t going to get much for him at this stage. Uiagalelei might see a jump in productivity in his junior year. However, you won’t be much worse off if you keep hold of him for another season. If you try to pick him up for a decent price, then it might be difficult. Managers could be unwilling to take a hit on what they paid for him. Especially when it wasn’t all on him last season.
If you can pick him for a 2022 second round devy pick or less, proceed. However, look at what position the holder of DJ is weak at and use that to your advantage.
As a result, it is going to be hard to get a favorable deal done to acquire Uiagalelei. Owners won’t want to throw in the towel this early. He’s at a different stage of his college career compared to Rattler. Where the latter will have people feeling his fantasy stock is spiraling downwards fast. Uiagalelei still has some potential to turn it around. If you can make a trade without weakening your team too much, get it done.
Eric Gray – Running Back, Oklahoma
When Eric Gray transferred to Oklahoma from Tennessee at the start of 2021, devy players were excited. Around a late 2nd to early 3rd round pick, he was underused by then HC Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. Gray managed 412 yards from 78 carries, but lost most of the work to Kennedy Brooks.
However, now Brooks has departed, will Gray see more production? It’s a possibility, but it’s not guaranteed. The Sooners have two 4 star freshmen committed to them this year and Marcus Major, a once 4 star 2019 commit. What’s the best move regarding Eric Gray?
50 Fades of Gray
Gray is a “hold” right now because, if things work out, there is every chance he is likely to break out in 2022. If he becomes the lead back in Oklahoma, then his stock might rise. I think the most you will get for Gray is a 2022 3rd round devy pick at best, or a deep roster player from your NFL team. With a breakout 2022, you would be in a better place to trade or just keep hold of him if he enters the draft. However, you shouldn’t be trying to acquire him on your rosters right now. I would much rather use my 3rd round devy pick on one of these incoming 2023 freshman.
Gray might break out this season. Even then I don’t see him as a player that will get managers excited about top production in the NFL. Therefore, it’s best to not try and pick him up in my opinion. However, if you have him, keep him with the hope you can acquire more capital for him with a breakout season.
Jordan – @5yarddevy