But boss Steve Evans promised he would never short-change the Stags fans by playing a weak side.
Sky Bet League One and League Two clubs overwhelmingly voted to support proposals to allow the continued involvement of 16 invited U21 sides from top clubs.
The competition was derided by fans, who stayed away in their droves last season.
“I think it’s changed slightly in that if it’s an U21s side from the top level or senior clubs in English football then they have to travel away from home,” said Evans.
“From my point of view it’s a competition that if I’ve got three or four priorities in the season ahead when it kicks off it won’t be in there.
“But we will be playing strong first teams in the competition.
“We don’t want enter into games and start thinking we are good enough to be making so many changes that our supporters get short-changed.
“Having said that, we will always endeavour to protect the following Saturday.”