High Upside Off-Season Trade Targets

January 3, 2021

Welcome to the off-season! I like to start by looking at potential buy low (ish) trade targets before the NFL Playoffs start, and prices start to change. This time of year I start thinking about making trade offers immediately. I take a common sense approach with Fantasy Football. There’s no need to complicate it. With that spirit in mind, here are a couple potential buy lows I have found this far. There is no real order to these. This is not a ranking.

1). WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills:

Gabe Davis was a nice late pick up in rookie drafts this year. I was able to add him off of waivers before the year started in one league! The Buffalo Bills GM, Brandon Beane, is on record saying that the front office in Buffalo was projecting a salary cap of around $205 million. Thanks to the pandemic, the league could have a $175 million cap next year. The Bills would save $7 million if WR John Brown is cut in off-season. That’s good savings for a team needing to re-sign LB Matt Milano and OT Williams. 

Until WR Stefon Diggs destroyed the Patriots in Week 16, Davis led the team with 6 TDs. Both Brown and Beasley had career years last year with ascending QB Josh Allen, and this year Diggs is on the MVP candidate list with his best season. Beasley had two career years back-to-back! He is as cheap as he’s going to be right now, but you’ll have to make the move before they release Brown.

At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, he has good size. He’s extremely athletic, running a 4.54 40 time and a 35 inch vertical. His route running is getting more polished. He’s used a ton in the red zone and Josh Allen is a true red zone superstar red zone in his career. Allen showed he trusted Gabriel Davis in his rookie year and I’m convinced his value will soar in 2021. The Bills offense is trending way up and he has a good shot at starting outside opposite Stefon Diggs. SIGN ME UP!

2). WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals:

I am well aware he’s not as cheap as Gabriel Davis is. However, I firmly believe he makes a tier jump next season. Missing Joe Burrow half the season, he still performed well with QB Brandon Allen. In fact, despite missing one game and injuries to RB Joe Mixon and Burrow, he is still the 24th-ranked WR in PPR. The Bengals traded for QB Brandon Allen as soon as Burrow went down, so even if Burrow misses half the year I believe HIggins will operate as a high-end WR 2. Out of the top three or four rookie wideouts, he is the cheapest. With Burrow back, RB Joe Mixon back, I believe this offense is going to be very good. 

He’s a tough WR who can do it all. He’s great after the catch, has great speed deep, with good hands. QBs trust him because he can also make a lot of contested grabs.  He’s also very good getting off the jam at the line of scrimmage. He has very quick feet for his size. Out of Justin Jefferson and Cee Dee Lamb, I like Higgins’ long term situation the most. His cost will only climb next year.

3). RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers:

This is another trade target that won’t come necessarily cheap but who I think is undervalued. LAC led the league in red-zone targets for RBs in 2020. He was No. 10 at the RB position in points per game (PPG). Dynasty Nerds has him ranked at RB16 and I am loving that value. I am definitely putting trade feelers out for him to see where the owner in your league values him. 

He has a rookie QB who had a historically great rookie campaign. Brian Daboll, OC of the Buffalo Bills went to the same high school as the Chargers GM, Tom Telesco. We have seen what Daboll has done with Josh Allen. We may see what he can now do with Herbert. Ekeler is a PPR machine (6.44 targets per game), and the backfield beside him is not very good with Joshua Kelly and Kalen Ballage. 

Even in PPR, he should be cheaper than Gibson, Josh Jacobs, and JK Dobbins. I believe he can out-score them all next year. He’s only 25 years old as well so it’s not like you’d be sacrificing youth.  If you are a contender I would highly recommend trying to trade for this PPR gem now. After an injury, he came back and there did not seem to be any setbacks.  This offense as a whole is trending upwards. 

4). RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals:

I offer Mixon as a potential buy low if you are getting an injury discount for him. He only played in 5 and a half games this year. There may be owners on tilt after all the off-season hype for Mixon. Including the game he was injured, in six weeks he had 26 targets in the passing game. If Burrow is out for half the year I believe they lean on him to start. When Burrow comes back he is on a great offense. 

You would have to bet that Cincinnati addresses OL first and foremost this off-season to protect Burrow, and this will also help Mixon too. He was ranked 10th in points per game this year and has all the talent needed to be a Top 7 caliber RB. He is a very talented 24-year-old with a lot of negative talk around him. If you can get any type of discount on Mixon I would pull the trigger. There are certainly owners valuing him lower than a dynasty RB 10, and I would exploit that ASAP.

5. QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns:

It was an up and down season for the f2017 first overall pick. Baker lost his No. 1 WR, Odell Beckham Jr, and had to learn an entirely new system. Weeks 12- 15 he was the No. 3-ranked QB in fantasy, averaging 24.72 PPG and 11 total TDs in that time. He played three games in a windstorm this year and will get OBJ back, as well as a second-straight year with Kevin Stefanski’s system. 

Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins showed a lot of progression as the year went along. Mayfield has a solid TE in Austin Hooper, two star RBs that open play-action passes as well. He also has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Being ranked as QB15 on Dynasty Nerds, I believe Baker can break into the Top 10 at QB and is a good buy-low (especially after that Jets game) in Super Flex leagues. I think a mid-1st could get the job done and I am personally betting hard that his numbers from this year drastically improve next year. The odds of him regressing next year with his weapons in the second year of Stefanski’s offense are slim. Anybody valuing him outside of QB 14 is a good target for a trade. It’s hard to imagine his value not going up next year. Taking a shot at a number one overall pick going into possibly his best situation yet is a solid bet. 

@FF_Fire911

Scotty12886@outlook.com