Over the last few years, devy leagues have increased in popularity. I’ve found that over half of the leagues I’m in are devy leagues. They add a wrinkle to typical dynasty leagues, give you that much more ammo to trade and even more players to study up on during the offseason.
One thing I have found is how many people overpay for “fresh new” devy prospects who have been the best lately, and use the “what have you done for me lately” mentality when trading. I like to buy low rather than high. I trust my player evaluations rather than stats or someone else’s rankings to try and buy low on prospects that I know are better than what their stat sheet may say.
Since the dynasty offseason can be slow, trading can be the one things to keep you busy. Here are four devy buy lows of the offseason.
Cam Akers Running Back – Florida State – Eligible 2020
Seeing Akers name on this list may come as a surprise to some, but Akers is a name I continue to see falling in devy drafts relative to where he was taken the last two years. Before the 2018 season, Akers was a consensus top pick in drafts and was ranked at the top with names like D’Andre Swift. As a freshman, Akers ran for over 1,000 yards and added seven touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, Akers posted a little over 100 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. His stat line lived up to his hype and left his devy owners salivating for more. It also left those who didn’t own him, wanting in and made him one of the most valuable devy prospects in the league.
After his 2018 season, we see Akers slipping to the end of round one of devy drafts. While this may not seem like a low price, it is a substantial discount compared to what he would have cost you a year ago. Much of this is due to his 2018 stat line. Akers rushed for only 706 yards, and his yards per carry dropped by almost a full yard. He was still able to rush for six touchdowns and was able to improve his pass game, but it was quite a let down for people who were expecting 1,000 yards plus.
Akers is still undoubtedly talented but is suffering from a terrible offense. Put Akers on almost any other offense, and he is back to 1,000 yards plus and the top of devy boards. Take this opportunity to buy low, because when he makes it back onto a good offense, Akers will be back to his league winning potential.
Tee Higgins Wide Receiver – Clemson – Eligible 2020
Going into 2018, many thought it would be Tee Higgins who would step up for the Tigers and be their main go-to guy. And while his season wasn’t bad, he found himself overshadowed by freshman teammate Justyn Ross. With Ross drawing most of the media attention, people forget how good Higgins sophomore season was. Higgins posted 59 catches for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns. Higgins was also a crucial piece in all three of Clemson’s Bowl Games, catching four touchdowns in three games. At 6’4”, Higgins has monster size and good body control, giving Higgins all the tools to be a dominant wide receiver one.
So what makes him a buy low? Higgins is likely to be a part of the already very exciting 2020 rookie class, which is loaded with wide receivers, as well as some elite running backs. Add in teammate Justyn Ross’s breakout, and Higgins seems to be flying under the radar for most of the devy and dynasty communities. Despite all of this, Higgins still has potential to be the best wide receiver in his class and could very well outperform Ross next year at Clemson. This may be your last chance to buy low on Higgins, who seems to be a consensus late second-round pick in devy drafts, with clear first round upside.
Donovan Peoples-Jones Wide Receiver – Michigan – Eligible 2020
Donovan Peoples-Jones was the top-rated wide receiver prospect out of the 2017 recruiting class. Despite being out produced and overlooked due to players like Tee Higgins and Jerry Jeudy (Also part of the 2017 class), Peoples-Jones is still very talented. Peoples-Jones had a quiet freshman year, in large part to poor quarterback play throughout the entire year. After news of former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson transferring to Michigan, many thought this would be a big breakout year for Peoples-Jones. And while it did help his numbers, they still didn’t approach the stats of Jeudy and Higgins.
This sets up Peoples-Jones as one of the best buy lows on this list. With a devy ADP of close to the fourth round, Peoples-Jones has never been cheaper. He and Patterson appeared to build better chemistry down the course of the 2018 season and Peoples-Jones showed he could find the endzone, scoring eight times in 2018. Peoples-Jones could have a monster breakout season in 2019 if his chemistry with Patterson further develops in 2019. Talent is not the issue, with a better relationship with Patterson; Peoples-Jones could climb draft boards next year. Buy now before it is too late, Peoples-Jones is in for a monster junior year.
*Bonus Superflex Player* Jacob Eason Quarterback – Washington- Eligible 2020
Remember him? One of the top quarterback prospects the year he entered college, Jacob Eason has had some bad luck during his college career. This has led many people to forget just how highly touted Eason was coming into college. After earning the starting gig at Georgia just four possessions into his first college game as a freshman, Eason went on to lead the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record as a freshman. Going into 2017, Eason was able to beat out top recruit Jake Fromm for Georgia’s starting job in 2018. It was a good sign for Eason, as Fromm was no easy competition.
This is where Eason’s bad luck starts. During the first drive of week one, Eason would get injured, letting Fromm into the game. Eason would never start another game for Georgia. After losing the starting job, Eason would transfer to Washington the following season. Eason was denied immediate eligibility and was forced to sit out the entire 2018 season.
Now the expected starter for Washington in 2019, Eason will look to prove he was still worthy of being ranked so highly coming into college and prove to Georgia that they made a mistake not keeping him around. Eason was able to throw 16 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions back in 2016 to go along with 2,430 yards. Eason looked good as a freshman, but that was back in 2016. It has been a while since we have seen him which has caused many to forget about him and begin to write him off. Eason can be had very cheap and is very much worth taking a shot at in superflex leagues. Eason could shot up to a potential first-round NFL pick on draft boards after this coming season at Washington.
Thank you for reading. You can find me on Twitter @DFF_Pierson. Please comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.