Right now is the perfect time to be sending out those dynasty trade offers. While we impatiently wait for the NFL Draft and free agency to kick off, this stretch of time is prime for pouncing. NFL rosters are loaded with players that could see massive value spikes in 2021 or are undervalued dynasty circles. Whether you are rebuilding a currently vomit-inducing roster to compete in 2022 or loading up for a smack-talking championship run, it’s time to craft those proposals. Here are my top five players to get on your rosters. Let’s get to trading.
*All ADP referenced in this article is per Dynasty League Football February Superflex ADP
Rashaad Penny RB (ADP: RB50, 179.5 Overall)
Rashaad Penny could walk into Week 1 as the leader of the Seattle backfield. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde are unrestricted free agents. Seattle stands at 19th (11.5 million) in cap space, entering this free agency period, so the likelihood that Seahawks re-signs one of these two or brings a high-priced addition is low. Pete Carroll and company also don’t have a bevy of draft picks to add to this running back depth chart. Seattle currently holds the 56th overall pick (2nd round) and their picks in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds. Unless they add a runner with that pick in the second, Penny is set to compete for the job with Travis Homer (former sixth-round pick), DeeJay Dallas (2020 fourth-round pick), or a fourth round of later rookie selection in 2021. A healthy Penny in 2021 could be a steal at his current cost in dynasty for contending and rebuilding squads.
Melvin Gordon RB (ADP: RB35, 125.0 Overall)
Making the move for a soon-to-be 28-year-old running back in the final year of his deal is not for every squad. Contending is the name of the game here and Gordon still has plenty enough in the tank to help you do just that. Last season, Gordon finished as the RB24 (among running backs with eight or more games played) in fantasy points per game (13.2). He showed the world that he still plenty of juice left in his legs, ranking seventh in breakaway runs (9) and 12th in evaded tackles (59). Phillip Lindsay looks like he’ll be tendered and possibly back in Denver, but there’s plenty of volume to go around. Last season the Broncos finished 13th in rushing attempts and targeted running backs at the fourth-highest rate. Add in a possible quarterback upgrade this offseason and the needle is pointing up for Gordon for 2021.
With Ben Roethlisberger officially back for 2021, it’s wheels up for Chase Claypool. After taking over as a starter in Week 3, Claypool was tied for 32nd in yards per route run (1.79) with Adam Thielen and Tyler Boyd. In what will still be a pass-first offense in 2021, last season’s numbers could be the floor for Claypool. JuJu Smith-Schuster is likely headed out of town, so Claypool could see a massive uptick in the 16% target share last year. He could also take up the slot receiver mantel from Smith-Schuster as a significant upgrade in 2021. Claypool logged the second most wide receiver slot snaps (102) behind only Smith-Schuster. Claypool dominated this role securing 62.5% (16 targets) of his targets with three receiving touchdowns and a 120.8 passer rating. Claypool likely won’t be easy to pry from other teams in your leagues, but he’s a player that is worth paying up for. The ceiling is that high for this sophomore.
Gabriel Davis WR (ADP: WR56, 145.5 Overall)
Gabriel Davis is another player whose role and value could shoot to the moon this offseason. John Brown has been rumored as a possible cut candidate. The Bills could save 7.9 million against the cap if they jettison the 31-year-old wideout. The promise Davis flashed in year one could also be another reason the team would feel comfortable saving the cash. Davis was electric and handled a variety of roles for Buffalo. Davis led the team in deep targets (20) while playing both inside and in the slot last year. Davis filled in admirably for both Brown and Cole Beasley when they were sidelined. In 2020 Davis ranked 11th in fantasy points per target (2.21). Davis could enter next year starting outside opposite Stefon Diggs and Beasley in a top-five passing rate offense. Grab Davis now before the rest of your league wises up.
Before he was buried over the last two seasons by the enigma that is Adam Gase, Herndon was a player on the rise. Now with everyone ready to give up on him, it’s time to take a swing for him in trades. Mike LaFleur entering the room in New York as the new offensive coordinator could mean big things. No, this is not a paper-thin Herndon-could-be-George-Kittle comparison. In the three previous seasons, LaFleur helped direct an offense predicated on getting players in space and allowing their athleticism to take over. Before benign sucked into the abyss over the last two years, Herndon displayed promising efficiency as a rookie. In 2018, he ranked 12th in yards per route run (1.65) and 19th in passer rating when targeted (110.3) among 53 tight ends with 20 or more targets. Herdon proved last season by finishing 12th with a 106.0 passer rating when targeted that the talent is still there. Post hype breakouts are real, and Herndon could be next in line.