The 2023 fantasy football season has already begun, with dynasty managers eagerly preparing for another campaign. As we know, a savvy buy-low trade can transform a merely “good” roster into a league winner. Who are some of the top dynasty WR trade targets for the long term — guys who can help anchor a juggernaut roster for years to come?
Top Dynasty WR Trade Targets for the 2023 NFL Offseason
The wide receiver position is in an interesting spot right now. We’ve just had a heavy influx of young, talented receivers. But half of the WR1s in 2022 are at or pushing 30 years old. Sometime soon, these older, elite receivers will no longer be elite.
For dynasty managers, whether you have older elite receivers or not, you should look to acquire undervalued assets for the long term.
To see the new wide receivers entering the league that might matter for fantasy, check out our rookie rankings. For those looking for guys already in the league, let’s examine three buy-low WR targets.
Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
The key to buying low is identifying when the market has gone too far — when it’s depressed a player’s value beyond logic. It often happens when that player is coming off a serious injury, or when an incoming acquisition threatens to diminish that player’s role.
In Rashod Bateman’s case, market forces have reacted to both scenarios. Bateman’s coming off an injury-plagued season and now has to contend with rookie Zay Flowers possibly rising to the top of Baltimore’s WR depth chart. In dynasty rankings, you can frequently find Flowers ranked ahead of Bateman, whose stock has plummeted since a year ago.
But here’s the thing: Bateman was a first-round draft pick for a reason. He’s still only 23 years old. Lamar Jackson is equipped with one of the most top-heavy receiving corps in the league. It’s essentially Bateman, Flowers, and TE Mark Andrews in the top tier, and everyone else scraping by on, perhaps, 25 yards per game or less.
Bateman is a gifted receiver with a promising future. He’s also entering his third season in Baltimore. In 2025, he could find himself on a more pass-friendly team, where he can realize his full statistical potential. This is the time to get in on the ground floor.
Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills
Almost universally ranked even lower than Bateman in dynasty, Gabe Davis is a 24-year-old pass catcher with almost nowhere to go but up. On the downside, he dropped nine passes last season and accrued 20% of his receiving yards and 29% of his TDs in one game. He’s the consummate boom/bust receiver — at least so far.
But with the superb Stefon Diggs entering his age-30 campaign, and with Josh Allen likely to run less to limit damage to his body, Davis is positioned to become the Bills’ No. 1 receiver by 2025 or 2026.
Sure, Buffalo might add a top-flight WR in the 2024 or 2025 draft, capping Davis’ ceiling. Or perhaps we’ve seen the best of Davis. Who knows?
But buying low requires a bit of a gamble. And given Davis’ demonstrated blow-up potential, he’s not far off from becoming a perennial 70-1,000-8 receiver. If he hadn’t missed two games last year, he might’ve been on the doorstep of that respectable stat line. In 2023 and beyond, it’s a realistic baseline target.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks
This is probably a bit of a post-hype pick. At the same time, you can probably land rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba for no more than top 16-20 WR dynasty value. For a guy who could become a top-five WR in the next three years, he’s a savvy addition for patient managers.
DK Metcalf is on the Seattle payroll for three more years (through early 2026), though the team has an out after two years. Tyler Lockett will turn 31 years old in September and (respectfully) might not play beyond the early-2026 expiration of his contract.
When investing in WRs, we can’t always assess who will be throwing to them. What might Courtland Sutton’s and Jerry Jeudy’s careers look like if the Broncos had selected Jalen Hurts instead of K.J. Hamler in the second round of the 2021 draft?
So yes, we have no idea which QBs will help elevate — or depress — Smith-Njigba’s production throughout his career. But he was arguably the biggest WR prize in this year’s draft. The 21-year-old rookie has a bright future and could become his team’s consistent No. 1 WR for years. It simply might take a year or two or three for him to be worth the sizable investment he commands in dynasty leagues.
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