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Devy Players to Buy

It's that time of year - time to search for players to buy low on and players whose value could increase. Here are nine players @FFPeeblesChamp is targeting!

As we linger in the “off-season,” owners can get the trade itch, and now is a good time to identify some players who may see a spike in value as the season starts. Some players are undervalued and in a good situation to improve their draft stock. Let’s dive into a few players to target and capitalize on potentially depressed value. 

Devy Rankings Pulled from Campus2Canton Devy Rankings

Jackson Arnold, QB Oklahoma – QB12

Behind other freshman QBs Malachi Nelson, Dante Moore, Arch Manning, and Nico Iamaleava, Arnold seems to be less heralded, and he really should not be. In the 2022 Elite 11 Finals, he was voted MVP over Nelson and Moore, as Manning and Iamaleva missed the event. 

Arnold has an elite arm, a phenomenal throwing motion, and he can make any throw to any level of the field. He moves around the pocket well and has a great feel for pressure. Arnold can run when he needs to but prefers to keep his eyes focused downfield and can make throws on the move. 

Oklahoma has veteran Dillon Gabriel locked in to start this year. Gabriel was injured and missed time last year, and when he’s in, the Sooner offense was much better. I could still see Arnold getting a chance to start if Gabriel isn’t pushing the offense. After 2023, Arnold’s value should see a spike, and if you are able to acquire him this year inexpensively, pull the trigger. 

Bo Nix, QB Oregon – QB22

This feels like a joke after years of mocking Nix and watching his value tumble. A former high four-star prospect, Nix was up and down while at Auburn before transferring to Oregon and leveling out. 

A massive 2022 season highlighted the things we loved as Nix when he was a prospect. He’s got the arm to throw to all levels of the field and always looks effortless when he makes difficult throws. As a runner, Nix is tough to bring down and elusive in the open field. He runs hard and has good speed and footwork. With a little more work on consistency and making plays as a passer, he runs too soon often, we could be talking about Nix as a first-round pick in 2024. 

That may seem like a reach, for a quarterback with the path Nix has taken and being a fifth-year player. We’ve seen crazier reaches in the past ten years, and Nix has all the tools to succeed. There’s a good chance he has little value to the Nix owner in your league; take that opportunity to buy. 

Trey Benson, RB  Florida St. – RB13

Another former highly regarded recruit, Benson transferred to Florida State after losing most of his first two seasons at Oregon due to a bad knee injury. The Seminoles worked Benson in, and he took over as the lead back in Week 7, then never looked back. He finished just shy of 1,000 yards and goes into 2023 with high hopes. 

Benson has a phenomenal skillset – he’s patient, explosive, and difficult to bring down. He navigates through traffic with ease and is shifty in the open field. Benson won’t spin and juke out of tackles, but he excels at creating angles and slight shifts, making him difficult to get a bead on. And he’s got the power to run through tacklers. I’d like to see more pass-catching opportunities, and if that happens, Benson has a second-day draft upside. 

Ja’Quinden Jackson, RB  Utah – RB21

These next two are guys I would target later in devy drafts, and be attempting to get as ancillary pieces in a bigger deal. Jackson came to Utah as a quarterback and has transitioned to running back. He’s raw, but what we’ve seen thus far is promising. 

Jackson has phenomenal size, 6’2” and 227 pounds, and is an elite athlete. He has solid vision at the line of scrimmage, then the ability to burst and accelerate through a hole. Jackson is lethal on the second level. He has great spatial awareness and is difficult to wrap up. We haven’t seen much as a pass-catcher, and Jackson will need to learn to use his upper body better. He carries the ball up against his chest at all times and will need to learn to vary that up. 

Javontae Barnes, RB  Oklahoma – RB35

The second Sooner on this list, yes, I do have high expectations for this offense going forward, Barnes is in line to be the lead back this season. He was a top ten back in the Class of 2022, per 247Sports composite

Barnes is explosive, with a lethal first step, and has track speed but takes a bit of a runway to get to full speed. His vision is good overall but needs to be more consistent. He runs with power, and Barnes has good contact balance. We need to see more as a pass-catcher, but his athleticism suggests he’s more than capable. 

This is more of a projection, Barnes will face competition and may get passed over. Marcus Major is a thumper, and Gavin Sawchuk has electric playmaking ability. Barnes is a mix of both and could end up with a massive workload in 2023. 

Tetairoa McMillan, WR  Arizona – WR15

For such a highly-rated prospect, McMillan’s name is not known well enough – perhaps because he plays for Arizona. He was almost a five-star and has the talent to be a special receiver. 

McMillan excels in contested catch situations, attacking the ball at its highest point, and then wrangling the ball in with strong hands. He has shown the ability to run routes and create separation throughout the route and when in contested situations. McMillan is good after the catch and has elusive moves in the open field. 

With another strong season, McMillan will be poised to be one of the top receivers in the 2025 Draft, and his value could see a spike. I will highly advocate getting him now, before the rise in value hits. 

Germie Bernard, WR  Washington – WR36

A player I share mad love for with the one and only Austin Nace, Bernard escaped Michigan State and lands on a team that will eventually feature him. The Spartans did get him on the field, and he scored twice as a freshman. 

Bernard isn’t talked about much, if at all, as a devy prospect, and I am here to help correct that. He is aggressive when the ball is in the air and catches away from his frame. He transitions quickly to a ball carrier, making him dangerous after the catch. Bernard has a good blend of moves, power, and speed. 

2023 may not be his year, but it also presents an opportunity to draft him late in devy drafts or trade for him if someone has him (hopefully, it’s not Austin or myself). Bernard has Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan ahead of him but will have the chance to have a much bigger role in 2024. 

Keon Coleman, WR  Florida St. – WR43

Due to a highly publicized transfer recently, Coleman is a name all of a sudden on people’s minds. But if you know, you know – this cat was a name to know before all the recent pub. Coleman balled out in 2022, before taking his talents from Michigan State (trend?) to Florida State. 

Coleman, like the past two players, excels in contested catch situations and is a master at using his body for positioning in those situations. He’s got ridiculously strong hands that he uses to secure the ball away from his body. Coleman isn’t as elusive after the catch as the last two guys, though, and he’s more of a “no-nonsense” runner. He runs routes with fluidity and will need to improve on preciseness, to help him with separation while in routes. 

Florida State has weapons, including Johnny Wilson – who profiles similarly to Coleman – but Coleman has an alpha dog mentality and is going to be the WR1 for the ‘Noles in 2023. His draft and devy stock will reflect that; buy now – while you still can. 

Andrew Rappleyea, TE  Penn State – TE8

In devy, I don’t typically spend a lot of capital on tight ends; the hit rate isn’t very good on them. We consistently have top options come out of nowhere, like Dalton Kincaid and Luke Musgrave this year. 

Rappleyea is one I will be targeting in deeper leagues. I love his movement skills, especially at 6’5” and 225 pounds with a frame to add 20 pounds easily. He can make a cut, stop on a dime, a quick shift in routes, and make people miss with frequency on his high school tape. Rappleyea was used all over the offense and is tough as heck, and I love his hands. 

Penn State has one of the better development programs, and Rappleyea could project to be the top tight end in the 2026 class with minimal improvement. I love him as a prospect, and he could be the next Brock Bowers.

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