Each week, Footballguys staff members will share the big movers in their respective Dynasty Rankings. Since the contributors will rotate, please check in weekly. The focus of this article will be on the “why” more than the movement itself. Dynasty Rankings are fluid and we hope that sharing the rationale will help you in your quest to create dynasties with all of your teams. The diversity of rankings will result in a variety of opinions weekly.
Paxton Lynch & Trevor Siemian – Siemian won the start job out of training camp and did well out of the gate. But as the season continues to wear on, it looks like he’s hitting a wall. Siemian has just 4 passing TDs in his last four games and he’s averaging just 235 passing yards per game over that same stretch. With this week’s loss to the Raiders, the defending Super Bowl Champs are 3rd in the division and have just a 1-2 division record for tie-breaker purposes. Lynch was a 1st round draft pick and the expectations are a lot higher on him for the long haul. If Siemian continues to struggle, expect the Broncos to make a move to Lynch and stick with him. He is ultimately the guy that they drafted to be their QB of the future, and It won’t be long before he gets a chance to step in and take over.
Aaron Rodgers – Speaking of hitting a wall, it looks like the guy who was arguably the #1 overall pick in a new dynasty league is sliding down the charts a bit. Aaron Rodgers has little support around him, especially at RB and the 11-year veteran is struggling because of it. From a fantasy perspective, he’s still putting up solid numbers, with 10 TDS and just 1 INT in his last three starts. Rodgers has great production, and he’s still playing at a solid level, but it’s unclear how much longer he can keep it up. If your franchise is built around Rodgers, it’s time to start looking at other options before things start to go downhill.
Marcus Mariota – Mariota looks like this year’s version of 2015 Blake Bortles. A guy who is quietly starting to pile up impressive fantasy numbers on a team that nobody is looking at. Mariota has 1100 yards passing and 10 TDs against just 2 Ints in his last four starts. He also has over 100 yards rushing and added a rushing TD this week. Given the complete lack of receiving talent on the Titans this season, and the run-first mentality that having DeMarco Murray gives you, Mariota really hasn’t been the focus of much fantasy attention. But he’s starting to make some noise and if the Titans can get anyone to help him catch the ball, he’s going to be a very effective QB for the next several seasons.
Jay Ajayi – Seems like a no brainer with back to back 200-yard rushing games, but Ajayi showed something this week posting 130 yards from scrimmage and a TD against the #1 run defense in the league. Miami is seriously lacking in talent in a lot of positions, so they are going to continue to feed Ajayi the ball the rest of the season. With Arian Foster out of the way now, Ajayi will be the feature back and has a great chance to become a top fantasy RB for the next several years.
Tim Hightower – Despite Mark Ingram returning to the lineup and having a solid game against the 49ers this week, Hightower was also involved in the offense and still finished with over 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD on 24 touches. Hightower might not be a top 20 fantasy back, but he’s definitely worth considering in deeper leagues at a flex position or bye week fill in. It’s going
Devontae Booker- Blessed with a desirable matchup against the Raiders, Booker came up short for his owners. While it’s true that Trevor Siemian and the offense did him no favors, we expected much more from Booker. Denver beat writer Mike Klis reports that Kapri Bibbs will see an increased workload after this poor performance. It’s conceivable that Denver could take more of a committee approach going forward, which would be a setback to Booker’s dynasty value.
Kenneth Dixon- We’re not seeing his snaps pick up significantly, but on the plays in which he is involved, he’s picking up his blocking assignments and taking care of the football. It’s very possible that his knee sprain is still a limitation. His time is coming and dynasty owners need to be patient, even if the starting role doesn’t materialize for him until next year.
Jay Ajayi- We must conclude that Ajayi isn’t going away after three games of 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown. The offensive line is gelling and Ajayi is running confidently behind it. There’s always a chance Ajayi’s maturity issues come back up, but his on-the-field play continues to make his dynasty value climb.
Tyrell Williams- It seems like Phillip Rivers’ receiving corps get thinner every week, but he still continues to produce. One reason for that has been the impressive work of Tyrell Williams, who is now the co-number-one option with Dontrelle Inman after Travis Benjamin reaggravated his PCL sprain. Of the two, however, it is Williams who is the red-zone specialist and deserves the greater fantasy consideration, both now and beyond this year.
Rishard Matthews – If Mariota is moving up the dynasty charts, Matthews is the guy who will directly benefit. Matthews had a solid game this week with 6 receptions for 63 yards and 2 TDs, but he’s also been showing signs of connecting with his QB. Against Jacksonville the week before, Matthews has just four targets, but he caught all of them including a TD near the goal line. The week before against Indianapolis, Matthews was the most targeted receiver on the Titans with seven attempts in the game. His upside is limited, and he’s never going to be a WR1 on this team, but you can see him moving into the top 25 for fantasy WRs, especially if Mariota continues to improve.
Eli Rogers – Rogers has been frustrating at times, but the offense has been changing pretty dramatically around him as well. With Ben Roethlisberger back under center, though, Rogers will have plenty of chances to improve. Darrius Heyward-Bey was promoted to starter on the depth chart, but his ankle injury looks serious and he may be out for an extended period of time. Sammie Coates continues to lobby for fantasy points for dropped pass but until that goes through, Rogers looks like the guy who Ben will turn to when Antonio Brown is covered.
Cameron Brate – At some point defenses are going to put three or four guys on Mike Evans in an attempt to stop him from catching the ball. The rest of the Tampa offense is going to get more opportunities, but Brate looks like the guy who could gain the most. He’s posted a receiving TD in his last two games, and he nearly had another last week that was overturned on review. Brate’s already posted the best stats of his career, and his upside continues to expand as opposing defenses shift to cover Evans more.
Eric Ebron – Since coming back from injury, Ebron has 18 targets, 14 receptions for 171 yards over the last two games. Against a stiff Minnesota defense, Ebron caught 7 of the 8 passes thrown his way and was Detroit’s top receiver in a big division game. Ebron still must prove that he can play a full 16-game season, but when he’s healthy, he can definitely post solid numbers on a team that is lacking in star power.
Austin Hooper- Hooper ran good routes and managed a score in his primetime performance. We know Hooper is the future in Atlanta, but one has to wonder if Hooper’s play in Tamme’s absence is enough to reverse their roles this year. It’s rare to see tight ends burst onto the scene in year one, but Hooper is showing why he may enter the ranks of the elite sooner rather than later.