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 your teams. The diversity of rankings will result in a variety of opinions weekly.
Mike Glennon - The current Tampa Bay backup is simmering as he waits for NFL free agency this offseason. He was functional and above baseline before Jameis Winston was drafted and we got a small taste in garbage time with Glennon completing nearly every pass straight down the field. Glennon is better than Brock Osweiler and should garner significant attention to be a 2017 starter in the NFL.
Derek Carr - When doing these dynasty write-ups, we are looking at the big picture. So, though Carr was held in check in terms of yardage and TDs by the Denver defense last week in a game the Raiders still won, overall I'm excited by what I've seen in Carr's 3rd season. Overall he is completing 66% of his passes, has a 17-3 TD-Int ratio, and is making great strides with his field awareness and leadership. He hasn't had a sub-60% passing day all season and he is winning games. When he needs to win by passing he has shown he certainly can do so (as in Week 9 @TB: 40-59-513-4-0). Just 24 years old with lots of football ahead of him, he has a good chance of being one of the elite quarterbacks in the league over the next decade.
Ben Roethlisberger – Again, looking beyond just the most recent game (a strong performance in a shootout loss vs a weak Dallas secondary), I think it is time to move Roethlisberger down the dynasty rankings. He will be 34 before the 2017 season begins and his style of play differs from most of the quarterbacks who are able to play late into their 30s. He stands in the pocket a long time and takes a lot of hits. To his credit, that ability to use all the time available and then some to find receivers is a lot what makes him great, but it is also just begging for injury and I think it will limit his longevity. I think he may be done in about 3 more years and stands a greater than average chance of missing games during that time. Also, aside from Antonio Brown who will be 29 before the 2017 season starts and is beginning the post-prime part of his career, the Steelers haven't found another pass catcher they can count on. Martavis Bryant has an uphill climb to get back into the league with substance and psychological issues, Marcus Wheaton has not cut it this year, Sammie Coates is very inconsistent, and slot man Eli Rogers is a limited talent. Roethlisberger is not a quarterback I'd be looking to invest in except for the short term.
Jordan Howard - Howard runs with power and breaks tackles. He can catch the ball and turn little plays into big plays. HC John Fox, I've read, loves him. What was supposed to be a 'hot hand' RBBC with Jeremy Langford and Kadeem Carey has instead become Howard's job, and he is not likely to let it go anytime soon. This rookie has a bright future ahead, and as of now, I have him as a dynasty top-10 RB, thinking he ought to be used in much the same way Matt Forte was used in prior years.
Spencer Ware - Ware has been a great find for the Chiefs. A 6th round pick in 2013, Ware performed well last season while Jamaal Charles was out with injury, and Kansas City wisely signed him to an extension in March of this year (through 2018). Charles again went on IR last week, turns 30 this December, and is scheduled to earn $6.75 mil in salary and bonuses in 2017, the final year of his contract. He probably will not be back. Charcandrick West has not done much with his chances. Ware should be a workhorse this year and beyond.
Christine Michael - A month ago it looked like Michael was on the verge of claiming the RB1 job in Seattle for the long term, but since then things have come to a screeching halt. Teams began shutting him down and he started losing touches to CJ Prosise. He now has a hamstring injury just as last year's breakout starter Thomas Rawls is about to return from his ankle injury. It should be remembered too that Michael has a history of inconsistency and immaturity, and while he received praise at the beginning of the season for overcoming all that, one must wonder if the old issues may have returned. There is a very good chance Rawls and Prosise will share duties down the stretch with Michael sitting once again.
Matt Jones - Players with fumbling problems don't play for HC Jay Gruden of the Redskins. Matt Jones has a fumbling problem going back to last season and on into this season. He has also been hurt but is again healthy. While Jones was hurt, Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson did well in his absence. Jones was a healthy inactive for last week's game, with Gruden saying Jones must earn his way back. Kelley ran for 97 yards in a win over a tough Vikings defense, possibly usurping Jones' job for good.
C.J. Prosise - The rise by Prosise has been swift to his Week 10 breakout performance. Within a few weeks of becoming healthy, the rookie pushed aside Christine Michael for the lion's share of snaps. As a two-way player with receiving skills to rival any running back in the NFL, Prosise is the odds-on favorite to be a trendy 2017 breakout player, assuming he does not pull a David Johnson and dominate the second half of this season.
Matt Jones - Jones been traveling in reverse since his huge breakout game early in 2015. As the incumbent starter entering 2016 Jones has underwhelmed and by midseason he was a healthy scratch in Week 10. His upside was tempered even with the lead gig and now he is a dynasty roster clogger without much hope to recapture even a future third-round rookie pick in the trade market.
DeAndre Hopkins - I have been skeptical of Hopkins throughout his NFL career. The ball skills are high-level, but the lack of separation and athleticism is jarring. Like a running back dependent on winning collisions over and over (Eddie Lacy is always my go-to example), Hopkins is forced to win contested targets consistently. Brock Osweiler lacks the accuracy and make-up to force the ball into Hopkins with blanket coverage. The high volume of Hopkins' breakout is gone, Will Fuller is a first-round pick who will get every opportunity to be an impact player, and Osweiler is a hindrance instead of an aid to Hopkins turning things around.
Davante Adams - When owners were saying the 'sky is falling' with Adams' non-breakout in 2015, my common response was 'if 2015 was the best we see from Adams, he will be one of the biggest metric busts at wide receiver in recent memory.' Adams had top-flight collegiate production and strong physical traits. This season is showing he was slowed significantly by injury and 2014, not 2015, was the real Adams.
Davante Adams - In 2015, Adams' 2nd season, he had a lot of problems with dropped passes. In the offseason, there was talk of his #3 job possibly going to someone else. The Packers stuck with him, however, and are now being rewarded. In just his last four games he has produced a whopping 35-403-3 stat line. It looks like he has turned the corner and his arrow is pointing way up.
Tyreek Hill - The Chiefs rookie has had games of 98 and 89 yards in 2 of the last 3 weeks. Ten catches in Week 10. True, Jeremy Maclin has been hurt, but Maclin had been under-performing before this. Hill's role has increased as the season has gone along, and while I don't see him ever becoming an elite dynasty asset, I do think he is well worth owning.
DeAndre Hopkins - Reluctantly, I must move him down. QB Osweiler just isn't a good enough player to get Hopkins the kinds of numbers needed to warrant the #5 receiver ranking where I had him. Osweiler will continue to be the Houston quarterback for the foreseeable future, having just signed a long-term deal. This really hurts Hopkins' upside.
Torrey Smith - Smith was consistently a top 30-to-40 wide receiver until he arrived in San Francisco in 2015. Last year was a disaster but it was thought that this year, with new HC Chip Kelly involved, things would turn around. It didn't happen with QB Gabbert at the helm, and it hasn't in two games with Kaepernick either. Smith is an afterthought in the offense and will likely remain off the fantasy radar until he moves to another city.
Jack Doyle - When Coby Fleener departed for New Orleans, conventional wisdom was that Dwayne Allen would get a major bump in receiving opportunities and be a valuable fantasy asset. Conventional wisdom was apparently wrong. Allen continues to find his way onto the injury list as he has throughout his career, and Doyle has stepped up. Further, when Allen has been healthy Doyle still has produced. The numbers have been inconsistent from week to week, but the good weeks have been a very nice surprise. Doyle is 36-379-4 through nine games and is currently 11th in TE PPR scoring this season.
Clive Walford - In the offseason there was talk from the Oakland coaching staff about Walford being very involved in the passing game in his second season. My earlier rankings reflected that information, yet it hasn't happened. After 10 weeks Walford has a puny 21-199-1 stat line in 8 games, including just 3-31-0 in Week 9 when David Carr threw for 40-59-513-4 overall. Walford has mostly been a blocker this year, quite a disappointment for fantasy owners who had hoped for much more, and until something changes my rankings will reflect his minor usage as a receiver.
Clive Walford - Year 2 for a tight end is a critical uptick season in their development. Few rookies do much of anything transitioning to the NFL, but the second season is where the flashes need to become more consistent. Walford's snap counts have been troubling this season as Lee Smith and Mychal Rivera have been involved more than any Walford owner would have hoped. With two strong receivers already in Oakland (and under contract for multiple years into the future), the recipe is not signaling anything more than a low-TE1 breakout, if one comes at all in 2016 or 2017. Walford if unstartable and lacks much market value punch with a host of strong tight end prospects arriving with the 2017 draft class.
A.J. Derby - A.J. Derby saw significant work in Week 10, his first since arriving in Denver post-trade. Virgil Green has disappointed with the starting gig this season and Derby has shot up in snaps quickly. While he has tempered appeal in start-1-TE formats, in premium scoring or start-2-TE leagues, Derby is one of my favorite stash players to finish 2016 and heading into next season.