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.
Tyrod Taylor - Despite missing Charles Clay, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Marquise Goodwin at various times this year, Taylor has largely come through for fantasy owners. When not successful through the air, he has compiled yards on the ground to save your fantasy day. Taylor also signed a long-term extension earlier this year. It is safe to say Tyrod is firmly entrenched both in Buffalo and on our dynasty squads.
Colin Kaepernick - Kaepernick had been on fire in fantasy circles the last few weeks, but his value comes crashing back to earth with his benching in Chicago. While Kaepernick certainly wasn’t playing well in the loss, the benching may also have something to do with the report that hit the newswire on Sunday morning that Kaepernick plans to void his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent this offseason. If you were counting on Kaepernick in any of your dynasty leagues, it’s time to find a more stable situation.
Matt Barkley - Barley is auditioning for next season. With Jay Cutler now on injured reserve, Barkley has a chance to convince the Bears (or someone else) that he deserves a spot on an NFL roster next season. The Bears have all but decided to part ways with Cutler and Barkley could be their bridge to the future if he does well the rest of the way. Barkley surprised a lot of people the last two weeks, and he’s serviceable on a poor Chicago team. In a dynasty league, Barkley is worth a roster spot, but his upside is limited.
Derek Carr - Carr has engineered two big 4th quarter comebacks over the last two weeks against Buffalo and Carolina. He’s done it showing poise and by spreading the ball around to anyone who gets the job done. Carr has some solid weapons with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, but his willingness to go with the hot hand shows a level of maturity we haven’t seen from him yet. The Raiders are for real, and if their defense improves at all, they are going to be tough to beat. Carr is quickly proving that he’s a guy you can build your dynasty team around.
Mike Gillislee - Gillislee has really come on strong. He was inactive week 12 with a hamstring injury, but he performed well in week 11 when LeSean McCoy left the game with a thumb injury, and he vulture a couple TDs this week and averaged over 6 yards per carry in limited duty. He has 4 TDs in the last 4 games, and 7 TDs for the season, despite about 1 touch for every 3 of McCoy this year. McCoy’s too good to lose the starting role unless he’s hurt, but he’s also had over 2200 touches for his career. Gillislee has found a spot as McCoy’s backup and he’s earned a permanent spot in the Buffalo offense this season.
Jordan Howard - The rookie would be a 10 fantasy back of he was on a decent team like the Cowboys or the Seahawks, but he’s serving time in Chicago as their one bright spot on offense. With the offense in serious question for next season, the one consistent play right now is Howard. He could find himself with an entirely new cast of players around him next season, but given his performance under adverse conditions so far this year, he’s definitely a guy that you want on your dynasty team moving forward.
Paul Perkins - Sunday’s action left the Giants smarting in their loss to the Steelers, but dynasty owners who are holding on to Perkins were happy to see a nearly even split in carries between him and Rashad Jennings. Perkins looked positively electric at times during the game, including when he busted off an 18-yard gain in the third quarter.
Jordan Howard - John Fox doesn’t trust rookies-- until now, that is! On a team that needs rebuilding work in many spots, the running back position is one of the most solid for the Bears. Howard has pushed aside KaDeem Carey and Jeremy Langford and is entrenched as the starter in Chicago for the foreseeable future.
Tyler Boyd – Boyd has a golden opportunity to showcase his talents the rest of the season and he’s off to a pretty good start. With A.J. Green out of the lineup for the last three weeks, Boyd has posted 15 receptions for 180 yards and a TD. He’s only a rookie but he’s already making an impact for the Bengals this season and he has cemented himself into the starting lineup next season and beyond. Boyd has a big upside and with A.J. Green pulling the high-end defenders to his side of the field, Boyd has a great opportunity to become a solid fantasy WR going forward. You want him on your fantasy roster.
Malcolm Mitchell – Mitchell is another rookie WR who has a great path to success for the remainder of the season. Over the last three games, he has 17 receptions for over 220 yards receiving and 3 TDS. With Rob Gronkowski done for the season, Mitchell is going to be a staple of the New England offense the rest of the season. He is forming a bond with Tom Brady and that translates into real fantasy production from week to week.
Zach Ertz – Ertz may be the only guy that you can count on from the Philadelphia offense these days. Nelson Agholor has been benched and Jordan Matthews was frustratingly inconsistent before he missed time due to an ankle injury. Over the last four games, Ertz has 24 receptions for 205 yards and 2 TDs over the last four games. Ertz has been gradually improving since missing the first part of the season with a rib injury, but since week nine he’s been tearing it up. As rookie QB Carson Wentz becomes more comfortable with the offense, Ertz will be a big part of things. He makes a great option for your dynasty team, especially in TE required leagues.
Ladarius Green - After a very long wait, we’re finally seeing the connection between Roethlisberger and Green that many envisioned when he signed with the Steelers in free agency. Green has been often banged up during his short career, but as long as he can stay healthy, he’ll be one of the highest upside tight end options in the game.