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.
Tom Savage - The Texans playoff hopes were fading fast when Bill O'Brien finally pulled the plug on the Brock Osweiler experiment. Into the game came Tom Savage, who managed to bring Houston back from the brink and keep hope alive, at least for one more week. Early reports are that Houston has decided to bench Osweiler for good and roll with Savage. That being said, it will be interesting to see if the quarterback with similar physical tools to Osweiler can make better decisions and maintain his standing as the starter headed into next season.
Matt Barkley - While it’s true that Barkley hasn’t faced a murderer’s row of NFL defenses since he got the starting nod, his play has been beyond competent. In his latest game, he helped keep the Bears in the contest against the Packers until the very end. It’s unlikely that he’ll be starting for Chicago in 2017 without an injury to the starter. However, as we saw this season, that’s not beyond the realm of possibility. He’s worth rostering in deep bench dynasty leagues just in case.
Matt Ryan - Everyone knows he's having an amazing season, but there's a lot of skepticism surrounding him still. He's 31 and this year is a huge outlier compared to the rest of his career, but I think many don't realize just how incredible his year has really been. The Falcons rank 27th in pass attempts, but 3rd in passing yards, thanks to a yards-per-attempt average by Ryan that is the third-highest total since the NFL/AFL merger. If you include his sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions, and era-adjust his numbers, the only players to sustain a higher level of play over 14 games are Peyton Manning (2004), Dan Marino (1984), Tom Brady (2007), and... that's it. That's the list. It's out of nowhere, but this season is so historic that teams should be lining up to take a gamble on Matt Ryan's future.
C.J. Anderson - Has anyone ever seen their stock rise so much without playing a single snap? At the time of his injury in week 7, things looked a bit bleak for Anderson, who was handing the reigns over to a 4th-round rookie RB, (Devontae Booker), with no assurances he'd ever get the job back. In the seven games since, Booker has performed so underwhelmingly that Denver signed 31-year-old free agent Justin Forsett heading into week 14. Forsett fumbled his first carry as a Bronco, and yet Booker was so underwhelming that Forsett still earned the start in week 15. Anderson is signed for three more years, and given the lack of faith shown in Denver's other options, it'll be a big surprise if he's not back as a week 1 starter heading into 2017.
Ty Montgomery - A hybrid type who opened the season at WR, a rash of injuries shifted Montgomery to RB early in the season. Despite some hesitance from the coaching staff to feature him, Montgomery has been quietly taking the decision out of their hands; in the five games Montgomery has received 5+ carries, he's topped 6.5 yards per carry four times, culminating in the biggest rushing performance by a Green Bay back since Ahman Green. Eddie Lacy is a free agent after the season, and while Montgomery might not automatically slot in as the featured back next year, he has at least two more games to continue making his case.
Zach Zenner - The Lions’ rushing attack is stuck in neutral. However, despite being a bigger back, Zenner showed off his ability as a pass catcher this past Sunday. If their line can get right in 2017 and Ameer Abdullah doesn’t come through when he returns from injury, Zenner has a real opportunity to earn a big piece of this backfield.
Michael Floyd - Floyd hasn’t done anything of his own merit lately to increase his value. He was charged with a DUI and subsequently cut by the Arizona Cardinals. What has brought back his value from rock bottom is the fact that New England picked him up off of waivers and will pay him over a million dollars to play the remainder of the 2016 season for their squad. It’s hard to know if this is an attempt to lock up Floyd to a long-term deal or if this is just what they see as the best available band-aid option at receiver for a title run. Either way, Floyd enjoys a slight bump back up my rankings.
Robby Anderson - Anderson has been playing extremely well the last three weeks and saving the bacon of anyone who’s had to rely on him in a pinch. Anderson may not have staying power in dynasty formats over time and I see Anderson as more of a flip-for-a-pick candidate. Still, it’s worth noting the chemistry that he and Bryce Petty have. If Petty does somehow remain the starter into 2017, Anderson becomes all the more interesting.
Michael Crabtree - Crabtree resides in a dead zone for fantasy value. He's not young. He's not a star. He's in a good offense, but is generally considered more of a second option. As a result, the demand for him is pretty low. Allow me to offer a counterpoint; Crabtree is not old, he's very good, and his usage might argue with that “second option” designation. Locked into a great situation for the foreseeable future, Crabtree is well-positioned to continue being the kind of unsexy asset that won't impress anyone looking at your roster... except for your weekly opponents.
Tyler Lockett - What happens to a breakout deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? Lockett will have us asking this all offseason, as the second-year speedster failed to take the step forward many were anticipating. Injuries to him and his quarterback slowed him early, as after 8 targets in week one, he failed to even reach six targets in any of the next seven weeks. He's been over that mark in five of the last six weeks, however, as he seems to finally be hitting his stride again. He's averaging 74 yards per game over that span, and is reaching a point where he's providing the same upside at a fraction of his earlier price.
Hunter Henry / Austin Hooper - These tight ends' value isn't really rising, per se. This is mostly just a reminder that many owners have unreasonable expectations of rookie TEs; historically, they have struggled to transition more than any other position. As a result, there's usually a very nice discount on talented tight ends entering their second season. If you want top-notch talent at bargain-basement prices, now is the time to start asking