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Dynasty Rankings Movement: Week 8

Movement within the dynasty rankings of the Footballguys staff and the reasoning behind the movement

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. 

Quarterback

Simpkins

Blake Bortles - It’s officially time to panic if you own Bortles in a dynasty format. Bortles had a fantastic matchup against the Oakland Raiders’ secondary this past Sunday and managed to do very little with it. We’re seeing Bortles regress to the point that even supreme talent Allen Robinson can’t produce despite his quarterback’s struggles. His mechanics (particularly, his release) are poor and he continues to make boneheaded decisions (like throwing into triple coverage). It’s not unfathomable to think that Jacksonville might part ways with both Bortles and Gus Bradley if they once against finish with a losing record.

Harstad

Blake Bortles - I often say that 90+% of fantasy-relevant quarterbacks will be fantasy-relevant by their second season as a starter. Basically, with a few exceptions, if a quarterback takes more than two years it's unlikely that he's ever going to make it, (see: Tannehill, Ryan). Bortles is showing that just because a quarterback does make it to fantasy relevance by his second season doesn't mean he's going to necessarily stay there. Bortles has always been a risk-taking quarterback, but with his mechanics regressing, those risks are failing at a spectacular rate, sinking the entire Jacksonville offense and suggesting that Bortles is at least a year or two away from being reliable again.

Matthew Stafford - Matt Stafford should give hope to Blake Bortles owners everywhere. After a massive early breakout, Stafford stagnated into a super-high-volume, super-low-efficiency player, and a fantasy QB2. Since a change in offensive coordinator last season, Stafford has come to life, playing as one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the last sixteen games. Still just 28 years old, it seems Stafford might finally be turning into the quarterback we thought he was after 2011.

Running Back

Harstad

C.J. Anderson - While his talent has never been a question, (outside of early last season as he played through injuries), Anderson has always been held back as a fantasy asset by his lack of workload. After opening the season as a true workhorse and giving hope that he'd turned a corner in that regard, Anderson has seen Booker steal a larger and larger share of the snaps. This last week, despite having a strong game overall, he actually trailed Booker in snaps played. It seems the dream of Anderson as a workhorse is not to be.

Jay Ajayi - You don't need me to tell you the guy who has 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games is trending up. What's interesting, though, is reconciling his last two games with his early-season benching. One story is that Ajayi's last two games are a fluke. Another story, and the one I find more plausible is that Ajayi was always talented, but wasn't in the right place mentally, and the coaching staff needed to shake him up a bit to get him to stop taking things for granted. We've seen it before with players like Christine Michael, who needed a couple of wake-up calls before he started taking his profession seriously enough to fully unlock his talent. Perhaps Ajayi is the next name on that list.

Simpkins

Spencer Ware - Make no mistake, Spencer Ware is not Jamaal Charles in his prime, but he's better than Charles is at this stage in his career. Ware is showing that he’s got the integrated skills to carry the load without much help. Those sorts of backs are increasingly rarer in fantasy, making Ware very valuable in dynasty formats.

Peyton Barber - When both Matt Waldman and Chad Parsons like a prospect, I pay close attention. Both Footballguys tabbed Barber as a late-round back who might be able to become a three-down option later in his career. It’s encouraging to see him getting work behind Jacquizz Rodgers, even if it took a bevy of injuries. He even busted off a nice 44-yard touchdown run in Sunday’s action to ice the game, showing what promise he could hold for the team that sees fit to entrust him with more work in the future.

Wide Receiver

Simpkins

Michael Floyd - Once an avid supporter and excuse-maker for Michael Floyd, I’m finally ready to admit I was wrong and move on. Between inconsistent play and constant injuries, it always seems to be something with this guy. I'll take an early second-round pick (or better if I can get it) and cash out. Could it get better when he moves on in free agency? Possibly, but the years of missed opportunities in what was at times a potent offense don't suggest that it will.

Davante Adams - Adams had the look of a player whose light bulb had finally come on when Green Bay played Chicago on Thursday night. Perhaps it truly was a perfect storm of injuries and growing pains that kept him from reaching his potential last year. If he can sustain this progress over the next several games and not revert to the inconsistent version of himself, Adams’ stock will continue to climb back to the level it was at in the 2015 preseason.  

Harstad

Brandin Cooks - One of the fastest receivers in the league and paired with the best deep passer of his generation, Cooks is always going to have really strong fantasy value. But the dreams of him becoming a target-dominating force like many of his class of 2014 peers doesn't seem to be realistic at this point. Michael Thomas and Willie Snead are both 24 or younger and are both playing fantastic in their own right, creating a platoon from which no true #1 is emerging. As long as he has Drew Brees, he's going to be a high-quality fantasy receiver, but perhaps top-10 seasons are expecting a bit much.

Tyrell Williams - Injuries are opportunities for young players down the depth chart, and Tyrell Williams has seized his opportunity with both hands. With Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson lost for the season, Williams has stepped up and looks like the best receiver still on San Diego's offense. My money says he and Allen form a fantastic top two for several years to come.

Tight End

Harstad

Julius Thomas - After an offseason of rave reviews, there was reason for optimism for Thomas in 2016. That optimism is proving to be unfounded for reasons entirely unrelated to Thomas' play, which has been strong. With Bortles regressing, Thomas finds himself in the awkward position of being a top red-zone threat in an imploding offense that rarely reaches the end zone.

Simpkins

Jack Doyle- It took Allen getting injured again, but Doyle is back to getting regular usage and quite frankly, looking just as competent as Allen. I’m betting the Colts let Allen (who is a slow healer, historically) rest indefinitely and continue to allow Doyle to play the primary role. If he keeps playing like this, it might become a permanent move.