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.
DeShone Kizer – Not only did Kizer look composed in his debut, he was able to move the Browns consistently down the field. He is definitely worth an upgrade in dynasty rankings, but is far from the finished product.
Jared Goff – It may have been against an awful Colts outfit, but Jared Goff looked like a player who justified a first round pick in his 2017 debut. The Rams appear to have a genuine NFL offense and Goff could factor into redraft fantasy rankings this year with similar play against better opponents.
Andy Dalton – The offseason moves on the offensive line are clearly going to take some time to sort out and, until they do, Andy Dalton continues to have shocking games. A few more weeks of this and the Bengals will be throwing A.J. McCarron into the mix. He is very hard to hold in redrafts, but his longer-term future is still reasonable., but will require patience.
Kirk Cousins – Washington has given every indication that they don’t trust Kirk Cousins long term and he gave his detractors plenty of ammunition in his 2017 debut. His timing with his receivers was off and he made poor decisions under duress. Until Washington commits or he moves to a new destination, he needs to be moved downward.
DeShone Kizer - Kizer bumps up five spots from 20 to 15 in my quarterback rankings. While he showed plenty of areas he needs to improve on in his first outing, it was still a very encouraging debut against a tough Steelers defense. It was another sign that Kizer has a great shot to finally give Cleveland the franchise quarterback they’ve been searching nearly 20 years for. If Kizer does indeed lock up the starting job long term, he has plenty of upside. He is just 21 years old, is a dual threat (as evidenced by his rushing touchdown against the Steelers) and has a big arm. Cleveland is also a sneaky great spot for a young quarterback to thrive. They’ve already built a very good offensive line and have some young weapons (Corey Coleman, David Njoku, Ricardo Louis, Seth DeValve, Isaiah Crowell, etc.) in place. Plus, they’re loaded with cap space and own a bevy of early round draft picks in the coming years. The front office could quickly build one of the league’s best rosters around Kizer in the coming years.
Eli Manning - Manning slid five spots from QB25 to QB30 after a dreadful outing. He looks like he is quickly approaching the end of his career and may not have value after this season. If Week 1 is any indication, he may not have much short-term value either. His offensive line can’t protect him and the potential upgrade at receiver with Brandon Marshall looks like it may be a failed experiment.
Carson Palmer - Palmer slid from QB26 to QB32 for the same reasons Manning fell. This is likely Palmer’s final season, but there was hope he at least had some short-term fantasy value as a QB2. Even that may be a stretch based on what we saw on Sunday. Palmer is going to struggle without David Johnson for the next couple months and had his left tackle go down with an injury as well.
Leonard Fournette - Fournette bumps up two spots to RB4 in my rankings, passing Devonta Freeman and Melvin Gordon. There wasn’t too much doubt about Fournette’s abilities or about how much the Jaguars wanted to use him. But there were very serious questions about whether the Jaguars were good enough for their run-heavy plan to work. Week 1 was strong evidence that this team might be able to succeed with Fournette as the offensive focal point and a talented young defense keeping the offense from having to play catch up. The performance of the offensive line (especially rookie Cam Robinson) was also a pleasant surprise.
Ty Montgomery - Montgomery moves up three spots from RB19 to RB16. There were some questions about how heavy a workload the Packers would thrust upon Montgomery. Some even felt a committee with rookie Jamaal Williams could be the direction coaches were leaning. After Week 1, it’s probably safe to assume Green Bay is going to ride Montgomery as far as he can take them. Montgomery played 90% of the snaps and touched the ball 23 times against the tough Seahawks defense. As the lead back in the dangerous Packers offense, Montgomery has a lot of fantasy value. At just 24-years old, Montgomery could hold the job for a while if he keeps up his strong play.
Tarik Cohen - Cohen was a revelation for the Bears in Week 1 and jumped way up from RB51 to RB30. He will draw the obvious comparisons to Darren Sproles, but might end up having more similarities to Tyreek Hill. The Bears offense has almost no talent at receiver with Alshon Jeffery in Philadelphia and Cam Meredith and Kevin White on injured reserve. Cohen is going to have to step into this void and the Bears should look to get him the ball in as many ways as possible. He should start to see time in the slot in addition to his role as Jordan Howard’s backup.
Chris Carson – Carson clearly outplayed Eddie Lacy on limited touches and looked to be the only Seahawk capable of giving the offense a spark. I wouldn’t go crazy at this stage, but if you can get him cheap do so now.
Eddie Lacy – Lacy needs carries to build momentum, but he is not going to get that in a committee. I was all over Lacy during the off season, but you need to admit your mistakes. I just can’t see Lacy working out in Seattle and his future in the NFL has to be cloudy.
Kerwynn Williams – Williams is going to clearly be an inferior play to David Johnson, if the starter misses any time. He will, however, be a serviceable player and worth adding to fantasy rosters, even if just a Johnson handcuff.
Mike Tolbert – Tolbert is going to be a player that should be worth fantasy points every week, and with the right matchup a good emergency option.
Isaiah Crowell – Crowell got plenty of the ball, but was very poor with it. His numbers in 2016 were flattered by a week 17 performance and doing something most running backs couldn’t, play every game. Now would be a good time to move him if you can.
Nelson Agholor – Agholor looked like the receiver the Eagles hoped to get when they drafted him in the first round 2 years ago. Agholor may not beat out Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffrey for targets, but he could be a more than serviceable WR3 and maybe more with scope for further improvement.
Kenny Golladay – 2 touchdowns are enough to get anyone’s attention, but Golladay looked good in his professional debut. He made difficult catches and is only going to improve further. Move on him before it is too late.
Allen Robinson – A serious knee injury not only robs the Jaguars of their number 1 receiver, it happens in Robinson’s contract year. His value in dynasty leagues takes a serious hit and it will be the 2018 off season before we see any clarity.
Terrelle Pryor – Pryor and Cousins attempted to get on the same page, but weren’t even close on occasion. With both essentially on 1 year prove it deals, it is hard to have long term confidence in either. Pryor made several plays which showed what he could be but left so many fantasy points on the table. Hard to have confidence in him.
Allen Robinson - A torn ACL drops Robinson from WR14 to WR21. Perhaps it opens a buy-low window for the young receiver. But it is worth remembering that Robinson’s value had been on a steady decline already. Jacksonville is going to be a run-heavy team with Fournette as the centerpiece. So even if Robinson returns to full health next season, he probably isn’t seeing 150+ targets any time soon.
Kenny Golladay - Golladay bumps up from WR41 to WR24. Perhaps that is an overreaction, but when we are dealing with small sample sizes, we have to put heavy weight on what we see early. What we’ve seen from Golladay is a huge, speedy receiver with incredible body control and hands. He looks like a potential star receiver and third-round steal for the Lions. The next few weeks will be critical to see if Week 1 was fluky. Marvin Jones saw a heavy dose of Patrick Peterson and Golden Tate had to deal with Tyrann Mathieu in the slot, so the targets might not be as plentiful in future weeks.
Corey Coleman - Coleman moves from WR33 to WR27. While he didn’t have a monster game in Week 1 like Golladay did, he built upon a strong preseason and looks like he is emerging as Kizer’s clear top target. After a very shaky rookie season, Coleman appears to be turning the corner and developing into the player the Browns thought they were getting when they made him their top pick in 2016.
Chris Hogan - Hogan falls from WR35 to WR40. The initial excitement of Hogan possibly emerging as the clear WR2 in New England has faded a bit after a lackluster Week 1 performance. Hogan is still probably going to have some big weeks. But it looks like he is going to be more inconsistent than expected due to the Patriots always changing game plans and depth at running back.
Zach Ertz (UP) Ertz moved up from TE6 in my preseason ranking to TE4 on the strength of another strong game, continued development from Carson Wentz and very shaky starts for most of the other top tight ends. While we don’t want to overreact too much to one big week, Ertz is actually riding a multi-game hot streak. Going back to last season, Ertz has averaged 8.0 catches, 89.3 receiving yards 0.5 touchdowns (19.9 PPG) over his last six games. We’ve also seen Wentz carry over his strong preseason into an excellent opening week performance on the road. Ertz is locked in long-term as one of the prime targets for an ascending quarterback. We also saw shaky starts from Tyler Eifert (and the entire Bengals offense) and Jordan Reed (who is already hurt again), which allowed Ertz to bump up a couple spots.
Seth DeValve - DeValve is the kind of player that will be on most waiver wires and while 4-42 isn’t the best box score you will see out there, he is clearly a high priority target for DeShone Kizer and will more than keep the seat warm until the rookie is ready.
Jared Cook – Cook caught all 5 of his targets and is clearly in for a good season. David Carr spent a lot of time working with him in the off season and it showed. The big games are coming.
Rob Gronkowski – While it is easy to overreact to one game, Gronkowski looked slower and maybe the injuries have caught up to him. It is highly likely he has some big games soon, but if I could get a good price for him now, I would seriously consider it. I have a feeling the downhill ride for Gronkowski will be quicker than most elite Tight Ends.
George Kittle – The rookie was heavily targeted and while 5 catches for 27 is hardly the stuff of fantasy dreams it gave us an indication that the coaching staff has confidence in him long term. We may see better signs this year, but if he is available, snap him up now.