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.
Jared Goff – Jared Goff continues to shine against defenses that can’t put consistent pressure on him. 2 of his 3 performances are against poor defenses, but he clearly is more comfortable in the pocket and able to deliver to an improved receiving group. Like any other young quarterback, he will make mistakes and be rattled by better defenses, but his progress under Sean McVay has been remarkable to date.
Cam Newton – Cam Newton is clearly not right physically. The Saints defense has been shredded in their first 2 games, but looked like a real unit against the Panthers. This is probably more a reflection of Newton’s play than genuine improvement by a poor outfit. Newton saved a horrible day with a rushing touchdown, but he isn’t getting Greg Olsen back anytime soon and the status of Kelvin Benjamin needs to be monitored as well.
Trevor Siemian – A week after looking like a fantasy QB1, Trevor Siemian came back down to earth with a shaky display against the Bills. Like a player he is often compared to in Alex Smith, he will have an occasional good fantasy performance, but they will be rare and surrounded by performances that help no fantasy owner.
Derek Carr – Derek Carr had an absolute shocker against Washington, but at this stage, it is best to write that performance off altogether. For some reason, the offense looked a mess, after starting the season strongly. I would expect an improvement in their next outing, but that is against a Broncos defense that just lost a game and will be at home. We will revisit after the week 5 game against the Ravens.
Cam Newton - One of the key concerns I have had with Newton over the past two years has been his lack of passing progression as his rushing production fades. Newton continues to show scattershot accuracy and the rushing upside has been on a steep decline this season. Once in the discussion as a top dynasty quarterback, Newton is being passed by a number of higher upside options with better passing profiles.
Carson Wentz - In his second season, Wentz is showing all the play-making and improved accuracy expected of a top quarterback. Wentz is firmly a QB1 through three weeks, sporting 83 rushing yards (top-5 for the position) and five passing touchdowns. Wentz's advanced metrics are up across the board and he is firmly inside my top-10 dynasty quarterbacks.
Todd Gurley - One of the dialogues from the offseason in dynasty circles was 'is Todd Gurley a bust?' Through three weeks, only Kareem Hunt has more PPR points at running back than Gurley and the Rams offense is one of the notable uptick units around the NFL. Gurley is locked in as a top-10 dynasty running back with a strong argument to be at or near the top-5.
Paul Perkins - While Perkins was not viewed as a world-beating talent entering the NFL or the 2017 season, the lead role was wide open for Perkins to be at least a volume-based RB2. The opening three weeks have done nothing be flatline Perkins' lineup and dynasty trade market appeal. Perkins is a roster-clogger at this juncture with little reason to expect an uptick of production or value later this season.
Joe Mixon – Clearly, the most talented running back on the Bengals roster is Joe Mixon. At least 3 of his runs were reminiscent of the patient, cut back ability that we have come to see from Le’Veon Bell. I’m not sure if the Bengals can continue to keep him under wraps with a 0-3 start, but 18 carries are a good start. He will have some big games very soon.
Alex Collins – Terrance West is a plodding back and Javorius Allen is better as a pass catcher, but during a heavy loss the Ravens let former Seahawk Alex Collins display his talent. I wouldn’t go crazy just yet as circumstances gave him a chance to shine. In more trying situations the Ravens may use Collins or reduce him to a supporting role. With a cheap investment, but don’t go breaking your bank.
Elijah McGuire – With Matt Forte and Bilal Powell expected to dominate the running back touches with the Jets, Elijah McGuire has flashed some ability with limited touches. He has run the ball better than his more experienced teammates and may have earned further playing time. He will need to stop fumbling though and is worth a look without expecting too much.
Wayne Gallman – The Giants running game has been putrid and the fact that 4th round rookie Wayne Gallman has been a healthy scratch must be concerning. At some stage, they must see if he can do any better than what is currently masquerading as a running game, but clearly, he is worth a roll of the dice only.
Mack Brown – After rookie Samaje Perine left with a hand injury, Mack Brown consolidated the Washington win against the Raiders. He ran well at the end of 2016 and if Rob Kelley continues to miss time, Brown may have outplayed Perine for more playing time. He is not going to be the worst add this week.
Paul Perkins – Paul Perkins may be the lead back by name, but he is clearly not an NFL caliber lead back. An average of 2 yards a carry over 3 games is embarrassing and due to the fact that the Giants only have slightly better runners, he may get touches every week and may even break out for an occasional run of note.
Samaje Perine – With Rob Kelley laid low with a rib injury, Washington has turned to 4th round rookie Samaje Perine, but he has looked average at best. Less than 3 yards a carry with 40 runs is a poor start to an NFL career. Adding further worry to his owners is a hand injury. Sometimes young backs improve, other times they are who we see on tape.
Lamar Miller – Lamar Miller continues to produce mediocre outings. A quality back would do better with the same number of touches. This isn’t something new for Miller who produced a very low fantasy point per touch output in 2016. His future in the NFL may be tied to becoming a 3rd down back. If rookie D’Onta Foreman continues to run the ball better than Miller, we may see that happen very soon.
Geronimo Allison – In the staff dynasty league I have had Geronimo Allison on and off my roster for a year. He will stay there now for the near future. With Randall Cobb out injured, Allison shone against the Bengals with his first 100-yard game. Adding to his long-term outlook is the fact that Jordy Nelson is 32, Randall Cobb can be cut after this season and Davante Adams is a free agent. Allison only needs to replace one of these guys going forward to be effective. If he remains with the Packers he could be a solid receiver for years or if he runs to a better offer, he is worth re-evaluating.
Sammy Watkins – Considering he was a last-minute addition to the team, after being traded by the Bills, he has started his career with the Rams very well. Seemingly over his injury issues, he has displayed the talent that saw him as a top 5 overall pick in the strong receiver NFL draft of 2014. In a more upbeat offense than what the Bills trotted out, Watkins has a chance to grow with a promising young quarterback and be the elite receiver he promised to be.
Travis Benjamin – In 2 of his 3 games, Travis Benjamin has clearly outperformed the Chargers star from last season, Tyrell Williams. It was forgotten that Benjamin started his Charger career fantastically in 2016 before injury caught up with him. There is the worry that with his slight frame history could repeat, but he will be one of the more dynamic options on a lot of waiver wires this week. Use him while you can.
Jeremy Maclin – Scoring 2 touchdowns in his first 2 games as a Raven has masked the fact that Jeremy Maclin has fewer targets in 3 games than Doug Baldwin had against the Titans. Maclin is going to be a very risky lineup decision, even in leagues that could start 4 wide receivers. At age 29 Maclin isn’t getting any younger and there will be better options on almost any waiver wire.
Tyrell Williams – With the injury histories of both Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams owners have some reason to hold onto him. His performance to date, though, must be disappointing. He will be hard to start with any consistency, but with 3 weeks under the belt, we can see where the Chargers are going with their targets.
Rashard Higgins – A week after being a very popular waiver wire add, Rashard Higgins displayed the kind of form in week 3 against the Colts, that saw him start the season on the practice squad. Young receivers often take a while to develop and there is still hope that Higgins can get that much sought after consistency we want from our fantasy receivers. Some savvy owners may take another chance on him when he goes back into a lot of waiver wire pools this week.
Martavis Bryant - Bryant already comes with the off-field risk factor, but his play has been up-and-down this season. With leaving plays on the field in Week 3 and Juju Smith-Schuster's snap count rising early on, Bryant's weekly floor-ceiling combination leaves something to be desired with Antonio Brown already entrenched as the No.1 option for Pittsburgh.
Chris Hogan - Hogan continues to be an integral part of the Patriots passing game, en route to WR18 in PPR PPG through three weeks, nearly matching the much-higher-valued Brandin Cooks in targets (18 to 17). Hogan is the ideal weekly WR3/4 on strong dynasty rosters with WR1 upside and being attached to Tom Brady.
Jason Witten - The ageless one is on a Tony Gonzalez-like track of mid-30s fantasy production at tight end. While he was valued with a mid-round rookie pick trade market price in the offseason as a bridge producer, Witten is off to a hot start as a clear difference-maker at a position where few separate from their fantasy peers.
Eric Ebron - The fourth-year tight end enters a critical season to hit his best season yet. Ebron is barely in the top-30 in PPR PPG for the position with only 60 yards in three games and a minimal role within Detroit's passing game. Ebron remains a low-upside fantasy option (averaging one touchdown for every 20 receptions over his career) with a fading appeal within the dynasty marketplace.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Resuming after a suspension, Austin Seferian-Jenkins led the Jets in targets and catches in a nice win for the Jets. He is now in his 4th year in the league and some Tight Ends take time to mature and learn a difficult position. He may not be an every-week starter, but dynasty owners should snap him up if he is sitting on a waiver wire.
Jared Cook – In a disappointing game for the Raiders, Jared Cook was the only receiving option to be able to hold his head up high. Cook is a borderline fantasy starter for the 2017 season on an Oakland team that should bounce back quickly. Play him against a good matchup or if you are stuck for a better option.
Jonnu Smith – It is hard to fully recommend rookie Tight Ends, due to the difficult demands of the position, but dynasty owners need to move on this guy quickly. He has 2 touchdowns off of only 6 targets and by the start of the 2018 season, he is a name that is highly likely to be on the list of ascending Tight Ends.
Delanie Walker – As the 2017 season continues I have a feeling that the 33-year old Delanie Walker will be phased out of the Titans offense. He has an expensive 2018 contract that Tennessee can move on from with less than a million-dollar hit. He is likely to move onto the mentoring Tight End role, which isn’t generally very good for fantasy owners but will have the occasional good week.
Hunter Henry – His performance against the Dolphins was impressive, but surrounding that are 2 scores that are unforgivable in fantasy football, zero targets, zero catches. Playing him in these scenarios is almost impossible. There are plenty of Tight Ends that are good for a catch or 2 a game and at this stage are better options than Henry. Long-term, he should be still solid, but right now his owners have to put him on the bench until he is a regular part of the target rotation.