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.
Deshaun Watson – Must move up the rankings with 5 touchdowns in each of his last 2 games. He is still a rookie, making some elementary mistakes in the loss against the Chiefs, but his potential is there for all to see. He will have some down weeks, but with the defense suffering heavy losses, expect Watson to air it out.
Dak Prescott – Time to take the caution brakes off and move Prescott Up. He has demonstrated the poise and ability of his rookie season and is starting to take charge of an offense that isn’t running the ball as well. He is taking what the defenses give him and his decision making is elite.
Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger should be moved down rankings for a few reasons. Although his comment about ”not having it anymore” is seen to be sarcastic, there has to be an element of truth behind it. He has criticized his receivers in public and the offense hasn’t shown much sign of being in synch to date. With more interceptions than touchdowns after week 5 and an average of 1 touchdown a game, he isn’t giving his fantasy owners much to cheer about. With his long-term future undecided, Roethlisberger has to get on track fast to pull something out this year.
Derek Carr – After 2 weeks it looked like Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders were headed for big things this season. Since then Carr has to be moved down rankings significantly. The offense has looked horrible and the defense isn’t picking up the slack either. If the offensive line doesn’t play up to their pay packets, then Carr might be headed for another injury once he returns. A big question mark now hangs over this team, where only optimism surrounded it a few weeks ago.
Deshaun Watson - Trying not to overreact to his first four games, but it is difficult to keep the rookie out of the top 8 at the position. If the strong play continues, Watson will be in the top 4 or 5 by Thanksgiving. Watson has elevated the play of the receivers, namely DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V. Fuller has four touchdowns on just six receptions through two games. Watson is not always efficient, completing just 16 of 31 passes against the Chiefs on Sunday night. But, his 12:4 TD:Int ratio is great for a rookie this early.
Jared Goff - Goff has rebounded in a way we could not have imagined a year ago. We hand it to Sean McVay in the way he has put the second-year passer in a position to succeed. In addition, the Rams have surrounded Goff with very good weapons. Goff will continue to improve and could have a career arc similar to Kirk Cousins.
Aaron Jones - Jones looked fantastic against a middling Cowboys defense Sunday. Yes, Ty Montgomery will be back in the lineup soon. But, I expect the two to split snaps going forward. Jones adds speed and quickness to the Packers offense.
Duke Johnson Jr - Johnson has benefited from the lacking play of Isaiah Crowell. Johnson has received roughly ten touches a game and has produced solid PPR production. Still just 24 years of age, Johnson is much improved from last year.
Matt Breida - Breida has earned a timeshare with Carlos Hyde. After Sunday's loss, coach Kyle Shanahan was asked why Breida played so much. The coach responded that he was playing the "hot hand." The rookie has a chance to play often this season, especially given Hyde's injury history. In addition, the veteran is a free agent after the season.
Leonard Fournette - If Leonard Fournette hasn’t moved into the elite tier of fantasy running backs then I’m not sure what would convince you. He has scored a touchdown in every game and looked every part the franchise back Jacksonville were hoping for with their 4th overall pick. He has allowed this team to be more aggressive on defense, to sensational results and allowed the team to not have to rely on Blake Bortles.
Aaron Jones – Aaron Jones has been sensational in his 2 appearances to date and will be highly rated moving forward. If I owned him, I would be selling him now though. First, the Packers have a tough matchup against the Vikings next and 8 of their remaining 11 games are against top 10 run defenses. Next, we have Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams likely to be over their injuries soon. Jones may have played himself into the starting role by default, but things will change when the Packers start to struggle to run the ball. Jones runs the ball undersized and may be better suited as a change of pace type back.
Wayne Gallman – Last time I wrote that Gallman should get opportunity, almost by default, but the Giants are losing players left right and center. Gallman is going to have a struggle against the Broncos this week, but if he can survive intact after that has a nice run of games, if this team still is interested in playing. I’m not sure if Gallman can handle a full load, but he has run the ball better than anyone else and can catch the ball out of the backfield.
LeSean McCoy – Maybe it is time to start moving McCoy down the rankings. He has yet to find the endzone in 5 games and is managing only 3.2 yards a carry, despite an average of 17 carries a game. The Bills don’t really have anyone else to run the ball, so his workload isn’t likely to decrease, but his ability to churn out fantasy stats seems to have come to a grinding halt.
Nelson Agholor – Although his week 1 performance may have promised more, Nelson Agholor has clearly moved into a nice fantasy WR2/WR3 with the development of Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense. As a lot of receivers in this area are prone to do, he will put up the occasional poor game, but seems to have found a role that can be useful to fantasy owners going forward.
Devin Funchess – When paying attention to training camp stars, it is sometimes wise to wait a year for the true breakout and that appears to be the case with Devin Funchess. He is displaying the form that was prominent in the 2016 preseason, but he failed to put it together last year. Back to back 7 catch games, with 3 trips to the end zone makes him a must start moving forward and a player that should leap up rankings.
Will Fuller V- Much has been made of the rapid development of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, but some of that improvement must be down to the return from injury of 2nd year man Will Fuller V. 4 touchdowns off 6 catches and a deep threat that will keep opposing secondaries honest. Fuller started the 2016 season with a bang too and while he must move up rankings now, he needs to show the consistency this year that he failed to do last year.
Odell Beckham Jr Jr – A terrible injury must move Beckham down the rankings. Not only for the lost time in 2017, but where the team and he will be moving forward. It is not inconceivable and could be likely that the coaching staff are moved on, and maybe Eli Manning won’t have the stomach for a new coaching staff moving in after incredible stability over his career to date. Beckham will be looking for a huge deal, but with a serious injury it will be harder to make that a reality. If you can get a big price, take it. There will be lots of uncertainty surrounding Beckham in the off season and despite being an elite playmaker, the reality is it will be a worrying time to own him in a league.
Martavis Bryant – I had Bryant very low in rankings heading into the season, primarily due his likelihood of encountering the wrath of the substance abuse policy again. Instead he has surprised me by playing all games, but not surprised me by failing to deliver on a consistent basis. The timing of this whole offense is off, but especially with Bryant who isn’t in synch with Ben Roethlisberger after a considerable absence of time together and instead publicly each calling the other out. Bryant is likely to score big when he is on your bench, but he definitely deserves to be on your bench right now.
Amari Cooper - With the poor showing this season, it is difficult to defend having Cooper in the top three players at the position. Still very young, Cooper should rebound. This move is more about having him ranked too highly than anything else.
Sammy Watkins - We are entering a new reality with Watkins now in Los Angeles. He is not the focal point of the offense like he was in Buffalo. Further, there are other receivers, namely Cooper Kupp, who receive more targets. It might be 2018 before we see Watkins as fantasy-viable.
Emmanuel Sanders - Admittedly, Sanders was ranked too low given how he has performed with Trevor Siemian under center. Sanders has 20 receptions and 2 touchdowns through 4 games. With little competition for targets outside of Demaryius Thomas, Sanders will continue to be underrated in fantasy circles.
Zach Ertz - It is time for Ertz to be ranked with Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski. Ertz is having a spectacular season. His performance is at a different tier for all other tight ends not named Kelce or Gronkowski.
Eric Ebron - Ebron moves way down the rankings as he has repeatedly shown a propensity for dropping passes has seen his usage decline steadily. With only 12 receptions for 93 yards through 5 games, it is time to admit that Ebron is a flop until proven differently.
George Kittle – Kittle has defied the low expectations of Rookie Tight Ends, by being a borderline fantasy starter in his first season. He deserves to be ranked highly moving forward, but I still have some reservations heading into the latter half of his rookie year. He is a player I will be monitoring closely moving forward, but something doesn’t feel right just yet. He makes mistakes like all rookies do, but maybe he lacks explosion or size. As I mentioned, he will be monitored moving forward, but I can’t quite put my finger on what is causing the hesitation.
Ed Dickson - Dickson had a career game against the Lions with 5 catches for 175 yards. At age 30 I doubt we will see a repeat, but while Greg Olsen continues to miss time he will have a use in fantasy circles for a short period of time. A savvy owner may move him on or buy and sell at a profit, but be cautious of falling for a huge one-week performance. Every year, there is a surprise or 2 that pops up at Tight End and falls away quickly in future years. It could very well be Dickson this year.