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.
Brett Hundley - Brett Hundley moves slightly up my board. With Aaron Rodgers sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time, we will have a chance to see what Brett Hundley can do. Don’t be too critical of Hundley’s performance this past Sunday. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and he was playing against a very aggressive and competent Vikings defensive unit. Hundley is a very mobile passer who also prefers to throw downfield. Going forward, we should see the coaching staff have a better offensive game plan tailored to those strengths.
C.J. Beathard - Brian Hoyer was benched and C.J. Beathard brought the offense to life, nearly leading a game-winning drive to upset Washington. Beathard played in a pro-style offense in college and seemed comfortable and poised in his debut on Sunday. The accuracy on the run that Beathard flashed at the collegiate level appears intact. Beathard will have an extended audition to see if he can be the 49ers quarterback of the future or if San Francisco needs to consider using their top pick on a signal caller.
Jacoby Brissett - Brissett's days as the Colts quarterback are numbered, but he's played shockingly well considering he stepped into the Colts facilities just days before being handed the job. Brissett has shown enough keeping the Colts in contention to warrant consideration as a starter down the line for another team. His athleticism and dual-threat skill set create a floor on his fantasy outlook should he ever earn a full-time job.
Deshaun Watson - Watson has played better than anyone should have expected, and is already a fantasy QB1 through six weeks. The Texans don't yet have their full offensive line nor do they have their best tight end on the field, yet Watson is making plays with his arms and legs. His touchdown rate is due for regression, but Watson has done enough to confidently slot as a multi-year fantasy starter.
Cam Newton - I was skeptical of Newton coming off labrum surgery, and his play has been up-and-down this season. However, he's getting healthier and warrants a higher ranking. He's beginning to build chemistry with rookie Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess, and once Greg Olsen returns Newton should be an every-week fantasy QB1 for a number of years to come.
Ben Roethlisberger - When a player openly questions whether they've lost it, alarm bells should ring. Roethlisberger has played poorly throughout the season, and it's time to start thinking about his retirement. The Steelers don't have his replacement in- house yet, but it should become a priority this offseason particularly given the strength of the quarterback draft class.
DeShone Kizer - It's risky to give up on a rookie so quickly, but I was skeptical of Kizer's NFL future before the Browns handed him the starting job. His play early in the season cements my pre-draft view -- he's not an NFL starting quarterback. Kizer could develop into a long-time backup, but fantasy owners don't place a lot of value on clipboard holders.
Derek Carr - Carr remains in my top 10, but injuries and poor play have begun to sour me on his potential for multi-year elite value. The Raiders have been a shell of themselves so far, but all is not lost. Carr needs to string together a solid few months in order to maintain his Top 10 dynasty value.
Mitchell Trubisky - While the box scores of Trubisky's first two NFL starts have been muted, the film review is impressive for a rookie early on in their developmental curve. Trubisky will be a 'look for traits' study to finish his rookie season as Chicago's passing game weapons are severely lacking. However, I was highly encouraged by Trubisky's accuracy, playmaking, and getting through progressions. Trubisky is a solid buy especially in Superflex environments for when his supporting cast improves.
Mark Ingram II - Ingram was already one of the more undervalued running backs in dynasty before Adrian Peterson's trade to Arizona. Now, Ingram offers RB1 projections each week even with Alvin Kamara seeing a significant number of snaps as the No.2 option. Ingram has the 14th-most receptions among running backs this season even with Alvin Kamara in the top-10. Ingram, while nearing 28 years old, is a sturdy bet for multiple relevant seasons.
Jerick McKinnon - While more of a short-term bump, McKinnon has been the preferred option for two straight weeks with Dalvin Cook out over Latavius Murray for snaps and touches. McKinnon, not a full workhorse back, fits the dynamic secondary option by nature for NFL backfields. McKinnon is the perfect ride for production or flip option the rest of the season with a predictable workload, but likely to go back to a secondary role in 2018. Still, McKinnon is inside my top-50 dynasty running backs with an argument to be 15-20 spots higher for win-now teams needing additional production this season.
Jerick McKinnon - What can I say, I unfairly discounted McKinnon this preseason. With the Vikings signing Latavius Murray and then drafting Dalvin Cook, McKinnon seemed like a forgotten man destined for marginal value outside of a role on special teams. My bad. Cook is the foundation of the Vikings running attack for years to come, but McKinnon has been dominant as his injury replacement in the last two weeks. McKinnon is playing like a fantasy RB1 right now, and he has the opportunity to parlay this year's performance into a starting role elsewhere.
Aaron Jones - I liked Jones more than Jamaal Williams coming into the preseason, but Williams dominated beat writer camp reports. I mistakenly listened to the beat writers and plugged Williams in as the default #2 relegating Jones to #3 status on a pass-happy team. Jones got his shot when Ty Montgomery got hurt and looked like a franchise caliber runner. He'll split time with Montgomery for now, but Jones has the potential to be a workhorse in future seasons.
Mark Ingram II - The Saints don't seem to believe in Mark Ingram II, or at least didn't. But trading away Adrian Peterson led to a dominant week by Ingram against the Lions. His talent always warranted a Top 20 dynasty ranking, and now the role is back to Top 20 status, too.
Paul Perkins - When you can't beat out Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa, things are bleak. The Giants running game is a disaster, or at least was a disaster until this week versus Denver. Perkins is now #3 on an unenviable depth chart, which makes him a longshot for long-term dynasty value.
Isaiah Crowell - Crowell has been an outright bust this year, and I'm surprised. He was on the verge of my Top 10 at the running back position entering the regular season but now barely warrants flex/RB3 value, at least using a multi-year lens.
Derrick Henry - Henry hasn't done enough with DeMarco Murray banged up to justify a dynasty RB1 ranking. He's still young and on an offense suited to running the ball a lot, but he should be viewed as an RB2 over a multi-year horizon than the RB1 my previous ranking indicated.
Jerick McKinnon - While Dalvin Cook is clearly the future for the Vikings at the running back position, his season-ending injury has opened the door for Jerick McKinnon to showcase his skills. He’s a free agent in 2018, but the positional convert is doing damage on the ground and through the air in relief of Cook. McKinnon will attempt to win over potential suitors in free agency and extend his value in dynasty formats beyond this year.
Mark Ingram II - Ingram moves a couple of spots in my personal rankings. The game script helped, but with Adrian Peterson traded away, we saw more of a willingness to lean on Ingram, who received a whopping 25 carries. He has a very fantasy-friendly slate going forward, which should be of interest to contending teams.
Will Fuller V - All he does is catch touchdowns. No seriously, that's all Fuller has done since returning from a preseason injury. Fuller isn't going to displace DeAndre Hopkins atop the depth chart, but he's proving a capable #2 as Deshaun Watson takes the world by storm.
Devin Funchess - Funchess is a reminder that we sometimes give up on players too quickly. The former Michigan "athlete" aka a man without a position has shown growth as a route runner and attacking the ball in traffic. He's not a world beater, but he's doing enough to hold dynasty value as a WR3 with upside for the next few seasons.
Adam Thielen - I was already high on Thielen, but through six weeks the emerging Vikings receiver leads the NFC in receiving yards. With Stefon Diggs perennially toying with the injured list, Thielen's target share is secure for years to come. He's no worse than a PPR WR2 in dynasty circles.
Nelson Agholor - Speaking of not giving up on players too quickly, Agholor has turned his career completely around. The former USC 1st rounder appeared on the verge of being released a few months ago but is now a Top 20 fantasy receiver and Carson Wentz' most consistent threat outside of Zach Ertz.
Martavis Bryant - Bryant is asking for a trade, at least according to one beat writer. Regardless of his satisfaction in Pittsburgh, Bryant isn't productive enough to warrant a Top 25 dynasty ranking. We always knew his production would come in fits and starts, but this year he's done very little to think he could help carry a championship roster in PPR or non-PPR formats.
Sammy Watkins - The Bills opted not to exercise Watkins' fifth-year option and then traded him. We all made excuses for those moves, arguing the Bills were in rebuilding mode. Unfortunately, Watkins has been downright awful in most weeks even though the Rams' offense has been surprisingly effective.
Amari Cooper - It's time to stop making excuses for Cooper's poor play. He isn't producing with or without Michael Crabtree in the lineup. His youth and natural ability warrant some hope, but his dynasty value is now in the mid-range WR2 tier versus his prior WR1 with upside tier.
Zay Jones - Jones caught 27,000 passes in college, and the Bills lack of playmakers made him a good bet to produce earlier than most young receivers. Regardless of the pedigree and opportunity, Jones hasn't done anything encouraging. It's way too early to give up on Jones, but he should be viewed as a bench player (WR4 or lower) with upside until he strings together a few good weeks.
Laquon Treadwell - He’s not dead yet! With Stefon Diggs out for Sunday’s action, Treadwell got the start. The Vikings didn’t need to pass much against a Packers team that couldn’t move the ball. However, when Treadwell did get involved, he showed off his talent with an impressive one-handed grab. I expect to see Treadwell become even more involved, especially when Teddy Bridgewater returns to run the offense.
Nelson Agholor - Agholor has looked like a completely different player, one that has regained his confidence and will see many targets when Alshon Jeffery is drawing the best coverage of opposing defenses. It will be interesting to see if Agholor can sustain success as defenses wake up to the threat he has become.
JuJu Smith-Schuster - While I was a fan of Smith-Schuster coming out of USC with few metric holes, the still 20-year-old receiver has done nothing but impress in the first six weeks of his NFL career. Smith-Schuster quickly pushed Martavis Bryant for snaps and has out-snapped the boom-bust receiver the past two weeks for the No.2 role. Smith-Schuster is averaging more than 9 PPR PPG with two touchdowns already. Smith-Schuster is justifying his late 1st or early 2nd rookie draft position.
Cameron Brate - O.J. Howard is having the traditional struggles that rookie tight ends tend to experience. Meanwhile, Cameron Brate continues to be a trusted target, no matter who is in at quarterback. He shines in red zone work, where he’s a size mismatch for those asked to cover him. Though Brate’s value may not last in the long-term, for contenders in need at the position, he’s an affordable and effective option.
Zach Miller - While Adam Shaheen is likely the future for this team, Miller is the one whose value is headed up in the here-and-now. Mitchell Trubisky looks for Miller as a security blanket, especially in passing situations in the red zone. Contending teams in need can get Miller cheaply - and sometimes even for free if the league is shallow enough.
George Kittle - Kittle had promise and my ranking was simply way too low regardless of his lack of a defined role entering his rookie season. As we now know, Kittle is defying the normal rookie stigma and pushing for fantasy TE1 value in PPR leagues. The 49ers are rebuilding and Kittle is one of the pieces already slotted in place for 2018 and beyond.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Seferian-Jenkins never lacked talent, but his attitude and off-the-field concerns precluded a high ranking. However, he's served his 2-game suspension and has immediately become a playmaker for a Jets team bereft of other weapons.
Dwayne Allen - Allen has done nothing for the Patriots since his preseason trade from Indianapolis. The Patriots have a long history of trying things in free agency and pulling the ripcord quickly when it's not working. Don't be surprised if Allen is on the street looking for a new home soon.
Tyler Eifert - Another season-ending back surgery makes it impossible to rank Eifert as a TE1 in any scoring system. We know when healthy he can be a difference maker, but health has been elusive for the Cincinnati Bengal.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - It has been a bumpy road to get to a consistently productive place for Seferian-Jenkins, but he is currently producing as a top-10 fantasy tight end. The Jets have little competition for targets and it took nearly falling out of the NFL entirely for Seferian-Jenkins to get his career on track than previously. Still only 25 years old, his talent warrants a spot in the top-10 of dynasty rankings as few physical mismatches and talents exist at the position. For win-now teams looking for 2017 production or thinking down the line, Seferian-Jenkins appeals to both subsets of dynasty owners.