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.
Jimmy Garoppolo -The trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers is an immediate upgrade for his future, but I wouldn’t sell the farm to get him just yet. San Francisco has already announced they will be cautious in his handling and he, realistically, won’t start for a month. Once he has a grip on the system, the 49ers will throw him into game action to see what he can do. They need to be 100% comfortable before throwing a big free agency contract at him and fantasy owners should be wary as well. The upside is huge, but if he doesn’t impress the 49ers, then what?
Russell Wilson – Russell Wilson has been amazing considering the lack of a running game and blocking he sees on a regular basis. The trade for former Texan, Duane Brown has to be a huge upgrade for his future. Wilson is a master of improvisation, but cannot do this forever. His options at receiver are solid, without being spectacular and it will be interesting to see if he has that precious few more moments to transition to a more traditional passing game.
C.J. Beathard – The trade for Jimmy Garoppolo almost certainly places rookie C.J. Beathard into the career backup phase expected when he was drafted with the 104th pick in the NFL draft. He has roughly a month to change people’s minds, but it is likely the 49ers see a cap on his ability and traded for the much higher upside player in Garoppolo. If you own him he is worth holding in deeper dynasty leagues, but be prepared to cut bait if he doesn’t make better decisions soon.
Tom Brady – The trading of Jimmy Garoppolo makes us deduce that the Patriots may be seriously thinking about using Tom Brady to his stated wish of playing until he is 45. That seems ambitious, but he hasn’t shown the signs of aging that most players of his vintage usually do. He almost certainly looks locked in for 2018 at this stage and is worth moving up on boards as his 3-year outlook looks stronger than it did with Garoppolo on the roster.
Tyrod Taylor - The Rodney Dangerfield of the quarterback position gets no respect compared to his profile to-date. In three seasons as a starter in Buffalo, Taylor has 47 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, a more than 3-to-1 ratio. The only other quarterbacks to log a 3-to-1 ratio with at least 40 touchdowns are Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Alex Smith. Taylor is well above average in interception rate throughout his career, boasts a 63% career completion rate, and offers nearly 30 yards-per-game rushing in his career. Taylor is a fringe QB1 on the season, yet is an afterthought or throw-in zone of dynasty trade market value.
Alvin Kamara - I was one of the highest, if not the highest, in the dynasty community on Alvin Kamara before the NFL Draft. Landing with New Orleans was a perfect fit, but even I was too low on Kamara's early-career impact potential. Since Adrian Peterson's trade to Arizona, both Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara are top-10 in PPR PPG. Kamara is on pace for more than 600 rushing yards, 600 receiving yards, and more than 5.0 yards-per-carry. The last running back to achieve all three was Darren Sproles in 2011. The two qualifiers before Sproles were Ray Rice and Brian Westbrook. Kamara was an auto-pick recommendation at 1.07 in rookie drafts and is returning value by midseason of his rookie year.
C.J. Anderson - I have been fading Anderson for much of his career compared to his market value. This season has turned into a strong sell recommendation ever since Jamaal Charles has looked closer to his former self as the No.2 back in Denver. The run-blocking Denver offensive line has been solid, but Anderson has to take advantage with just two games of 10+ PPR points on the season, the same as Devontae Booker, who has essentially played only since Denver's Week 5 bye. With three viable backs and questions at quarterback, Anderson is a mid-career back providing no value to contending teams.
Jay Ajayi – Jay Ajayi has certainly thrown up a lot of questionable decisions in his short career to date and it looks like Miami head coach, Adam Gase, has tired of trying to get Ajayi to do what he wants. Where he lands with Philadelphia, on the other hand, is interesting. It is hard to see him approach 20 touches a game with the Eagles, but they have an offense that is firing on all cylinders at the moment. His long-term value has to take a hit though as not only is there concern about his knees, his ability to play to instructions is a more immediate concern in the short term.
Kenyan Drake – The long-held concern over Jay Ajayi is a reason I have rated Kenyan Drake higher than most since he was drafted in the 3rd round by the Dolphins in 2016. We should soon see if he is a legitimate prospect that can hold a starting job in the NFL or just another guy that doesn’t translate ability into success in the pros. His first game since Ajayi left, indicates he has considerable upside, but he is splitting time with Damien Williams. Grab now and hope if you can.
Kelvin Benjamin – His surprise departure from Carolina probably gives him a fantasy hit for now. Not only does he have to adapt to a new team, he will not have the relationship with Tyrod Taylor that he had with Cam Newton. It will be telling how many snaps he has in the weeks coming up and how locked in he is to Tyrod Taylor. Sell him if you can, but get a reasonable price. There is a fair chance he could still be a useful number 2 receiver.
Jordan Matthews – At one stage of his career it looked like Jordan Matthews was headed for borderline WR1 status. Now he will be lucky to be fantasy relevant following the trade of Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo. He is still worth holding onto as he might see opportunities with a different team in 2018. The odds are looking slim though that he ever approaches the potential he displayed in his early years.
Zay Jones –Kelvin Benjamin arrives in Buffalo and coincidentally Zay Jones has his best game as a pro. It is still hard to get a read on his long-term prospects, but there is no way I would give up on him if you are invested in his future. If he is sitting on a waiver wire snap him up as he still has potential on his side.
Devin Funchess – The departure of Kelvin Benjamin makes Devin Funchess the big man on campus in Carolina now and first impressions are that he will be on the WR2/WR3 border from here on out. The offense does appear to be moving away from the big man attack to a more speed orientated offense, but that was telegraphed in the offseason. I would be conservative in my upside opinion of Funchess and he is likely to have more poor games than good moving forward.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – With Pittsburgh on a bye there may be a few leagues that have given a pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster after his big game. If you see him, snap him up or if you have a desperate owner needing strength elsewhere, make a move. He is the future of the passing game in Pittsburgh, the only dilemma is who will be throwing him the ball.
Travis Benjamin – Travis Benjamin makes the most of his targets, but I would be reluctant to grab him as anything other than a bye week filler or flex option. 4 of his 8 games this year have been very good, the other 4 fantasy poor. That is better than players with more name recognition, so if you have a deep roster and need to hit a home run, grab him
Ted Ginn Jr - Ginn to the Saints was a perfect fit with Brandin Cooks departing this offseason and Willie Snead IV a non-factor in the offense thus far in 2017. Ginn is on a team-friendly deal through 2019 and offers the speed-based No.2 receiver role to Michael Thomas' No.1 title. Ginn is a top-30 PPR PPG option this season, including three games of 15+ points over the past month. Ginn is on pace for a career high in yardage and is an ideal WR3/4 or flex option for stronger teams down the stretch.
Donte Moncrief - The market has moved considerably on Moncrief over the past 24 months. While I have shifted Moncrief down some since his promising 2015 season, I hold out hope in this regard: Andrew Luck has missed a significant portion of the past two seasons, T.Y. Hilton is the clear No.1 for the Colts, leaving tempered upside for the rest of the wide receivers, and Moncrief is a free agent this coming offseason. I fully expect a 'prove it' type deal construction for Moncrief's next contract as he has yet to surpass 750 yards in a season and 2017 looks to be another lost season. Moncrief was a metric marvel back in the 2014 draft class, but his market value rose too high compared to his late Day 2 draft pedigree in retrospect and considering he would need to leapfrog T.Y. Hilton to realize his true upside in Indianapolis. Now, Moncrief is trading as an add-on piece in dynasty trades and represents a solid upside shot heading into the offseason.
Eric Ebron - I am holding out little hope for Ebron to turn around his disappointing career thus far. The mantra of Round 1 tight ends is they do not miss from a fantasy perspective, at least gracing TE1 land for fantasy once in their career. Ebron hit 11 PPG in 2016, but has fallen through the floor in 2017 and has eight career touchdowns, yet to be the seam-stretching mismatch of his draft profile. Darren Fells has seen significant snaps for Detroit this season and Ebron has four games of less than 10 yards. Recent trades including for Kyle Rudolph, a future second, and Ebron/1st for DeAndre Hopkins and Jared Cook make Ebron a strong sell recommendation.
David Njoku – After a highly promising start to the season, rookie David Njoku seems to have come back to earth. That is relatively normal for players at his position. The key for him will be the offseason and the how the permanently dysfunctional Browns handle it. If you have him and can extract a good price, I would take it. There appears to be little hope of good players staying to build a strong team in Cleveland and this franchise is as good a career ruiner as anything else in the NFL.
Adam Shaheen – The devastating injury to Zach Miller should open the door to rookie Adam Shaheen, but with only 1 catch for the season, he still has a lot to learn. His owner may have lost faith and you may be able to snap him up as his future is still bright. You will need patience though.