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.
Derek Carr – At one stage it looked like Derek Carr was set to anchor this franchise and fantasy owners’ rosters for years to come, but his receivers are not helping him at the moment and he looks more like the player he did in year two than the one we saw in 2016. I have to move Carr back into caution status, as he is not throwing with the confidence of last year and his chemistry with Amari Cooper, especially has to be rocky at the moment.
Blaine Gabbert – Blaine Gabbert, had a nice, but uneven performance to start his 2017 audition for future starting roles. He is an improvement on Drew Stanton for the Cardinals, but where the coaching staff and key players are for next year is uncertain. Gabbert is worth an add for the remainder of this season and can definitely be a nice dynasty pickup. There are many NFL rosters struggling for even mediocre quarterback play right now and Gabbert could be in line for starting jobs next year if he can play with consistency.
Jameis Winston - What looked like an ascendant elite quarterback for future years at the start of the season is rapidly deteriorating before our eyes. Not only has his play been suspect, especially following his ongoing shoulder issues, but off-field issues may have a serious impact on what happens from here on out. This season may result in a new coach or wholesale changes in Tampa, but Winston needs to get this train back on the tracks quickly before he flames out of the league. Get something for him if you can, otherwise hold on and hope.
Marcus Mariota – As the staffer who was lowest on Marcus Mariota heading into the season, it pains me to say that he is not developing as fast as the Titans or his owners would like. There is still hope that he develops into a regular fantasy starter by next year, but we need to see some kind of chemistry with his younger receivers like Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, and Taywan Taylor. Be cautious in relying on him moving forward as his situation could go either way.
Deshaun Watson – The rookie was so sharp before his season-ending injury that I could not find a way to keep him out of the top three players at the position, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton. Watson has the toughness and intelligence to be an elite fantasy option for many years.
Carson Wentz – Went is slotted right behind Watson as QB4. He is a great fit in the Eagles’ offense and is surrounded by weapons. The dominant showing against Dallas on Sunday night solidified the rankings.
Brett Hundley – Like most upside backup quarterbacks, they are ranked and priced according to upside and potential. The true test is when we see these players in extended action. Well, I have seen enough to move Hundley down the rankings. There are few elements of his game to like and Green Bay is expected to upgrade the QB2 position in the offseason.
Alvin Kamara – Karama has exceeded expectations after playing sparingly to begin the season. He offers great receiving ability combined with a tough-running style.
Dalvin Cook – As we move closer to the offseason, Cook is a name to remember. He was impressive before the injury and most will forget how well he was utilized in the Vikings offense.
Latavius Murray – After starting the season with 97 yards on 41 carries through his first 6 games of the season, Murray has averaged a much more impressive 4.08 over the last 3 weeks on his 54 carries. He has run the ball with purpose and could still be available for the right price. Averaging 18 carries a game lately, he is looking more like the back we saw in Oakland and that is a solid RB2.
Samaje Perine – After looking like he was not up to this level, Perine finally had a performance to be proud of. 23 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown is a good day in anyone’s books. I have been a harsh critic of him but must give him his due. After a season-long run of 12 yards prior to Sunday, he beat that with a 30 yarder and a 17- yard run against the Saints. I’m not convinced he can be a reliable fantasy runner, but with Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson out, he has a chance to be more than just a hyped pre-training camp sleeper.
Byron Marshall – All that stands between Byron Marshall and some decent fantasy chances is Samaje Perine. With both Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley out long term, the Washington team is decimated at the position. Marshall comes from the Eagles practice squad and did well to close out the 2016 season with Philadelphia. At this stage of the season, names start cropping up that you would never have dreamed of having an impact and Marshall has one of the most important things a running back can have, opportunity.
Corey Coleman – Coleman has been an unlucky player in his short career so far, but these things tend to happen more in Cleveland than elsewhere. He made a solid return from his broken hand with a 6-catch-for-80-yard performance against the tough Jaguars secondary and could be a solid player to target for the rest of this year and beyond. With an ounce of luck, he could easily be a 1,000-yard receiver.
Josh Doctson – Doctson is finally getting some consistent playing time behind him and is making truly elite catches in the process. He still hasn’t had that breakout game, but you can see that it is close. If his owner can be tempted, try and steal him away. His injury history is a concern, but what he is showing now is why he was picked in the first round. This is truly a player that has as high a ceiling as there can be at receiver but has a very low floor as well if he keeps getting injured.
Demaryius Thomas – Bad things are happening in Denver and the gut feeling is that some players with high cap values are about to turn over. It would be prohibitive of the Broncos to get rid of Demaryius Thomas before the 2019 season, but his production is not going to be worth his salary. Very shortly he will hit 30 and the play at quarterback isn’t utilizing his talent, for now, slowly declining skills. If you can sell him on name recognition do so. His days as an elite receiver are over.
Amari Cooper – Amari Cooper looked like he was going to be an elite receiver for years to come, but this year has been a disaster outside the game against the Chiefs. I don’t think there is a player this year I have been more disappointed in than Cooper. He is only 23 though, has all the talent in the world and just needs to get his confidence and hands back. I would hold steady as an owner and hope the Raiders, and Cooper can get their groove back.
Adam Thielen – Thielen has been incredible this season. His strong play has led us to place him in the top five ranked receivers. We have faith that this elite play will continue no matter who Minnesota has under center.
Amari Cooper – It is finally time to admit that the promise Cooper has shown is offset by his untimely dropped passes. Receivers who are skilled at their craft need to be ranked in the top five, not ones who are long on potential and short on execution.
Cooper Kupp – Kupp has quietly become a fantasy WR2. He is the Rams best red-zone option and shows great hands … other than the drop Sunday against Minnesota. Just a rookie (an older rookie), Kupp has a chance to improve as he grows accustomed to the McVay offensive scheme.
Dez Bryant – It is time to move Bryant down from the “elite fantasy option” category. He is not able to make plays after the catch like in his youth.
Martellus Bennett – Bennett’s value was predicated on being the TE1 in Green Bay. Now injured and the backup for Gronkowski, Bennett offers little more than situational upside.
Evan Engram – Engram has emerged to become the top young tight end in the league. He has shown off great hands and play-making ability.
Adam Shaheen – Following on from his nice cameo last week, Shaheen caught all 4 of his targets against the Lions, including a touchdown reception. This is the stage of the year where a lot of rookies will be starting to put the pieces together and taking advantage of their opportunities. Shaheen may still be had in some leagues and I would make strong offers to his owners. The Trubisky-to-Shaheen connection could be one of the league’s best in future years.
Jeremy Sprinkle – The opportunity is there for Jeremy Sprinkle to be a serious Tight End in a couple of years for Washington. Jordan Reed has trouble staying fit and Vernon Davis will soon be 34. After his first reception, which was a touchdown catch, Sprinkle may start appearing on some fantasy radars. You will need patience and a deep roster to hide him away, but the kid can catch. All he needs is for his game to develop to a point where the team can trust him as a starting Tight End.