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 - Watson has been a tough watch for chunks of this season. His frame is on the thin size and he opens himself up to a bevy of hits, both from the pocket and on the move. The weapons are solid and rushing upside appealing, however, the rookie year magic has sagged to a full season pace this year of 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, a pedestrian line in the pass-happy NFL.
Baker Mayfield - The No.1 overall pick continues to log positive reviews with his pocket navigation, accuracy, and live arm especially on intermediate routes. Mayfield led a victory against the salty Baltimore defense and pushes through drops around him and occasional mistakes. Mayfield is one of the more stable quarterback-premium assets in dynasty.
Baker Mayfield – The Baltimore defense is tough this season and even though Mayfield was at home, he looked solid in leading his team to a tough victory. Despite taking 5 sacks in the game, Mayfield looked impressive at times and finished the game with 342 passing yards and a touchdown in his best performance of the season. Cleveland is on the rise and Mayfield looks like a decent quarterback that you can build your fantasy team around.
Josh Allen – Unless you’re in a deep dynasty league, Josh Allen should be on the waiver wire. Despite leading his team to a victory at home against a tough Tennessee defense, Allen had just 82 yards passing. He chipped in 19 yards rushing and scored Buffalo’s only touchdown of the game, but that was the highlight of an otherwise terrible performance. He’ll be the starting quarterback in Buffalo, but he won’t be much help for your fantasy team, even in a ‘Super Flex / Start 2 Quarterback’ format.
Patrick Mahomes II II - He's No. 1. How can an objective dynasty analyst not put Mahomes atop the rankings after this start? He's younger than the other viable candidates by several years and is dismantling even the league's best defenses.
Kirk Cousins - Cousins has been surgical as the Vikings new leader, and it's particularly impressive given the suspect nature of the offensive line and the Vikings inability to run the ball. He's been fearless (and accurate) in the face of intense pressure.
Jared Goff - I'm still not sure Goff is an elite physical talent, but he's the engine of Sean McVay's offense. If I'm right about McVay being the next great NFL coach, Goff has a ton of great seasons ahead.
Russell Wilson - You'll find no bigger Wilson fan on staff but it's hard to look at this roster construction, the downgrade at offensive coordinator, and the beating Wilson keeps taking and think he'll be one of the top 5 best quarterbacks over the next three to five years.
Dak Prescott - It's just not there. We can blame the coaches and the offensive line and the receiving corps, but great players elevate their teams. If he needs elite surrounding talent, he's not a compelling dynasty asset in arguably the deepest quarterback talent pool in modern history.
Matt Ryan - Ryan is young and a league MVP, and we saw in 2016 what he can do when things are going well. But the Falcons are 1-4, the offense isn't clicking, and it looks like the team may need to blow things up - again - which will rob him of a season or two of elite production.
T.J. Yeldon - Yeldon has been a top-20 fantasy back in four out of five weeks this year while Leonard Fournette nurses yet another ailment. Yeldon deserves consideration as an impact player beyond 2018.
Nick Chubb - Chubb sneaks into the top 20 by virtue of others falling out and the Browns starting to play well after years of failed rebuilding. Although Carlos Hyde is the Brown to own right now, Chubb should be the workhorse in 2019 and beyond.
Christian McCaffrey - He only moves up two spots, but it's a significant move as it puts McCaffrey into the top 5 at the position. He's done everything for the Panthers and, contrary to some, is perfectly suited to handle a full-time, every-down role.
Peyton Barber - Barber -- a preseason darling -- has turned back into a pumpkin. He hasn't shown even a hint of potential and will only see playing time in as much as Ronald Jones fails to win the coaches over. Whether Jones amounts to much, Barber won't be in Tampa Bay's plans in 2019 and beyond.
Jay Ajayi - It's time to worry about Ajayi. His tenure in Philadelphia is shaping up as lackluster, and veteran backs with failed stints on two rosters rarely amount to much in dynasty circles. His bone-on-bone preexisting condition is now matched by a broken back, and he's fumbling in limited touches. Risks abound.
Kenyan Drake - Drake produced this week thanks to a receiving touchdown, but Frank Gore saw considerably more touches. If Adam Gase trusts 35-year old over Drake, it doesn't matter what we think Drake can do.
Leonard Fournette - Fournette falls out of my top 10 with the latest hamstring injury. He's starting to look like a player that never quite stays healthy and has waxing and waning motivation. That's not the kind of player you want to build a dynasty roster around.
James White - Each week confirms White's stable role and integral chess piece qualities for the Patriots offense. White is one of the rare running backs to be an auto-start weekly without much rushing potential. He and Sony Michel have defined roles with minimal chance to step on each other's production and White is a strong RB2 in PPR the rest of the season.
Derrick Henry - Henry continues to be a sell recommendation for dynasty leagues. First, the Titans were aggressive in free agency when typically, a Round 2 back of prototypical size would be anointed the starter. Second, Henry's tape has been middling this season with sluggish feet and sagging snaps to Lewis. While still holding a Round 1 level trade market valuation, Henry is a handcuff, needing an injury to be a weekly fantasy starter and an expensive one at that.
Chris Carson and Mike Davis – Carson emerged as Seattle’s primary running back, and he had an impressive performance against the Rams who have been stingy against the run before this weekend. Carson was the primary back and finished the game win an impressive 6.1 yards per attempt and 127 yards from scrimmage on 20 touches. Mike Davis had fewer touches but was still impressive in his own right with 68 rushing yards and a touchdown. Both of these guys should be moving up your dynasty rankings and either of them could be a nice flex fill in for your team this season.
Doug Martin – Martin has all but disappeared from the Oakland offensive game plan and he has just seven touches over the last two weeks. Through the first five weeks of the season, he has less than 100 yards from scrimmage and has yet to touch the ball more than nine times in any game. Unless Marshawn Lynch is injured, Martin has almost zero fantasy value.
Lamar Miller – Miller was dealing with a chest injury all week but suited up and was ready to play against the Cowboys on Sunday night. However, he did not make it into the game and Alfred Blue finished the game with 28 touches for 119 yards from scrimmage. This is a situation to keep an eye on as Blue has had a couple good games throughout his career but is generally ‘just a guy’ when it comes to fantasy performances. Depending on how extensive Miller’s injury is, this could mean a committee approach at running back for the Texans. Keep an eye on this situation.
Chester Rogers – the Colts are not the same team without T.Y. Hilton, but Chester Rogers is emerging as a legitimate #2 option on the team. With Hilton on the sideline this week, Rogers had 11 targets and eight receptions for 66 receiving yards. That doesn’t seem like a huge performance, but it was the best of all the Indianapolis wide receivers. He’s a decent flex option in a PPR league, and while he might not turn in many 20 fantasy performances, a consistent guy who produces 10-15 fantasy points is worth having on your roster.
Keke Coutee – Coutee was a game-time decision this week, and it was questionable if what role he would play if Will Fuller V V was health. Both Fuller and Coutee suited up for the Texans against their in-state rivals, but Coutee clearly had the better day with 7 targets and 6 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown compared to Fuller’s two receptions for just 15 yards. DeAndre Hopkins is still the top dog on this team, but Coutee looks to be moving up into the second slot in front of Fuller.
Michael Thomas - Thomas moves ahead of Beckham and Hopkins to No. 1. It's a move I've been contemplating for some time but was reluctant because of Drew Brees' age. But Beckham has as much uncertainty going forward but has a worse quarterback in the meantime. Hopkins is great but is older than Thomas, and I worry about Deshaun Watson's longevity.
Keke Coutee - What more can the rookie do? Since getting over his preseason injury, he's been the most dynamic possession receiver in the league. He runs great routes, has a veteran's awareness of zone spacing, and great hands. He's quickly become a hot commodity worth targeting; in other words, he's a "Buy High."
Cooper Kupp - The Rams have three productive receivers but Kupp is the youngest and is entrenched as a centerpiece of the NFC's best offense for years to come.
Keelan Cole - The preseason Cole hype hasn't materialized, and his snap count is plummeting. Blake Bortles isn't consistent, and the team is willing and able to throw to everyone on the receiver depth chart. Cole might have been a flash in the pan and can't be counted on as a priority dynasty asset.
Michael Gallup - It's far too early to abandon ship on Gallup, but my excitement has dimmed for an immediate return on your investment. The Cowboys are desperate for playmakers and Gallup simply isn't distancing himself from the mediocre competition. That's concerning.
Marvin Jones Jr - Jones remains a starting-caliber player, but Kenny Golladay is emerging as the team's best playmaker, and Golden Tate's role as the underneath possession receiver is safe, too. Combine that with Jones' injuries and it's time to start fielding offers while he's still perceived as a top-25 dynasty receiver.
Demaryius Thomas - Thomas continues to shift down my dynasty board. He was saved this week by a garbage time long touchdown, which has been uncharacteristic to his short-range usage this season. Courtland Sutton continues to flash in a secondary role with eyes on a bigger role as 2018 progresses and especially in 2019. DaeSean Hamilton is also beginning to carve a role in the offense. Thomas has lost multiple steps from his prime and can barely be a flex option for contending teams with even less appeal for non-contending ones.
D.J. Moore - D.J. Moore has been slowly rising his snaps early in his rookie season, but his flashes have been overt with after-the-catch acumen and difference-making acceleration. Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright have done nothing to dampen Moore's upside potential later this season as a bigger version of Golden Tate in terms of his profile and usage in a small sample size to date.
C.J. Uzomah - Uzomah was the pickup recommendation last week, not Tyler Kroft, as Uzomah dominated Kroft in routes run even with a healthy Tyler Eifert. Uzomah had two flash receptions in Week 5 and moves well for his size. At a tight end position where a select few are auto-starts weekly, Uzomah has strong snap projections weekly for the rest of the season to emerge as a streaming option.
Dallas Goedert - While Goedert flashed with 7-73-1 back in Week 3, it is important to keep Goedert's lineup functionality in perspective. Goedert is a high-upside tight end handcuff with a low weekly floor as long as Zach Ertz is healthy. Goedert had a window to sell for a future Round 1 pick after the big game, but the market is closer to a future Round 2 pick, his likely cost, at present. The wait for tight ends to start producing with confidence in lineups can be a long one and Goedert is yet another promising, but wait-for-opportunity, young tight end.
Austin Hooper – The Pittsburgh defense fired up against the Falcons this week and the guy that the Falcons kept turning to was Austin Hooper. Hooper finished the game with 12 targets and nine receptions for 77 yards. As defenses continue to game plan around Julio Jones and limit his effectiveness, Hooper is going to see action. Against rough defenses that pressure the quarterback, Hooper’s short- and medium-range route running will be essential to helping the Falcons move the ball. He’s a decent, mid-range tight end option for your fantasy team.
Tyler Kroft - I liked Kroft entering the year because I assumed Eifert's career may be over. That outlook was clouded by Eifert's readiness for Week 1 but has since reversed course with Eifert's latest season-ending injury.
Jesse James - I'm tired of this unwarranted fascination with Vance McDonald. James isn't going to be a fantasy stud, but he's a reliable and important component of the Steelers offense when it's executing at a high level.
Dallas Goedert - Goedert remains blocked by Zach Ertz, but the Eagles have integrated him into the offense quickly. He's playing a more important role than Trey Burton did before Burton landed a starting gig elsewhere. Goedert may not be a TE1 with Ertz around, but he's done nothing to think he won't be an impact starter down the road, either in Philadelphia or elsewhere via free agency.
Tyler Eifert - Another season-ending injury for one of the unluckiest players in NFL history.
Mike Gesicki - The preseason hype hasn't translated to regular season snaps or targets, so I'm falling back to my pre-draft read on Gesicki. He's a liability as a blocker and will have to find a role as an oversized, glorified receiver.