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.
Gardner Minshew - Minshew drops to QB30 as the bloom is most certainly off the rose. What was once a story of an underdog overachieving has now turned into a not-so-good quarterback being exposed under the pressure of lofty expectations. Rookie Jake Luton looked as good, if not better, than Minshew in his first career start and it’s time to start thinking of Minshew as a career backup with occasional spot starting opportunities.
Alex Smith - Smith reappears in the rankings for the first time in years. Kyle Allen’s injury re-opens the door for Smith to potentially start for Washington in the final two months, depending on what the team decides to do with Dwayne Haskins – who has been inactive of late. Either way, Smith’s return for a life-threatening leg injury is the stuff of legend, and now has a small glimmer of multi-year fantasy relevance looming if he plays well down the stretch.
Alex Smith - With Kyle Allen suffering a probable serious injury and Dwayne Haskins in the dog house, Alex Smith may have more life left in his NFL career. Whether he plays beyond this year is looking too far ahead, but he has a fantasy use for now. He was right off my dynasty radar for obvious reasons and now moves back into immediate consideration ahead of several other current starters.
Drew Lock - After a patchy start to his second season, interrupted by injury, Drew Lock has finally looked like he did at the end of 2019 in his last two games. Whether that is good enough to get the Broncos back into playoff contention is unlikely. Maybe Lock does enough to keep the job next year. He seems to have finally locked onto Jerry Jeudy. He is a gamble long term, but he has all the makings of a fantasy starter if things go right.
Tua Tagovailoa - In his second start, Tua Tagovailoa looked polished, but with so much still to learn. There were however good signs as he lifted his side to victory against the Cardinals. It’s too early to base your franchise on him, but the potential is there. If Miami can get him some protection, a running game, and some receivers, who knows what his upside is? A slight rise, with an eagle eye on further progression.
Lamar Jackson - The top of the quarterback board is a crowded affair. Jackson, commonly the QB1/2 off startup boards in the offseason, has stumbled his way to QB17 in PPG midway through the season. Jackson's rushing has slipped some (roughly 20 yards per game and a yard per carry), but the biggest shift has been as a passer. While Jackson's interception rate remains low (in the good way), his regression-worthy touchdown rate from 2019 has been cut nearly in half and his ancillary metrics are down across the board. Considering the more establishing production profiles plus the rising Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and possibly Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson outside QB5 in rankings is prudent and even nearing QB10 as the most bear-ish vantage point.
Sam Darnold - While Darnold does not have the off-field baggage of the tarnished Dwayne Haskins, Darnold is firmly on the hot seat heading into the offseason. The Jets are perched high in the NFL Draft order and Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields will be tough to pass on for teams with any semblance of quarterback question marks. While the argument Darnold has subpar weapons is accurate, the results have been forgettable. Darnold is a sub-60% passer through more than 1,000 NFL passes, plus has nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns. Considering today's NFL, this is a relative trainwreck on paper. By NFL comparative standards, 2020 is Darnold's worst season yet. Look for Darnold on the reclamation project route this offseason as the Jets turn the page. Despite Darnold's pedigree, he is outside of my top-25 dynasty quarterbacks with an argument to be outside of the top-30.