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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 moved up from QB31 to QB21. I wouldn’t be surprised if Minshew has a career similar to Case Keenum, where he starts off and on, bounces around a bit to different, and makes a lot of money in the process. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he has a Tony Romo career where he locks down the starting job in Jacksonville long-term and puts up numbers. I’ll take him over all of the older quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers) at this point based upon that upside.
Teddy Bridgewater – The Saints backup moves up from QB35 to QB28. The big Week 5 performance aside, I’m not sold on Bridgewater every being an impactful fantasy scorer. However, he is re-establishing that he can at least manage games and be the starting quarterback on a good team. If he can keep winning games, he has a good shot to get an extension in New Orleans and be the starter in waiting behind Brees.
Nick Foles – The Jaguars big-money quarterback slides from QB27 to QB32. It’s just bad career luck that Foles got injured allowing Minshew to step in and make his case to remain the starter. In Superflex leagues, it makes sense to be patient, though. Foles is good enough to start in the NFL and should get his chance again in the near future, whether in Jacksonville or elsewhere.
Dak Prescott - I like the progression I've seen from Prescott as an intermediate and downfield passer in 2019. With Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup locked in, Prescott's foreseeable future has a high floor and ceiling on a now more capable Dallas passing game. Prescott adds the rushing element which is now a bonus more than a foundation of his fantasy appeal.
Mitchell Trubisky - The skepticism for Trubisky as a cornerstone fantasy (and NFL) quarterback continues in 2019. Trubisky averaged less than 10 yards per completion in all four games before missing time with injury and the field is shrinking in terms of making the game digestible for Trubisky, despite being an optimized offensive design. Chase Daniel's substitution with two functional games with the ball moving to play-makers in rhythm and timing has highlighted Trubisky's limitations in the area even more.
Teddy Bridgewater - Since entering the league in 2014, Teddy Bridgewater has always looked like a work in progress. His potential was there for all to see, but it hadn’t been realized. Against the Buccaneers, Bridgewater looked like an accomplished starting quarterback in the NFL. He had only ever thrown more than two touchdowns once in his career and had only a handful of games over 300 passing yards. While Drew Brees is out, Bridgewater has the potential to make himself millions and at only 27 years of age has a long future in the NFL. Moves up in the rankings.
Philip Rivers - Some quarterbacks reach a point in their career where the downside is clearly in view. I think we are seeing that with Philip Rivers. Like Cam Newton, Rivers is in the final year of his contract. It is highly unusual to have a franchise quarterback unsigned for the next year. Tyrod Taylor was signed in the offseason on a two-year deal with the potential of him being a bridge between the current, Rivers, and the future. If you have any shares in Rivers, sell them now.
Jacoby Brissett - Colts fans were fearing a similar season to 2011 when Peyton Manning missed with his neck injury and Indianapolis ended up with the number one pick and Andrew Luck. This time around though there are good foundations in place. A strong offensive line, something Luck never really had and a stifling defense. With a superb run-blocking line, Brissett will take what a defense gives and is a solid fantasy quarterback moving forward. It will be interesting to see how he adapts as the pressure mounts, but he is building a nice future for himself in the NFL.
Joe Mixon - Cincinnati is a tough situation to thrive as a fantasy back. The offensive line is horrible, and A.J. Green and John Ross are both out as potential field stretchers to keep safeties away from the run game. Mixon continues to simmer far below his talent-based upside due to his situation alone. Week 5 was a classic example as Mixon exploded for 60 rushing yards on the opening drive as a dominant force yet finished with 93 yards rushing as Cincinnati turned to the pass for more than three quarters.
Leonard Fournette - Fournette is healthy and seeing the predictably high volume for a suddenly decent passing team in Jacksonville. Fournette was also an underrated receiver in terms of volume back in 2017 (last year was basically a wash with injuries) and he has four or more receptions in all but one game this season. Fournette finally hit paydirt in Week 5 but remains a strong regression candidate considering his workhorse role to continue to regress upward in terms of touchdowns.
Aaron Jones - Some of us are not convinced in the quality of a player but realize that a good system and a franchise quarterback can make all the difference for a running back. Such is the case with Aaron Jones. Eight rushing touchdowns lead the league and he is making the most of his opportunities. My gut feel is that it all comes crashing down, sooner rather than later, but for now, ride him for all he is worth or trade him for a premium.
Joe Mixon - The warning signs were there when it came to considering or using Joe Mixon in 2019. A devastated offensive line and a change in coaching philosophy are enough to put fear in any fantasy manager. To give him credit, he has run the ball better in the last few games and might still make something of an apparently wasted fantasy season. A few visits to the endzone would help, but patience is needed beyond this year. He is only 23 and a good running back. Maybe buy low.
Jordan Howard - With Miles Sanders struggling to run the ball well, Jordan Howard has become dependable and proven to be a wonderful trade for the Philadelphia Eagles. Five touchdowns in as many games, a high yards-per-carry average, and even a rare receiving touchdown have moved Howard into a starting fantasy running back. Once the rookie gets in, Howard's role may reduce, but Philadelphia is going to make Sanders win the role, rather than give it to him. Probably a sell-high player, but you could ride him while he has value as well.
Josh Jacobs - The rookie had his first hundred-yard game in London against the vaunted Bears defense and looks a stud for years to come. The Raiders will ride him for years and with natural improvement should rank as an elite running back by this time next year. As it stands, he is already a borderline RB1 in PPR leagues, while in standard leagues he is a clear RB1. If he can improve as a receiver then lookout. Moves up rankings strongly.
Leonard Fournette – Fournette moves up from RB16 to RB8. The only reason Fournette isn’t having a monster fantasy season is the fact he has scored just one touchdown. The usage has been close to the best-case scenario we were imagining entering the season. He is on pace for over 300 carries and more than 60 receptions. With that type of workload, the fantasy points will be there in the end.
Phillip Lindsay – Lindsay moves up from RB32 to RB22. When I last updated my rankings in mid-September, Lindsay was averaging 40.5 rushing yards per game and seemed to be in a pretty even split with Royce Freeman. In the three weeks since, Lindsay has had a 130-yard, 2-touchdown game at Green Bay and a 147-yard, 1-touchdown game at the Chargers.
James Conner -Conner moves down from RB 13 to RB20. From a pure talent perspective, I’ve been more impressed with guys like Chris Carson and Aaron Jones. Plus, this Steelers offense is going to be rough this season. Conner’s only averaging 3.3 YPC, which is a reflection both of where the offense is without Ben Roethlisberger and Conner’s inability to make much yardage on his own if there isn’t a big hole. The short-term hit is important given the short prime of running backs (especially those without truly elite skill sets).
Devonta Freeman – Freeman falls from RB26 to RB35. There are some positives, including Freeman’s pass-game usage. But it has mostly been a struggle this season for Freeman and the Falcons running game. He has 30 or fewer rushing yards in 4-of-5 games. He doesn’t have any rushing touchdowns either, with Ito Smith regularly replacing him in the red zone. For a 27-year old running back, it is extra costly if 2019 ends up being another lost fantasy season.
Mike Evans - Mike Evans recorded his first goose egg in his sixth year, but it comes on the heels of a few other games this year which point to a WR2 future rather than the stud he was before. It is obvious that Chris Godwin has a rapport with Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston, but both Godwin and Evans have similar target numbers. It gets hard not to panic, but if you have Evans on your roster now is the time to be patient. He deserves to be penciled down in rankings but should climb higher once the numbers even out.
D.J. Chark - Even those of us who had D.J. Chark rated higher than almost everyone are more than surprised at his output this year. I had him ranked 53rd heading into redrafts and 41st in dynasty. That was considerably higher than almost everyone. Young highly drafted receivers who struggle in their first season are often cast aside by the fantasy community. In the case of Chark, his training camp was good, and opportunities were available in Jacksonville. There are players like Chark almost every year, pay careful attention next year.
Sterling Shepard - Unfortunately, Sterling Shepard has another concussion and as we have seen from players like Jordan Reed, it can be devastating and difficult to come back from repeated head knocks. As a fantasy manager, it is impossible not to think of the consequences to your roster and although he is young and has years of potential good play ahead of him, it would be best to use the roster spot on a player with a more certain future.
Courtland Sutton - All offseason I was reading reports of how bad the rookie season of Courtland Sutton was. How he didn’t know what routes to run or how he had grabby hands or didn’t look like his preseason hype was worthy. All I saw was a rookie receiver who had a mountain of potential to become an elite player. Sometimes preseason hype takes a year of development to bear fruit. I had him ranked 18th in dynasty and 26th in redraft, miles ahead of anyone else and look where we are now. He is still not the finished product and has more improvement to make, but sometimes we are too brutal to young players in our evaluations of their long-term prospects.
Chris Godwin - Godwin makes a small move up from WR10 to WR8 but in terms of value, he’s made another big leap and is right in that top tier at the position alongside DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, JuJu Smith-Schuster and the rest. Godwin ranks behind those guys for now but the gap has closed. He’s 23-years old and ranks as the fantasy WR1 through five weeks.
Cooper Kupp – Kupp makes a big leap from WR23 to WR11. He seems to have come back from the knee injury better than ever. Kupp is one of just five receivers averaging over 100 yards per game.
Will Fuller leaps up from WR42 to WR25 on the strength of a breakout performance in Week 5. He may be frustrating to have in your lineup on a week-to-week basis, especially when Kenny Still is healthy. But Fuller is now the WR7 overall. He could move up more if he proves this last week wasn’t a fluke. It may be the slow start was mainly due to the ACL injury he suffered less than a year ago.
D.J. Chark - Chark moves up from WR44 to WR27. He’s come from seemingly out of nowhere to rank as the fantasy WR5 and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Chark looks good doing it too. He’s proving to be more than just a deep threat.
Stefon Diggs - Diggs falls from WR11 to WR20. He is a difficult guy to rank. He’s a talented 25-year old wide receiver with a 100-catch season under his belt. On the other hand, he’s the fantasy WR52 and it doesn’t feel like he is going to make a huge move up anytime soon in the 2019 Vikings offense.
Sammy Watkins falls from WR21 to WR29 and the frustration continues. For about the fourth time, it felt like Watkins was on the precipice of breaking out as a top wide receiver only to lose significant momentum. Injuries and inconsistency might just end up being the norm.
Brandin Cooks - Cooks falls from WR14 to WR24. Through five weeks, he is averaging 4 catches for 65 yards and 0.2 touchdowns per game. When everyone is healthy, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Cooks is the Rams No. 3 wide receiver.
John Ross – Ross falls from WR33 to WR43. He is injured. Again. Even before the injury, in the few weeks since my prior rankings update, we saw more of the inconsistency and drops that have plagued his career. The talent is there but he is very frustrating.
D.J. Moore - Moore continues to impress with his development as a short to intermediate route runner this season. The production is still simmering without a glaring high-end game, but he has at least 44 yards in each game and is on pace for more than 1,100 yards on the season after a promising 788 a year ago as a 21-year-old rookie. Moore is a more well-rounded option than Curtis Samuel and historical metrics points to a strong WR1 season soon for Moore.
Amari Cooper - Few had Cooper among the top tier of dynasty receivers before this season began. However, Cooper is on pace for more than 1,600 yards paired with 16 touchdowns through the opening five games and has looked borderline unstoppable other than the occasional drop or inaccurate pass to-date. Cooper's route-running combined with Michael Gallup being a functional (or better) WR2 and Dak Prescott's step up in boldness and acumen as an intermediate and deep-ball thrower this season have all aided Cooper's progression up the dynasty hierarchy.
Austin Hooper – Hooper moves up from TE9 to TE6 and inches his way closer to the top tier at the position. It is a bit hard to get excited because there are so many mouths to field in the Atlanta offense, but Hooper is getting targets and has the second most receptions at the position.
Will Dissly - Dissly moves from TE20 to TE11 on the strength of another strong start. Through five games, he is a top-5 fantasy tight end. He was impressing early last year as well before a leg injury ended his season after four games. If he keeps this up and we start to get a bigger sample size, it will be time to consider him a top-10 tight end.
O.J. Howard - Howard falls from TE10 to TE13. The numbers (11-141-0) are abysmal through five weeks. Howard has never been the most natural receiver, so we can’t put his lack of production entirely on Bruce Arians and the new offense. At this point, it doesn’t feel like you can have him in your starting lineup and it’s not clear what would need to change for that to flip.
Foster Moreau - The Raiders intriguing Day 3 rookie has quietly progressed to eight targets over the past two games, logging 7-76-1 over the span as Darren Waller has taken a step back in offensive prominence. Moreau looks the part and has more investment than Waller by the team to work towards the starting role (plus Waller is a 2020 free agent).
Kyle Rudolph - Rudolph has always been a middling athlete, but he seems to have slowed over the past one or two seasons a pronounced amount in his later 20s. Irv Smith Jr. was drafted and the rookie is squeezing Rudolph for targets and snaps on an already thin volume pie in Minnesota with their run-centric DNA. Rudolph is averaging a mere 6.0 yards-per-reception and has multiple targets in just one game this season. Rudolph is unstartable and (probably) untradeable outside of deeper 2TE formats until he lands somewhere else.
Will Dissly - Will Dissly is proving the value find of Tight Ends for 2019, outside perhaps Darren Waller. His rookie year was cut abruptly short by injury, but he has developed quickly into a premier fantasy option quickly. Russell Wilson looks for him often and he looks dangerous every time he touches the ball. An ascendant star. He must be rated near the top now.
Dallas Goedert - There is little doubt that Dallas Goedert has been awful in his second year and patience will be required moving forward. Dropped passes and a lack of targets defy the optimism that surrounded his rookie year. He should still be valuable given the dearth of top-line talent at the position, but anyone with him as their future tight end needs to see something very soon.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.