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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.
Sam Darnold – The time has come. I had Darnold ranked as a top-five dynasty quarterback but the chaos in New York is too much for him to be successful week-to-week. While still very young and having big-time upside, Darnold will struggle to be an every-week fantasy starter as long as Adam Gase is the head coach. Looking back, Peyton Manning was the last Gase quarterback to be fantasy relevant.
Gardner Minshew – The Minshew experiment is now complete. He has returned to the bench and the Jaguars are turning to Nick Foles. Minshew looks like a long-term backup and one who can be a short-term NFL starter. He is not worth holding onto in 1-QB dynasty leagues.
Jimmy Garoppolo - Garoppolo is settling into his role as the 49ers leader, and no team’s collective value has increased of late. We collectively underestimated the 49ers roster and they appear to have promising young pieces at every level. An emerging, elite defense is essential to long-term success and will bode well for Garoppolo and the other skill players because they’ll have positive game scripts to work with. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders is an instant upgrade and creates a smoother bridge into the 2020-2021 emergence of the 49ers crop of young receivers.
Daniel Jones - Jones isn’t vaulting up the rankings, but he’s moved into the QB2 tier and has further upside, particularly if the Giants get a better coaching staff in place and further bolster the offensive line. Jones isn’t perfect, but he looks far more comfortable than young counterparts like Sam Darnold, Dwayne Haskins, and even Baker Mayfield.
Teddy Bridgewater - Bridgewater was undefeated as a starter in place of Drew Brees and has earned himself a starting job somewhere in 2020; assuming the Saints are willing to let him move on. The number of teams that should be looking for a new starter next year is massive, and a handful of those teams will prefer an experienced veteran to a rookie building block.
Dwayne Haskins - It’s not fair to judge a quarterback just a few months into their pro careers, but the NFL isn’t always fair. It was one thing when Jay Gruden wasn’t playing Haskins, but when interim head coach Callahan also preferred Keenum, alarm bells went up. Washington is squarely in the hunt for the 1st overall draft pick, and while it’s not a foregone conclusion they’ll choose a quarterback, it’s possible Washington could opt for Tagovailoa or Burrow, pushing Haskins into a QB2 role.
Jameis Winston - Head coach Bruce Arians has been patient with Winston, mainly because there’s no credible alternative on the roster. But Arians has repeatedly expressed frustration over turnovers and yet Winston continues to be a turnover machine. It would be surprising if the Buccaneers didn’t move on from Winston this offseason, or at least bring in a viable alternative to compete for the job.
Mitchell Trubisky - Trubisky was already falling in the rankings, but it’s clear to everyone outside of Soldier Field he’s not the answer. Will the Bears move on in the offseason, or at least bring in an alternative to push Trubisky? Either way, the young passer doesn’t have the decision-making acuity to emerge from a pack of league-average passers.
Christian McCaffrey - McCaffrey didn’t move much, but it’s still worth calling out because he takes over the top spot in my dynasty rankings. He’s the new top dog because he’s game script proof. No other player gets his workload and can hurt opposing defenses as a runner or receiver. It’s been encouraging watching McCaffrey dominate without Cam Newton, which de-risks his next few years versus other top running backs, like Saquon Barkley, who could suffer if their quarterbacks fail to develop.
Aaron Jones - I was wrong about Jones. There’s no need to sugar-coat the analysis, I distrusted Jones’ ability to be the offensive centerpiece and he’s proven me wrong. He’s running with vision and power that hearkens back to his college days, and the Packers are trusting him in high leverage situations, particularly near the goal line.
Josh Jacobs - Jacobs moves into the elite tier, as the Raiders aren’t the train wreck I feared. If Oakland can maintain its current trajectory, Jacobs should flourish as an every-down back capable of contributing in any game script.
David Johnson - Johnson is talented, but was he ever deserving of the lofty value we placed on him as an industry? He’s effectively been a top fantasy option for just one season and is once again battling injuries. With a new coaching staff and system in place, and Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds playing well, does Johnson fall into a committee approach for the next year or two?
Kerryon Johnson - You won’t find a bigger Kerryon Johnson fan around, but he’s now missed big chunks of both NFL seasons. History is not kind to running backs with Johnson’s injury track record. The final verdict hasn’t been cast, but Johnson’s upside as a multi-year RB1 is waning.
LeVeon Bell - Bell falls out of the Top 10 as the pessimistic take on his move to the Jets is panning out. He hasn’t been able to maintain a high per-touch average running behind an inferior offensive line, and the Jets’ struggles are limiting Bell’s scoring opportunities.
Josh Jacobs – Jacobs has looked the part of a first-round pick. The Raiders are using him as a workhorse tailback. He is the focal point of the Oakland offense and the team surprisingly has a winning record.
Chris Carson – Carson has solidified himself as the primary ball carrier in Seattle. There is no committee. The only concern is his propensity for fumbles.
Devin Singletary – Singletary has slowly worked his way into the lineups and is now the main ball carrier in Buffalo. He is quietly having a strong season and becoming a player whom dynasty owners should invest in.
Odell Beckham – Even with the concerted effort to get Beckham the ball this week, we must look at the bigger picture and see how the offense – especially quarterback play – does not get him enough targets. Beckham is a great player, no doubt. We just do not like his upside in the struggling Cleveland offense and there is no certainty that a coaching change will help things.
A.J. Green – Green may miss the entire season. After the setback last week, the veteran is on the record wanting to return to full health before stepping back onto the field. Yes, he is likely to play elsewhere next year, but the star pass-catcher will be 32 years of age by then. He is difficult to recommend as a “buy” until we know where he lands. His age and uncertain future limit value.
Josh Reynolds – Reynolds moves up as Brandin Cooks’ future looks increasingly uncertain. Reynolds is a big-play receiver for the Rams and could emerge as a long-term dynasty buy even if Cooks returns in the near future. `
Darius Slayton - Slayton is the epitome of a dynasty asset worth knowing. Redraft leagues probably haven’t paid attention to the Giants rookie until this week’s 2-touchdown breakout, but dynasty leagues have rostered him for some time. Slayton is benefitting from Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard’s absences and has a clear rapport with Daniel Jones. Slayton has played well enough to project as a multi-year starter in New York if the dominoes fall the right way.
Zach Pascal - Pascal isn’t the most heralded of young receivers in Indianapolis, but he’s been the most productive. The former Old Dominion star bounced around on practice squads until the Colts added him in 2018. He’s put in the work and has emerged as a trusted option, particularly while T.Y. Hilton misses time.
Michael Gallup - The Cowboys haven’t given Amari Cooper a long-term extension yet, and Michael Gallup’s emergence makes it possible Dallas’ front office never will. It’s possible Dallas will re-sign Cooper and he and Gallup will make a potent 1-2 punch for years to come, but it’s starting to look like Gallup is more of a 1a than a No. 2 in Kellen Moore’s offense.
Chris Godwin - Godwin was already in the No. 1 tier but moves up a few spots and pulls close to even with teammate Mike Evans. He’s dominating against both press and man coverage and can make plays after the catch or downfield as a vertical target. He’s a complete package.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling - The hype cycle is ebbing. Valdes-Scantling was the young Packers receiver most often hyped in the preseason by Aaron Rodgers, the coaches, and the beat writers. Yet, halfway through the season, he’s been a boom-or-bust option that’s only fantasy relevant if he can break free on a deep touchdown. The inconsistency and lack of targets bodes ill for his long-term future.
Calvin Ridley - Young receivers including Chris Godwin, Michael Gallup, and Cooper Kupp have emerged as legitimate rivals to their more established teammates. Calvin Ridley was expected to do the same after an impressive rookie season, but he’s regressed and is well behind Julio Jones in the pecking order. Ridley can still emerge as a difference-maker, but it’s discouraging to see him fall short week after week, particularly with Mohamed Sanu no longer eating up targets.
T.Y. Hilton - Hilton remains a top-tier receiver, when healthy. But he’s not healthy and is approaching an age that suggests Hilton’s peak years are in the rearview mirror. He’s still an asset, but better viewed as a high-upside WR2 for fantasy purposes, than his prior status as a true WR1.
Kyle Rudolph - We buried the Vikings passing attack prematurely after a rough start, but everything is falling back into balance. Rudolph remains a viable fantasy starter, although he’s more touchdown-dependent than similarly ranked counterparts.
Jonnu Smith - The Titans are difficult to handicap, but Smith has made the most of Delanie Walker’s injury. The bar is low for TE2 relevance in most fantasy scoring formats, and Smith has done enough to factor into that discussion.
Chris Herndon - At some point, enough is enough. We all waited for Herndon to serve his suspension at the start of the season, but then he continued missing time rehabbing an injury. At this point, his lack of impact warrants caution. If he doesn’t make an impact over the final two months of the season, there’s little reason to expect relevance in 2020 and beyond.
Evan Engram - Engram falls a few spots in recognition of yet another injury. He’s incredibly athletic and talented, but if he can’t stay on the field, he doesn’t deserve a premium dynasty ranking.
Delanie Walker – Walker has been hurt the last few weeks. This could be his last NFL season and there is no sign of a return from the ankle injury. We moved him down the rankings given he may never play another game.
Jacob Hollister – First, it was Will Dissly who became a TE1 for fantasy in the Seahawks offense. Hollister is trending in that direction. Given Dissly’s Achilles injury, Hollister could be playing for the 2020 starting gig.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.