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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.
Tom Brady - The dynasty market has generally been behind on Brady since his arrival in Tampa Bay. With no physical erosion signs, Brady is surrounded by arguably (and maybe not even arguably) the best collection of skill-position weapons in the NFL. Brady is inside the top-3 of the position in scoring through two weeks with little reason to see a change for the rest of the season. Even one more elite season is worth more than many of those younger quarterbacks' total impact they will have over the next 3-5 seasons.
Baker Mayfield - The Browns are a good NFL story, one of the better teams, a contender in the AFC, etc. However, fantasy-wise Mayfield's so-called rise has been overstated from last year to this season-to-date. Mayfield does not offer much on the rushing side, which means he needs to be a diabolical passer to challenge in the top groupings in fantasy. Odell Beckham Jr is still working back from an injury, and Jarvis Landry is now on the shelf. This is from a team whose DNA is a running offense. Color me skeptical Mayfield ever gets all the way home to where the general dynasty community values him.
Taylor Heinicke – Heinicke stepped into an enormous opportunity when starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured in Week 1. Fitzpatrick is out for at least two months, and Heinicke will get every chance to prove he is capable of producing for the Washington offense. Heinicke looked impressive coming off the bench in Week 1, and he put together an excellent showing last week, throwing for 336 yards and two scores in a win over the New York Giants. He has looked the part to this point, has quality weapons, and sometimes all a player needs to succeed is the kind of opportunity Heinicke has in front of him.
Sam Darnold – Darnold got a much-needed change of scenery when the Carolina Panthers acquired him from the New York Jets before the 2021 NFL draft. Darnold went from a nightmarish scenario in New York with little help around him (from players to coaching) to a highly desirable situation with the Panthers as they surrounded him with playmakers. He has looked very sharp through two games and is a quarterback who can outperform expectations and be a reliable fantasy option.
Trevor Lawrence - Lawrence never deserved to be the first-round Superflex startup pick that he was this offseason. Through two games he has been a major disappointment, averaging 5.4 yards per attempt, with five interceptions with only four touchdowns. He has a long road ahead to rebound, but this experience should be a cautionary tale about taking rookie quarterbacks as early as Lawrence was taken in future years.
Daniel Jones - Jones was at a fork in the road entering this season, with year three a critical turning point. The early results have been encouraging, with Jones is averaging 7.5 yards per attempt and 2.9 percent over his expected completion percentage. Despite only two passing touchdowns, Jones is in the top 10 of quarterback scores, in no small part because of his rushing (61 yards per game with a touchdown per game). While his rushing production is likely to recede, Jones has plenty of passing upside because he should see some positive touchdown luck based on his underlying efficiency stats. He could be a riser, because the market may be looking “to sell high” while not appreciating this is actually a sign of growth instead of a hot streak to sell.
Michael Carter – Carter is a talented runner, and he is on the move in a positive direction this week. Carter was undoubtedly on the radar screen, but he was getting squeezed for playing time, and he was not much of a factor in Week 1, getting only five carries. Carter led the Jets in Week 2 with 11 carries for 59 yards, and he turned three targets into two catches catching two passes for 29 yards. Carter is easily the most talented running back playing for the Jets, and if he can command a reasonable workload, he will be a valuable piece throughout 2021 and beyond.
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