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.
Mac Jones - The more games which pass, the more I think Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones are the two quarterbacks who will make it for the long haul out of the 2021 class. Jones, frankly, has subpar wide receivers by NFL standards and yet has 4-of-10 games with multiple passing touchdowns and his processing speed is at a mid-career veteran level as a mid-rookie year quarterback. This is one of the rare circumstances where penalizing Jones for not being a 'runner' is short-sided as he is doing the difficult part (being a functioning NFL quarterback as a passer) already as a rookie.
Taysom Hill - How long will we be waiting for a strong run of starts from Hill? Not playing of a final-year Drew Brees or Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston is understandable. But Trevor Siemian is a completely new tier of quarterback competition for Hill. At 31 years old, Hill has been more of an intriguing dynasty idea as a quarterback, but not so much in practice.
Mac Jones – Jones continues to impress every week, showing the traits that made him a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. It is challenging for rookie quarterbacks (see the rest of the class) to play well, but Jones is outperforming the other more physically talented quarterbacks in this class to this point. He lacks the high-end athletic tools of others draft in front of him, but his decision-making and accuracy keep him moving up dynasty rankings through ten weeks.
Tua Tagovailoa – Tagovailoa’s situation with the Dolphins has been highly volatile throughout his young career, and it is hard to get a strong feel for where he stands. The offensive line has not helped him as pressure is making things difficult for the entire offense. Also, injuries have kept him off the field, keeping him from getting into a rhythm and building positive momentum. His performance coming off the bench in the upset win over the Ravens is a turning point, and I see positive things with the development of his game. I would get him in dynasty leagues now.
Mac Jones - Jones has proven to be the best quarterback of the 2021 class to date. Jones has been a limited fantasy performer as QB20 to date and performing on par with Trevor Lawrence on a per-game pace. Jones may be more flip-for-a-profit than long-term hold for a high-end performance-based outcome, but his production so far is encouraging that he can produce as a QB2 performer.
Justin Herbert - Herbert has disappointed some based on his market cost in the offseason, but his performance is a breakthrough in terms of dynasty security to date. Herbert has taken a big leap forward as a pocket passer with more room to grow, while some of his yards per attempt statistic regression has occurred when pressured, a highly variable performance year over year. Herbert's performance as a QB1 checks the box in development and should secure him in the second tier of the position behind Patrick Mahomes II.
Rhamondre Stevenson – Stevenson popped in a big way in Week 10, showing the full-workload ability he can handle. He is big enough to handle the physical nature of running between the tackles while also elusive enough to make defenders miss due to his light feet. He is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield too, and he looks the part. Remember, he is in a committee with other talented runners, but he moves up due to his play for ten weeks.
A.J. Dillon – Dillon is a gigantic running back, but he is also fast, making him a tremendously difficult runner to get to the ground. He will shine when he gets an opportunity, and playing heavy football in ugly weather is excellent for his game. Starting running back Aaron Jones is out for a few weeks with a knee injury, and Dillon should put up big numbers in his absence, showing why he was an early pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Mike Davis – Davis was incredibly productive last year for the Carolina Panthers filling in for injured star Christian McCaffrey. He was adequate as a runner, but he stood out as a receiver catching passes out of the backfield. He signed with the Falcons as a free agent, and it simply has not worked to this point in the 2021 season. Journeyman runner/receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has passed Davis, and last week Davis was passed by veteran running back Wayne Gallman. The arrow is pointing down in a big way for Davis.
James Conner - Conner leads the running back position in rushing touchdowns (11), through his 10 games. Conner’s opportunity to start with Chase Edmonds on injured reserve will give him a showcase as a potential starting running back in the offseason free-agent market, with either Arizona or another team. Conner should be an RB1 projection in any week Edmonds misses and is no guarantee to surrender the role when Edmonds returns.
Rhamondre Stevenson - Stevenson got the opportunity to start in Week 10 with Damien Harris missing the game in the concussion protocol. Stevenson posted 100 yards on the ground along with two rushing touchdowns, and four receptions. Stevenson is unlikely to outright take the starting job from Damien Harris upon his return from the concussion protocol, but Stevenson has demonstrated he can be a starting option in the event of another Harris injury, with a role over J.J. Taylor.
Antonio Gibson - Gibson’s rushing game volume is strong, averaging 15 carries per game on the season. As a wide receiver entering the NFL, Gibson’s development as a runner is a notable progression, but his receiving role is a major concern in his fantasy ceiling. With only 19 receptions in 9 games, Gibson projects more like Josh Jacobs than the D’Andre Swift comparison many hoped for in the offseason.
Jonathan Taylor - There is a significant argument to have Taylor as the dynasty RB1 overall. Christian McCaffrey is back healthy but 2.6 prime years older than Taylor. Saquon Barkley is dynamic, but still working to post a recent healthy stretch, and is 1.9 years older than Taylor. Najee Harris is actually 0.9 years older than Taylor. The rest of the producers are much older and the younger options far less productive.
Damien Harris - Harris' missed game due to concussion could not have come at a worse time as momentum was beginning to tilt towards Rhamondre Stevenson already in Week 9. In Week 10, with Harris sidelined and Stevenson active, Stevenson surged to a game better than we have seen from Harris in 21 career games. Harris lacks Stevenson's overt size and lateral explosion. Harris might be one of the rare cases of a starter actually losing his job in the coming weeks.
Deebo Samuel - Samuel is a top 5 wide receiver through the first 10 weeks of the season, which is a significant change in his dynasty portfolio. Samuel was a gadget player early in his career, who has taken over a clear leading role in the San Francisco receiving corps. Samuel has transitioned into a big-play threat after playing a low aDOT gadget role in his career and could be a potential buy high candidate.
Robert Woods - The season-ending knee injury to Robert Woods is a devastating break for his career. At 29 years old, Woods will be a falling value player in the offseason. His injury, particularly after the signing of Odell Beckham Jr, Jr., complicates his contract status and his dynasty value for 2022.
Diontae Johnson - Johnson is averaging over 16 points per game, despite a struggling quarterback situation with Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph’s starting in Roethlisberger’s absence. With Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron missing time with an injury, and JuJu Smith-Schuster on injured reserve for the season, Johnson has a good opportunity to sustain a breakout in 2021, and be a rising player into the offseason with a potential improved quarterback situation.
Julio Jones - 2021 has largely been a lost year with Jones considering lineup confidence has eluded dynasty GMs even when Jones has been slated to play. Since Week 9 of last season, Jones has zero wiggle room to not produce as a 32-year-old option with durability concerns cropping up and currently missing more games. One good piece of news is his dynasty price is affordable - regularly being traded for a Round 2 or even Round 3+ equivalency.
Odell Beckham Jr - It has been years since Beckham was impactful for any decent stretch of games. Durability has been a key aspect. His move to the Rams marks the first time since college Beckham has picked his landing spot. The Rams offer a strong quarterback and offensive design, plus Robert Woods' injury opens the door for a strong role within the offense (even if it was not implied with Beckham's signing already). The rest of 2021 is the most critical of Beckham's career as of now. The Rams are an ideal spot for a reclamation beginning - plus Beckham controls his own 2022 destiny with another free agency decision.
Van Jefferson – Jefferson is on the rise in the rankings due to the injury to Rams wide receiver Robert Woods. Woods was a critical part of the Rams offensive success, and Jefferson has the physical ability to fill in and keep things rolling. Jefferson is a polished route runner, capable of getting open due to excellent footwork and short-area quickness. Jefferson has a massive opportunity in front of him, and should he take it, he will be a significant part of the second-half offensive story for the Rams.
Darnell Mooney – Mooney has steadily moved up dynasty rankings over the 2021 season, and the chemistry he appears to be developing with rookie quarterback Justin Fields is noteworthy. This is more a long-term play because all rookie quarterbacks struggle at times, and the Bears offense still looks out of sorts. But Fields is showing improvement, and if Mooney emerges as his go-to weapon, he will be valuable in the future.
Jamal Agnew – Agnew played defensive back in college but has transitioned to wide receiver over the past two seasons. The Jaguars paid him good money in free agency before the 2021 season, and he has looked like the most explosive receiver for the Jaguars in 2021. The Jaguars offense has looked out of sorts all year, but Agnew has 35 targets over the past five games, and he had three carries for 79 yards and a score in Week 10. Agnew is a gadget player, but the Jaguars are getting him involved.
Dalton Schultz - Schultz is a free agent in the offseason and his production has downturned in recent weeks. The return of Michael Gallup will not aid Schultz's upside chances and it is easy to forget Schultz is a ho-hum athlete with Day 3 pedigree. This profile is not typically a sustained fantasy starter. Schultz has pivots available in the market, venturing even into the Round 1 pick equivalent. As the fourth or fifth option in Dallas' offense, an exit is worth considering.
O.J. Howard - While a proponent of investing in Round 1 tight ends, Howard's 2021 season has been alarming considering Rob Gronkowski has missed six games and Howard has struggled (being kind) to have a role. In those six games, Howard has totaled 11-93-1. Antonio Brown has also missed time during the same span. Howard is unstartable and a roster albatross for the rest of this season. How will his 2022 free agency go? I have more pause with Howard than fellow draft class upcoming free agents Evan Engram and David Njoku as a starting point.
Dan Arnold – Arnold has become the most reliable pass catcher in Jacksonville since he was acquired from the Carolina Panthers in a trade earlier in the season. He missed the game in Week 7, but he has 17 catches on 24 targets in the three games since then. He has accumulated 195 yards on that span and has become a solid weekly play at the tight end position. Arnold is only 26 years old, and he is a very intriguing dynasty tight end.
Adam Trautman – Injuries hit at the end of training camp, and it was a tremendous disappointment as Trautman looked to be an integral part of the Saints offense. He has recovered and is now playing again at a high level. Trautman is now the starting tight end in New Orleans, and he has 22 targets, 14 catches, and 119 yards over the past three games. Trautman is 24 years old, an ascending talent, and a player rising in dynasty rankings.
Mark Andrews - Andrews has vaulted into a dominant level of production just behind Travis Kelce at the tight end position. Andrews is second in yards (623) and receptions (48) at the position, despite already having his bye. With T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant struggling, Andrews represents the best option after Kyle Pitts for tight ends younger than the Kelce-Kittle-Waller tier of the position.
Tyler Conklin - Conklin is setting up to be this year’s version of Dalton Schultz. Conklin benefitted from Irv Smith’s season-ending injury and is in the midst of his own top 12 performance. At only 26 Conklin has a breakout NFL season on his resume that Smith will lack in 2022 when he returns from his injury.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.