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.
Trevor Lawrence -- Lawrence has been abysmal this year, and is on pace to be the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 500 attempts and less than a 2% touchdown rate. While his college pedigree and awful coaching fiasco with Urban Meyer cannot be forgotten, history isn't kind to rookie quarterbacks that play this poorly. You would've hoped to see glimpses by now, but it's been unending disappointment week in and week out.
Trey Lance -- Lance hasn't had a chance to prove himself yet and he could easily be named the 2022 starter in the offseason. But Jimmy Garoppolo has played well and it's hard to imagine the team giving up on the veteran unless Lance summarily outplays him next preseason. Lance is still a high upside asset but warrants a discount now that it could take another season or two until he sees the Sunday Night Lights.
Tyler Huntley -- Huntley has not only held his own in Lamar Jackson's stead, but he's also looked like a carbon copy. Don't be surprised if Huntley gets a starting job somewhere else in 2022. His strong arm and rushing mobility make him a high floor, high upside proposition akin to Jalen Hurts. He may not be a great NFL quarterback, but he could be a stellar fantasy player given a regular role.
Tua Tagovailoa -- The Dolphins have quietly won six in a row and look like the team most expected to see in the preseason. While not yet a title contender, the team has a lot of young pieces all trending in the right direction. While we cannot forget how close the Fins came to trading for Deshaun Watson, all that matters is how well Tagovailoa is playing now that he's healthy and not looking over his shoulder.
Tyler Huntley - At only 23 years of age, Tyler Huntley looks like he will lock up the backup position in Baltimore if another team doesn’t come sniffing. Despite two solid performances in relief of Lamar Jackson, the team didn’t win against either the Browns or Packers. That wasn’t the fault of Huntley though, who kept the team close and failed two-point conversions cost them at least a chance at winning. The Ravens have done well in getting backups that replicate the skillset of Jackson, so while he rises to a strong backup ranking in dynasty rankings, he may be much more given an opportunity.
Davis Mills - Davis Mills is doing well in his second shot at starting time in his rookie season. Whether the Texans have found their long-term starter is another matter. First, we will see how the rest of the reason plays out. Then we see what Houston does with Deshaun Watson and the draft picks that they will have. They may even find a nice free agent. We won’t know how the team feels about Mills as a prospect until May at the latest, but he isn’t the worst investment you could make. A riser in rankings.
Trevor Lawrence - How to destroy a sure thing? Get the Jacksonville Jaguars to match him to an ill-suited-to-the-pros college coach. We have seen with Sam Darnold, amongst others, that bad teams remain bad by matching unquestioned talent with questionable coaching decisions. The next coach of Trevor Lawrence needs to get it 100% right. For now, Lawrence takes a nosedive in rankings. Given the decision-making process of the Jaguars, I have no confidence they make a good appointment.
Ryan Tannehill - Despite his nice contract, Ryan Tannehill needs Derrick Henry around more than any other quarterback needs any other player. Since Henry went down we have had four touchdowns to seven interceptions and other turnovers. He cost the Titans any chance against the Steelers with reckless play and while he isn’t likely to be cast aside just yet, the team will at least consider other options if the Titans do not make the playoffs. Approaching his mid-30s is another reason to look elsewhere in dynasty leagues.
Mac Jones - He moves up to QB11. The continued struggles from the rest of the rookie class make what Jones has been able to accomplish all the more impressive. While the fantasy upside is still in doubt, he at least looks like a very safe bet to be a long-term starter.
Gardner Minshew - He moves up to QB34. With so many teams facing quarterback questions this offseason and a relatively weak rookie quarterback class, there are going to be some teams desperate for a starter. Minshew has put himself in position to be one of the top contenders for one of those starting spots.
Rashaad Penny - *This was submitted before the Rams played the Seahawks so the comment could be subject to change. Rashaad Penny had his third hundred-yard game with a touchdown. In four years. With only 204 career carriers he has had trouble staying fit. He had his fifth-year option declined in the offseason and will be a free agent. If he can spend more time on the field than in the training room, he will be a steal for whichever team takes the risk. What he does in the next three games could determine his free-agent price tag and his fantasy price for 2022 and beyond. He gets a tentative bump in rankings, but it’s hard to have faith.
Leonard Fournette - Leonard Fournette has gone from “playoff Lenny” to regular-season fantasy stud. As an impending free agent, his status for 2022 and beyond is up in the air. If the gang in Tampa can stay together for another year, his value is elite. If he lands with whoever flashes the biggest paycheck, then he could be back to fantasy managers needing to be cautious. For the superstitious amongst us, he has the anti-Eric Moulds affliction to fantasy scoring. Whereas the former Bill was great in even-numbered years, Fournette does his best in odd-numbered years. While 2022 is yet to play out in any capacity for Fournette, he does get a preemptive rise in rankings assuming upside.
Myles Gaskin - Myles Gaskin ranks as a bottom-end fantasy RB2 to close out 2021. It cannot be a good sign though that Duke Johnson Jr can come in off the street and records a hundred-yard rushing game in his first start for the Dolphins. Gaskin has had a carry in 28 games for Miami, with a career-best of 91 yards. Not a good sign for his future. He seems destined for career backup duty and if you can get any return in a trade, do it before the value craters. There is no choice, but to drop him in rankings.
James Robinson - James Robinson has had a reasonable fantasy season all things considered. By 2022 he becomes the underdog once again as he will contend with the third coaching staff in three years. Difficult for highly drafted players, let alone undrafted free agents. Travis Etienne will be a factor as well and who knows what scheme gets used? Robinson can surprise us once again, but he has to plummet in rankings given the constant obstacles put in his way.
Javonte Williams - While the Bengals held him in check in Week 15, Williams still has plenty of momentum as he finishes up his rookie season. Whenever the Broncos turn this backfield over to him full time, he is going to be one of the top fantasy back in the league. He moves up to RB4.
Darrell Henderson: 2021 seemed like an audition for Henderson to potentially earn the lead role moving forward, especially if Cam Akers is not able to return to full health. It seems like Henderson has failed that audition and Sean McVay has decided he is not well suited to an every-down role. He falls all the way down to RB34.
Rhamondre Stevenson - The most likely scenario is Stevenson ends up stuck in a frustrating platoon where one week he is heavily involved and the next Bill Belichick is featuring a different back. That being said, he has shown enough to know that he should at least have a role moving forward. He moves up to RB29.
Zack Moss -- The Bills have given up on Moss with nary an explanation, as he's been relegated to inactive status in favor of Matt Breida, while Devin Singletary is back in the workhorse role. Running backs have short shelf lives, and now Moss appears to be in need of a new home to reestablish any kind of dynasty value.
Jamaal Williams -- All the preseason talk of Williams being the 1a to DAndre Swift's 1b looks foolish now, as Williams hasn't been able to stay on the field and even when he's active, Swift has been the star. While neither Williams nor Swift may be the long-term answer in Detroit, Williams is the more likely to be cast off soon.
Chuba Hubbard -- Hubbard looks like just another guy in place of Christian McCaffrey and has lost valuable snaps to journeyman Ameer Abdullah. It's way too early to throw in the towel on Hubbard, but what we've seen from him doesn't warrant a premium dynasty ranking. Compare his performance to the likes of Khalil Herbert or A.J. Dillon, who have shown themselves capable of fantasy stardom when given starter-level snap counts.
Craig Reynolds -- Reynolds was effectively unranked before his recent showing in Tennessee. He's not someone to prioritize, but in a league that chews up running backs with abandon, Reynolds has shown enough patience and power to warrant a speculative bench spot in deeper leagues.
Javonte Williams -- Williams has answered the call this season, performing as an every-week fantasy starter despite sharing snaps with Melvin Gordon, who is also having a strong year. The Broncos may well move on from Gordon in the offseason, setting Williams up as a multi-year bellcow.
DK Metcalf - He falls to WR12 in my rankings. It is the fantasy playoffs and I do not feel great about even starting him. When that is the case, it makes it very hard to consider him as a Top 10 dynasty wide receiver. Things may not get any better should Russell Wilson force his way out of Seattle over the offseason.
Odell Beckham - At the very least, Beckham has returned to being a weekly flex consideration. Ultimately, his value this offseason is going to be determined by how the next few weeks go. However, he is trending in the right direction for the first time in many years and moves back up to WR41 in my rankings.
Chris Godwin - He drops to WR15 on the news of the torn ACL. This is an injury that happened so late in the season, he may not be ready to go early in 2022. Plus, he has a relatively small window to benefit from playing with Tom Brady and we have lost a decent chunk of that time to this injury.
DeAndre Hopkins -- Hopkins is an all-time great, but when the tide begins to turn, it rarely reverses. His best asset -- unparalleled target share -- has gone the way of the Dodo bird in Arizona, and now Hopkins is dealing with another season-ending injury. While his career is far from over, his days as a must-start fantasy receiver likely are finished.
Amari Cooper -- It's hard to figure out what's going on in Dallas. The defense is playing like a Super Bowl contender but the offense just hasn't clicked back into place. Cooper remains a Top 20 receiver for now, but he's trending in the wrong direction and is the far riskier investment in 2022 and beyond than teammate CeeDee Lamb.
A.J. Brown -- He only falls a few spots, but it's important to note he's now outside the Top 20 and could continue falling. The best asset for any player is durability, and Brown hasn't been durable. If you cannot be in the huddle, you can't help fantasy managers win championships.
Gabriel Davis -- Davis has always flashed in limited opportunities, but for whatever reason, the Bills coaches seemingly looked past him for the likes of veterans Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and even John Brown. But Davis appears to have matured enough in their eyes to finally get a legitimate shot at being Josh Allen's No. 2 receiver behind All-Pro Stefon Diggs. Any time you can acquire a young piece of a top-5 passing attack, it's worth doing.
Tee Higgins -- Early in the season Higgins was a forgotten man as JMarr Chase looked ready to challenge Randy Moss' rookie success. But the scales have rebalanced and while Higgins still deserves a lower slot in the dynasty pantheon than his rookie teammate, he's reestablished his value as a high-end, weekly starter.
Hunter Renfrow -- The Raiders season has been enigmatic and the future direction of the franchise hinges on the next coaching hire. But, Renfrow has emerged as the most consistent piece of the puzzle and looks every bit the 10+-receptions-per-game-fantasy asset that Wes Welker used to be in New England.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - Detroit has been waiting for somebody, anybody, to contribute as a receiver. Fourth-round rookie Amon-Ra St.Brown has finally accepted the challenge with 26 receptions and two touchdowns in the last three games. He has developed a nice rapport with Jared Goff and is growing in confidence. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Detroit is likely to grab a premium free agent or use a high draft pick, maybe both, in the offseason. It also remains to be seen if the team runs with Goff in 2022. He has upside, but it’s limited to WR3 at this stage. Still, he gets a nice bump in the rankings.
Russell Gage - After being considered a sleeper heading into the season following the departure of Julio Jones, Russell Gage was disappointing. Once Calvin Ridley left the team for personal reasons though, Gage finally became a target. He ranks as an elite WR1 over the last month or more and while it is difficult to see that momentum head into another season, he can do little more with his opportunities. A speculative bump for now.
Terrace Marshall - Terrace Marshall was seen as one of the rookie receivers to target after the big names were gone. He started the season with some promise, but rookie mistakes, rotating quarterbacks, questionable coaching, and lingering effects from a concussion have rendered Marshall useless since Week 6 when he last had a reception. He has had five targets on 92 snaps since then but has nothing to show for it. Has to be placed under caution with a drop in rankings
Mike Williams - There are times this season where Mike Williams has looked like a breakout elite receiver. After five weeks he was the third-ranked receiver with six touchdowns and 471 yards. Since then he ranks as barely a WR3 with only one touchdown and about the same yardage over the last nine games. Playing on his fifth-year option it is unlikely he gets franchised, so where will he be in 2022? A new team may finally get that fantasy season out of him that he has promised, but I would look to sell if you can. Drops considerably.
Bryan Edwards - Bryan Edwards looks like the part of an elite receiver, but he doesn’t often show it on the field. He could be a case of third-year breakout in 2022, but you would have liked to see more given the loss of Henry Ruggs and injury to Darren Waller. Hunter Renfrow is the number one receiver for now, but a new coach may see it otherwise. I would stash Edwards with an optimistic heart, but potential needs to be realized very quickly in the NFL. There are always new young and hungry players looking for a chance.
Tyreek Hill - For some reason, Tyreek Hill is falling in some dynasty rankings. While JaMarr Chase and Justin Jefferson are great players now and for the future, give me Tyreek Hill any day of the week. He has the best quarterback in the league passing to him and a long-term has proven successful coaching scheme to find him the ball. He can be utilized in every way possible and his huge games win you championships. He has at least three great years left in him, more if his body is kind to him. That’s easily enough to keep him at the top of my rankings.
Robert Tonyan Jr -- If you haven't already given up on Tonyan, now is the time to move him for pennies on the dollar. Very few tight ends have discernible dynasty value, and Tonyan falls well below the cutoff line yet seemingly half of the fantasy community still sees him as a high-upside asset.
Pat Freiermuth -- He remains a top-10 dynasty tight end, but drops a few slots after suffering yet another concussion. He's had a lot of head trauma already in his young career, and it makes you wonder if that could derail his long-term effectiveness.
Brevin Jordan -- After the top seven or eight tight ends, you're better off targeting lottery tickets who could emerge if the dominoes fall into place. Jordan's rookie season has quietly progressed from weekly inactives to flashes of playmaking brilliance in limited chances. Don't be surprised if the youth-infused Texans give him a chance at a full-time role in 2022.
Albert Okwuegbunam - The problem with Albert Okwuegbunam, apart from trying to correctly spell his surname, is that Noah Fant is the number one tight end target in Denver. Okwuegbunam has shown a rare ability to make difficult and deep catches. He is getting better with more playing time and while you may need to wait another year or two, he looks like he could easily be a number one fantasy tight end. A definite mover upwards
Hunter Henry - Jonnu Smith got more money, but it is clear that Mac Jones looks for Hunter Henry, especially in the red zone. In a down year for fantasy tight ends, Henry has his highest fantasy ranking, despite his lowest yards in a six-year career. It would be hard to make a case for Henry not being a mid to bottom-end TE1 in 2022 and beyond.
Jonnu Smith - Jonnu Smith has always flashed ability but rarely been consistent enough to rely on for fantasy managers. There is a chance he may have needed a year to bed in with the Patriot way so he isn’t a lost cause yet, but Hunter Henry is the better option for Mac Jones. I would look elsewhere until he can be a reliable option.
Pat Freiermuth - Pat Freiermuth has had an excellent rookie season. Marred by a couple of concussions in the last month. Fingers crossed he recovers quickly. The real question mark with Freiermuth is who will be passing him the ball in 2022? Some quarterbacks love using their Tight Ends, others not so much. The Steelers have playmakers everywhere as well, so be careful projecting too much improvement into his numbers next year.
Hunter Henry - He moves up a few spots to TE11. There is a clear connection between Henry, who just turned 27-years old, and Mac Jones. This connection could continue to grow moving forward. Henry already has nine touchdowns this year. While he is much more reliant on touchdowns to produce on a weekly basis than we would like, he at least gets into the end zone on a regular basis. That is more than we can say about most of the other players outside of the Top 10 at the position.
Zach Ertz - The veteran has carved out a solid role for himself in Arizona and moves back up a few more spots to TE15. He should have a couple more good years left and has returned to weekly TE1 status.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.