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.
Joe Burrow - While Burrow was already in an elite tier, he moves a few spots higher after a blistering finish to the season. Only 25 years old, with arguably the best receiving duo under 25, a young head coach who calls the plays, and a terrific line and run game, very little outside of injury will keep Burrow from being an every-week fantasy starter for the next decade.
Lamar Jackson - Jackson remains a high-end fantasy asset and is only 24 years old, but his penchant for running and lack of further development as a passer this season warrant a slight downtick in favor of Burrow. You should be thrilled to have either on your dynasty roster, but if you were starting a new dynasty league today, Burrow gets the slight edge.
Davis Mills - Mills has been sneaky decent for a feisty Houston team this year. Deshaun Watson is unlikely to return and Mills as a de facto option is likely best for a team more than one offseason away from contending. Most will assume Mills will be replaced, but he has legs to be the Week 1 starter in 2022 plus upside from there. Mills is around QB30 in my dynasty rankings and four months ago was far lower.
Tua Tagovailoa - Whether career arc comping or the old-fashioned eye test, Tagovailoa has hemorrhaged significant dynasty value since the last offseason. Tagovailoa resides outside of QB25 in my valuations with his arm strength limitations, lack of mobility, and zero insulation even for Year 3 with Miami consistently looking over their shoulder for potential upgrades.
Joe Burrow- He moves up to QB3 for me. While he does not have Kyler Murray’s rushing ability or Justin Herbert’s pure talent, Burrow still has a special combination of traits. He also has a pair of budding superstar wide receivers in Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, who are 21 and 22-years old, respectively. In throwing for nearly 1,000 yards in his last two games, Burrow showed he has massive fantasy potential moving forward.
Jared Goff- He moves up four spots to QB26 because it is looking increasingly likely he gets another year as the starter in Detroit. Goff benefits from a poor rookie quarterback class and some solid performances prior to his late-season injury. He also benefits by comparison when seeing how some other young quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield have closed out the year.
Trevor Lawrence - At this time of year, you are looking to improve your dynasty roster in advance of free agency and the draft. You want to unload the downside and take the upside. There is no better upside than a young player who has underachieved, will get new coaching and have better players around him. Trevor Lawrence is likely to have tanked his value with what can truly be described as an awful rookie season. He has two passing touchdowns in his last nine games. He should be attainable for a reasonable price.
Jameis Winston - With the dearth of quality rookie quarterbacks coming in and the 2021 class struggling, an experienced and productive veteran will attract bidders. The 30 interception season will be a thing of the past and the 30 plus touchdowns, with 5000 passing yards will be a thing of the future. New Orleans has been conservative with him, but his receiver pool this year was awful. Many coaches will believe they can coach out the turnovers. If he lands with an imaginative and risk-averse play-caller, his upside is high.
Gardner Minshew - Following his trade from Jacksonville to Philadelphia Gardner Minshew was expected to see playing time as the Eagles anticipated a building season. Surprise, surprise they land in the playoffs. Minshew did see action in one game, and it was highly successful. Expect another team to bring him in to challenge a weak starter. He will be patchy, but in the right environment productive.
Mitchell Trubisky - Lost in the offseason shuffle was the move of Mitchell Trubisky to Buffalo. There are a few coaches who will think they can get a starter at a bargain price. He was misused under Matt Nagy in Chicago and if allowed to use his legs, will add a significant fantasy bonus should he be in the right environment. His season with the Bills will not be wasted as he should have learned from Josh Allen, who shares a similar skill set. Watch his offseason moves with interest.
Justin Herbert - Herbert elevates his profile into an elite tier at the position with a top 6 seasonal finish. Herbert has grown significantly in his efficiencies this season after performing above expectation as a rookie. Herbert may miss the playoffs, with other players around him in the ranking still alive in the playoffs early in startup draft season, which could make him an early offseason value.
Kyler Murray - Murray was amongst the most expensive quarterbacks last offseason with this season a firm question mark. On the positive side, Murray averaged 25.3 points per game, in the top five of the position on the season. The problem is Murray only played 13 games, only threw for 23 touchdowns, and failed to take a step forward as a passer. Murray also has proven elite production in his cohort of young expensive quarterbacks, making him a risky bet.
Cam Akers- This is a tough one for me because everything depends upon how fully he recovers his explosiveness after his Achilles injury. The borderline miraculous return to the roster this season seems a positive sign. Plus, one signal I like to look at is the ADP from very early 2022 best ball drafts and people seem willing to gamble on Akers as early as the third round. As such, I have moved him back up to RB16 given what seems to be positive momentum in his recovery.
Derrick Henry- With the 2021 fantasy season in the books, the focus turns entirely to 2022 and beyond, which means many of the players who were adding nothing in 2021 automatically move up the rankings. Henry is likely going to be a Top 3 overall pick in redraft leagues next season. While his age is a bit of a concern, his short-term value is massive and that is especially key at the running back position. Henry moves up to my RB8.
Rashaad Penny- He moves up from RB41 to RB34 on my list. His 185-yard performance in Week 17 likely won some people dynasty titles and came at just the right time for his career, given he is set to hit free agency this offseason. With Chris Carson’s health a major question mark, we could see the Seahawks bring Penny back and give him a chance to see what he can do in the lead role. Health will be a question until he can put together a healthy season but there is still some time for the 25-year old.
Aaron Jones - Jones will be 28 in 2022 and is coming off a good headline season. Jones averaged over 15 points per game and ranks in the top 10 of the position in seasonal points, but the full story is more complicated. Jones missed time during the season with injuries, before ceding the RB1 role in the Green Bay offense to AJ Dillon for weeks during the second half of the season. Jones has reclaimed his leading role in the offense in the final weeks of the season, and his value will likely hinge on his playoff production.
James Robinson - Robinson’s torn Achilles comes at a horrible time in his career. Robinson is still on a rookie deal, with no NFL Draft pedigree, and Travis Etienne is scheduled to return in 2022. In addition, Robinson will be returning to a new coaching staff after Urban Meyer was fired. Altogether, there is a major source of uncertainty for Robinson heading into the 2022 season.
Miles Sanders - Sanders is a 24-year-old third-year running back performing at less than 9 points per game and outside the top 40 in seasonal scoring. Sanders entered the season with a good chance of being a leading running back but instead found himself in a committee with Jordan Howard and Boston Scott. Sanders does not have a lot of comparable players with elite production given his resume to date and should be a faller in price from his offseason cost.
J.K. Dobbins - Dobbins vaults up multiple tiers now that we're ending the 2021 season and can turn our attention fully to 2022 and beyond. He should be fine for the 2022 season and while a rotation of veterans including Devonta Freeman weren't disasters in his stead, there's no question the Ravens need Dobbins as the centerpiece of a consistent, difference-making ground game to contend for AFC crowns.
Cam Akers - I'm sure I wasn't alone in discounting Akers' future after the Achilles tear. Although he's yet to take the field and big questions remain, the fact he's been removed from injured reserve just a few months after the injury bodes well for a comeback attempt in earnest next year. If you sold Akers for 30 cents on the dollar assuming he would never get a chance to start again, you may rue the decision.
Devin Singletary - I'm not sure if it's his size or something we don't see on game film, but the Bills seemingly always want to find an alternative to Singletary. And yet, as the season winds down he's re-emerged as not only the team's best running back, but someone who looks like they can thrive in an every-down role if given the opportunity.
James Robinson - While Cam Akers' aforementioned recovery from a torn Achilles is a good sign, we still have to default to a pessimistic outlook for any tailback who suffers the injury. Robinson's Achilles injury is made worse by his status as an undrafted free agent, and the presence of Travis Etienne. The Jaguars have almost no financial incentive to stick by Robinson or bring him back into a prominent role, whereas Akers has a first-round contract on the books in Los Angeles.
Chuba Hubbard - Hubbard is just a guy. He wasn't horrible in Christian McCaffrey's stead but he barely got what was blocked and did little else. With the Panthers in flux up and down the roster, it's hard to get excited about the long-term fantasy outlook for a middling backup running back. Hubbard could see more playing time in 2022 if McCaffrey is hurt again, or he could be a training camp cut or inactive on game days. Neither would surprise me.
Rashaad Penny - Penny finishing the season with a flourish warms my dynasty soul. Penny was a big back with strong athleticism out of college who has yet to stay healthy for long in the NFL. The close of the 2021 fantasy season finally saw such a stretch - without Chris Carson in the mix - for Penny. The result? Penny had weekly finishes of RB3, RB9, and RB1 over the span of a month and was part of the subset of players who contributed well to fantasy titles this season. Penny is already 26 years old for the 2022 season, but with the running back landscape murky after even 20-25 names, Penny deserves to be in the next 10-20 on upside alone.
Jeremy McNichols - McNichols has turned the way of Jerick McKinnon. The team had multiple opportunities to give McNichols more of a lead workload and consistently passed on said opportunity. McNichols was not even an injury-away option as a result this season and needs to drop in value as a result. McNichols is not in my top-65 running backs as a result.
J.K. Dobbins - Missing a season, especially your second when you were expected to breakout means he will be a forgotten man by many. If his current manager has a strong running back group through the necessity of covering the absence of J.K. Dobbins, try and make an offer. The veterans who have replaced Dobbins this year will be gone and a fit Lamar Jackson makes Dobbins a player with a very high upside in 2022 and beyond.
Elijah Mitchell - Mitchell is a difficult player to project. The 49ers have a rotating cast of running backs and Mitchell went past all of them to be the number one running back. Will Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson return? Will Trey Sermon do better in his second year? Will another back join the roster? Mitchell has been preferred when fit, but he has been injured or missed time multiple times as well. I don’t think we see a repeat, but if we do he could be elite.
D'Andre Swift - By season’s end, the numbers for D'Andre Swift will look like borderline RB2. After week 11 he was inside the top five. With only two seasons under his belt, two things are for sure: 1) He has trouble staying fit, and 2) when he is fit, he accrues good fantasy numbers. Grabbing him is achievable and with a little luck, 2022 sees him finally put together a full season of huge production.
Nick Chubb - Some may be disappointed in the production of Nick Chubb in 2021. You shouldn’t be. He is one of the best running backs in the NFL but needs a worthy supporting cast. Or at least a quarterback that opposing defenses respect and one that utilizes his best weapons. Pay attention to what Cleveland does at quarterback and wide receiver. Chubb gets rushing yardage and touchdowns aplenty as it is, so his upside is untapped.
Christian McCaffrey - It is no good when a player misses 26 of his last 33 games, but when that player is one of the elite running backs of recent times you need a little patience. Or hope his current manager has run out of it. Allegedly dangled as trade bait to Houston, he may even have the Panthers management lacking faith. If you have the roster depth to accommodate another potential injury, then he is a player that wins you trophies.
Amon-Ra St. Brown- It is hard to tell if this hot streak to end the season is a small sample size outlier aided by the rest of the Lions' weapons being out or a sign of big things to come for St. Brown. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. While Detroit still has a lot of work to do, we have seen there is at least the potential for real fantasy upside. He moves up to WR26.
Darnell Mooney- Mooney ended the season on a high note and is a player who could be a big offseason winner if the Bears hire a top offensive mind and Justin Fields shows signs of making a second-year leap. He may not have much competition for targets in Chicago with Allen Robinson set to hit free agency.
Mike Williams- He falls to WR33 because we do not know where Williams is going to play in 2022 and beyond. We know that he can be fantasy-relevant as one of Justin Herbert’s top targets. However, what if he ends up in a worse situation next year? We have seen how things went sideways for Kenny Golladay, who had a similar pre-free agency run before landing with the Giants and seeing his production fall off drastically.
Kadarius Toney - Wide receiver is a position where trade movement is much easier in most dynasty leagues. A player like Kadarius Toney is the kind of player you want to target. He has elite ability, but lacks durability and has his attitude questioned. Fitness and maturity are workable issues for most players. If Toney gets it right, his upside is 2021 Cordarrelle Patterson, but better. Much higher than his current price anyhow.
Anthony Schwartz - A third-round pick who needed development. He has looked lost at times but has also showcased his dynamic speed and open-field ability. It won’t be until training camp next year until we see if a light switch comes on as far as his future as a wide receiver. His price is virtually nothing and Cleveland needs someone to take it to the next level. A cheap cut, but worthy development option.
Josh Palmer - Not expected to contribute his rookie season, Josh Palmer has flashed potential over the last half of the season. He looks like one of those old-school receivers that get developed and become a starter in his second or third season. With Keenan Allen aging and Mike Williams likely to move on, what the Chargers think of him as a future starter will be answered in the offseason. He has the potential to be Justin Herberts’ main man for the entire decade. Grab him and hope the Chargers know what they are doing.
Elijah Moore - It was great to see Elijah Moore look like a genuine star receiver that the Jets have needed for years. The only problem was that he put up his numbers when Zach Wilson was injured. A fully fit Moore and a fully fit Wilson should be a good match on paper, but there is that doubt. If you can land Moore or have him on your roster analyze this situation very carefully as the upside is considerable.
Jerry Jeudy - Talk about underachieving in your first two seasons. Jerry Jeudy was expected to be pro-ready and an elite receiver quickly. With zero touchdowns in 2021 and less than 500 receiving yards, time is running out. It is hoped a new coaching staff and quarterback sort Jeudy out, but the team has committed to Courtland Sutton, Javonte Williams, and Tim Patrick. Jeudy does still look the part, but actions count more than image now. Worth keeping or taking.
Chase Claypool - It would be easy to be disappointed in the output of Chase Claypool this year. Having watched the large majority of Steeler games this season there have been maybe 20 plays that have been within a yard of being massive. Last year they were connecting on a reasonable percentage. With a new quarterback, further development and a little more luck Claypool can be the elite receiver his rookie season promised. Sometimes you need a little faith.
Michael Gallup - Another player with rotten timing is Michael Gallup. Just about to head into free agency, a torn ACL will devastate his 2022 season. He is a potentially elite wide receiver trapped behind two better receivers in Dallas. Patience is a virtue for a dynasty manager and if you can squirrel him away for better days ahead, do so.
Cedrick Wilson - It has taken some time for Cedrick Wilson to develop. He missed his entire rookie season and barely played in year two. Year three saw a double touchdown, 100-yard game against the Seahawks, and not much else. This year he is pushing 500 yards with 40 receptions. He hits free agency and while being third on the depth chart in Dallas may work out better, he projects as a solid number two receiver elsewhere. Watch his 2022 landing spot with interest.
Michael Gallup - Gallup, playing on the final year of his deal, tore his ACL in Week 17. This ACL tear will potentially dampen his free agency market after settling in as one of the better WR3s in the NFL. Some may point to the contract Allen Robinson signed with the Chicago Bears coming off a torn ACL as a positive for Gallup, but Gallup has never produced at Robinson’s rookie contract level.
Antonio Brown - Brown was playing well enough in 2021 to warrant another starting job in 2022, but his antics have made that an unlikely event. Brown walking out on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could very well mark the end of his playing career. Where I have him on a roster, I would likely hold until rookie season roster cutdowns happen, with the hope he turns his career around.
Odell Beckham Jr - Beckham has returned to relevance after being signed by the Rams midseason. Beckham has five touchdowns in seven games with the Rams, which should inflate his actual production this season. While Beckham was struggling in Cleveland the past two seasons, Beckham’s production is still at the low end of his career. Beckham has 41 receiving yards per game this season as a Ram compared to 38.7 when he was a Brown this season. If Beckham’s touchdowns rehab his value, he is a good sell candidate this offseason.
Hunter Renfrow - I expected my analysis to like Renfrow quite a bit heading into the offseason, but his slot-centric profile and perfect storm with a lack of competition for targets (no Henry Ruggs III, no Waller, Bryan Edwards not stepping up) point to a career year outcome in 2021 and a drop in future seasons. Renfrow has a decent floor, but expecting a similar or higher ceiling to 2021 is a tall order.
Julio Jones - There is simply no wiggle room for an older wide receiver to have an invisible season like Jones had in 2021. Many times a receiver is plainly done at this stage considering Jones' down year. I would expect Jones to be traded for Round 3 rookie picks regularly in the offseason.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - St. Brown has been a frequent member of these articles this year, as his play continues to impress despite problematic quarterbacking, a lack of a consistent ground game, and poor game scripts. St. Brown hasn't shown enough to project stardom, but the Lions are so bereft of talent it's safe to assume St. Brown will have a solid % of the team's targets for the next few seasons, at a minimum.
K.J. Osborn - Adam Thielen's career is far from over, but his season-ending injury and age do call into question whether the Vikings would consider moving on from the veteran. At a minimum, Osborn has given the front office a lot to think about because he appears more than equipped to be an effective WR2 while Justin Jefferson command's opposing team's No. 1 defensive back each week in 2022 and beyond.
A.J. Brown - I admittedly dropped Brown too far this season as he battled injuries and ineffectiveness. While his injuries remain a concern, there's no question his raw athleticism and chemistry with Ryan Tannehill make him a fantasy difference-maker quite often.
Davante Adams - Adams remains in the top 5 at the position, so this downgrade isn't me sounding the alarm. But he falls out of the No. 1 perch given uncertainty about Aaron Rodgers' future. If Rodgers returns to Green Bay, there's no reason to worry. But if Adams gets tagged -- as has been reported -- and Jordan Love is under center in Week 1 next year, it's time to start thinking about Adams' days as an every-week stud in the past tense.
Michael Gallup - Tearing your ACL at the end of a free-agent season, when your incumbent team already has two better receivers under contract is problematic. Nothing says Gallup won't make a full recovery and be a multi-year starter for another team, but his road to that outcome has gotten less certain.
Mike Gesicki - Gesicki struggled down the stretch of the season as he heads towards free agency in the offseason. Gesicki did an excellent job as a dependable target when Miami had no reliable wide receivers but has struggled after the emergence of Jaylen Waddle. Gesicki is an interesting monitor in the offseason, as an Austin Hooper-type track to his career arc on a second contract is a concern if his situation gets worse.
Zach Ertz - Ertz has seen a big rebound from a downturn in his career in the last 18 months in his career. Ertz has benefitted from the absence of DeAndre Hopkins and should be an interesting player in free agency this offseason. With his recent production in Arizona, Ertz’s best option may be a return to Arizona in 2022.
Brevin Jordan - While a Day 3 faller in the NFL Draft, Jordan had a strong production track record in college and ended up with a top-30 finish (points per game) as a rookie. Jordan will have an opportunity to be the clear starter for Houston next season and one of a myriad of tight ends with top-12 upside as a best-case outcome.
Jonnu Smith - Smith had an invisible 2021 and is now locked into New England with his contract, behind Hunter Henry. Smith looks like a one-hit-wonder in retrospect. While it seems far too low based on his name value, Smith did not make my top-30 dynasty tight ends entering the offseason.
Tommy Tremble - A name to watch for in training camp next year is Tommy Tremble. His flashes this year have been sporadic, but bright. Hard work, digesting his responsibilities and a little luck will see a bright future for the third-round draft pick from Notre Dame. Patience is needed in holding Tight Ends on dynasty rosters as your Kyle Pitts types are rare.
John Bates - Drafted in the fourth round, nothing was expected from John Bates. Injuries to Logan Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones forced Washington into action. He is not ready but still has over 240 yards. Logan Thomas is likely to trot out in 2022, but he is well into the veteran stage and keeps the seat warm for Bates to get better. Hold and keep and he should be a starting tight end within the next two years with some luck.
Harrison Bryant - This is how you develop a Tight End. Harrison Bryant has almost identical numbers in his first two years but had the experience of Austin Hooper and David Njoku ahead of him. Njoku probably goes and Bryant is getting better. He costs almost nothing and projects as a borderline starter in 2022 at this stage.
Mark Andrews- Andrews has been absolutely on fire down the stretch of the 2021 season. He made a case for dynasty TE1. While I did not go that far given how much potential Kyle Pitts showed as a 20-year old rookie, Andrews did jump George Kittle to move up to TE2. He deserves to be a second-round dynasty startup pick this offseason given how much of a positional edge he gives you.
Tre' McKitty- There was not much movement over the last couple of weeks at the position overall. At the bottom of the rankings, McKitty moves up a dozen spots after getting onto the field and flashing a little bit late in the season. In deep leagues, I like stashing young tight ends on the very bottom of my roster because we know it can take a while and we regularly see these mid-round guys take a couple of years to emerge.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.