Offseason movement is a cornerstone of dynasty football. What young players are poised to see dramatic value increases based upon movement? Footballguys gives you tips and has you covered on movement within dynasty rankings heading into Week 17.
Question: Who is one young player you are willing to move up your ranks dramatically with a new coach, new teammates, or potential new team this offseason?
Darnell Mooney, Chicago
Andy Hicks: Darnell Mooney is a player I will be looking at closely in the off-season. His first two years indicated a player capable of being a number-one receiver. The last two years, not so much. If he can move to an offense that throws the ball well and lands as the clear number two receiver behind a stud, his days as a 1000-yard receiver could return. Staying in Chicago would not be a good sign. A good landing spot may be the Chiefs. Buffalo could be interesting. Stefon Diggs is aging, and Gabe Davis is also a free agent. Cincinnati would be great behind Ja'Marr Chase, with Tee Higgins expected to leave. The Chargers?
Drake London and Kyle Pitts, Atlanta
Jason Wood: The Falcons duo of Drake London and Kyle Pitts come to mind. Both were high first-round draft picks profiled as potential high-end fantasy stars, and neither has come close to expectations thanks to poor quarterbacking and a run-heavy offensive approach under head coach Arthur Smith. I'm confident the Falcons will have a new quarterback in 2024, but I need clarification on whether Smith will remain in place and if he's willing and able to adapt his play-calling to a more balanced approach that the talent dictates.
Ryan Weisse: Drake London has the skill set to be an elite wide receiver. Still, before I buy back in for dynasty purposes, I need to see a new coach and competent quarterback in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the Falcons have played too well this season to land one of the elite rookies without a massive trade. If they move up or try to get Justin Fields from Chicago, London will move close to, if not into, my top-10 receivers. Otherwise, I would love to see Gardner Minshew or Jake Browning take over in Atlanta. That might not mean a massive leap for London, but we could see Michael Pittman-esque numbers.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati
Dan Hindery: Tee Higgins will unlikely return with the Bengals in 2024. He could sign somewhere as an unrestricted free agent or be franchise-tagged and traded. Either way, the Bengals seem unwilling to pay their quarterback and top two wide receivers a combined total of well over $100M per season, and Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase are the priorities. Higgins has struggled through an injury-plagued season. Even when healthy, he has mostly taken a back seat to Chase. However, we have seen glimpses of what Higgins could be in a true WR1 role. In his last three games without Chase in the lineup, Higgins has 30 catches for 402 yards and two touchdowns (27.4 PPR points per game). It is easy to imagine a scenario in which a team targets Higgins to be their go-to receiving option. If he lands in a spot where he will see 10-plus targets per game, Higgins has obvious WR1 potential. He is still just 24 years old.
Bryce Young, Carolina
Craig Lakins: Heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, Bryce Young seemed to have everything he needed to play quarterback at a high level except above-average height. The Panthers agreed and took him with the first overall pick after filling their head coaching vacancy with the QB-friendly veteran coach Frank Reich. It's unclear if the Panthers' brass was ever on the same page in choosing Young over fellow rookie C.J. Stroud, and that could have been the beginning of a rocky marriage between Reich and the Panthers.
There were also legitimate questions about Young's surrounding cast in the preseason. The Panthers gave big money to running back Miles Sanders and brought in veteran wideout Adam Thielen. Sanders has mostly disappointed as Chuba Hubbard took over as the starter several weeks ago. Thielen was a pleasant surprise early in the season, but he's not a number-one option in his career. Tight end Hayden Hurst joined the Panthers - his fourth NFL team - as a free agent, but he's missed the last several weeks with a scary head injury.
With those issues lingering, Young has yet to get off to the start that anyone hoped. His Week 16 start, however, showed some promise that he could be adjusting to life at the professional level. His 110.0 passer rating is the highest of his young career, and he got his first 300-yard passing performance.
With Panthers' ownership committed to building a staff that will help Young succeed, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for his rookie year. Similar to how Trevor Lawrence has bounced back from the Urban Meyer disaster in Jacksonville, Young can take massive strides with a new coaching staff and - hopefully - more talent at the skill positions around him.
Demario Douglas, New England
Jeff Bell: New England's entire team situation has relegated Douglas to an afterthought. He is wide receiver 49 in Keeptradecut and WR58 in my rankings. His lack of touchdowns serves to hold down his overall fantasy production, and the Patriots are full of uncertainty. Given that environment, his production is quietly solid. Over his last seven games, he has averaged 4.86 receptions and 53.48 yards, suitable for a full-season pace of 83 catches and 909 receiving yards. New England has to address the quarterback in a meaningful way. Their receiver room needs upgrades, but with a general talent upgrade needed and financial commitments to JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker, making a significant addition could prove difficult. Pairing Douglas with a veteran like Kirk Cousins or a rookie like Drake Maye would present a substantial upgrade and position him to emerge as an offensive focal point. He has the talent and skillset to emerge as a precious PPR piece.
Sam Howell, Washington
Andy Hicks: After a great run, the season of Sam Howell is ending with a resounding thud. The last three weeks have produced a 40% pass completion percentage and less passing yardage in those three games than the game preceding it. One passing touchdown and four interceptions in that time got him the hook. From looking like a starting quarterback in 2024, he will likely be passed over by a free agent or rookie when the new coaching regime moves in.
Jason Wood: No one has seen their star fall more this month than Howell, who went from being a fantasy darling thanks to massive volume to potentially being benched by a franchise about to undergo a total overhaul. The Commanders will replace the entire infrastructure this offseason, including the general manager, which means a new coaching staff and likely a focus on finding a true franchise quarterback. Howell is too young and has flashed enough potential not to abandon all hope, but he should be ranked as a mid-to-low-end QB2 in dynasty circles versus the fringe QB1 value he carried earlier this season.
Dan Hindery: The wheels have come off for Howell in Washington. Through the first ten weeks of the season, Howell was the QB3 in fantasy points (QB8 in PPG). He looked well on his way to establishing himself as the quarterback of the future for the Commanders. It has been all downhill since then. The last three weeks have been especially brutal. Howell has averaged 95.0 passing yards per game, completing just 40.9% of his passes. His play has been so putrid the Commanders decided to bench him in favor of Jacoby Brissett. Washington should be considered in the market for a starting quarterback this offseason, and he may have blown his best shot at securing a starting role in the NFL.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Andy Hicks: This is the time of year when backup quarterbacks can earn themselves tidy contracts. With the names starting for NFL teams, as we close out 2023, the opportunity is to be rewarded with competent play when given a chance. Rudolph earned a one-year free-agent contract by the Steelers, the team that drafted him. Rudolph looked assured and confident and gave Pittsburgh an easy win. He won't be a starter in 2024, but look for his landing spot.
Brock Purdy, San Francisco
Jason Wood: Purdy has already been rising dynasty rankings, but he's now cemented a top-10 spot ahead of the more heralded Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. While the debate about Purdy versus the system will always be there, we can't ignore that Purdy is putting up MVP numbers in the 49ers system, including leading the league in yards per attempt and completion rate, which should be a statistical impossibility.
Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay
Ryan Weisse: It seems likely that Mayfield has won himself a little leeway for the starting job in Tampa Bay. With the improvement we've seen from him this season and the passing volume we always see in Tampa Bay, he should be a valuable fantasy asset for 2024 and beyond. At just 28 years old, it was time to get him back into my Top 20.
Craig Lakins: Mayfield was viewed by most - including myself - as a stopgap for the Buccaneers to get through a potentially tumultuous season. He's risen above that assignment and made a case to be their full-time starter. It's a great example of why highly drafted players get several chances to find the right situation for success.
Continue reading this content with a ELITE subscription.
An ELITE subscription is required to access content for Dynasty leagues. If this league is not a Dynasty league, you can edit your leagues here.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE