Dynasty Stock Market: Rankings Ups and Downs

Ryan McDowell

In the NFL, and as a result, in dynasty fantasy football leagues, things change fast. It’s our job as dynasty players to analyze and adjust to those changes, identifying which could be a “flash in the pan” and which are long-lasting. Entering this season, I wanted to make a concerted effort to track those changes, both for myself and on behalf of other members of the team here at Dynasty League Football.

Prior to Week One’s kickoff, I decided the easiest and best way to do this would be to track player movement via our positional rankings. After all, these rankings are the quickest and most efficient way we can share our player evaluation with you. Of course, that is also done through articles, podcasts, news updates and more, but rankings remain one of our most popular tools on the site.

I’ll be going through this exercise of looking back at previous rankings periodically throughout the season, with a goal of maintaining past perspective in an effort to better analyze and evaluate players, situations and all parts of dynasty fantasy football. I chose to focus on the top tiers of our positional rankings, so the rises and falls may not look significant, but a top 20 player moving just a few spots in either direction can be quite noteworthy.

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Ups

Jared Goff, QB LAR

Pre-season Rank: 23.6

Current Rank: 20.2

Change: +3.4

In his seven games played as a rookie in 2016, Rams quarterback Jared Goff had many labeling him as a major bust, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns and maxing out at 235 passing yards in a game. Over the off-season, dynasty owners seemed to ignore the new coaching staff and the added weapons via free agency and the NFL Draft as Goff began the season ranked outside of the top 20 signal callers. After beginning the season with three top 15 fantasy performances, Goff is our biggest quarterback climber, moving up more than three spots. With a few veterans looking suddenly shaky (looking at you Big Ben), Goff could be in for another jump soon.

Kareem Hunt, RB KC

Pre-season Rank: 22.1

Current Rank: 6.7

Change: +15.4

It should come as no surprise as to the identity of our biggest running back riser, Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt, who has taken the dynasty world by storm. Hunt vaulted from outside the top fifteen to inside the top five and still rising. Considering Hunt’s start and situation, along with the on and off-field issues for Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, it can be argued that Hunt should even be considered as the top overall dynasty back.

Stefon Diggs, WR MIN

Pre-season Rank: 21

Current Rank: 13.1

Change: +7.9

Each off-season, we seem to forget just how amazing Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs really is…when he’s on the field. This season, Diggs began the year on fire and after the first month, Diggs was the overall WR1 in fantasy scoring. Not only has he dealt with the absence of his starting quarterback Sam Bradford, but now Diggs is also banged up and missing game time. Early this season, Diggs has often been compared to his fellow class of 2015 wide receiver Amari Cooper and it is easy to see why so many might prefer Diggs at this point.

George Kittle, TE SF

Pre-season Rank: 33.4

Current Rank: 28.8

Change: +4.6

I’ve said this already in various forums, but the dynasty tight end landscape is a complete disaster right now. Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert and Greg Olsen have missed time due to injuries. Jimmy Graham and Hunter Henry have both been inconsistent fantasy options through the early portion of the season. Kyle Rudolph and Eric Ebron, expected to build on their impressive 2016 seasons, are simply disappointing their fantasy owners. If you don’t have Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz on your roster, you’re likely frustrated and searching for a fix. That could come in the form of one of the many impressive rookie tight ends, including 49ers George Kittle, who finished as the TE2 in Week Five after scoring his first career touchdown. Kittle has jumped nearly five spots in our positional rankings, but still sitting outside the top 25, there is a lot of room to grow.

Downs

Eli Manning, QB NYG

Pre-season Rank: 21.2

Current Rank: 24

Change: -2.8

As players age, dynasty owners are constantly worried that they may have hit the wall and want to avoid being the ones “holding the bag.” It seems that has happened this year with Eli Manning, who has shown signs of decline eve before this season. With his star receiver, Odell Beckham, hurting to begin the season, Manning posted games of QB26 and QB23 before OBJ returned. Unfortunately, Manning will be without Beckham for the remainder of the season, along with veteran Brandon Marshall, who were both lost for the season in Week Five. Per the Rotoviz Game Splits App, since 2014, Manning scores more than three fewer fantasy points per game with Beckham out of the lineup.

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Eddie Lacy, RB SEA

Pre-season Rank: 29.4

Current Rank: 45.2

Change: -15.8

The Seattle backfield situation has been tough to project this season, mostly because there are few good options. There was an off-season debate of which back, former Packer Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls or CJ Prosise, was the one to own in dynasty leagues. The answer is seemingly none of them. After rookie Chris Carson won the job, but then suffered a season-ending injury, the Seahawks are back to square one. Lacy has the most experience of the group, which also makes his struggles the most disappointing. As dynasty players have realized the end of his Green Bay tenure was no fluke, he’s tumbled down our rankings, currently sitting outside of the top 40.

Allen Robinson, WR JAX

Pre-season Rank: 11.6

Current Rank: 17.6

Change: -6

When players move down rankings and/or ADP, it is often due to poor performance, but there are other reasons. In the case of Jaguars Allen Robinson, it might be a combination. Under the microscope of many fantasy analysts for much of the off-season, Robinson was already trending downward and then early in Week One, Robinson suffered an injury that would end his 2017 season. Robinson now faces a great deal of uncertainty and dynasty owners seem unsure of how they should be valuing him. Robinson is scheduled to be a free agent following the season, though there have been whispers that the Jags planned to franchise him prior to the injury. Of course, they could still do that. Whether he leaves Jacksonville or not, it seems to be a near certainty that Robinson will be playing with a new quarterback in 2018, which could help his value bounce back from the current six spot drop.

CJ Fiedorowicz, TE HOU

Pre-season Rank: 18.5

Current Rank: 22.6

Change: -4.1

In 2016, Texans tight end CJ Fiedorowicz survived the Brock Osweiler to finish as a respectable TE17 and after the Texans upgrade their quarterback position and presumably, their entire offense, with the addition of rookie Deshaun Watson, Fiedorowicz was a reliable backup tight end option for fantasy players, with some possible TE1 upside. That idea was crushed, as was his dynasty value, after Fiedorozwicz suffered a pair of concussions in short order, with the second coming in Week One, ending his season. The Texans tight end is signed long-term, but lacks the upside to hold through this injury. He’s been hitting the waiver wire in many leagues and can be considered again next off-season.

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ryan mcdowell
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