Fantasy Football: Dynasty Rankings Changes & Thoughts Leading into Week 1
For those who can’t get enough fantasy football, dynasty fantasy football satisfies that thirst in the off-season. But as we head into Week 1, there are a number of changes in rankings and outlooks for players that we wanted to get managers up to speed on.
- Production Profiles
- Rookie Rankings
- Rookie Mock Drafts
- Dynasty Startup Rankings
- Risers & Fallers
- Dynasty Trade Targets
As the summer progressed, the Fantasy Footballers updated their dynasty rankings as players made noise in camp. We asked three of our most senior writers how these changes are affecting dynasty leagues.
Name a player whose dynasty stock rose over the summer in your mind.
Michael Pittman Jr. was always a name dynasty managers wanted to have after last season’s year two breakout, but now he’s a guy fantasy managers need to have heading into year three at just under 25 years old ready to explode. Pittman became one of just seven second-year WRs since 2010 to put up at least 85/1000/6. The others? A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffrey, Josh Gordon, Odell Beckham, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Justin Jefferson. After doing that while ranking 44th at the position in catchable target rate a year ago (thanks, Carson Wentz), it’s not difficult to envision a top-10 fantasy season from Pitty City with a QB upgrade. We shouldn’t be surprised if Pittman is considered a consensus top-10 dynasty WR after this year. – Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
Javonte Williams has seen his dynasty value increase significantly over the last eight months. Just a year ago, Williams was only being drafted as the RB16 in dynasty formats as the Broncos’ future was clouded with uncertainty, especially at the quarterback position. Fast forward to the beginning of the 2022 season and Javonte is now entrenched as a top-5 dynasty running back. This should not come as a surprise with the addition of Russell Wilson and the myriad of reports that Javonte will lead their backfield despite Melvin Gordon’s return. And at only 22 years old, Javonte should have top-10 upside every single year, making him one of the most valuable dynasty running backs going forward. – Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)
Staying with the Broncos theme, rookie TE Greg Dulcich is ahead of where I thought he would be as a rookie TE. We loved his production profile coming out of UCLA. As Marvin wrote up in his Rookie Profile, he led all Power-5 TEs in Rec Yds Market Share & Rec Yds per Team Pass Att in both 2020 and 2021. Attaching himself to an All-Pro QB was definitely a boom but Albert Okwuegbunam seems to have fumbled an opportunity away. He was playing well into the 4th quarter of the Broncos’ Week 2 preseason game and reports are that he is behind. You might have to wait another year for high-end production but Dulcich seems set up for the near future to be an integral part of this offense. I view him as a top-12 TE in dynasty leagues. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Which player’s dynasty stock has fallen the most over the summer in your mind?
Man, it’s been a tough offseason for Josh Jacobs. Long gone are the days of him being a no-brainer top-15 dynasty RB. Remember when he was the 1.01 in rookie drafts back in 2019? Since then, the Raiders declined his 5th-year option, drafted Zamir White, and brought in middling talents like Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden. We know from his Alabama days that he can catch the football but this new staff seems hellbent on utilizing the other backs they’ve signed as their primary pass catcher, making it a tough sell on an RB with an expiring contract who could be stuck as an early down grinder behind a suspect offensive line. The bottom could fall out very quickly. – Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
Is there a running back that has taken a more significant fall in dynasty value than Antonio Gibson? After multiple seasons of top-24 production, that streak could be coming to an end as the Washington Commanders re-signed J.D. McKissic and drafted Alabama’s Brian Robinson this off-season. And while Robinson was not the most accomplished prospect entering the league, the Commanders have clearly been impressed with his performance in camp. So much so that he started this last pre-season game, while Gibson received special teams reps. And while I do believe Gibson will still have a role in this offense, he is unlikely to command the majority of the opportunities in what will likely be a committee backfield going forward. – Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)
Miles Sanders had a chance this summer to establish himself as Philadelphia’s lead back. In the final year of his rookie deal, Sanders looked like he was a buy-low opportunity on a run-first offense after he failed to score a rushing TD all year long. Everybody and their mama was screaming for positive regression. Unfortunately, he’s dealing with a hamstring injury in camp and the vibes aren’t so great. If that was a gamble you made, it looks like you lost as Boston Scott is annoyingly still around and Kenneth Gainwell could make a major leap in Year 2. At this point, you have to hold on and hope he turns it around this year and lands a 2nd contract somewhere ala Chase Edmonds giving him some new dynasty life.-Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
How are you viewing Dameon Pierce for 2022 and beyond?
Dynasty strategy 101: Don’t be afraid to trade away running backs when their value might be at its peak. For redraft leagues, I get the appeal of Pierce, and to be honest, he has looked good in limited preseason action. That said, there are a lot of yellow (red) flags in his profile that should have dynasty managers at least considering cashing in on the hope of what could be for Pierce in the NFL. He was a 4-year college player who didn’t declare early and never carried the ball more than 106 times in a season while in college. And let’s be real – day three NFL Draft prospects rarely hit in fantasy at the running back position. He’s a player I’m willing to be wrong about in dynasty, especially considering he’s playing on what projects to be one of the worst offenses in the league for 2022. – Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
In a Texans offense that is devoid of upside at the running back position, Dameon Pierce seems to be the most talented option for the team. However, this situation reminds me so much of the rookie seasons of James Robinson and Michael Carter. Neither one of them was drafted with day one or two capital and found themselves in a backfield with very little competition. And despite moments of solid production, their teams re-invested in the RB position the following year by drafting Travis Etienne and Breece Hall. Pierce could experience a similar fate as the Texans currently own five Day 1 and 2 draft picks in what is shaping up to be a talented RB class. While he could certainly provide dynasty managers with flex-worthy production this season, I will likely be trading Pierce before the 2023 off-season to capitalize on his inflated value. – Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)
I’ve been quite resistant to Pierce’s ascension over the last few months. Twitter is ablaze because let’s be honest, anything that people can get their hands on for a starting RB in the NFL is free game. But there are a number of alarming draft capital and Texans-related statistics that have me worried if you want a thread:
Dameon Pierce Supporters…
Since 2014, 77% of 4th Round Rookie RBs Beat Their ADP.
Sounds great BUT…
Only 26% finished in top-36… only ONE finished inside top-24, Andre "The Great" Williams (RB24)
Oh & he's a Texan. The team w/ the LOWEST Exp.Pts per Rush Att. since 2000 pic.twitter.com/kSjs7Obnse
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) July 20, 2022
I’m out on this draft price as he’s being drafted higher (RB35) than any other Round 4 rookie RB over the last decade. Oh, it’s also a running game that posted the lowest expected points per rush attempt of any NFL team since 2000. I don’t want to chase a bad running game on a bad offense with an RB with 4th-round draft capital. In dynasty, I would cash in now if people view him as the future. If you can get a future 1st, do it. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Which player’s preseason usage gives you confidence they will make an impact in Year 1?
It’s really difficult to remember a Round 1 NFL Draft WR who has been left for dead the way Jahan Dotson has. In rookie drafts, he always felt like a consolation prize at the back of Round 1, and in redraft leagues, he’s going off the board around WR60. Through two preseason games with Washington, Dotson has played the exact same number of snaps and run the exact same number of routes as Terry McLaurin. He’s locked into 2WR sets for this team, and sure Carson Wentz has his flaws, but Dotson is a talented WR with a big-time catch radius for his size. We shouldn’t be surprised if he carves out a role for this offense or has useable flex weeks this year. – Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
Romeo Doubs could have a more impactful rookie year than initially expected. After reports surfaced that he was making eye-opening plays during camp, he was able to translate that into pre-season production. In limited action through the first two games, Doubs has averaged a 21% target share to go along with 6 receptions, 69 yards, and 2 touchdowns. And while it is only pre-season, he seems to be moving up that depth chart, quickly gaining the trust of Aaron Rodgers and the coaching staff. – Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)
One of my favorite players to grab late in Best Ball and even in redraft leagues is Alec Pierce. He looks like he’s going to eventually supplant Parris Campbell in 2WR sets and he has the size and speed to make an impact opposite Michael Pittman Jr. The Colts have assembled a Monstars lineup of big-bodied guys but Pierce is by far the fastest. Frank Reich speaks highly of him and there’s room in this offense for him to see 100+ targets. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Give me a bold dynasty rookie take for 2022.
Christian Watson isn’t even the 5th best receiving option on his own team. Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb seem likely to open the year as Green Bay’s 3WR set, and yes this isn’t the most talented trio in the league, but Rodgers is just a different dude. If you don’t earn his trust, you aren’t getting the football. Period. Ask almost any other rookie who’s played with Rodgers. Do we really think that trend is going to change for a WR who’s best career season came as a Senior in the FCS with just 43 receptions? Watson has missed a significant chunk of training camp while recovering from a knee scope, allowing Romeo Doubs to emerge as another possible candidate to steal targets. Of course Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and Robert Tonyan will also see volume. The rookie could be a major disappointment in year one. – Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT)
Wan’Dale Robinson will lead all Giants wide receivers in scrimmage yards and will finish top-5 among rookie receivers in PPR production (per game). Wan’Dale seems to be the forgotten receiver in this class, only being drafted as the WR72 on Underdog. But I get it… he’s short and does not have the prototypical size of a lead wide receiver. However, he also possesses one of the best production profiles in this class, is an early-declare prospect, and was drafted in the 2nd round. And if the Giants do plan to deploy him all over the field per recent reports, he could be the swiss-army knife of an offense that should be more creative and productive under Brian Daboll. – Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE)
Chris Olave finishes the year as the fantasy WR1 of this rookie class. I’ve come this far with Chris Olave… it’s time to finish the drill. As I mentioned in the Fantasy Footballers Writing Staff “My Guys” article, the draft capital (11th overall) and what the Saints paid (essentially gave up a 2nd, two 3rds, and a 4th round pick) to move up from No. 18 to No. 16 with the Eagles and then up even further to No. 11 with the Commanders is astounding. They obviously were over the moon for Olave, a highly productive player Ohio State. Since 2014, rookie WRs drafted in the top-15 picks average a 19.2% target share and Olave’s big play ability is sorely needed on a team of slant gurus with Michael Thomas & Jarvis Landry. He seems like a near lock to beat his ADP (9.02/WR41) and the ceiling is even higher in my opinion. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)