Written by Mikey Ostrowski
The offseason is the best part about fantasy for many dynasty players out there and I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t be thrown into that conversation. Once or twice a month, I update my dynasty rankings (found in the paragraph below) but never actually explain myself on the big risers or fallers, so I figured I’d make a monthly article showcasing some of my favorite (and least favorite) players as the months go by.
Let’s dive into my most recent updates:
Quarterbacks on the rise…
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Nothing has happened to spike this one, with the exception of watching Allen in the playoffs. Admittedly, he’s moved from a top-six dynasty quarterback to my overall QB3 in this month’s revision. Stefon Diggs is there to stay, Gabriel Davis is starting to become a thing, and there’s a decent enough chance that the Bills could go out and sign a decent running back, which would obviously bolster that offense as a whole. Allen’s value seems to rise each day. If you don’t already have him on your team, chances are you won’t be getting him unless you pay a king’s ransom.
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts
Wentz is on the move to Indianapolis, which has shot him up my dynasty rankings. Sitting closer to the QB20, Wentz is now rated as my QB14 and will likely continue to trend upwards throughout the course of this offseason. His weapons have upgraded, his coaching staff has upgraded and he’s also going to be behind arguably the best offensive line in football. Not to mention, he’s got one of the NFL’s next stars in Jonathan Taylor in the backfield for him.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan was in my top-12 quarterbacks for dynasty this time last year, but with the looming rumors that Atlanta will draft a quarterback at pick four, well, Ryan has fallen all the way down to my QB22. He’s getting up there in age, and between that and the incoming competition, I don’t like his chances at retaining a starting role for much longer. I’d imagine he could find a new home by the 2022 season, but I wouldn’t bank on him landing in a great situation, as he’ll likely be a bridge quarterback for some desperate franchise. If you can get anything, anything at all for him, I’d sell him immediately.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets
I feel bad for Darnold. He was a victim of an Adam Gase led team and was never given a real chance to succeed. I’d love to see the Jets forego a quarterback in the draft and stick with Darnold, but it just doesn’t seem likely. It’s tough to imagine that he’ll go anywhere and start immediately, but I do think he’ll be back in the spotlight within a few seasons. He is seemingly a great buy-low option, and while I don’t feel comfortable ranking him any higher than a back-end QB2, I’d feel good about acquiring him during the turmoil for cheap.
Running Backs on the rise…
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
Swift was my highest-rated rookie this time last year and has just reclaimed the spot in my rankings as the top running back from the 2020 class. The new coaching staff seem to be massive believers in Swift, saying that he “could touch the ball 25-30 times a game”… as you can imagine, I screamed like a little girl reading that. Not only will he have the opportunity, but he’s got the talent to turn that into some big numbers. He’ll excel in PPR leagues everywhere and is a player I would viciously try to trade for this offseason. Swift comes in as my overall RB5 in dynasty.
AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers
Each day that passes by without any updates on the Aaron Jones situation is a good day for Dillon’s fantasy stock. Jones and Jamaal Williams will likely be parting ways with the Packers, leaving Dillon as the lone wolf in the running back room. I’d imagine they’ll bring someone in to take care of third downs, but Dillon could find himself in a two-down role on one of the NFL’s best offenses. I’ll admit that I was low on him last year, as I couldn’t imagine the Packers moving on from Jones, but the possibility of that grows larger each day. Dillon has shot up my rankings and sits as my overall RB25 (and that will continue to trend upward if/when Jones is officially out of Green Bay).
Running Backs falling…
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
I’ve been lower than the consensus on Taylor… until recently. Prior to the Wentz trade, Taylor was my overall RB3, but has since fallen a bit to the RB6. While this isn’t a massive deal, I did want to highlight it because I believe that Taylor’s PPR upside could be severely capped with Wentz slinging the rock. Historically, Wentz is not one to use the check down very often, while Philip Rivers had seemed to love this option. Taylor’s rushing upside is at an all-time high now that Indy has a quarterback that can use his legs (and arm… sorry Jacoby Brissett) but his potential receiving work has likely taken a hit.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
I currently have Robinson ranked as my RB21 and I honestly can’t believe that I have him ranked so low after finishing as a top-five running back as a rookie. I’m just in the mindset that the Jaguars will spend a 3rd- or 4th-round pick to bring in a half decent running back and begin to roll with a committee. I genuinely do like him as a player and am rooting for him, but the lack of job security is what scares the hell out of me. For reference, my three backs directly in front of him are Antonio Gibson, David Montgomery and Ronald Jones. Again, I like Robinson’s game, but I’m not sure that he’ll have a workhorse role for much longer (if ever again).
Wide Receivers on the rise…
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
In terms of points per game, Higgins was the 4th-best rookie receiver of 2020 (could be 3rd if we don’t count his goose egg for zero targets in week one) and should do even better in 2021. Assuming that Joe Burrow has a productive and healthy offseason, Higgins will likely pick up right where he left off as the young quarterback’s favorite target. The Bengals are likely going to invest HEAVILY into an offensive line this offseason… more time for Burrow means more time for Higgins to make a play. I wasn’t too high on Higgins at the start of the season, but I’m all in now. He’s my WR15 for dynasty receivers.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
So, I might contradict myself here (you’ll see what I mean below) but just let me work through this. Evans is currently on the rise for me because if Chris Godwin does leave in free agency, Evans will likely absorb an extra target or two from Tom Brady each game. I have always been criminally low on Evans, but he’s actually up to my WR16, just behind Higgins, which I feel might even still be a little low. Nonetheless, he’s been a steady riser for me for a few months now and might see another leap if he becomes the only WR1 on the team.
Wide Receivers falling…
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
I think JuJu will be returning to Pittsburgh in 2021. I imagine it’ll be the franchise tag and then he’ll opt to move on ahead of the 2022 season. He has not been the receiver that we saw his rookie year and will likely need a change in scenery before we see any type of resurgence. That offense, with the exception of their quarterback, is very young but very talented. It’ll be tough for Smith-Schuster to stand out in a crowded receiver room and he’s moved all the way down to my dynasty WR27, which is behind both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
See, I’m definitely going to contradict myself here. I mentioned above that if Godwin leaves, Evans will get an uptick. However, I think Godwin WILL stay with Tampa Bay and that makes him a faller for me. Did you know that in terms of points per game, Godwin was only the WR22 overall? Meanwhile, many of us had him in our top 10 for dynasty receivers just one year ago. Godwin is as solid as they come as a WR2, especially if he can stay healthy, but it’s tough to imagine him returning to the form that we had seen in 2019 with Jameis Winston. Godwin has fallen out of my top 10 and currently sits as my WR14, which will 100% change whenever we get a final answer on Godwin’s 2021 destination.
Tight Ends on the rise…
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
It’s looking more and more likely that the Eagles are cleaning house, which means it’s only a matter of time before Zach Ertz is out of Philly. Goedert has been a riser over the last handful of seasons but may finally reach his potential as the defacto tight end for Philly in 2021. There are tons of questions surrounding this offense right now, but Goedert slotting in as their TE1, seems like one of the safest guesses to make right now. With this in mind, Goedert is my dynasty TE6 ahead of 2021.
Tight Ends falling…
Evan Engram, New York Giants
Could the Giants be drafting Kyle Pitts? Unlikely, but there’s definitely a possibility. Engram’s brick hands were out in full force in 2020 and has left a sour taste in fantasy managers’ mouths everywhere. He had a ton of opportunity but didn’t really do much with it. It also doesn’t help that the Giants’ offense was nearly lifeless without Saquon Barkley. Nevertheless, Engram is not that top-eight tight end that many had drafted him to be over the last few seasons, and has fallen completely out of the TE1 range for me. Engram currently sits as the lowly TE16 in my rankings… it may seem a bit harsh, but seriously, have we seen anything special from him since his rookie season?
Am I too tough on some of these guys? Too easy? Maybe, but let’s face it, my rankings will look completely different by the time the season actually starts. If you’ve read this article, chances are you’re as starved for football as I am and the season has only been over for three weeks… ugh, come back to us. Regardless, I always have fun forming my monthly rankings and I hope you enjoyed this piece.
Feel free to check out all of my rankings (found above) and tweet me @FF_Mikey10 if you have any questions or just want to have any sort of conversation about dynasty, redraft… tequila maybe?
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