We are eight weeks through the NFL season and we have already seen some massive shifts to the dynasty landscape. While the first few weeks could be chalked up to random abnormalities, we have been given enough of a sample size now to make some adjustments. Early season surprises are now becoming season-long trends. I always think it’s important as a fantasy manager to find that balance in how you adjust your rankings. You don’t want to make rash decisions but you also don’t want to react slowly to value shifts. In this article, I hope to help you navigate these difficult questions with some of the biggest risers and fallers in my dynasty rankings.
Dynasty Rankings Risers
We’ve come full circle with Etienne as he has become that player that fantasy managers envisioned when they drafted him. It was a rough start to the season, but he got better with an increased workload. After averaging just 10.2 touches per game through the first four games, Etienne has gotten 16.75 since then. Furthermore, he never played more than 53% of snaps until Week 7 and has been at nearly 80% the last two weeks. This past weekend he received 27 opportunities as well with the trade of James Robinson. Etienne should be a workhorse back going forward and is entering low-end RB1 territory for the rest of 2022.
In terms of dynasty rankings, many of the elite Running Backs in the NFL are at an age apex. As a result, it didn’t take long for me to move Etienne to mid-tier RB1 territory in my dynasty rankings. He had an outstanding college career and was selected in the first round of the NFL draft not too long ago. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc injury caused him to miss his full rookie season but he appears to be back at full strength now. When Running Backs of his pedigree show out fantasy managers should pay attention so he’s my biggest riser of the week.
Meyers is continually disrespected and he continually produces fantasy points with remarkable consistency. After being an afterthought in most fantasy drafts, he’s 13th in fantasy points per game. Despite the struggles of the New England offense, Meyers has managed double-digit PPR points in every outing. There is no longer a need to ask start and sit questions when it comes to him. Lock him into your lineups as a borderline WR2 with an extremely high floor every week. He’s never been high in dynasty rankings either due to his perceived lack of upside. While it’s true he will never explode for 180 yards and two touchdowns, he can be a valuable member of your fantasy team. After continually putting higher-upside players in front of him I’ve accepted Meyer as a great football player. He’s moved into WR3 territory in my dynasty rankings as he should command a contract extension.
As we comb the desolate Tight End landscape for talent, look no further than the Denver Broncos Tight End. After missing the first five games of the year to injury, Dulcich has emerged as the clear starter in Denver. His rapport with Russell Wilson is evident as well as he’s been the second most productive Broncos receiver over the last three weeks. This was highlighted by four catches and 87 yards on one drive this past weekend when Denver was pinned deep in their own territory.
Additionally, Dulcich has the draft capital and athleticism we look for in elite fantasy Tight Ends. This is another situation when you consider the other Tight Ends around him, it’s not hard after just a few weeks to move him into that borderline TE1 range in my dynasty rankings. He’ll be a big sleeper in dynasty drafts next year and is a great target for rebuilding teams.
Don’t look now, but the debate of who’s the number one Wide Receiver in the Bronco offense is back on. All off-season media speculation suggested that Courtland Sutton was the go-to receiver in practice. Through five weeks that was absolutely correct as he dominated the target load garnering 46 targets in that time. Things have changed though recently as he’s coming off of three straight games under 5.3 PPR fantasy points. He’s been outproduced by both Jeudy and Dulcich in that time span too.
I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to suggest that Jeudy could be the most productive Wide Receiver on the Broncos for the rest of the season. The more likely scenario is that we see the two go back and forth as long as the offense remains a mess. What this does show us though is that if this offense could ever get clicking both of these receivers could be very productive. I’ve also been slowly sliding Jerry Jeudy up my dynasty rankings as well. He checks in as a midtier WR3 and has moved past players like Rashod Bateman in my eyes.
Dynasty Rankings Fallers
This season has been nothing short of a disaster for Harris who is the RB23 in PPR leagues through 8 weeks. That ranking doesn’t do justice to just how bad it’s gotten for him though. Harris is 44th in yards created per touch and he’s lost his workhorse role that led to his dominant 2021 campaign (PlayerProfiler). His snap share is down around 17% compared to last season and his target share is down by 6%. This is because Jaylen Warren has seized a role in the offense, particularly in the passing game.
More importantly however, the offense is bad and so is the offensive line. Harris has little room to operate and is hit quickly on most of the opportunities he’s given. Furthermore, Kenny Pickett doesn’t play Quarterback the same way as Ben Roethlisberger. Last year Harris was the beneficiary of a ton of dump-off passes as Big Ben had little interest in getting hit at that stage in his career. Without all of those extra opportunities and the state of the offense the way it is, Harris is a touchdown-dependent RB3. While I don’t believe he’s lost all his ability in just one season, Harris has dropped in my dynasty rankings. This is a lost year and he’ll be 25 next off-season as he came into the league as an older prospect. After starting the season as a clear top 5 Running back he’s down all the way to 10 in my rankings and could slide further.
Robinson has been a fantastic story and it’s truly remarkable how quickly he recovered from a gunshot injury. He was a third-round pick who immediately got the respect of the coaching staff early on who named him the starter before the season. This wasn’t a huge surprise as Antonio Gibson had been falling out of favor despite a productive first two seasons in the league. Robinson eventually made his debut in Week Four and has emerged as the primary first and second down back in the offense. While it truly has been wonderful to watch, he hasn’t been very efficient. He hasn’t gotten over 3.65 yards per carry in any game and has no role in the passing game.
This has led to mediocre fantasy outputs and it finally came to a head this week. After playing ahead of Gibson for a couple of weeks Gibson led the offense in snap percentage once again. It was a true 3-way committee though as no player was able to top a 40% snap share. With a large role in the passing game though ( 6 receptions, 58 yards, 1 touchdown) Gibson was clearly the most valuable fantasy player. I would expect this to continue as Robinson hasn’t shown enough in the opportunities he’s been given. The hype that was put on him before the start of the season was unfair though. This was always a 3rd round draft choice who wasn’t overly athletic in the mould of Damien Harris. His upside is limited and he’ll likely never be trusted with a dominant workload. As a result, he’s a low-end RB3 in my dynasty rankings.
That’s all for this week! You can follow Emerson on Twitter @Dynasty_Analyst to keep up with his work. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles from our great Dynasty team, coming soon. Remember to tune into the 5 Yard Dynasty livestream every Tuesday at 8pm (GMT or 3pm EST).