We are less than two weeks away from the fantasy playoffs and the NFL season has flown by yet again. Hopefully, your team is still in the playoff hunt, but the great thing about dynasty leagues is that the best managers stay active all year long. Even if you are out of the playoffs you should be sending trade offers to contenders to improve your rosters for next season. People will be desperate to fill holes in their lineup as we get down to the final trade deadlines this week. You can get some serious value for players who won’t have much value past this season too. If you are in a league the trade deadline has already passed, you should change that in 2023. With that being said we are going to get into some of the biggest dynasty risers and fallers through this point of the NFL season. I will provide a summary of their play through this point in the year, as well as an outlook going forward for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Risers
This one is obvious but one I had to touch on not having talked about him yet as a dynasty riser. While the Packers’ offense has been a mess this season, Watson has been one of the few bright spots. After an injury plagued first nine weeks of the year, Watson has been on fire the last month. He’s finished as a WR1 each of the last four weeks and has 313 yards and 7 touchdowns over that span. He’s gone from bust to a premier player in the 2022 rookie class in short order and that should be reflected in dynasty drafts. With a combo of size, speed, an elite college target share, and an impressive second half of his rookie season there’s not a lot to dislike. While I still prefer Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Drake London in dynasty leagues he’s still firmly in that next tier. The only concern for his dynasty value going forward is how long Aaron Rodgers decides to keep playing.
It was a long road to get here, but this was precisely the type of performance dynasty managers were looking for from James Cook as we close out the season. He accumulated 105 total yards that included six receptions as well as he flashed that receiving ability that made him a second round pick in the NFL draft. Additionally, he played 43% of snaps compared to just 44% for Singletary and out touched him 20 to 13 in the game. While it will be hard to trust him in the fantasy playoffs, this gives us a glimmer of hope as we go into the 2023 season. We’ve seen plenty of examples in the past of Running Backs taking a good portion of their rookie season to get acclimated to the NFL. Cook may never be a workhorse given his size, but he should have a sizeable role in the Bill’s offense next year. He’s a fringe RB2 in dynasty formats right now but will likely get pushed into RB3 territory with the addition of the 2023 draft class.
Cole Kmet is another player that started off slow this season. Unlike Cook though, Kmet had high expectations and did little to nothing during the first eight weeks of the season. Don’t look now but he’s received six-plus targets in four of his past five games and is the TE2 over that span. Furthermore, Darnell Mooney is on IR and will miss the rest of the 2022 season. It’s hard to rank more than eight Tight Ends you would rank ahead of Kmet for the rest of the season and he should be a low-end starter. Looking toward 2023 I think Kmet has a much better chance of meeting the expectations that he had prior to this season. We knew the offense was going to be a mess to start the year he should improve as the offense gets better around him. He’ll certainly be a top 12 Tight End in my dynasty rankings but might be a hard buy at this point given his hot streak.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Fallers
A hamstring injury in Week 13 was the final straw in what was a disappointing season for Courtland Sutton. While his season isn’t over, it’s hard to see him playing in Week 14 against the Chiefs, and fantasy managers certainly won’t be able to trust him in the playoffs. Targets haven’t been a problem either as he’s received more than seven targets in all but three games this season. He hasn’t been efficient with these targets though and has just a single touchdown on the season. While this is far from being all his fault, he will drop significantly in dynasty drafts in 2023. He has one top 30 Wide Receiver finish in his career (WR19 in 2019) and will be 28 years old in 2023. He’s no lock as the Broncos’ top Wide Receiver either as Jerry Jeudy has been more effective in many of the games they both played this season. He’ll be a fringe WR3 with upside in 2023 in hopes that Russell Wilson will be able to figure it out in his second season.
Lamar Jackson also suffered a knee sprain and left during the first quarter of the Raven’s matchup against the Denver Broncos. While he attempted only four passes, it was his play before this that lands him in the dynasty fantasy football rankings fallers column. After a hot start to the season, Jackson hasn’t finished as a top 7 fantasy Quarterback since Week 3. Over that span, he has just 8 touchdowns total and is the QB16 over that span. This is another player who I don’t think should shoulder the whole blame though. Jackson has never been known as an elite passer, and the Ravens chose to surround him with one of the least talented Wide Receiver cores in the league.
Jackson is far from being the only elite Quarterback in the league this year to struggle without consistent receiver play too. Nonetheless, Jackson has finished as the QB10 and QB15 the last two years, and could finish in that range again if he’s forced to miss a game or two. Whether it be injuries or inconsistent play as a passer, Jackson hasn’t lived up to expectations three years in a row now. He’s not falling dramatically down my rankings, but he’s firmly behind someone like Joe Burrow. Jackson should be in a range with players like Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray going forward as high upside dual threat Quarterbacks with limitations as passers. Keep in mind we could see Jackson in a new uniform next year too if the Ravens choose not to work out a contract extension.
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).