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Mon Jan 25th 2021

Top 12 Rankings Fallers

Dynasty Value Fallers

One of the things I like to do at the end of the season is to see which players have fallen the most in my rankings since the season started. I always save a list of my rankings before the first week of the season and then go back to compare it to my end-of-season rankings to see who has fallen this most this year.

I exclude rookies from the exercise. I want to see which veteran players have decreased their dynasty stock, at last among those in the top 50 of my rankings.

Here are the twelve players whose dynasty stock I believe decreased the most this season.

Carson Wentz - from QB 9 to 26

  • Wentz had a long-term contract with a savvy offensive-minded head coach on a team that drafted offensive weapons in consecutive years. His future seemed bright a the beginning of the year, but his future is in question at the end of the year. Wentz played poor enough to get benched by the Eagles by the end of the season and get his head coach fired. It was a tumultuous season for the whole team and every dynasty asset suffered for it. Wentz could be on the trading block this off-season, but it's hard to trade a player with his massive contract. The surprise coaching change makes me believe that he will not get traded like management picked Wentz over coach Pederson. If so, Jalen Hurts will still be with the Eagles to compete for the starting job. Wentz and Hurts will move up my rankings if either of them gets traded this off-season. Until then, I'm downgrading them both. If Wentz is a starting quarterback on any team next year, he'll still have a lot to prove to increase his dynasty value again.

James Conner - from RB 27 to 41

  • Conner's dynasty value increased after Pittsburg did not select a running back in the NFL draft as I expected they would. I had him just outside my top 24 rankings to start the season, but not even an RB-3 by the end of the season. Conner did not do enough to earn a second contract with Pittsburg, most likely making him a back-up running back for the rest of his career no matter which team signs him. Benny Snell did not play well enough for Pittsburg to name him their starter either, which makes me think they will draft and running back this year in the NFL draft.

Leonard Fournette - from RB 17 to 46

  • Even though Fournette had the best year of his career in 2019, Jacksonville cut him in 2020. When he signed with Tampa Bay, he moved up my rankings because I believed that he was much better than Ronald Jones. Fournette had a few great games this season, but Jones outplayed him overall. It's doubtful that Tampa Bay will re-sign Fournette to a new contract, making Fournette a free agent alongside many of the running backs I downgraded at the end of the year. It seems like only about half of the running backs drafted sign a second contract with the team that drafted them. Fournette is already among them.

Todd Gurley - from RB 20 to 61

  • While acknowledging that Gurley was on the back half of his career, I was still hopeful for a strong year or two with Atlanta and liked his landing spot enough to keep him among my top 20 running backs. Gurley started the season looking serviceable. At least he was scoring touchdowns for his fantasy teams. By mid-season, however, he was not starting on fantasy teams or the Falcons. Gurley got a second contract with the Rams but was cut by them before the contract ended, even though it cost the Rams a ton of money. The Falcons thought they could squeeze one more good year out of him, but they could not. I would not be surprised if we've seen the last of Gurley's career.

Le'Veon Bell - from RB 29 to 62

  • To begin the season, Bell was at least the starting running back without competition behind him in New York. That was enough for me to see him as a streamable dynasty asset in the RB-3 realm. By mid-season, he was traded by New York to Kansas City, where dynasty managers still thought he could possibly flourish, but he did not. Even the back-up running backs for the Jets played better than Bell did in Kansas City. It's a vivid reminder about how fast running backs' dynasty value peaks and how quickly it crashes.

Kenny Golladay - from WR 5 to 17

  • I thought Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay were poised for an incredibly great season, but Golladay's injuries prevented that from happening. It may seem unfair to drop Golladay due to injuries, but the injuries came on a contract year, and now his future is uncertain. I believe he will sign a new contract with Detroit if only a franchise contract, giving him a year to prove himself again. It's also possible, however, that Detroit will blow up their team to rebuild. In which case, Stafford and Golladay could be on new teams next year. I love his talent, but this year raised questions, and many of the second-year wide receivers have passed him by in my rankings.

Chris Godwin - from WR 6 to 20

  • I was excited when Tampa Bay signed Tom Brady, which allowed me to keep Godwin among my top-ten dynasty wide receivers. They played well together this year, but not well enough to merit a top-ten ranking any longer. Several things have me concerned enough to move him back fourteen spots at the end of the season. Mike Evans out-performed Godwin this year, and I believe he will continue to do so. Godwin's contract expired this year too, and it's uncertain if the Buccaneers will re-sign him since they now have Antonio Brown to pair with Mike Evans. Godwin is an excellent player and would be great on another team too, but he's not the top-ten WR-1 that I thought he was before the season started.

T.Y. Hilton - from WR 31 to 63

  • Hilton was already moving into the WR-3 zone before the season started. The Colts' signing Phillip Rivers did not make me any more hopeful for Hilton. Still, I thought he could be a streamable WR-3 most weeks. He finally had a few great games near the very end of the season, but by then, dynasty managers had him out of their starting line-ups, so it was too little too late. Hilton didn't make the most of his contract year, leaving him a free agent this off-season. In his case, I believe the Colts will re-sign him, which at his age would be better for his dynasty value than moving to a new team. Even so, his best years are behind him, and he's no longer a reliable receiver that dynasty managers can comfortably put in their starting line-ups.

Sammy Watkins - from WR 50 to 84

  • Watkins had an excellent Super Bowl performance, and there was an off-season story written about how he was studying the game, eating well, and working out in the off-season for the first time in his career. It was enough to make me wonder if he could have some sense of resurgence this year. I wasn't totally buying it since I had him ranked as a WR-4, but I am all out on Watkins after this season. I'm out on all pass catchers for the Chiefs not named Kelce or Hill. All of the other wide receivers behind Hill and Kelce are far too inconsistent. They all have had breakout games, but it's impossible to know which one will contribute each week, and none have risen above the rest to solidify their roster spot.

Zack Ertz - from TE 5 to 16

  • Headed into the season, there was no reason to assume Ertz would not be a top-12 tight end to end the season just as he had been for years. The only knock against him was the growing involvement of Dallas Goedert in the offense. The Eagles love their tight ends, though, so I had Goedert and Ertz among my top ten dynasty tight ends. Even though Ertz was in a contract year, I was sure Philadelphia would keep him, especially because of his off-field friendship and on-field connection with Carson Wentz. Well, all of that is in doubt now after Wentz's awful year and Philadelphia's coaching changes. I suspect Ertz will be on another team next year. I believe in his talent enough to have not dropped him too far among the muddy tight end second tier, but he'll need to sign with a team that I really like for me to move him up much more than 16. He has something to prove next year to increase his dynasty value.

Jack Doyle - from TE 18 to 43

  • I wasn't super hopeful for Doyle when the season started, but I believed he would be the TE-1 in Indianapolis with a coach and quarterback who often target the tight end. I had no idea he'd be competing for targets, let alone snaps, with Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox. None of Indianapolis' tight ends were startable this year, with the very rare exception of Burton since he was often used in the red-zone. I wish one of their tight ends would have established himself as the clear starter or top target, but it never materialized, and now I have all three of them ranked between 26 and 43, with Doyle ranked third among them.

Chris Herndon - from TE 22 to 36

  • Herndon had every chance possible to improve his dynasty stock this year, and I expected that he would. With injuries and new wide receivers in New York and no competition at the tight end position, I thought Herdon could even be the second most-targeted pass catcher this season. I was wrong. Herndon teased dynasty managers again near the end of the season with a few good games and touchdowns. Players often do well the season after Adam Gase is no longer coordinating their offense, so there is just enough hope to keep him ranked as a TE-3, but I've lost a lot of hope after this year.

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