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Mon Jan 18th 2021

Top 12 Rankings Risers

Dynasty Value Risers

One of the things I like to do at the end of the season is to see which players have risen 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 risen this most this year.

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

Here are the twleve players whose dynasty stock I believe increased the most this season.

Ryan Tannehill - from QB 22 to 11

  • Tannehill is now an every-week fantasy starter and has moved into the top 12 in my quarterback rankings. He doesn't get the highest number of pass attempts (18th last year with only 481 attempts), but he's incredibly efficient with his passes and finished tied for 7th in touchdown passes with 33. A.J. Brown is a big play waiting to happen, especially on deep balls and zone-read crossing patterns, while the defenses focus on stopping Derrick Henry. Tennessee has one of the most simple offenses in the league, but it works because they have a star running back and wide receiver. Tannehill's athleticism allows him to add fantasy points on the ground, too, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground this year. Their offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, was hired to be the head coach with Atlanta, so Tennessee and Tannehill may not play as efficiently next year, but I assume they will promote from within to keep their powerful offensive system intact.

Ronald Jones - from RB 46 to 22

  • Jones held off two competitors to keep the lead role in Tampa Bay. When Tampa Bay drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft and signed Leonard Fournette after Jacksonville cut him, it seemed like the Buccaneers were eager to replace Jones. He not only held them off, but he also finished the season as the 16th highest scoring running back. Fournette is a free agent and won't be re-signed by Tampa Bay since Vaughn showed some promise near the end of the season. Jones will have another battle in front of him next season as he tries to hold off Vaughn again and get signed to a second contract with the Buccaneers.

Myles Gaskin - from an unranked RB to 23

  • I removed Gaskin from my rankings all together before the season kicked off. I assumed the two players Miami picked up in the offseason (Jordan Howard and Matt Breida) would get all the carries in Miami this year, but Gaskin (Miami's second-year 7th-round draft pick) took over from game one and finished the season as the 12th ranked running back in scoring points per game. He was a very steady RB-2 this season and could be the future leading running back from Miami. Moving from unranked to 23rd is quite an accomplishment, but 23rd is likely the highest he will ever be ranked because I believe that Miami will draft a running back in this year's NFL draft.

Tony Pollard - from RB 54 to 25

  • Pollard looked more explosive than Ezekiel Elliot by the end of the season. He's going do much more than spell Zeke in the coming season. Dallas has to increase his role in the years to come. I don't believe Zeke has fallen off a cliff as some analysts do, so I've only moved Pollard up to 25. Zeke was on fire the first five games of the season before Dak Prescott was injured. When Dak is healthy, Zeke and Pollard's dynasty stock will rise. I've ranked them both, assuming Dak will sign a long-term contract with Dallas and bring the offense to life again in the coming years.

Chase Edmunds - from RB 57 to 26

  • Edmunds did not jump Kenyan Drake to become the starter in Arizona like I predicted he would make this season. Drake played surprisingly well, finishing as the 14th ranked RB with 239 carries, while Edmunds finished 28th with only 97 carries. However, Edmunds was more active in the passing game, finishing with 53 receptions compared to Drake's 25. Drake stayed ranked ahead of Edmunds in my rankings, but Edmunds moved three spots ahead of him to end the season. I made the change because Drake's contract is up, and I do not believe Arizona will re-sign him, finally leaving Edmunds an opportunity to be the Cardinal's lead back.

Damien Harris - from RB 57 to 31

  • Harris did not run away with the job as I expected he would be this season, especially after Sony Michel was injured. Even so, he did enough to prove that he is the best running back on their roster. The Patriots' offense can't play worse than they did last year with Cam Newton, and they can't afford to draft a running back since they have so many holes to fill on their team, so Harris's situation should only improve in the years to come. I've always been frustrated by how the Patriots rotate their running backs, and that concern keeps Harris from rising to a reliable RB-2 in my rankings.

Stefon Diggs - from WR 20 to 3

  • Diggs moved down my rankings at the beginning of the season based solely on how he was traded to a new team with an erratic quarterback in Josh Allen. However, Allen changed the narrative of his career as I have never seen before, and Diggs was the primary benefactor of Allen's incredible improvement. Diggs had the best fantasy season of his career, and he's positioned to score more fantasy points in Buffalo than he ever did in Minnesota for the next five or more years. His complaining for targets got him traded from Minnesota, but he has not had anything to complain about in Buffalo. He led the league in targets, receptions, and yards.

Keenan Allen - from WR 19 to 7

  • Like Diggs, I dropped Allen in my rankings before the season becuase I expected his target-load to decrease significantly with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback.  I'm sure my prdiction would have proved right had Taylor played this season instead of Justin Herbert who took over at quarterback in week two.  Herbert brought the offense to life with his rifle arm and downfield passing. Herbert alone caused Allen's dynasty value to rise back to the level of his actual talent.  Allen finished 5th in targets and 5th in receptions among wide receiers, and his future is still very bright in Los Angeles.  He's still a top-ten dynasty asset in my book.

Diontae Johnson - from WR 56 to 16

  • Before the season started, I believed Juju Smith-Schuster would be Ben Roethlisberger's top target and would play well enough to earn a second contract in Pittsburg. Early into the season, however, it was clear that Diontae Johnson had become Big Ben's favorite target, and then Chase Claypool broke into the scene to become Big Ben's favorite red-zone target. Some of the film analysts that I follow said Johnson was a standout on tape too. Johnson continued to move up my rankings throughout the season, and he finished at number 16. I wanted to move him higher, but I am concerned about Roethlisberger retiring before this season or after next season.

Robby Anderson - from WR 45 to 32

  • I was one of few analysts I know that did not let Anderson's off-season move to Carolina downgrade his dynasty value. I believed he would do well in Carolina, but I did not think he would move up 13 spots in my rankings by the end of the season. D.J. Moore scored just two more fantasy points than Anderson this year, but Anderson had 29 more receptions. The opposite of what everyone expected happened - Moore was the big-play receiver while Anderson was the primary target. Anderson was the WR-1 in Carolina last year, and I believe he will compete with Moore for years to come.

Logan Thomas - from an unranked TE to 10

  • Thomas started the season unranked, given his age, new team, and inexperience at the tight end position, but he finished his age-29 season as the 6th highest scoring tight end. He was very consistent, too, especially in PPR leagues. He was targeted 110 times and had 72 receptions for six touchdowns. He's earned a starting role on Washington's team and a starting role on dynasty teams too. One of the things I learned this year is how important targets are for tight ends, given that the position is so volatile. Thomas was the third most targeted tight end last year, behind only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. He's come from unranked to be an every-week starter with a reliable floor.

Robert Tonyan - from an unranked TE to 11

  • Tonyan was not in my tight end rankings, even after off-season rumors of his training with George Kittle and his relationship with Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers have not had a startable fantasy tight end since Jermichael Finley, so I did not buy the hype. Well, the hype was real, and Tonyan finished the season as the third-highest scoring tight end. His fantastic fantasy season was indeed bolstered by a league-leading 11 touchdowns (tied with Travis Kelce), but touchdowns are exactly what dynasty managers are looking for in their tight ends since one touchdown causes them to win the position most weeks. Tonyan seems like a permanent part of the offense now, and it's an offense with a league-leading 48 touchdown passes from Rodgers. In a position that is very muddled in the middle, Tonyan's touchdowns make him an every-week starter that is now among my top-12 tight ends.

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