Adjusting our rankings after the first week of the NFL season takes a different shape in dynasty than in redraft. In dynasty, we’re pushed to consider a player’s path beyond this season, and betting on talent takes on more weight. It’s what keeps Kyle Pitts‘ trade value considerably higher than other tight ends who’ve produced the same, with the potential that someday he’ll get out from under Arthur Smith‘s offensive scheme and into one that will fully utilize him in the receiving game.
ZACH WILSON: FROM TIER 13 (A ROOKIE 4TH-RD PICK) TO TIER 11 (2ND -)
There’s something criminal about all that time, all that led up to an Aaron Rodgers-led Jets squad, just to suffer such an immediate end. Alas, Zach Wilson gets another chance. He’s surely running out of them, but maybe having Rodgers in his ear this year can help make a difference.
Plus, it was a knock on Wilson’s game that the pass protection he got was so good at BYU, that perhaps the learning curve getting up to speed in the pros was just made that much bigger. For what it’s worth, coach Robert Saleh has Wilson’s back, not that there are many options to rave about in the free agent QB market, besides a hail mary to try and bring in Tom Brady.
Wilson’s starting status saturates the reasoning for my rankings adjustment. Multi-week, non-fluky success will be required to bump him up further.
DANIEL JONES: TIER 3 (2 1STS +) TO TIER 5 (2 1STS -)
The New York Post summarized well just how abysmal the Giants’ offensive line and PFF grades were against the Cowboys. So, we have a clear thing to point to in arguing that Daniel Jones isn’t reverting to his old self.
Unfortunately, it keeps us from really finding out if the Jones we got in 2022 is a sign of the player to come, the player to justify the 4-year, $160 million contract he just got. If this is the kind of thing we can expect from the O-Line for all or most of this year, then trading over two 1sts to buy or sell him is too much for me. The promise shown in ’22 makes it hard for me to knock him down further in my ranks, though.
ANTONIO GIBSON: FROM TIER 8 (1ST -) TO TIER 11 (2ND -)
The Gibson dream may be over. Even for the dream to stay alive, a 50-50 split with Brian Robinson would have gone a long way. Instead, Robinson out-carried him 19-to-3, out-targeting him 2-to-1.
Who knows how much a fumble versus the Cardinals caused Gibson to lose work, but regardless, it’s an all too familiar story with Gibson and ball security issues, and the exciting prospects of how well he could do under new OC Eric Bienemy are getting doused quickly. He’s entered quality handcuff territory in trade value for me.
D’ANDRE SWIFT: TIER 10 (2ND ROUNDER), UNCHANGED
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni admitted that Swift couldn’t see two touches a game all season, like he saw against the Patriots. Further comments he’s made don’t garner much excitement, though.
If Sirianni’s comments are true, Swift’s involvement could result in the stuff of fantasy nightmares, a usage so volatile that he becomes the type of guy who goes off when he’s on your bench and throws a dud when you start him.
We’ll see about the volatility, but I have to expect that Swift getting more looks isn’t just coach-speak. So, I must see more before moving him too drastically in the ranks.
HONORABLE MENTION: BIJAN ROBINSON, TIER 1 (3 1STS +) AND TYLER ALLGEIER, TIER 10 (2ND), BOTH UNCHANGED
This Falcons offense is absurd. It is absurd. In this pass-happy era, Arthur Smith thinks it’s the 1970s, and he’s winning games with it. The usage split that Bijan and Allgeier saw against the Panthers reminds me of when Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram finished as RB1s in fantasy on the New Orleans Saints. No, Arthur Smith doesn’t have a prolific quarterback like Drew Brees facilitating a great all-around offense, but I don’t know if he needs that.
This is another thing I need to see awhile before becoming fully convinced that this is the norm because maybe Bijan gets more looks as he gets used to the pros, but Kyle Pitts and Drake London are proof that Smith does not care about draft capital, not at all. So if those two backs continue to split carries, Bijan keeps getting the higher target share, and Allgeier keeps getting the goal-line carries, then I’m sorry for everyone who took Bijan at the 1.01 in your rookie drafts.
PUKA NACUA: FROM TIER 13 (4TH RD ROOKIE PICK) TO TIER 10 (2ND ROUNDER)
Fifth-round NFL Draft capital kept the hype checked that he was getting from his coaching staff and QB Matthew Stafford during the preseason. And it’s not like preseason praise from your QB necessarily means anything. Ask Skyy Moore or the next receiver on this list.
So what of Nacua’s ten catch, 15 target, 119-yard performance in his first pro game? The guy could be someone who explodes in his first game and then goes quiet for the rest of his career, like Rondale Moore‘s currently doing.
However, before the season, Nacua was getting hype as Sean McVay’s next Robert Woods. And with that, it should be pointed out that sometimes a coaching staff makes a player stick in fantasy. Woods hasn’t been fantasy-relevant outside of LA, and I won’t rule out that McVay can utilize Nacua more than other coaches, even when Cooper Kupp returns.
Week 1 also reinforced that there was no reason to worry about Van Jefferson. Van has had many opportunities to be a WR2 for defenses to fear, and it hasn’t happened.
I won’t rule out a fluky Week 1 here, but because of preseason signs that were there, I have to imagine a 2nd round rookie pick is around where I should expect to buy or sell him for right now.
RASHOD BATEMAN: TIER 9 (2ND +), UNCHANGED
Well, so much for that narrative, for now, anyway. Zay Flowers’ big day against the Texans makes a hard case for anyone else to be the Ravens’ alpha WR as he out-targeted Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr. 10-to-3. But for Bateman’s sake, I’m curious to see if his and OBJ’s target count remains about the same moving forward, considering Bateman got them on only 25 snaps and OBJ on 59.
Maybe lingering Lisfranc concerns that limited his pre-season involvement hampered his development in the new Todd Monken-led offensive scheme. It’s enough for me not to hit the panic button on Bateman just yet.
JAKOBI MEYERS: TIER 11 (2ND -) TO TIER 9 (2ND +)
Like Nacua, Jakobi’s fantasy relevance could be tied to the coaching staff. Like Julian Edelman, the Patriots found an undrafted QB-turned-WR and ended up with a solid receiver, even if he hasn’t hit Edelman levels.
Now reunite him with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas and stick him across from the best receiver he’s had to work with in Davante Adams, and his first week sees nine catches on ten targets for 81 yards and two scores. Davante’s presence could be loosening up coverage on Jakobi, and after his first 130+ catches went without a touchdown, it’s encouraging to see him notch a couple in his first action as a non-Patriot. Maybe the Raiders’ offensive scheme can lend itself to more of that.
It was enough to make me bump him up the ranks. If he can average 8-9 quality targets as the season goes along, he could creep closer to a 1st-rounder than a 2nd.
Overreaction/Underreaction is an article this week. In future weeks, we may make it a live segment. Don’t hesitate to harp at us @RSJDynastyDive, and always feel free to send us any dynasty trade questions, and don’t be afraid to give us roster breakdowns with them. The more context, the better.