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RosterWatch Dynasty Rankings Risers and Fallers: Barkley, Taylor, Thomas

Michael Thomas New Orleans Saints

This column was written by Alan Seslowsky (@alanseslowksy) and provided to RotoBaller by our friends at RosterWatch.

Each week, this column provides you with movement in the RosterWatch Dynasty Rankings. We highlight players who have gained or lost value recently.

Tracking these player value trends assists dynasty players in identifying opportunities to improve their rosters, as the landscape of the market is ever-changing.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:

 

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Age: 24
Movement: Slightly Falling
Previous Rank RB2
Updated Rank RB3

There are no questions about Barkley’s talent or upside for fantasy football. Barkley is one of the rare RB prospects that the “running backs don’t matter” crowd can live with as a first-round real NFL pick. During Barkley’s rookie season he finished as the RB3 overall.  In 2019 Barkley finished as the RB12 despite missing a month of the season. 

Saquon suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of 2020. He is still young enough at 24 years old to have plenty of great days ahead of him. The dynasty market agrees as Barkley is still a first-round startup pick in Superflex leagues. When quibbling at the top of the rankings, it is important to project a player’s value 18 months from now. If Barkley were to get injured again, what would his value be? Compare that with if Jonathan Taylor were hurt; what would his value be?

Dropping Barkley down one spot may seem marginal, but it is significant. When you are deciding who your first pick is going to be and both Taylor and Barkley are available, drafting the extra years and the less-damaged player may be optimal. 

 

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Age: 22
Movement: Slightly Rising
Previous Rank RB3
Updated Rank RB2

When one player falls, another must rise. Jonathan Taylor is as close to a perfect RB as you can want. Elite speed, athleticism, BMI, and is running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. There is a case to draft JT as the RB1 in dynasty since he is three years younger than Christian McCaffery.

If we are going to nitpick Taylor, he may have a lower ceiling on the number of receptions he can get with prolific pass catcher Nyheim Hines, and returning veteran Marlon Mack slated for roles. Taylor will still be an elite yardage and touchdown player who can catch 40 passes. Should Taylor suffer a season-ending injury, his 2022 value would be relatively unchanged. The future liquidity of a player should be weighed when ranking the players for dynasty. This makes him a rock-solid top two running back in dynasty leagues. 

 

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Age: 28
Movement: Rising
Previous Rank WR15
Updated Rank WR12

As the off-season moves along, recency bias from the 2020 season starts to fade. This is a good thing. Fantasy managers are sour on Michael Thomas after you drafted him as the WR1 in dynasty last year. Prior to his disappointing 2020 season, Thomas was on a hall of fame trajectory. Racking up 125 and 149 receptions in back to back years. Thomas was catching footballs at over an 80% rate for two seasons.

Skeptics of a Michael Thomas rebound season will point to the retirement of accurate QB Drew Brees as a reason to avoid him. Thomas will be connected to the arm of either Taysom Hill or more likely Jameis Winston. Thomas had his best fantasy weeks in 2020 when Taysom Hill was the starting QB. Fantasy gamers already have seen how great Winston can be for fantasy WRs, during the 2019 season in Tampa. Michael Thomas’ third-round ADP is starting to look like one of the best values in all dynasty fantasy football leagues.

For more, follow RosterWatch on Twitter (@rosterwatch) or search "RosterWatch" on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform and subscribe! See the full RosterWatch Dynasty Rankings at DynastyDepot.com 



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