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Who's #1 at Each Position in Dynasty?


Determining the value of any dynasty player comes down to two things. First, the player's expected production in the upcoming season, and secondly their production in seasons that are years down the line.

As a dynasty team owner, it is important to understand where your roster is in terms of "rebuild" or "win now" and adjust player rankings accordingly. If you are going all in to win your league in 2018, you may want to make a point of owning the top player at one of the critical positions. The players listed below provide the perfect balance of elite level talent and opportunity, but also have a long career ahead.

If you're not familiar with our current dynasty rankings, check them out here. Now, let's see who I believe should be the top choice at each position.

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Leaders of the New School

Quarterback - Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is the clear number one quarterback in standard leagues, and while he is now 34 and entering his 14th season in the NFL, he is also the dominant player in his position for dynasty leagues. His age might scare some people off from believing in Rodgers still being elite in five years, but consider Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady all playing some of the best football they've played late into their 30's and in Brady's case even into his 40's.

Rodgers did face issues last year when he got injured and missed over half of the season. However the last time this happened to Rodgers back in 2013, he came back the following season and put up 4,381 yards and 38, finishing as the QB1. The trend for quarterbacks to keep their careers going longer leaves Rodgers as the best quarterback for this season, and likely five or six years to come.

Running Back - Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

The number one dynasty running back is between two players, Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott's rookie numbers are astonishing, gaining 500 more yards and five more touchdowns than Gurley did in his rookie season. However there has been a clear decline in the Cowboys offense since Elliott's rookie year, and the complete opposite has happened for Gurley. With Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and now Brandin Cooks, this offense will no doubt be one of the highest-scoring in the NFL, not only this year but for many years. All the pieces including the head coach are young, exciting and showed last year just how productive they can be.

Also, Todd Gurley added receptions to his game last year, or more accurately coach Sean McVay helped add more receptions to Gurley's game. This added 788 yards off of 64 receptions to Gurley's stats, and before McVay's arrival Gurley hadn't scored a single receiving touchdown in his first two years in the league, last year he got six. Last season Gurley averaged 52.5 yards per game through the air, which is double what Elliott managed. Both of these running backs will be elite for years to come but Gurley has the better offense, better head coach and better opportunity to make things happen on third down.

Wide Receiver - Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

This decision is truly neck and neck, between DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. Odell Beckham's first three years in the NFL aren't comparable to anyone, he is in a league of his own. Over 4,100 yards and 35 touchdowns in his first three years, makes DeAndre Hopkins start to life in the NFL look very slow, in which he managed 3,500 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first three seasons, despite playing five more games than Beckham in that time.

However, the one thing that Beckham has always had that Hopkins hasn't is a competent quarterback. Hopkins spent the 2015 season catching passes from four different starting quarterbacks,  Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallet, T.J Yates and Brandon Weeden, and he still managed to put up his career-best numbers of 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. Hopkins now will be catching passes from Deshaun Watson, the first truly talented quarterback he has played with, a partnership that could last a very long time. On the other hand, Beckham has an aging and declining QB, Eli Manning who realistically has one or two seasons left as the starter, and there is no successor currently being readied to take over in New York. Despite all of this it is hard to look past Odell Beckham as a generational receiving talent, and while it is yet to be proven, it seems likely that Beckham has the ability to catch passes thrown by anyone. It should also be mentioned that while Antonio Brown is the out and out leader of all WRs for this season, his age cuts down on his use to a dynasty team compared to these two younger receivers.

Tight End - Evan Engram 

Evan Engram is not currently the number one ranked tight end. In fact he probably isn't currently in the top five.  However he is only entering his second year in the league, and his rookie year produced some impressive moments for the big-bodied TE. In PPR leagues, Engram finished fifth amongst TEs, and only one point away from fourth. Rob Gronkowski has suggested his retirement isn't too far in the distance, and Engram is five years younger than Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce. It also wouldn't be that surprising if he finished above a couple of these big names this coming season, let alone a few years down the line. Engram strikes the ideal balance between current and future production, despite having to share targets with the top WR pick, Odell Beckham.

 

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