Season-long fantasy football was my first love. Daily fantasy was my first job. And best ball is my fun side hobby.
But dynasty — she’s my wife, the forever love.
Of all the fantasy formats out there, dynasty is my favorite. Like life, it forces you to deal with the consequences of your actions. Every decision, be it large or small, has long-term repercussions.
And I’m the kind of person who likes to focus on the long run. Life is a marathon. (Of course, I have never run a marathon, so I don’t know what I’m saying.) The point is that I like dynasty, and you can check out my top 250 players for the format on the FTN rankings page. Below are my rankings at each position; I go into more depth on the rankings page.
Take a look at my positional rankings, and below, I'll discuss some of the players I'm higher or lower on than the general consensus.
QB dynasty rankings
A look at my top 15 QBs in dynasty fantasy football.
RB dynasty rankings
A look at my top 25 RBs in dynasty fantasy football.
WR dynasty rankings
A look at my top 35 WRs in dynasty fantasy football.
TE dynasty rankings
A look at my top 15 TEs in dynasty fantasy football.
Irv Smith Jr.
Players I like more than the consensus
Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers: With his Konami Code rushing ability (1,159 yards rushing in 16 games as a redshirt freshman), Lance has a markedly elevated floor, and in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system he should have a high ceiling as a passer.
Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: True lead backs are scarce, and big backs who can catch are even scarcer. Harris has the size (6-foot-2 and 230 pounds) to be a between-the-tackles grinder and the pass-catching ability (43-425-4 receiving in 13 games as a senior) to be a three-down dominator.
Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans: One of my 10 bold predictions for 2021 is that Jones (along with teammate A.J. Brown) will continue to dominate. Of all active wide receivers with multiple seasons and 100-plus targets over the past five years, Jones is No. 2 with 10.1 yards per target (including postseason). The guy can still ball.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons: No other tight end in NFL history has had Pitts’ combination of draft capital, college production and physical dominance.
Players I like less than the consensus
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: I love Mahomes, but I’m generally down on quarterbacks as a whole, and the NFL is particularly blessed with depth at the position right now.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers: Just last year, the Packers drafted bulldozing running back A.J. Dillon in Round 2, and Jones is entering his age-27 season. When the end comes for rushers, it arrives quickly.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears: More of a high-volume producer than an efficient playmaker, Robinson is almost 28 years old, and this season he’ll be catching passes from a nearly washed-up veteran and a promising-yet-raw rookie.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: For the past half decade, Kelce has been one of the league’s best players, but he’ll turn 32 this season, and the other tight ends in his tier are all significantly younger.
My fantasy dynasty methodology
Here are some notes on how I tend to approach players in dynasty and the factors I consider.
Age: I prioritize youth. Younger players tend to last longer than older players and are likelier to have more production in the future. Unless a veteran provides starter-level production right now, I will likely have him ranked after younger players with more long-tailed ceiling potential.
Timeframe: I focus most on a three-year window and the production I can reasonably forecast within that time. After that, projections become much less reliable.
Scarcity: I usually devalue deep positions, which means that quarterbacks are often low in my rankings.
Longevity: I tend to prefer wide receivers to running backs and tight ends because they produce deeper into their careers.
Player-type priorities: Depending on the type of player I’m analyzing, I prioritize the following data points in this order.
Young players: Draft capital, physical profile, college production, recent production, projected opportunity.
Prime veterans: Long-term production, decline curve, recent production, and projected opportunity.
Matthew Freedman is the Chief Strategy Officer of FTN Network and a
betting and fantasy analyst who focuses on the NFL, including the
draft. He also dabbles in player props for NBA, NHL, and MLB. Before
joining FTN, he was the Editor-in-Chief at FantasyLabs, part of The
Action Network. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFtheOracle.