This time of year, unless there's a trade like we just saw with Julio Jones, there's not a lot of reason for changes to Dynasty rankings. Most of those changes come in the form of changes to the 2021 projections. Those matter, probably more than anything else, but they're also just a part of the equation, so they don't generally shake things up too much. That's why a lot of the rankings below look pretty similar to what you saw last month. Two of the exceptions are Antonio Gibson and Trey Sermon.
I could make a case for moving Gibson up or down after the past couple of weeks. First, we got reports about Washington using Gibson as a receiver more in OTAs and Ron Rivera talked about expecting his running back to take a big step in his second season. Gibson was impressive as a runner as a rookie, but his receiving production in 2020 was disappointing considering how good Gibson was as a pass catcher in college. The reports give me hope that Washington was just trying not to overwhelm their rookie and that he'll see a larger share of the targets they gave to J.D. McKissic in 2020.
That news alone bumped Gibson's projection for 2021, which in turn gave him a boost in the Dynasty rankings. But the boost would have been even bigger if not for the other news, that Gibson is still dealing with the toe injury that limited him in 2020. All running backs are injury risks, but you'd really rather your running back be healthy in June. If this is still hampering him when camp starts, we're going to have to have a longer conversation about it.
For now, the news results in a net positive. The larger role should last longer than the toe injury. That, coupled with how tight my rankings are from 14-20, caused Gibson to jump five spots in the most recent rankings. If I had a "win-now" squad I would definitely prefer Austin Ekeler over him, but Ekeler is at the age where we should expect his Dynasty value to start decreasing by the time this season is over if not sooner.
While it was a mixed bag for Gibson, there's really no doubt what direction Sermon's arrow is pointing. With the injury to Jeff Wilson, Sermon looks primed to begin the year as the team's No. 2 running back assuming he can beat out Wayne Gallman. The fact that he'll be sharing with Raheem Mostert, who has had his own problems staying healthy, only increases Sermon's appeal.
We expect the 49ers to once again be one of the most efficient run offenses in football, so 10-12 carries a game in this offense is more valuable than most. History has shown us that pretty much anyone who gets touches in this offense can be successful and Sermon should be no different.
I suspect some will take issue with how close Sermon is to Javonte Williams, and it's worth noting there's at least one tier break between them. Sermon is as close to Damien Harris as he is to Williams in terms of Dynasty value, more on that later in the week when I update the trade chart. I'll also update where I'd take Williams and Sermon in a rookie draft as well.
Below are my updated Dynasty running back rankings. These are a catch-all, so they may not reflect an accurate ranking for your specific situation. If you're rebuilding, you should value youth more than these rankings do. If you're a contender, a back like Derrick Henry or Chris Carson is worth more than where he's ranked below.
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