Starting a Dynasty League
By Isuf Gega
The NFL regular season may have just ended but this is the time where dynasty fantasy football starts to kick off. Maybe you have been in a league with the same people for a few years and want to change things up. Well with the combine, free agency, and the NFL draft all coming up shortly, this is the perfect time to start talking to your league mates about converting your fantasy football redraft league into a dynasty league.
One of the very first things to consider when starting a dynasty league even before roster sizes, is a starting line up. A typical starting lineup in most dynasty leagues is 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE 2 Flex, 1 Defense and 1 Kicker. A lot of leagues are starting to eliminate kicker and defense all together and are adding more flex spots and IDPs (individual defensive players). A starting position I highly recommend adding is a super flex spot. In a super flex spot you can play your WR/RB/TE but it also provides you with the ability to start a quarterback in that position as well. This will essentially convert your league to more of a two quarterback league. While you can always vote to add extra spots to your starting line up like IDPs and regular flex spots as the league progresses, it will be virtually impossible to add a super flex position later in the years. Teams with multiple talented quarterbacks will vote one way, and others will vote the opposite. It is one of the only positions you will have an impossible time adding on later. Use the size of your starting lineup to help you decide how big you want your roster sizes to be.
A typical roster is anywhere between 25-30 players per team. Assuming you are in a 12 man league, that can be a difference of 60 players. That is a drastic difference when considering the waiver wire. With 30 man rosters, you will have very limited waiver wire options. No one knows your league mates better than you, so depending on their skill level I would recommend 25 roster spots for newer owners, and a 30 man roster for more experienced owners. Do not forget that the bigger your starting lineup is, the more roster spots you should add to accommodate your league-mates.
If you have had the same league-mates for years on end then you probably have a scoring system in place that works for everyone. However, keep in mind that this will more likely than not be one of the only times you will be able to change your scoring system. If a few years later you decide you want to make this a Tight End premium league, which means Tight Ends get an extra .5 points per reception, it will be extremely difficult to implement. The players with the best Tight Ends will vote in favor of the rule change and the players with bottom tier Tight Ends will vote against it. Just like having the conversation to add a super flex spot, the scoring system is a conversation you want to have settled early in the dynasty league set up.
In dynasty the waiver wire is super important while also being incredibly underwhelming. For a casual team owner it may seem like just a bunch of hot garbage, but for an avid team owner the waiver wire could be full of diamonds in the rough and determining who to drop and who to hold will give you many sleepless nights.
It is important to determine how your league waivers will run. In redraft, a lot of leagues like to give priority to the team with the worst record each week as they need the most help. However in dynasty that is not how most leagues are set up. Teams are always rebuilding and the “worst” team in your league this year could be the future champion in a year or two. I would recommend using a FAAB (free agent acquisition budget) when running waivers. This will allow each team to start off with a set amount of money each season to blindly bid on players. This system is fair and it adds a certain element of strategy when determining how much money you want to bid against your league-mates.
Trading in a dynasty league is so much more important than trading in a redraft league. In redraft you just forget all about the trade by next year but in dynasty a bad trade can haunt your team for years to come. That being said, a dynasty trade should never be vetoed unless it is clear collusion. Heading into the 2018 season, players like Todd Gurley II, Odell Beckhem Jr., Le'Veon Bell, and David Johnson were being drafted in the first few rounds. Fast forward just 3 seasons later where Gurley and Bell have less value than a used up tissue. I have two points to make; please do not draft Gurley and Bell in your start up drafts, and no matter how lopsided a trade may seem do not veto it. Player value can fluctuate drastically and by vetoing a trade you may be hurting the perceived “losing” owner. Allow your league-mates the freedom to trade their player even if you do not agree with their evaluation.
In most 12 man leagues about half the league makes the playoffs while the bottom half losers fight for bragging rights. In dynasty, the playoffs outcome determines more than just who’s taking home the trophy. They also determine draft order for the top teams. Typically the league winner and runner up draft 12th and 11th overall in the upcoming rookie draft. And the rest of the league drafts in the reverse order of standings.
Judging by how experienced your league mates are, you can choose to have anywhere between 4-6 rounds in a rookie draft. For casual leagues I recommend 4 rounds of rookie picks. If you have 6 rounds it is fair to assume that a lot of players drafted in the later rounds will be relatively unknown and cut candidates. However, in those very late rounds is where you find true diamonds in the rough. There is nothing better than that 6th round rookie pick going on and becoming a dynasty stud for you. Keep in mind though that you are much more likely to cut that rookie than him providing you with significant fantasy value.
If you have gotten this far, then you are ready to start your own dynasty league. Dynasty is one of the best ways to play fantasy football as it keeps everyone engaged all season long.
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