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Fantasy Football Dynasty League Primer

Photo by John Korduner

By: Chaz Turnbow

Fantasy football has exploded with popularity. Millions across the country play fantasy and cheer for their favorite players to win them money, or even more importantly bragging rights. The NFL has focused on making the sport a year-long league with all of the major offseason events spread out to never take a league out of favor. In doing so, a demand for a year-long fantasy experience has gone up and the popularity of the dynasty format has risen to meet it. In this article, I’m going to explain the differences of a dynasty league vs redraft and keeper, the different strategies that go along with it, and the change in valuation of rookies and veteran players.

So what exactly is a dynasty fantasy football league?

A dynasty league is a fantasy league that forgoes a yearly fantasy draft in favor of keeping your entire roster from the previous year, drafting rookies and making cuts just like your favorite NFL team. That’s what fantasy football is all about, right? Building something you can put your name on and feel accomplished every week that you built a winning team just like a real NFL GM. Dynasty lets you feel that thrill year-round, and this is prime dynasty startup/rookie draft season with football interest at its max in the offseason right after the 2020 NFL Draft.

What makes it different from a regular league?

A regular league has a redraft every year so there is a chance you get all new players than you had in the previous year. In a dynasty league, you roll over your entire roster year to year and hold a rookie draft instead and then make cuts. The rookie draft picks are tradable as well, which causes a ripple effect in how you value players, how you play the trade deadline, and how you manage your bench.

My friends and I decided to start up a dynasty league, how do I configure the settings?

So first you want to get your group of players. Make sure you have a trustworthy group of people who will commit to the league for the long haul. Some leagues have you turn in dues if you plan to trade away next year picks as security for league ghosting. Then you need to select your platform. Some apps are better for dynasty leagues than others, however, I won’t recommend any apps over others because I’m not getting paid to so just do your research. Next up you have to set up scoring settings. Those are still up for you to decide, so standard, PPR, .5PPR are all things you still have to decide when creating your dynasty league. Set your starters however you want, my leagues vary from 1QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/3FL to 1QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1FL/1SF. Anywhere from 8-14 teams is ideal and that will affect your roster sizes as well. Deep benches are a must for a dynasty league, not many people would roster 3-5 rookies over established players if they only have 7 bench spots. My preferred roster settings are 12 teams, 28 total roster spots. DO NOT ROSTER KICKERS AND DEFENSES! Glad we got that out of the way, however, some people like IDP in dynasty, but I have limited experience in that field so I won’t swerve in that lane.

How do I run the draft?

You have two main options with a startup draft. Some leagues draft from a pool of all players, others run a full startup with just vets and then a supplemental rookie draft immediately after in reverse order. I prefer the latter because it somewhat mitigates the randomness of the draft order and you can form your draft strategy in a clearer fashion. It also guarantees some rookies on each roster, to begin with.

How do I value players differently in this league?

In a dynasty league, I look at players like they’re their own little stock in your own personal stock market. You set your own market and make personnel decisions off of that. When you decide to make a trade, think of what you’re trying to accomplish. Am I in a position to win? I should move this younger player like a DK Metcalf for a Julio Jones to strengthen my playoff push. Am I not gonna make the playoffs? I should move my John Brown for some draft capital. You need to commit to a direction for your team and stick with it. Your situation dictates the market, but what dictates the player’s values? Production is obvious, but now you must factor in age and injury proneness. You must also factor in contract scenarios. Michael Thomas just signed an extension, how long will he have Brees? Hopkins has multiple years left on his deal and he’s now tied to Kyler Murray for the next 3 years. Those are factors you have to consider when making moves.

I hope you got something from this article, hopefully, this is the start of a series where I can help you beautiful people compete and win in your dynasty leagues as we get into camp season and beyond. Follow me @CCNFLDraft on the twitter machine and feel free to ask any questions and advice on how to take your friend’s money and/or dignity every year.



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