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  • Writer's pictureAaron Clanton


It’s time to talk dynasty football! One of my favorite things over the last few years while playing fantasy football was starting a dynasty football league. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of fantasy football, it’s fairly simple; a dynasty league is a fantasy football league where you draft a team with that being the team you keep for the entirety of the life of the league. You can trade players, rookie draft picks and sometimes a combination of the two in order to build a team to your liking. It has the benefit of being both focused on the season at hand while also being able to build for future seasons. Today, I'm going to give my best advice for those of you who may be new to dynasty leagues or those who are interested in joining one.

The instant reaction to joining a dynasty league is that your team has to be composed of all of the NFL’s youngest players. While this may be more beneficial in the long-term, your goal should be to win every year. If you draft a team that doesn’t have a bunch of young talent on it but has veterans that you have seen multiple seasons of production from, you’re still in a good spot. While young players have all the potential in the world, that’s all it is, potential. In 2018, if you traded a first round rookie pick in the 2019 and 2020 draft for Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, which is great return for a player of that caliber, you could have had the misfortune of drafting JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor in consecutive drafts. Meanwhile, Michael Thomas finished as WR #6 in 2018 and WR#1 in 2019. Potential is a great buzzword and is the case for hope in most players, but potential is only so valuable. Players are almost always more valuable than the picks they return, but dynasty is a game that allows managers to take those risks. Having a balanced roster of young players with potential and veterans who perform consistently is a solid template to follow for any dynasty league team.

Next, is the trend that is seen across all major sports, tanking. Tanking is a strategy employed when a team believes they don’t have the talent or ability to compete, so they try to bottom out for a significantly higher draft pick. This almost never works in fantasy football because in order for your team to perform worse, you would have to just start the scrubs on your roster. While this may be a strategy employed late in the year for teams who know they are out of the playoffs, it isn’t a foolproof plan. Securing the #1 overall rookie pick still requires the manager to either know what they’re doing by taking the best player or being able to leverage the pick for more value. Either way, tanking is a weak strategy that won't improve your team in a major way. Unlike real sports, selecting a quarterback #1 overall doesn’t make the rest of your team play better; you’ve just improved in that one spot. The best way to improve your team is by evaluating the talent you have on your roster and identify who you think is nearing the end of their major production years. If you were able to trade away Todd Gurley in the 2019 offseason, you likely would have received a starting level player, maybe two, and also a couple high end picks before his talent fell off a cliff. While selling early on a player is easier said than done, I’d rather miss out on a year of great production and get future value rather than end up with a worthless asset two years down the road.

The final tip I have is to know your league. If you are lucky enough to play with people you know, be aware of the other manager’s favorite teams and players. For example, if you know you have a Chargers fan in your league and you have Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, try to dangle Herbert as a trade asset. Who knows, maybe they’ll give you an extremely one-sided offer because they want to have Herbert on their team and you don’t mind parting with him. You have to know who in your league thinks they are competing and who won't mind giving up some future draft capital for an aging veteran who doesn’t have a long-term spot on your roster. You have to keep these things in mind in order to best analyze what you can do the most to improve your team.

While dynasty leagues may seem like a lot at first, I recommend it for those who are ready for a year-round league and those who’d like to be involved for more than 4 months a year. Trades, drafts and just overall discussion make dynasty more intriguing than re-draft leagues and is something I encourage hardcore fantasy football fans to jump into. Don’t just take my word for it though; try it out for yourself and you can thank me later. Thanks for reading and stay dreamin!

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