Introduction to dynasty league fantasy football
Dynasty leagues are just like redraft leagues except most of the roster is retained the following year. This feature mimics the actual NFL. Sure, some players switch teams for greener pastures elsewhere, but the team core stays intact. Don’t confuse dynasty leagues with keeper leagues. A keeper league allows fantasy owners to keep just one or two players from year to year rather than the whole roster. Furthermore, redraft leagues do not keep any players the following year. All owners start with a blank roster before the draft.
Dynasty football is much more challenging and includes additional strategy. It takes greater patience than redraft leagues because winning teams may take multiple seasons to build, but once your team is competitive, it’s a lot of fun. Playing dynasty takes more commitment than most leagues too. Owners are engaged all year long. The idea of throwing away a losing team and starting fresh the following season is absent in this league format.
General dynasty fantasy football rules
The rules are very similar for dynasty leagues as in any other league during the season. There are no major variations in scoring. The primary rule differences are during the offseason, the draft and handling waiver wire acquisitions. The fun part about the offseason is that dynasty leagues general have a free agent period in the spring. Even though most rosters remain the same, each player is given a contract, just like the NFL. Players who have expiring contracts are thrown into the free agent pool. Some leagues even allow owners to re-sign free agents to new contracts or may distinguish between restricted and unrestricted free agents.
There are numerous customizations. The free agency period is sort of like a mini-draft. Players are awarded to the highest bidder. The second event that occurs during the offseason is a rookies only draft. This typically takes place shortly after the NFL draft in April. Contracts from one to five years are awarded to each player. The normal fantasy draft or auction takes place in August. All remaining players, not already owned, can be picked at this time.
Dynasty leagues usually have a salary cap combined with an auction style draft. The cap uses imaginary money, usually $100 or $200. All players have a price point and teams are confined to the rules of the salary cap. Cutting players results in penalties, depending on the time of year.
The fun part about having a snake draft in a dynasty league is that draft picks and future draft picks can be traded. This adds even more strategy (and fun) to the league.
There are an endless number of dynasty fantasy football rules that can be tailored to your league’s interests.
Dynasty fantasy football rankings
The players garnering the highest value are young and play in high-producing systems, such as Denver, Dallas, New England, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Green Bay. In no particular order, these are my favorite dynasty players:
Doug Martin-TB, Gordon-Cle, Luck-Ind, Wilson-Sea, and Foles-Phi, Green Cin, Bernard-Cin, Johnson-Det, Allen-SD, Newton-Car, Rodgers-GB, Charles-KC, Lacy-GB, Jones-Atl, Jeffrey-Chi.
Dynasty fantasy football leagues
There are plenty of websites that offer dynasty leagues. MyFantasyLeague.com is one of the best. It’s easy to use and contains plenty of customizable dynasty features, a number of historical reports and statistics, player salary and contract capabilities, auction drafting and more.
NFL.com offers custom dynasty leagues as well. Rosters can be expanded to 40 players and they retain complete league history, which can be imported from competing websites.
Finally, review MastersFantasyFootballLeagues. Players can participate in Gold, silver, copper, bronze and tin leagues, each providing various features.
Strategies for dynasty leagues
Greater care needs to be placed into every decision, especially the draft. Fantasy players need to focus on picking younger players with more upside. Its okay to take some risks on some of the unproven players in the draft, but the downside is that mistakes made by choosing players who don’t pan out are magnified.
I like to target players entering their 2nd or 3rd season. The steepest portion of the learning curve has passed and this is the point in their career when stars tend to breakout. Likewise, avoid rookie players unless they can be acquired cheaply. Players like Andrew Luck, A.J. Green, and Julie Jones are rare finds. Don’t overspend for rookies in an auction league and don’t overreach for rookies in a snake draft. Don’t count on studs such as these coming along every season. If targeting a rookie, consider a running back. The transition to the NFL is easier at the RB position. RB shelf life is short, therefore, the opportunity to make an impact is greater because RBs retire unexpectedly and get injured frequently.
Favor the QB and WR position over RB. The conventional wisdom is to lean toward running backs, due to their scarcity, but running backs don’t last as long in the NFL compared to QB and WR. Also, quarterbacks are more consistent than any other position. RB rankings tend to have the greatest turnover from year to year, making it a riskier position in which to invest.
Analyze the newcomers on the waiver wire. Free agent acquisitions are less risky than picking an unknown player during the draft. Players such as Keenan Allen, Josh Gordon, and Julius Thomas come to mind. At least you know that they can produce, even if the sample size is limited. Chances are the price tag will be small as well.
Overall, look for bargains during the auction. Never overpay for players. Paying too much for a player is too risky in a dynasty league. It’s better to pick the 2nd or 3rd rated player in each tier. Let the fools pay top dollar for the #1 RB or #WR. Top players rarely repeat the performance the following season. Target players on the rise, but haven’t broken out yet.
I hope you will consider playing in a dynasty fantasy football league. Whether you are joining an existing league or creating a new one, the reward of winning multiple fantasy championships across multiple seasons is highly gratifying. It takes skill to dominate a dynasty league and usually it takes time.