Fantasy Football: Dynasty League Moves

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Ash Thompson Provides Some Tips For Loading Up Or Reloading In A Dynasty League.


A genre of fantasy football that is often ignored in the media is the dynasty league. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of fantasy football, it is a little different from a normal league. The biggest difference is that teams keep either all or at least the vast majority of their players from year to year.

Another big difference is what can be possible at the trade deadline. This leads to some odd strategies that do not help a team right now but can lead to great advantages next year. After the first season, drafts are limited to low-end players and rookie speculation.

Draft picks in future seasons are bought and sold for immediate gains as teams mortgage the future for a run at the playoffs just before the trade deadline. I will do a few articles on draft strategy for dynasty leagues in the off season but here are a few moves to consider making if you’re in, and a few more if you’re out, in a Dynasty league.

If you think this might be the year you can make a run deep into the playoffs, look for veterans on teams that are not doing very well. Chances are that their owners are about to enter a bit of a rebuild cycle. Long-term, any player in their thirties is likely to be retired by the time a team owner that is out of the race by week eleven gets his team back into contention. The second type of player that you might want to consider trading for is the temporary starter. Someone who is getting snaps right now because another player is out with an injury might be completely useless to you next year but they’ll be valuable depth for the stretch run unless they get hurt themselves.

If this season is over for you, look for players that are having subpar seasons in contract years, are currently on IR and owned by a good team, or are hampered by injuries and poor play at other positions. These players may be worth more in the future than they are now which makes them more valuable than any players you have that fit into the above categories.

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Loading Up or Unloading Running Backs

Old running backs are a ticking time bomb in dynasty leagues and sit atop the category of quick fixes. Running backs are also the most injury prone fantasy position. The running backs you are most likely to be able to pick up in a dynasty league that will help you this year more than they likely ever will again are Adrian Peterson, Latavious Murray, Jerrick McKinnon, Frank Gore, LeGarrett Blount, and Johnathan Stewart. Remember that draft picks outside the second round are almost always useless in a dynasty league. Make an offer to get a player.

If you are out of contention this year you should definitely take a run at David Johnson. If his owner is still in the running he may be open to a trade. Remember unlike a redraft league, Johnson’s owner likely didn’t burn the most valuable resource in the league to get him. It’s not impossible that their team was good enough to weather losing 2016’s best fantasy asset. The same can be said for Dalvin Cook. You owe it to yourself to take the shot but the price will be high.

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Collecting or Dumping Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Wide receivers tend to get longer careers than running backs. You have to look at players that have openly discussed retirement to get help here based on age. Larry Fitzgerald has likely been available for years in any league of this style. There are indicators that he will retire after the year. Adjust your offer accordingly. Allen Hurns and Marquise Lee are seeing more work than can be expected in future years with Allen Robinson out. Their primary value is in point per reception formats, neither should be starting on a good team. If you are looking to insulate yourself against an injury to one of your starters, these are good choices this year. At Tight End, Cameron Brate is likely nearing the end of his time as a useful fantasy asset with O.J. Howard waiting in the wings.

If you’re looking to improve your team for the future there is no better choice than Allen Robinson. The Jags will have a new QB and Robinson is on IR. Robinson’s fantasy value skyrockets in 2018. Terrelle Pryor could be in for a rebound next year with a different team. This is also the best season Jack Doyle will ever have. The Colts have been running a completely different offense than they normally do with quarterback Andrew Luck missing.

Demaryius Thomas was one of the league’s golden gods in the red zone two years ago. He has two touchdowns so far in 2017, that makes him awful outside PPR leagues. Thomas has been a disappointment for someone who has held him since the Peyton Manning era but will almost assuredly rebound with better quarterback play in Denver.

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Quarterback Roulette

The elephant in the room is Tom Brady if you’re looking to load up. If his owner is out of contention for some reason, make the call to find out what he wants. The same goes for Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith. Smith particularly will never have another season like this one. It is not inconceivable that all three of those quarterbacks could retire in the next two years. If you need some insurance on the bench at quarterback, Case Keenum is worthless going forward. He will insulate you against injury if your league is large though. He is going at a similar clip to Matthew Stafford, in fantasy terms. An owner in the midst of a bad season would probably take anything with more long-term value for him.

The start of any rebuild is a quarterback. Andrew Luck has been a liability for multiple seasons but is more likely than any rookie in the next draft to bounce back. A Luck owner has been quarterback hunting for a couple seasons at this point. Check to see if Luck is still the QB1 after so much time on IR. If he is, you can get a starter with good skill position players around him for 2018. Teddy Bridgewater is another player that likely doesn’t have much currency left if his owner has been able to find a replacement. Ryan Tannehill is in limbo but he has had some good years as a fantasy player.

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Player Value

It is impossible to tell you what is an acceptable price to pay for these players. Every league and every situation is different. The right price is the one that you are willing to pay and the other guy is willing to take. I have a 16 team dynasty league team at 6-4 that is missing Andrew Luck. I am exactly the kind of person you should be looking to pawn a quarterback off on if you’re selling. The rest of the team is good enough to win the league. At quarterback, I am starting either Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick or C.J. Beathard this week. A real quarterback would easily net you my first round pick and Andrew Luck in that league. If you think you’re in my league (which is composed almost entirely of Lions fans) and have a QB worth owning, hit me up to start your rebuild. If not, look for someone like me.

You can find Ash getting into arguments on twitter @A5hcrack. He also drops in on the Lions’ subreddit from time to time at /r/detroitlions.

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About the Author

Ash Thompson
Ash Thompson is a fanatical football fan, and less fanatical hockey fan despite his Canadian heritage. He is sorry aboot that. His spirit animal is a beaver with a shark's head. He is also known as /u/a5hcrack on reddit, and can be found on twitter @a5hcrack