15 Responses to “Salary Cap Strategies”

  1. Trade Happy says:

    Great article I miss playing salary cap now.

  2. Robert Stevens says:

    Great article, Tim!

    Reading the article, I assume you wrote it with an IOP only in your mind.

    Since I’m in a 16 team IDP salary cap league, the latter round rookie picks hold more value IMO, because they can be used to pick up defensive ” top” talent, after the top four or five tier offensive players are gone…

    What are your thoughts/opinions about rookie picks regarding to IDP salary cap leagues?

    • Mr Rourke says:

      IDP league draft picks are much more valuable then IOP only leagues. IDP rookie depth in talent is deeper and they typically pay off quicker then IOP. An IDP league has talent in rounds 3 through 5 that can be day 1 starters. It’s actually safer to by pass the offensive flyer talent that would be taken in the second round of a normal IDP or IOP only draft and take a top LB. You are strapped to the player for years, so it’s better to make a value choice and take the player that will contribute to your starting lineup week1… instead of waiting for some WR that is raw or a Rb that buried on a depth chart. DE’s take 2-3 years. LB’s and safety’s are solid investments in a salary cap league. Take a LB in round 2 over that flyer WR and take a top safety or the top DE in round 3 for a better investment then the typical IOP talent that will be there. In a 16 team’r, you are going to be taking IDP’s up to a half rounder sooner then the above. Salary cap leagues are the only one’s I would consider taking a LB in the first 12 picks, because the top LB is a much better “investment” then the IOP after the typical talent at pick 1.08. Hope that helps.

  3. Nick Wood says:

    Great article Tim! I’ve really appreciated the help I’ve gotten from you while getting introduced to the Salary Cap world.

    Those in dynasty leagues that scoff at the thought of salary cap leagues are missing out big time!

  4. Matt Caldwell says:

    In our league we use the taxi squad for all rookie players. Our taxi does not count against the cap so as long as the rookies remain on the taxi you can let them develop (as many years as you want up until the contract ends). We found this gives more value to the later round picks.
    To get around the hoarding of good talent on our taxi we set a point level per position that if reached automatically gets them promoted to the roster the next season. Also if you promote a rookie they can never go back on the taxi. So for example if Trich is killing it in his first couple games and the owner promotes him then he comes back to reality for the rest of the season there is no going back. His salary is part of the CAP moving forward.

    Great article Tim! I would love to see more content around Salary Cap leagues as player value is definitely looked at differently.

  5. tstafford says:


    I appreciate it. More is coming. Just so happens I am putting the final touches on an in-depth three year planning article as we speak. I’ll submit later today so it gets in the queue for publication.


  6. Mike Pokrywka says:

    Does anyone here have a salary cap league like mine, were you don’t bid on players. Each player is just assigned a price and you have to stay under the salary cap?

    We do have contracts of 1,2 and 3 years along with many other rules, but the reason I ask is because I was wondering if you do, where do you get your player values from?

    I currently get my league values customized to my league scoring through rotowire, which is fine and it’s been working. I’m just curious if there is anything else out there.

    • Sensei John Kreese says:

      So, if you pick up Victor Cruz last year, for a dollar, and assign him a contract…after the year, his value is “fixed” based upon how the guys at rotowire determine his worth?

      Forgive me, but that league sounds incredibly boring. It doesn’t reward the owners who put in work.

      • Keith Fortier says:

        We have the same thing, only after initial players values are set, they rise based on performance (we have crazy formulas). So if someone signs Cruz off WW to a $1, 1 year deal and he blows up and that GM wants to sign him long term, he can but will pay his current value. player contracts can be restructured anytime, but after week 11, noone can be resigned. GM’s have one Franchise tag, and all other 1 years drop off into the FA/Rookie Draft (snake).

        I prefer the auction startup and allowing the market to set player values, but we started up as a snake using a 3rd party site’s AAV’s. We’ve developed quite the system though, it’s pretty neat.

      • Mike Pokrywka says:

        I’m not sure you can say its a “boring” league without knowing all the rules of it. I’m happy to send you our bylaws.

        And your comment about Cruz would be incorrect. If you signed him after last season his value would be far from a dollar. An owner get rewarded by taking chances on a player prior to the season and signing a player to a low value, but if you sign a player after the season, it is at next seasons value. Ex: I signed Chris Johnson for a dollar coming outbid the draft and I enjoyed three years of his stats for a $1 hit in my cap.

        Sorry if you feel it’s still boring but we enjoy it and plenty of people I’ve spoken to really like the idea.

  7. Keith Fortier says:

    Thanks Tim, great article. QB’s are devalued in our league too but for a different reason. With short benches, and in a 12 team league, everyone things they got a potential top 5 QB, so roster spots are spent on other upside players. Rookie QB’s are devalued even further. For instance, Cam Newton went in the 5th rd of our rookie/FA Draft.

    The “Newton” effect is in full force and RG and Luck will be drafted in the first round this year, especailly with the addition of a 3 payer taxi. But still, Locker, Dalton, Cutler, Flynn, all FA’s at the moment due to short benches. Roster spots are invaluable resources and so i really like your advice to make them count.

    Thanks again and looking forward to the 3 year plan article. I’m holding off on resigns until then! hah

  8. Tim Stafford says:

    Note: my username on DLF has changed to dlf_tims. I’ve received a couple of PMs indicating I’m hard to find since the article has my old username. Submitted it a while back before the change. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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