Last off-season was a bit unusual to say the least. Not only did we see four elite, franchise type players come into the NFL (which rarely happens), but some leagues were thrown for an unexpected loop. Since the day I started playing dynasty football, the supplemental draft had always been more of an afterthought in everyone’s mind, including my own.
In retrospect, it almost seems funny to me now that when a player comes into the league and makes a difference, everyone stands up and notices. If they don’t, nobody cares. I can say that confidently because when Terrelle Pryor came into the league via the supplemental draft in 2010, nobody seemed to mind that he was plucked off of the waiver wire without that owner having to give up something in the future to obtain his services – that now seems like a very distant memory. Those days all ended on July 12th, 2012, when Josh Gordon was selected with a future second round pick by the Cleveland Browns.
It changed a lot of dynasty leagues forever. If your league didn’t already have a system in place for acquiring supplemental draft picks, it does now, or is on the verge. You can count on it.
Standing at 6’3″ and 225 lbs., Gordon has the size and appears to have the skill set to be a legit WR1 for a Browns team (and possibly your dynasty teams) that hasn’t had a fantasy worthy receiver since Braylon Edwards put up a ridiculous stat line of 80/1,289/16 in 2007. We’ve seen our share of dynasty disasters come into the Browns organization since then with the likes of Mohammed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Joshua Cribbs and Donte Stallworth producing virtually nothing for four years. The verdict is still out on Greg Little who appeared to solve his hands of stone problem down the stretch, but doesn’t project to be the WR1 that the Browns or a lot of dynasty enthusiasts had envisioned. Gordon seems to have a firm stranglehold on that position for the foreseeable future. The fact that Gordon hadn’t stepped foot on a football field in over a year and missed some of the off-season programs makes the season we just witnessed all the more impressive.
That, my friends, is the reason for changes being applied in so many dynasty leagues. Everyone wants a fair shot at the next big thing. I can’t say I blame anyone for that, but what is the best way to implement a new system for acquiring players by way of the supplemental draft?
After careful thought and consideration, I have come up with three solutions. Do nothing, hold your annual rookie only drafts after the supplemental draft is completed, or hold a completely separate supplemental draft and conduct your business exactly the way it’s done in the NFL. This entails putting your absolute best offer in a hat and hope you gave up enough to earn the winning bid. Not exactly rocket science.
Doing nothing isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. I think a lot of owners were a bit blind-sided by the whole Josh Gordon situation due to a lack of preparation and that isn’t anybody’s fault except their own. If everyone has access to the same information (which you do, unless you live under a rock) then everyone has the right to draft any player (supplemental player or not) wherever they deem worthy. If doing nothing is your solution, you also run the risk of not knowing what kind of situation a player is stepping into if you hold your draft before the supplemental draft is over – that’s a risk a lot of owners would be willing to take if the price is right.
Holding your rookie only draft after the supplemental draft has ended seems like the best solution to me. You know that particular player’s team, situation and best of all, everyone gets the opportunity to adjust their draft boards accordingly. I think a lot of leagues get a little too anxious around draft time and tend to hold their drafts a bit too early. You only have to wait another two weeks if this is the path you choose to go down.
The third option is my least favorite out of all three. Why? Because it puts owners who have already traded away future picks (possibly for multiple years) at a distinct disadvantage. You’re playing in a dynasty league, of course you’ve traded away future picks, that’s the nature of the beast for some owners. If you were to implement a system like this one, I would say you should need a 2/3 majority vote from your fellow league mates. Also, to give everyone proper time to wrap their heads around the new rule; it shouldn’t go into effect for a full year to the date of being voted in. This allows teams to re-strategize, acquire future picks, or just keep on doing things the way they always have. Everyone has a different way of playing this game, but all should be given the same opportunities.
Whichever way you choose to do it, rest assured this situation is going to happen again. The question is- will your leagues be prepared for it?
How does your league hold their supplemental draft and how do you like it?