We like to have a little fun here and there at DLF, especially during holidays. In honor of Halloween, we asked Team DLF a simple questions that had many answers: “What do you find most scary in your dynasty leagues this year?” Before you head out to get your treats or play your tricks, make sure you make note of these responses to ensure you’re well prepared for the stretch run in your league.
The Aging Elite Quarterbacks
Peyton Manning (37), Tom Brady (36), Drew Brees (34), Aaron Rodgers (30). All of these players have been top five quarterbacks for the past few years. As a dynasty league owner, I have wanted nothing more than to have many weapons from each of their respective teams in my dynasty “locker room.” Demaryius Thomas, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Darren Sproles and the list can go on and on. What scares me the most about all of these aging quarterbacks is the question of how much longer am I going to get these elite numbers and be able to sell these guys at their highest value before they hang up their cleats? I love to have guys on each of their rosters, but it is no secret why players like Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, and Julio Jones are great dynasty targets – they are have stable quarterback situations for years to come and are elite talents. What happens to players like Dez Bryant in Dallas when Romo calls it quits? These are elite playmakers that rely a lot on the man under center. You might ask yourself, well how scary could it be? (See Larry Fitzgerald 2012). It is always scary to trade away elite talent, but in my mind it is even more scary to trade these elite skill position players away when their value is highest. It only take one owner in your league to fall in love with these players and you may be able to pull a kings ransom for a guy losing an elite quarterback in a couple years.
Communication with League Owners
What scares me is those who are not communicating well with their league mates, particularly concerning trade offers. Every owner values players and picks differently, and all too often a trade offer one owner considers fair is misinterpreted as insulting to the other owner – this leads to ridiculous counter-offers or future trade offers and sometimes even message board backlash. Taking what you consider to be a bad offer and responding to get some clarity can help prevent bad blood and keep the lines of trade communication open.
Going “all in” and Losing
To make a poker analogy, the thing that scares me the most is the potential ramifications of going “all in” and losing. See, while I’d love to field a competitive young roster every season, I’m a firm believer the yearly goal in dynasty football is still to win it all. In order to do so, I’ll do whatever I have to do to increase my odds, usually culminating in the acquisition of talented but aging veterans in return for draft picks and ascendant young players who aren’t quite “there” yet. While such moves could pay dividends, there’s always a chance of suffering a “bad beat” in the playoffs, followed by years of rebuilding due to a lack of assets. Still, more often than not I’ll choose to push my chips to the center of the table – but the fear will remain until that figurative river card is finally turned over.
Missing out on an Amazing Trade
The thing that scares me the most in my dynasty leagues is missing out on an amazing trade. I’m an extremely active trader, always evaluating and re-evaluating my rosters, trying to improve my teams with buy lows and sell highs. Being so active allows me to keep a pretty good pulse on the trade market in my leagues, but it does require a lot of effort. The thing that keeps me going are those trades that come across the wire every now and then where one owner just totally throws in the towel on a talented player and gives them away for next to nothing. It happens in every league, usually on a yearly basis, where an owner basically starts trading away pieces in some sort of fire sale and I like to be the owner that reaps the benefits of that type of situation as frequently as possible. The idea of missing out on those types of bargains scares me in the same way those “extreme couponers” die a little bit on the inside when they miss out on an amazing sale.
Not Being Competitive
The thing that scares me the most in dynasty leagues is simple – not being competitive. I don’t ever want to be in a situation of a full blown frame off restoration. To be successful you have to be ahead of the curve. As soon as you know you’re out of it in any given season, you should be looking ahead to next year and what that means for your roster. Getting stuck with a bunch of run down veterans is heartbreaking.
An article like this can’t be written without mentioning the biggest fear of all, cleptophobia. For those of you who don’t know what Cleptophobia is, it’s the fear of stealing. It’s a disease that every great dynasty player has, the fear of stealing the prize money every year and having nobody left that wants to play with you anymore.
Misjudging my own Roster
If you play in dynasty leagues long enough, you’ll remember many of the good moves you make, but recall all the bad ones. The thing that scares me the most is unearthing a hidden gem in a dynasty league, then having to drop them prematurely because of an injury or bye week issue, only to see them become the next superstar on another roster. There’s nothing I hate more than doing a ton of research, grabbing that young prospect, then having to re-expose them to the wire because of situations you can’t control. When another team grabs that player because they have a weak bench and they develop into a star, it makes me physically ill.
So, what scares you the most in your dynasty leagues?