Dynasty League Football


Building Tactics: Winning Now

This Member Corner article is written by new guest writer, Brian Levine. It outlines a strategy to win now in a dynasty league. As always, the member corner articles may or may not reflect the opinions of DLF.

I may have cursed the dynasty gods, but it will be worth it.

You see, I traded Arian Foster and Hakeem Nicks in the same deal. That’s right, two dynasty studs. What did I get back? Miles Austin, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Jon Beason, and the piece I needed to trade for Michael Turner. Guys who will help me succeed immediately.

Rebuild and wait a year or two to develop guys?  No way.  I’m in the business of winning a championship. Now.

Today I’m going to discuss a couple draft strategies and player types that you want to target so your team can be the best right away. I realize that the point of a dynasty is longevity, and I will address that. But let’s assume that you are in a money league, and well, you want to win that money.

To make myself clear, the best combination for dynasty leagues is talent and the right setup for success. The players I recommend drafting or looking at are going to be guys you may not first think of because they may not possess the perfect package. Drafting players like these is the key to winning your league this year.

Running Backs: Draft Workhorse backs, “the guys”
We all know who to draft at running back at the top of the order. However, if you are looking to stockpile immediate success, the key is to grab guys who are going to be “high touch guys.” These are guys who are average close to 20 touches a game.  Last year’s list is prestigious, with 10 guys making the cut:
Arian Foster
Rashard Mendenhall
Steven Jackson
Michael Turner
Ray Rice
Maurice Jones-Drew
Chris Johnson
Peyton Hillis
Cedric Benson
Ahmad Bradshaw

Considering Adrian Peterson barely missed the cut, you would do well to land two of these guys. Let’s exclude Benson because no one knows what to expect out of the Bengals this year (except mediocrity).  There are several guys here who will be available as late as your league’s 3rd round because they are not as sexy as their younger counterparts. Snatch up Turner, MJD and SJax to give yourself a nice RB2 and stack your runners. You can never have enough good ones, so grab as many of these guys as you can.

Other recommendations: Frank Gore, Matt Forte, DeAngelo Williams, Fred Jackson

Wide Receivers: Draft the Targeted

At the wide receiver position, the name of the game here is targets.  Grab the guys who get the ball thrown to them constantly, and you can expect a relatively high level of success. Fourteen wideouts averaged eight or more targets per game (surprisingly, Welker and Amendola missed the cut). Guys like Brandon Marshall, Santana Moss and Marques Colston make that list, but will fall some because guys like Mike Wallace, Calvin Johnson, Steve Johnson, and Hakeem Nicks project to have better situations. For the most part, they do. You can count on Marshall, Colston, and Moss to get their targets, their receptions, and points for you consistently.

Other recommendations: Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Thomas

Quarterbacks: Draft only the finest

With the signal callers, keep it simple. Get the guys who are awesome. A great quarterback scares every opposing fantasy owners. If he pops off, he tips the scales significantly in your favor. Here’s your list:

Michael Vick
Peyton Manning
Aaron Rodgers
Tom Brady
Drew Brees
Philip Rivers

If you have to use a 2nd round pick to nab one of these guys, do it. There’s no question these guys are going to be amazing this year.

You may be asking, “what if I can’t or won’t get one of these guys?”

Wait and try and nab a sleeper quarterback. Solidify your team top to bottom before drafting your them and don’t reach for them in a high round. Every year, there are two or three quarterbacks who have the right chemistry for a 4,000 yard, 20-30 touchdown season that no one expected. If you go this route, get two quarterbacks who you could juggle as your starter.

Other recommendations: Eli Manning, Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan

IDPs: Tackle machines

Tackle machines are guys who absolutely rack up the tackles for one of two reasons – they are simply a beast of a linebacker, or they are a cornerback who plays opposite a really good corner (my personal favorite).  For the most part, middle/inside linebackers are the way to go here. Of course Clay Matthews is a beast, but figuring out who is going to be a monster rush linebacker is a little trickier than figuring out who is going to be starting in the middle. For a 3-4 try for the outside linebackers (like Matthews), and the 4-3 get the MLBs.  Pay attention to who wins the jobs, and who moves. Jon Beason is moving back to the Mike position, and you can guarantee he eclipses 115 solo tackles with ease. There will be some great guys who fall because of age or changes in their situation, scoop them out and lead yourself to victory

Recommendations you should consider highly: London Fletcher, Ray Lewis, Jonathan Vilma, Paul Posluszny

If you play with DBs, then the name of the game here is safeties and opposite corners.  Brent Grimes and Greg Toler were guys who seemingly came out of nowhere to fantasy success because they played opposite great corners (Dunta Robinson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, respectively).  Grab the guys who make plays consistently. Also read up on new defensive schemes being installed. Adrian Wilson is going to be used more like Troy Polamalu this year in their defense; this bodes well. There is a hidden gem to be found in the Dallas secondary as well; Rob Ryan’s defense calls for a big-time safety. You can really make up a lot of points with high tackle, playmaking DBs.

Recommendations: Michael Griffin, Eric Berry, Kerry Rhodes, Antrel Rolle, Antonio Cromartie, Ronde Barber

Rookies: Immediate Impact

If you hold onto your rookie picks, use them to get players who are going to be starters for their teams and contribute very quickly. This is all about the situation a players finds himself in, and also the position. You do not want a rookie quarterback starting for you, but a rookie running back, tight end, or wide receiver could become very valuable quickly.

Generally speaking, running back skill sets translate quickest, so you can think of rookie runners as the safest bets to step in and give you points right away (Daniel Thomas is the pick here). If you can land one of the three wideouts who are in the best position to be #1 or #2 guys, you can get some production out of them (AJ Green, Julio Jones, Vincent Brown). Tight ends can be sneaky if you can land this year’s Rob Gronkowski. This year, it’s Jared Cook who the rookies may be compared to.

For rookie IDPs, find starters or find guys who will be targeted a lot. The top two who come to mind are Jimmy Smith and Patrick Peterson, cornerbacks who will see a lot of action. Depending on the Titans situation, linebacker Colin McCarthy could be the next Pat Angerer (a great pickup and valuable dynasty player).

Other recommendations: Jon Baldwin, Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure, Von Miller, Mason Foster, Ryan Kerrigan

Trading: Stockpile, fill in the pieces

Young talent is always at a premium in dynasty leagues, so there will be a market for your rookie picks and your young guns. If you can get proper winning talent (a RB2 or WR2 at least), make the deal.  The idea is to bring in as much talent as possible for a stable of running backs or a bunch of awesome wide receivers who will be great for your team. You have the rest of your dynasty to sit and wait for WRs to develop; on average it takes about three years. Running backs can blossom at anytime; for Arian Foster it took a couple years, for James Starks it was the playoffs—its all about opportunity there. Find the right opportunities to move your guys, or acquire someone on the cheap that is older and not as sexy. They will make the difference in the fantasy playoffs.

In your dynasty leagues, if you are willing to be the guy who wants the championship, go for it. You will be busy making deals and moves to get better. When you win the championship or make a splash in your league, the work will be well worth it.



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The Future
11 years ago

Looks like you got boondoggled to me. Don’t spend your winnings, you’ll need that and more to pay in for the next 5 years. Your team is gutted. Dynasty fail.

11 years ago

so, even after the barrett ruud signing, colin mccarthy still seems like a good grab in fantasy leagues?

I saw that ruud signed a one year deal, so maybe mccarthy will be the guy next year, and thats certainly worth a stash…opinions?

Reply to  sensai_john_kreese
11 years ago

sorry, should have said seems like a good grab in DYNASTY leagues

11 years ago

Might as well be re-draft to me.

D Thomas believer
11 years ago

Can I ask why Daniel Thomas was not considered as an Immediate Impact? He likely be getting the rock at least 15 times a game.

11 years ago

Yeah I just traded for Crabtree in my dynasty league.
I traded Hernandez (NE), 2.10 and a 2nd, 3rd 2012

He will be on my beach since my starters are AJ,CJ,White and Fitz 🙂

Now all I need is some RBs…

11 years ago

Tough economy, get that $$$, I like it and have been scooping up R. Wayne, M. Thomas etc where i can and have been getting rid of AP and CJ2k for RB’s like Forte, Bradshaw and other RB/WR depth!

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