As our loyal following well knows, we participate in a Dynasty Experts League with fellow site owners from across the country. Our team is managed together by Jeff Haverlack (DLF_Jeff) and Ken Kelly (DLF_KenK). Last year, DLF won the Dynasty Experts League championship with a record of 15-1. That amazing season featured a few equally amazing statistics:
1.) We averaged 201.3 points per game – the next closest team was under 180.
2.) Our “all play” record for the season was a ridiculous 151-25 (.858%)
3.) We set three of the four highest weekly point totals (and 6 of the top 18) in league history
4.) Our average margin of victory was 58 points
The league consists of the following sites:
Pro Football Focus
ESPN / Scouts, Inc.
Our goal for getting into the league was to put our money where our mouth is in regards to dynasty leagues. We wanted to solidify DLF as the leader in the industry and compete with the “big boys,” so to speak. After just two years, we’ve done just that.
We wanted to share with you, our faithful readers, our outlook on 2012 and our offseason plans afor our team. Before we get too far, here’s our current roster in the PPR Dynasty Experts League:
So, there you have it. We’ve constructed a roster that has a few flaws, but also has some evident strengths going into the future. We achieved this with some good drafting, some great trades and a little bit of good fortune. Here’s our assessment of the DLF team’s strengths and weaknesses.
At quarterback, we’re going to be in every game with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. We caught some flack for taking him with our first round pick in the inaugural draft, but we offered no apologies then, nor do we now. Rodgers has proven to be number one commodity at quarterback and we’re very thankful to have him entrenched as our starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Backup quarterback is an area of need, however. We caught some breaks when Peyton Manning didn’t sign with Arizona and the Browns failed to trade up for RGIII – that left Kevin Kolb and Colt McCoy with starting jobs, at least for the time being. Carson Palmer is adequate and can fill in when needed, but an injury to Rodgers would be a huge concern for us. We like Tyrod Taylor as a developmental quarterback, but finding another young signal caller with upside is considered a priority.
It’s truly amazing this team went 15-1 and dominated the way it did while getting virtually nothing from Ryan Mathews and Darren McFadden for most of the season. With Mike Tolbert in Carolina and Michael Bush in Chicago, each of these players gets a nice bump in value. If they’re healthy, it’s going to be like getting two top 10 running backs to add to our 15-1 team from last year – we’ll take it!
Marshawn Lynch and Reggie Bush both become mainstays for us last season, giving us production we could have never predicted. There are questions about both of them as Lynch has now been paid his money and Bush is being pressured to be most of the offense in Miami – a responsibility he’s never had before. With Mathews and McFadden returning, we won’t have to rely so heavily on these two and realistically just hope one of them can come close to last year’s production.
Our future ace in the hole could be Jonathan Stewart. We’ve chronicled his story in depth this offseason and have the depth at running back to patiently wait for him to emerge. If he was to be traded this season, we could have an embarrassment of riches at the position. If not, we’ll wait and see what will shake out next year. We still get more trade offers for Stewart than any other player on our roster.
The rest of the running backs we have are mostly developmental players. Danny Woodhead could have a bigger role with BenJarvus Green-Ellis out of the way, though Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen obviously stand squarely in his way, putting him on the roster bubble for us. Kahlil Bell’s value shot down with Michael Bush signing with the Bears. Jonathan Dwyer has a chance to emerge in Pittsburgh with Rashard Mendenhall out, but we expect Pittsburgh to address the position in the draft as well. We’re holding on to Evan Royster at this point because you just never know what to expect with Shanahan at the helm and he showed some ability last season.
We took a chance on Wes Welker two years ago as he was coming off ACL injury and the move really paid off. In this PPR format, Welker is as good as they come, outside of Calvin Johnson. We swung a trade last year for Greg Jennings, sending away Kenny Britt and Mike Williams (SEA) for Jennings and Dustin Keller. We felt like we really needed a top option and salivated at the Rodgers-to-Jennings connection. With Jennings and Welker as weekly starters, we feel good.
We caught a couple of huge breaks over the last year. We plucked Antonio Brown off the wire last Summer and he’s emerged into a viable player. More recently, the addition of Peyton Manning in Denver is a huge coup for us as we’re the proud owners of both Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
The rest of the corps has its pros and cons. Anquan Boldin is slowing down rapidly. Danario Alexander has promise, but can’t stay healthy. Early Doucet has some potential, but we would have liked to have seen him sign elsewhere. Preston Parker will probably be our first cut as we move forward as the addition of Vincent Jackson hurts his value. Eddie Royal gets a nice bump in San Diego, so we have hope there. We have two sleepers in Chastin West and Joe Morgan, though we feel much better about Morgan emerging. Roy Williams is dead to us.
We feel great about having a top option in Jason Witten. While he’s not Rob Gronkowski, he’s still one of the best to have on a roster. Dustin Keller is a solid backup and Luke Stocker is a mere project. We’d like to add one more young option here and will look to address that soon.
Our defensive unit is an area of concern for sure. While we have lots of high producers, they’re also aging very quickly. For example, London Fletcher and Ray Lewis are two elite linebackers, but they won’t be around in three or four seasons. We’ve always felt that IDPs are overvalued in many leagues because of the abundance of players in the lower tiers. The top players typically don’t get you more than a few points than some on the waiver wire, so we don’t place as high a priority on them as others. They’re certainly important, but we hesitate in trading any premier offensive talent to upgrade.
We’ll enter the 2012 Rookie Draft with picks 1.12, 2.12, 4.12, 5.12, 6.12 and 7.12. We’ll be actively exploring opportunities to get a backup quarterback and upgrade our defensive unit in the meantime. We’re in a unique position to consider trading many of our draft picks for future ones, based on the strength of our current roster. After all, you don’t just blow up a team that just went 15-1.
We’re very excited about the team and its prospects moving forward and are very proud to have the success we’ve had against what many consider the “best of the best.” While other dynasty sites may attempt to tell you they know what they’re doing, we’re doing our best to prove we do.