Dynasty League Football


Ten Dangerous Assumptions


As dynasty league owners gear up for another exciting season, I’m seeing a lot of posts in forums and articles around the web that have words like “will,” “definitely,” “is certain to be,” etc. Many of these bold statements are made on subjects of great controversy.

In this article, I’m going to focus on “Ten Dangerous Assumptions” that are occurring in dynasty leagues right now. Some revolve around player values, others revolve around trading tactics and even others revolve around being a commissioner of a league.

Regardless, each of these assumptions are very risky to make and shouldn’t be relied on as fact. If you buy in all the way to some of these ideas, you’re asking for serious trouble in your dynasty leagues.

1.)  Brandon Marshall’s move to Chicago makes him a “must own” player

Look, I get it.

In the three years Brandon Marshall played with Jay Cutler in Denver, he had 220 catches for a total of  2,800 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Cutler also had 4,526 passing yards, a Broncos franchise record in 2008 as they were both Pro Bowl selections. Cutler even targeted Marshall a ridiculous 179 times in 2008.

That’s crazy.

Marshall’s 2008 campaign was his best, as he caught a career-high 104 passes while gaining 1,265 yards and scoring six touchdowns. He also had 18 catches in one game in 2008, though he bested that with an NFL record 21 a year later.

So, what’s the hangup, you ask?

I admit that Marshall’s value could take a bit of an uptick now that he’s back playing with Cutler. However, there are a few things that give me pause.

First, this offense is still going to run through Matt Forte, assuming they get him under contract.  While Marshall will be the number one target for Cutler, it’s hard to see him targeting him in insane quantities like he did with the Broncos, especially with the addition of Alshon Jeffery.

Second, and most importantly, I never consider anyone who has burned as many bridges as Marshall has as a “must own” player. I’d much rather build my team around consistent players who don’t have as many red flags associated with them. If I already had a bona fide WR1, he’s worth the risk. If I’m getting Marshall to BE my WR1, not so much.

In the end, “must own” is too strong of a statement when it comes to any player who seems to be one McDonald’s bag away from another bout of legal trouble or league suspension.

2.)  The 1.1 rookie pick is guaranteed to net me an instant stud

I’m a big fan of Trent Richardson and have always looked at him as the better prospect when comparing him to Mark Ingram as they played at Alabama – he’ll prove that now.

That being said, there are never any guarantees when it comes to rookies.  He’s the clear starter in Cleveland and won’t have to really compete with anyone for carries, but will Brandon Weeden be good enough to keep defenses from stacking the box against him for the next few years?

Ronnie Brown, Reggie Bush, Knowshon Moreno and a host of others have been taken number one overall over the past decade and none have really become ultra-studs. Some are even ultra-duds. I don’t think Richardson has much of a chance to be in the dud category, but again, there are no assurances of greatness, either.

Just don’t find yourself penciling Richardson in as your RB1 at the moment. In fact, my thoughts on 1.01 are pretty well known. Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson are both two of the best prospects to come out in years and any team would be fortunate to have either one of them.

In fantasy football, just remember there are simply no guarantees.

3.)  Eric Decker is going to be a borderline WR1

The Decker hype train is off the tracks and heading towards a nuclear plant near you!

The addition of Peyton Manning should solidify the values of both Decker and Demaryius Thomas, but pegging Decker as a borderline WR1 already is a mistake and I’ve seen it being said in some forums.

We still haven’t seen Manning in action and have no idea how healthy he really is. Everyone assumes he’ll be the old Manning, but we can’t believe it until we see it. Besides, there’s little doubt that Thomas is going to be option 1A in the passing offense and Peyton is known for spreading the ball all over the field.

I love Decker’s potential and we LOVE having him in the Dynasty Expert’s League, but the hype needs to be taken down a notch. I can see him safely maintain WR2 value this season, but expecting more is just being greedy.

4.)  Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson should be fine at the start of the season

Very dangerous here, gang.  While they’re both seemingly recovering very quickly, it typically takes two years before a player returns to form from a torn ACL. Expecting numbers from 2010 from either of these players is going to be a mistake. While it’s possible, it’s just not likely.

5.)  Making multiple bad trade offers won’t affect my perception as a coach

This one I love.

Many leagues have that one guy who seemingly disrespects everyone’s intelligence by repeatedly sending horrible trade offers, with the hope that one will somehow be accepted.*

*News flash – your league mates think you’re an idiot.

Personally, I get upset when I get offers like a third round pick and Donald Brown for Ray Rice. I want to crawl into cyberspace and appear on their computer screen to remind them that I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

Some say it’s up to the other person to just decline and move on. However, when this is done repeatedly over the years, these coaches get the perception of the team just trying to rip off the league because they think they’re smarter than everyone else.

That’s not a good place to be.

6.)  The “experts” are usually right about rookie prospects

Don’t believe all the hype you’ll be reading in the next few weeks.  Every offensive player taken in the first three rounds is NOT going to be a star and the undrafted players AREN’T a bunch of scrubs. Pay close attention to what you see in the minicamps and who signs where as undrafted free agents. Arian Foster, anyone?

7.)  First round receivers are good bet for production

This list could go on forever with names like Reggie Williams, Charles Rogers, R. Jay Soward, Troy Williamson, Matt Jones, Anthony Gonzalez, Buster Davis and Ted Ginn, Jr..

Wait, that list just went on forever.

8.)   Aging veterans don’t have much value

Avoiding aging veterans is a mistake that many novice dynasty owners make. Sure, you don’t want to have a team with an average age in the 30’s – that won’t lend you much of a chance for long-term viability. However, completely shying away from these players leaves you missing opportunities for solid short term production.

Complete rosters contain a core group of solid youngsters, with a nice complement of aging veterans. That, my friends, is a recipe for success.  Build from the bottom and groom their future replacements rather than completely avoiding these players like they’re the plague.

9.)   Being a dynasty commish is only an in-season job

I saw one person on a message board saying they loved being a dynasty commissioner and it wasn’t bad because it was really only hard work for 17 weeks during the year.

Say what!?!

Being an effective commissioner in a dynasty league is a job with no offseason. The best ones are always in contact with the league to make any applicable changes, walk them through the rookie draft and deal with any impending issues or improvements that need to be made. If I was ever asked to join a league with a commissioner who views their responsibilities in the same way they would a re-draft league, I’d run, not walk away.

10.) We know really quickly if a rookie player is a bust.

For some, this can be true. However, it takes many rookies a long, long time to develop. I was surprised to see the comments in the recent Dynasty Dilemma about Mark Ingram already being traded four or five times in a league. He’s played in ten games!

If you attempt to build through the draft, exhibit some patience. This draft was supposed to be one of the deepest in history, but we won’t truly know that for four or five seasons.

Good luck in your rookie drafts!

Ken Kelly
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10 years ago

Fun read. Especially liked the ‘Decker nuclear fuel’ comment and the ‘news flash’.

Danton Goulet
Reply to  Ken Kelly
10 years ago

I am brand new to this website and just wanted to say ‘Thanks’ for all the good information that I have read so far.
Very impressed so far and cannot wait to continue my ‘Dynasty’ education.

10 years ago

it might take a few years for a young rb to earn his way as the main man these days. people jump off the train way too early,i only jump off it early if a guy blows his knee out

10 years ago

How about the Kendall Wright wrong way fat fest? Anyone who invests a pick in that direction deserves a Troy Edwards triple bipass bust out. Take your chances. You’ve been warned.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Warren
10 years ago

Kendall Wright should be going at about 1.9 in an average rookie draft. If someone is drafting a receiver in the latter part of the first round, with an expectation that said player has more than a 30 percent chance of someday developing into a wr2 or better,i would suggest that there is a disconnect between this person’s expectations, historical evidence, and reality.

Don’t tell me that you saw something from Kendall Wright at Baylor to give you the impression that he isn’t draftavke at 1.9. You didn’t.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Sensei John Kreese
10 years ago

that is supposed to read “draftable”

Reply to  Sensei John Kreese
10 years ago

id gladly take 3-1 odds on a bet that kendall wright develops into a FF WR2 rather quickly. The pick after him is where it starts to get hairy. IMO

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Meens
10 years ago

And i would absolutely take that bet.

The odds that he develops quickly into a top 20 receiver, with Kenny Britt, Jared Cook and Chris Johnson on the same team wouldn’t be great, IMO.

I wouldn’t have a problem drafting him at 1.9 and holding him. I just think that to expect top 20 production is a bit much.

10 years ago

Similar to the point about AP/Charles, I’d add the following:

11. Young players significantly depreciate in value after a serious injury.

It’s amazing to me to read the forums and occasionally see guys like Britt and Charles being offered up in trades like they’re the equivalent of a 2nd round rookie pick! They’re 23 and 25 years old, respectively, and it’s a dynasty league! Have some faith…

Josh Gans
Reply to  Cpiritual27
10 years ago

This one is debatable to me only because there are too many variables possibly in play..so I take it on a case by case basis.
For example, most people seem to love Kenny Britt and thats fine..the guys is super young and super talented. But I simply try to avoid guys who:

1. Have major off-field (or heck, on-field) issues, and Kenny Britt is unfortunately one of those headcases type of players. I hope he matures for his sake and his team’s sake..its always fun to marvel at insane talent and a shame when a player throws it all away because he needs street cred, drugs, whatever.

2. Have had a major injury. Yeah, players can come back from ACL/MCL injuries..it happens. The question will always remain though..will they be like they were? Will the stats reflect it? Will they be hesitant to make that cut or leap for a catch or do whatever it takes to get the ball..etc? Again, Britt unfortunately is in this category as well.

3. In the case of wide receivers especially, have a young and as of right now, less than stellar QB. This hurts a player’s value like it or not. While we haven’t seen Justin Blackmon play a game in the NFL yet..we all downgraded him due to his landing spot. Why? Blaine Gabbert. Sure, he has an elite RB there and that is terrific, but if Gabbert was even..say..resembling Andy Dalton, we would all collectively breathe a sigh of relief and say he is still a top 5 pick or so. As it stands, Gabbert stinks and while we hope for the best for the kid as well as for Blackmon, Robinson, MJD and other Jags players..its another question mark. And…Kenny Britt is in this category right now too..a questionable and/or non-elite or even top 10/15 QB.

So for me, I would pass on Britt or at least not draft him as high as some others likely would, and maybe I’d be making a big mistake..

Jamaal Charles..the main question with him is simply injury issues. So his ADP is simply down from the previous year where there was some debate if he was a top 3 RB!

I think it just depends on each player and what they are having to deal with..if just injury like AP and JC…or if its much more like Britt.

Reply to  Josh Gans
10 years ago

Upon re-reading, I probably should’ve better clarified that I was talking in regards to trades, not a start-up draft.

The point I was trying to make is that too often owners panic with regards to younger guys who suffer injuries. Unless it’s something catastrophic (a la Leonard Weaver) or chronic (i.e Austin Collie), IMO you have to keep the faith.

One of the basic tenets in dynasty (or stock markets, etc) is that you don’t sell low. A player will, in almost all certainty, never be as low as they are immediately following an injury. Even if a great player only gets to 75-80% of what they were pre-injury, the value will increase. It can even continue to increase considering many believe it usually takes until the second year after an injury to get back to top form, as mentioned in point #5.

Obviously some disagree with my opinion (as evidenced by the negative votes haha), but I am of the belief that the likelihood of a long-term (year, years, etc) recovery is greater than the short term gains you can get through a trade.

Josh Gans
Reply to  Cpiritual27
10 years ago

Good follow-up. I have to say I have been guilty of selling low, though rarely (for example, I sold CJ2K mid-season last year)…BUT..my caveat is that I will hold unless I get what I perceive as fair value. I tried many different managers until I got Matt Forte for CJ2K (and I got a 2nd round pick)…

But in essence I think you and I are on the same page!

stoney curtis
10 years ago

I am indeed on the Decker bandwagon. Eric Decker WILL be a top 20 WR in fantasy points for 2012. I shall post an “I told you so” in 8 months!

Josh Gans
10 years ago

I didnt give you any neg votes there..but I think we got your point 😉

10 years ago

You could add Jacob Tamme to #3 IMO

Pete Benavides
10 years ago

I love point 5. I received this trade offer recently. Bernard Scott/Massaquoi/Travis Beckum for Pettigrew. I laughed and replied w/ Pettigrew for Reggie Bush/Jordy Nelson/Kyle Rudolph.

Reply to  Pete Benavides
10 years ago

Thumbs up for Points 5 and 9!

10 years ago

#3 – D. Thomas is a joke of a receiver. He will be in Peyton’s doghouse after a few bad routes and a couple failed attempts at gator clapping the ball.

Reply to  Adam
10 years ago

He made Garcon a decent player and Thomas is a lot better than that. I haven’t seen anything close to Garcon’s poor hands.

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