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Risk Management

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It’s no secret that dynasty owners everywhere are always working hard to create an advantage for themselves against their fellow league members.  However, with all of the information out there today on the internet, television, radio and podcasts, it’s getting to the point where it’s almost impossible to create that advantage.  Everyone has access to the same information.  That’s when taking a step back, thinking out of the box and restructuring your game plan is of the utmost importance.  What I want to focus on is managing your risk, letting other league owners do the heavy lifting for you, and stockpiling your rosters with players that have already started to emerge as potential fantasy studs.

Let’s talk about risk and how to avoid it.

Every time you draft a player no matter what round you take them in you inherit a certain amount of risk.  Obviously the higher you draft a player the lower your risk is going to be theoretically, but that’s not always the case.  What if instead of investing your first round pick this past year on an actual rookie coming into the NFL you focused on acquiring second or third year players that have shown great promise in exchange for your first round pick?

Now, of course players like A.J. Green and Julio Jones would most definitely command more on the trade market than any first rd pick, but what about guys like Randall Cobb and Torrey Smith?  I’d almost guarantee that either of these WR’s could have been acquired for a first rd pick in the 5-7 range (possibly even lower) during the off-season.  Some people may have thought at the time giving that much for either player was overpaying, but both of these guys showed flashes during their rookie seasons.  Heck, Torrey Smith’s rookie campaign numbers were comparable to the likes of AJG and Julio, but nobody really talked about it this past off-season.  One thing is for sure though.  Getting either one of these guys during the off-season was far less risky than drafting all but four rookies so far from the 2012 draft class.

For argument’s sake, let’s say you were to take both Cobb and Smith and insert them into the 2012 NFL Draft.  Most people probably would’ve had only had Justin Blackmon rated higher than these two as far as WR’s go.  Given the fact that you’ve seen players like Cobb and Smith already contributing to their respective teams it gives you a distinct advantage.  You have an entire off-season to read about how coaches plan to use these players, if their role within the offense is growing, and you already have some tangible NFL stats as a basis for comparison.  It also gives you time to choose carefully about who to go after and where to start off the trade negotiations.  That’s what I like to call risk management.

During the off-season so many owners get rookie fever.  They take pride in the fact that they’ve put the time into their research and truly believe they are about to draft the next big thing.  What they may not realize is this – they might have the next big thing sitting on their roster already.  Fortunately for savvy dynasty owners, we know that people usually fall in love with multiple players during the scouting period and will pay whatever they have to in order to get their hands on those particular players.  Rookie fever can make even the most conservative dynasty owners look like a little schoolgirl with a crush.  This makes unloading our draft picks for somewhat proven players with huge upside a relative cakewalk.  Player values are usually at their lowest during the off-season.  Take advantage of it.

So what did I mean about letting other league owners do the heavy lifting for you?  What I meant is this – just because you didn’t draft a player onto your roster doesn’t mean your scouting for that draft class should be over.  You are actually letting someone else shoulder the burden of letting prospects develop on their roster without eating up one of your own precious spots.  This buys you time to figure out who you are going to keep, and also determine who to cut loose.  Most owners are too impatient to let their middle of the road prospects fully develop anyways, and the allure of adding an additional first rd pick (perhaps even a later pick) is too much for some owners to resist.

At this point, the cat is definitely out of the bag for players like Cobb and Smith.  There’s no way anyone is buying one of those guys that cheap these days.  Remember that when using this technique I like to go back and highlight guys as far back as two draft classes.  Player development usually happens in 2-3 years so looking back 2 draft classes should be just fine.  So what other up and comers should dynasty owners keep a watchful eye on this upcoming offseason?  In my opinion there are quite a few.  Players like Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Broyles, Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright, Alshon Jeffery, Mark Ingram, Josh Gordon, Greg Little, Kendall Hunter, Mikel Leshoure, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Leonard Hankerson.  They should all be on a short list of players that could be bought at a price you feel comfortable with this off-season.

Somewhere in that list of players mentioned above are the next fantasy studs that every owner will covet.  Will you act early and acquire one of these players at a reasonable price?  Or will you wait until their value is so inflated that it will cost a fortune for the pleasure of having them on you roster?  I suppose it all depends on how attached you are to your draft picks.

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jeff hemlick
9 years ago

Great article!!!!

Bowser
9 years ago

SHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop!

seriously, great article! This has been a strategy of mine for a while (literally no picks of my own for about 2 more years). I am consistently able to nab first round talent for cheap after their rookie seasons. (i.e. Mathews) I have a first (acquired via trade)and am targeting TB Mike Williams (recent big games making this harder). Would you consider Titus Young on this short list?

JBlake
Reply to  Bowser
9 years ago

I have Titus and Broyles, I resisted the urge to trade Titus a few weeks ago, and now with Burleson out, we should see who steps up in the future stud discussion.

Agree with the article that Ingram is someone to acquire now, not a bust. It’s a shame how he’s floundering in the Saints offense. Ingram owner in my league is in rebuild mode but not willing to part with him.

Glen Potter
Reply to  Doug Veatch
9 years ago

I just got Broyles on the waiver wire

Matt Feit
9 years ago

I couldn’t agree more. But I echo the above sentiment of SHHHHH!!!

Ha!

Ryan Ebert
9 years ago

Nice!!! Agree completely. Already have Blackmon, Quizz and Hankerson and going for more. Keep up the writing Douglas!

Taco
9 years ago

Love, love, love Gordon in dynasty.

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