Dynasty League Football


The Josh Gordon Rule

Last off-season was a bit unusual to say the least. Not only did we see four elite, franchise type players come into the NFL (which rarely happens), but some leagues were thrown for an unexpected loop. Since the day I started playing dynasty football, the supplemental draft had always been more of an afterthought in everyone’s mind, including my own.

In retrospect, it almost seems funny to me now that when a player comes into the league and makes a difference, everyone stands up and notices. If they don’t, nobody cares.  I can say that confidently because when Terrelle Pryor came into the league via the supplemental draft in 2010, nobody seemed to mind that he was plucked off of the waiver wire without that owner having to give up something in the future to obtain his services – that now seems like a very distant memory. Those days all ended on July 12th, 2012, when Josh Gordon was selected with a future second round pick by the Cleveland Browns.

It changed a lot of dynasty leagues forever. If your league didn’t already have a system in place for acquiring supplemental draft picks, it does now, or is on the verge.  You can count on it.

Standing at 6’3″ and 225 lbs., Gordon has the size and appears to have the skill set to be a legit WR1 for a Browns team (and possibly your dynasty teams) that hasn’t had a fantasy worthy receiver since Braylon Edwards put up a ridiculous stat line of 80/1,289/16 in 2007. We’ve seen our share of dynasty disasters come into the Browns organization since then with the likes of Mohammed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Joshua Cribbs and Donte Stallworth producing virtually nothing for four years. The verdict is still out on Greg Little who appeared to solve his hands of stone problem down the stretch, but doesn’t project to be the WR1 that the Browns or a lot of dynasty enthusiasts had envisioned.  Gordon seems to have a firm stranglehold on that position for the foreseeable future. The fact that Gordon hadn’t stepped foot on a football field in over a year and missed some of the off-season programs makes the season we just witnessed all the more impressive.

That, my friends, is the reason for changes being applied in so many dynasty leagues. Everyone wants a fair shot at the next big thing. I can’t say I blame anyone for that, but what is the best way to implement a new system for acquiring players by way of the supplemental draft?

After careful thought and consideration, I have come up with three solutions. Do nothing, hold your annual rookie only drafts after the supplemental draft is completed, or hold a completely separate supplemental draft and conduct your business exactly the way it’s done in the NFL. This entails putting your absolute best offer in a hat and hope you gave up enough to earn the winning bid.  Not exactly rocket science.

Doing nothing isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. I think a lot of owners were a bit blind-sided by the whole Josh Gordon situation due to a lack of preparation and that isn’t anybody’s fault except their own. If everyone has access to the same information (which you do, unless you live under a rock) then everyone has the right to draft any player (supplemental player or not) wherever they deem worthy. If doing nothing is your solution, you also run the risk of not knowing what kind of situation a player is stepping into if you hold your draft before the supplemental draft is over – that’s a risk a lot of owners would be willing to take if the price is right.

Holding your rookie only draft after the supplemental draft has ended seems like the best solution to me. You know that particular player’s team, situation and best of all, everyone gets the opportunity to adjust their draft boards accordingly.  I think a lot of leagues get a little too anxious around draft time and tend to hold their drafts a bit too early.  You only have to wait another two weeks if this is the path you choose to go down.

The third option is my least favorite out of all three. Why? Because it puts owners who have already traded away future picks (possibly for multiple years) at a distinct disadvantage. You’re playing in a dynasty league, of course you’ve traded away future picks, that’s the nature of the beast for some owners. If you were to implement a system like this one, I would say you should need a 2/3 majority vote from your fellow league mates. Also, to give everyone proper time to wrap their heads around the new rule; it shouldn’t go into effect for a full year to the date of being voted in. This allows teams to re-strategize, acquire future picks, or just keep on doing things the way they always have.  Everyone has a different way of playing this game, but all should be given the same opportunities.

Whichever way you choose to do it, rest assured this situation is going to happen again. The question is- will your leagues be prepared for it?

How does your league hold their supplemental draft and how do you like it?

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Paul Reuben
9 years ago

Snatched him up in every league I could via FCFS at 4 AM on that wonderful day when he hit MFL’s roster database.

The early bird gets the worm, LOL!!!!

Chris Howat
Reply to  Paul Reuben
9 years ago

How did you know that 4am was the time he would be added? Does your league not allow placeholders for players that aren’t in the database?

9 years ago

What we did in my league… and we usually hold our draft in July… and we did this the last couple years actually is that you can draft any player who at that time has declared for the NFL Supplemental Draft (which I think the deadline to declare had already occured at the time of our draft) along with the normal pool of rookies. At the time we held our draft the guy who selected Gordon not knowing what team he’d be on but picked him based on his potential nonetheless

9 years ago

We use to do the draft pick thing but people complained that they didn’t have a shot because they traded away draft picks already. This year we just had an auction, highest bid wins. Gordon went for $37. We set the ending time at midnight and the last 20 minutes it went crazy. We had zero complaints.

9 years ago

I snatched him in a MLF league but sort of felt like a jerk for doing it. But someone was going to!

This is why I like my SC league. He ended up in the FA pool along with all the other players on the WW (or coming off contract). That was fair IMO. He went at about the same price as a first round rookie pick contract.

Reply to  Tim
9 years ago

Same for our SC league. Everyone could blind bid on him if they wanted.

9 years ago

I think this is such a rare, random circumstance that I wouldn’t make any special rules to cover it. In most of my leagues, the rookie draft is already after the supplemental draft, but in leagues with early drafts, the player should be treated like a free agent.

btw, I don’t agree with having first come first serve free agency in the off season, so if you were able to nab Gordon as soon as he was added to the player database, then that speaks volumes of a weakness in your current league’s waiver rules.

9 years ago

Multiple leagues and multiple different ways we handled it. In one of the main leagues, we simply held a supplementary draft ourselves with current waiver wire priority as the “draft order” consideration. I happened to have first waiver wire priority that week and I put in a 2nd round bid. So I got Gordon for my 2nd round rookie draft choice in 2013.

We’ve used that same system in the past as well.

Ray White
Reply to  Jeff Haverlack
9 years ago

we used 2012 draft order for our sup draft order. bids were made and in a double copy league both copies went for early 2013 2nd round picks. a nice twist we have done is the picks used on the sup draft turned into the prizes awarded for ous suicide picks winner and our pickem rankings winner. i believe both picks went to teams who missed the playoffs this year

Chris Howat
9 years ago

He was available to the team with the most blind bidding dollars. There was a last minute deal where a team gave up a third rounder for 500 BB units. The team that missed out on Gordon was pissed.

9 years ago

We hold our draft in August, so we include Supplemental draft players in our draft.

Ours is a hybrid league, we keep 14, (2 taxi squad players included), then draft 8. The pool includes all rookies, and FA’s. We then designate our 2 taxi squad players after week 4, and then cut 2 after the NFL trade deadline. Keeps the waiver wire active, allows for big enough rosters to hold players, and we use a blind bidding process for FA’s during the season.

Oh…and NO waiver wire pickups in the offseason. That’s what the draft is for.

9 years ago

I drafted Gordon 10th in the first round of my rookie draft and the response was WHO IS JOSH GORDON? I bet they know the answer now.

9 years ago

FCFS waivers during the offseason is what keeps things interesting in Dynasty. Boo to those leagues that don’t.

9 years ago

We awarded Josh Gordon to our expansion team last year; no complaints as he had the weakest overall roster. But from now on, I agree that rookie drafts should be held after the NFL Supplemental Draft to take these players into account.

9 years ago

FCFS waivers suck at anytime IMHO.

Our league to switched to a bidding process for all FA’s (except on Sundays), and its worked out very well. Adds another element of management to any league.

Our main reason against it is this…because Owner A has a job which allows him to surf the net during the day, and Owner B does not, should Owner B be penalized by watching Owner A pick up a player that has news released about him during the day? That seems silly to me.

And the reason for not having pickups during the offseason is simple. We have an 8 round draft of all available FA’s and rookies. By not allowing FA pickups during the offseason, we keep those FA players in play for the draft…makes it much more interesting come draft time…do you pick a rookie, or pick an FA when it comes time to draft?

Chris R.
9 years ago

This presented some interesting scenarios in most of my leagues. Some leagues the rookie draft was in the middle of drafting by the time the supplemental draft came, so some owners used picks that were up OTC, some owners traded up, some owners traded late round future picks from the next year to take him. Some owners didn’t know if you would be eligible to even draft him in the rookie draft. Some owners drafted him before he even had a team and drafted him as a free agent.

Then a ton of leagues who were done drafting did things by blind bid waivers, but if you had made some claims in the months leading up to, you still didn’t have the benefit to be able to out bid some other owners.

It was just a scenario that had a ton of variables and played out different all over the place. Nobody was prepared because the supplemental draft is hardly ever worthy of any skill position players that highly touted, but this opened up the eyes for many owners.

Ken Dogson
9 years ago

I added him from the waiver wire last summer.

No one really said anything, then or now.


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