Dynasty League Football


The Holdout Period


Whether your dreams of hoisting your league’s trophy and cashing that check are either realized or put on hold for another season, it all comes full circle to the same thing every year.  Its time to buckle down, put last year’s fortune or misfortune behind you, do some serious research and play the waiting game.  The dynasty off-season has officially begun.

In season’s past, I’ve always felt a lot of owners feel the need to start prematurely making trades in order to fill a void left in their hearts after Sunday football is over.  However, now is not that time.  My advice you ask?  Sit back, relax and become good friends with the word “no.”  We have reached the time of year I like to refer to as “the holdout period.”

So why do I call it the holdout period?

If you haven’t traded away your first or second round picks yet (or if you have multiple picks in both rounds) you need to hang on tightly at all costs unless someone makes you a “Godfather” type offer you can’t refuse.  You’ve held on to your draft picks this long,  so it won’t kill you to wait patiently for at least another two months.  You’re going to field quite a few offers over the next several weeks, but they will be very insignificant compared to the offers you’ll receive in late April and all the way up to your respective rookie/free agent drafts.  You need to “holdout” for more.

Why?  The answer is simple.  Your draft picks aren’t worth anything yet.

This is the time of year that savvy dynasty owners are trying to get their grubby little paws on your draft picks at a very reasonable price before you go falling in love with any particular player.  Smart owners know that once you can start associating a name with a pick, the price goes up, and they are absolutely one hundred percent correct.

Last year people were fighting tooth and nail to get into the top four in order the obtain the services of either Trent Richardson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Doug Martin.  I was one of them.  This upcoming draft just feels a lot different than last year, doesn’t it?  There is no clear cut number one overall pick yet, and the guy we all thought would be the consensus number one pick in most leagues (Marcus Lattimore) has sustained yet another serious knee injury (although he did still declare himself eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft).

Make no mistake about it though; there will be some absolute studs who come out of this draft who dynasty owners will covet for years.  It happens every season.  Don’t let the talk going on out there about this being a weak draft class lead you astray.

I like to break the off-season down in three parts.  The combine, the NFL Draft, and last but certainly not least, the rookie/free agent draft.

The combine kicks everything off as far as rookie fever goes.  Usually, after the combine results are in, you need to put a bib on some owners in order to stop them from drooling all over themselves.  They start falling in love with how fast players ran their 40 times, their verticals, bench reps, three cone drills and shuttle times.  This is a good time to sell, but the picks aren’t quite at their highest value yet.  If you can holdout until after the actual NFL Draft, that’s when you can really cash in and start building a team that will be a force to be reckoned with for a very long time.

After the NFL Draft is over and a new rookie class officially has a home, that’s when things start getting exciting.  The offers you will receive during this time will be significantly higher than anything you would receive today.  Once the other owners in your league know where their favorite players in this draft have landed, rookie fever takes on a life of its own.  Let’s say for example that you are the owner of the 1.01 this year and Atlanta just so happens to cut Michael Turner like a lot of experts are predicting.  There are some people out there that believe Jacquizz Rodgers may end up landing the starting gig (I don’t believe he will), but if say Giovani Bernard (the consensus RB1 for this draft class so far and a prime candidate to go number one overall if he lands in the right situation) gets drafted by Atlanta, how high of a price tag will he command just because of his landing spot?  You’ll then have the option to either take him for yourself or hold him for ransom.  You never get that opportunity if you make a move to soon.  Let the draft dictate the value of your picks.

If the past predicts the future, then the day of your rookie/free agent drafts should be the most trade happy day of the year without question.  Whether you participate in an online or a live draft, every owner is present and accounted for.  This makes it more likely to receive multiple offers from owners that covet your draft position.  Take advantage of it, create a bidding war.  The more desperate an owner is for your pick, the better off you’ll be in the future.  It’s ultimately up to you be patient, choose the best offer for your team and fight for as much as you can possibly get out of every trade.

So back to the moral of the story.  With so many question marks and players values yet to be determined, doesn’t it seem to make more sense to “holdout” for now?  Trading away your draft picks at this stage of the game just isn’t in your best interest.

That time is coming very soon.

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Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

While true, the opposite can happen with some picks too.

Once Blackmon was taken by JAX and Wilson by NYG, the #5 pick in my league got a lot less valuable.

In general I agree, the top 3 picks will only gain in value from now until the draft. I had someone offer me the 1.07/2.01 for my 1.04/2.07 and while it is a decent bump in the second, until I know who the #4 guy on my list is, I have no incentive to trade. (Flip side, until I know who the 2.01 might be, I don’t know if I will prefer him to the 2.07)

That said, I did trade the 2.06 for Vernon Davis because an owner needed the 2nd for another trade. Figured even if I waited that was a low price for Davis, despite his inconsistency.

Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

Yeah, picks that are near the perceived drop off can lose a lot of value after the NFL draft if high profile players go to less intriguing places. However, I do think that all picks gain value up until then in the eyes of lots of owners.

9 years ago

Along the “opposite happening” vein: I really like trading any PLAYER I think is overvalued on my team right at the front end of the very real dead period (when many owners also check out, sadly), right before the Super Bowl. IF you’ve got late picks to polish any deal off, it can net some big time players from teams that decide to “blow it up” after a frustrating season (or especially taking over a new team). Let’s anyone with good trade bait (especially sell-high type trade bait, cough cough Golden Tate) set a market that then drives said drop in decent trading as everybody looks for a bigger deal…maybe that’s a jerk move? 😉

Reply to  Mitch
9 years ago

I completed a trade in one of my IDP Dynasty leagues this past weekend that was all about timing. I gave Eli Manning, Matt Forte, Wes Welker and 1.08 for Aaron Rodgers, Jonathan Stewart, and Jeremy Maclin in a PPR league. My team was pretty loaded with the exception of QB so this opportunity to grab Rodgers and a “buy low” on Maclin really got me pumped up. Timing is everything.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Doug Veatch
9 years ago

Interesting. Do you really believe that the 1.07 has additional value? Or do you think it COULD have additional value if all WR end up in good spots?

9 years ago

Agreed. Nice article. I’ve seen some questions in the forum regarding trading future first round picks, including 1.01. My response is always, wait and let the value grow for those picks. No need to rush and make a deal right now. The best time to gain leverage is after the combine and NFL draft have taken place. This is great advice for dynasty owners, especially those new to the format.

Ariakis S
9 years ago

I own 1.09 and 1.12 in a non PPR. I have an aging team that could use a QB behind Brady or immediate help at WR or RB. Probably not a backup TE behind Graham atleast. I could stand pat and take 2 “shots” at BPA or see if the 1.01 owner would accept both picks for 1.01 hoping a true top RB candidate emerges. Any guess if this would be a buy low? He may reject the offer depending on which player(s) are involved if any but curious how this prices out.

Cyrus Miller
9 years ago


Traded 2.06 for Davis a week ago. TE needy owner knocked and we are doing this trade:

I give Davis/Wayne
I get Gates/1.08

I feel like I win this, upgrading from 2.06 to 1.08 and getting Gates for Wayne. Any other thoughts?

Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

Depends on if have another option at TE because Gates is pretty much done based on his performance or lack there of last season!

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Derek
9 years ago

I have Graham, so Davis or Gates are just backups/trade chips for me.

Matt Peach
9 years ago

What to do if the draft strength doesn’t line up with your needs? I own 6 &7 overall. Normally good spot for wr but i have AJG Mega Stevie J Steve Smith and S Rice. Sit tight or try to upgrade another position

Reply to  Doug Veatch
9 years ago

I would have to agree with Doug. Based on the NFL being more and more a pass happy league, you just can’t have enough WR1’s. Even if its not a primary need you have to take them. I have built my entire team around acquiring as many WR s as I could, and they have led me to a ton of monster trades. And that’s where you get the players you need. Again just one man’s opinion, but it works for me. Own the WR market.

9 years ago

I agree that having WR depth is at the upmost importance. Even more so if your in a PPR fomat. I believe that i didnt make it to my league playoffs this year because of my WR depth. Even though i have one of the better all around teams. NFL offenses change every year. but the one consistent over the last 5 years, is more passing. like the posting above said,this draft has good WR depth. If you have mid to late firsts, i think your in good shape

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