In part two of this Dynasty Notebook series, I wanted to spend some time discussing the different types of owners who are generally found in most leagues. This topic has been covered by numerous writers and by countless fantasy sites. Even yours truly has previously delved into this topic on more than one occasion. The first article (The Dynasty Notebook) concentrated on tracking the specific drafting habits of the owners in your leagues. This article, however, will focus on the different management styles of dynasty owners in more general terms and how they fit into building your own tendency tracking notebook.
“Veteran Magnet” – A steady diet of aging vets
There are usually one or two owners in every league just waiting to capitalize on the depreciating value of aging star players. While many dynasty owners break out in hives at the mere thought of owning a player nearing the ripe old age of 30, these owners make a living at buying fantasy football’s senior citizens for pennies on the dollar. Identifying which owners in your league are open to acquiring older players is extremely important because they’ll be the ones to target when rebuilding your own roster.
“Evel Knievel” – Which owners buy risk?
Hands down the most important type of owner to have in any league. It’s important because this owner is a true trade catalyst when everyone else is running scared in the opposite direction. This dynasty manager sees value and upside when other owners are blinded by risk and only want to cash out on the high levels of uncertainty. In today’s NFL, risk seems to be running rampant and it comes in all shapes and sizes whether it involves health concerns, off field issues or even poor attitudes that can infect an entire locker room. It’s paramount to pinpoint an owner in your league willing to plunge in head first regardless of the peril, just in case you find yourself in need of a quick sell.
“Fountain of Youth” – Which owners view maturity as a plague?
This is obviously a common theme in most dynasty leagues, so you’ll probably have more than one owner falling into this category and placing a steep premium on youth. Some owners, however, take this philosophy to an extreme and seldom focus on the here and now, always rolling the dice and investing in the next best thing. Truthfully, I’ve been guilty of doing this myself and can tell you first hand it’s easy to find yourself continuously chasing your own tail. More specifically, these owners always have a young roster loaded with promise, but never quite enough “here and now” production to be considered a serious contender. Targeting this owner is important for two reasons: first, these owners have a tendency to give up on underachieving upside a little too quickly in order to pursue the next best thing. Second, owners always looking toward the future will usually pay a premium for draft picks while discounting veteran players very aggressively.
The “Brick Wall” – Which owners are impossible to trade with?
Some owners have to win each and every deal by a substantial margin and it can be utterly painful to try and craft a reasonable deal with them. There are also other owners who simply love their squads “as is” and don’t want to entertain negotiations under any circumstances. Both ownership styles are an equal combination of exhausting and frustrating when it comes to trading. In a dynasty league you have to continuously build relationships so avoiding these owners all together isn’t really an option. My suggestion is to identify these owners in your league early on, but keep the lines of communication open without necessarily talking trades in every discussion. If you do talk trades with these owners, focus on keeping the negotiations short and sweet so you’re continuing to establish a comfort level. You never know when an unlikely deal might be struck and that comfort level could come in handy when they’re ready to reach out and negotiate.
“No Ripples on the Pond” – Which owners hate risk?
Let’s face it, some owners will avoid ripples on the fantasy football pond at all costs. They’ll often settle for a more consistent, less talented roster just to avoid potential risk and sleep better at night. The opposite of an “Evel Knievel” type owner, the risk averse manager enjoys owning players who provide not only consistent weekly production, but also rock solid track records on and off the field. In my experience, I’ve often found these owners apply the same risk avoidance philosophies to trade negotiations, taking very methodical steps unless something “risky” unexpectedly happens to one of their players – this can work to your advantage if this owner suddenly has to deal with a player who fails a drug test, gets arrested, or maybe just suffers a serious injury. The other point to remember is this owner will also overvalue consistency and will often pay a premium for such a player, even if the player comes with limited upside.
The Positional “Tell” – Which owners value a certain position?
As I mentioned in the first Notebook article, some owners are just more comfortable with certain player positions. Maybe it’s because they have a high confidence level to scout or analyze a certain position or because they place more value on that position’s production or longevity. Whatever the reason, some owners aggressively acquire and stockpile certain positions and you’ll see that trend develop over time. It’s important to track these tendencies so you’ll know exactly which door to knock on in order to receive maximum value when you have a quarterback or tight end to move in a deal.
The Perfect Lineup in May – Who has zero patience?
I crack a smile every time I run into this particular type of owner. These folks have to fill out the perfect starting lineup as early as possible. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for addressing a roster weakness and/or trading to make your lineup stronger whenever the opportunity presents itself. What’s different about this owner is the urgency he/she attaches to completing this endeavor. There should never be a deadline for putting together the perfect lineup, especially not so early in the off-season. Player values are such a fluid dynamic and the perfect line up in June may not be the same juggernaut in August. Identifying this owner can work to your advantage because they’ll often pay a premium early in the off season to round out their perfect roster.
“The Shark” – The respected ownership
Shrewd, savvy, active, knowledgeable, crafty, relentless…these are all words we’ve used to describe the owners in our leagues who we consider to be the “sharks” – the managers we both fear and respect. In dynasty leagues, the most important characteristic of a shark owner deals with player evaluations and accurately assessing a player’s skill/upside while operating ahead of the group think mentality. This type of owner is usually very open to trade negotiations and fantasy football discussions because they understand the importance of building a communication grid with as many potential trade partners as possible. They also use the dialogue to assess what makes you tick as an owner. Imitation is the purest form of flattery and if there’s a real “shark” in your league, study them and incorporate as many of their successful traits as you can into your own strategy.
“Captain Ahab” – Who is the Rogue Owner?
I’ve used this term in quite a few previous articles over the years to describe the most entertaining of all dynasty owners. Always zigging when most people would zag, this owner has a unique style and agenda with very little concern for player values or the group think mentality. The “Captain Ahabs” of the dynasty world fall in love with particular players for mind boggling reasons and go after acquiring those players with unbridled passion and determination. For whatever reason, this owner’s only consistency is being completely and wildly inconsistent. Hopefully one day you’ll end up owning a player Captain Ahab truly covets and you’ll reap the unexpected rewards when that owner comes calling. More than likely, however, you’ll never get a true read on this owner and you’ll only be caught in the wake – shaking your head – like the rest of your league mates.
“Open 24/7” – The Trades “R” Us Owner
Trade negotiations are vital to any successful dynasty league and every league needs at least one of these owners in order to keep things from becoming stagnant. Constantly tweaking their rosters, these tireless managers often trade just for the enjoyment of negotiating and completing a deal. These owners should be on your speed dial, on your Friends and Family plan and at the very top of your contact list.
The Waiver Guru – Which owner owns the waiver wire?
I’m making the generalization most leagues run off of some type of blind bid waiver system followed by a period of open waivers. Operating under that assumption, this discussion can really focus on two different aspects of waiver wire management. The first facet deals with identifying and sniping players viewed as diamonds in the rough before the main stream fantasy football sites start talking them up as sneaky roster additions. Some owners are particularly skilled at doing exactly that, always a week ahead of everyone else in acquiring the next hidden gem. The other waiver wire component to track focuses on the bidding amounts. Some owners are notoriously cheap when it comes to waiver wire money while others are completely bankrupt by week three with little to show for it. Monitoring the spending habits of your fellow league mates will help in establishing your own spending guidelines throughout the year.
So those are a few of the different ownership/management styles consistently found throughout the dynasty landscape. Again, this was just a general look at different owner types in an attempt to make it easier to track tendencies. The underlying theme in this entire notebook discussion is to spend time identifying the owners in your league, their habits, strengths, weakness and any comfort zones they may gravitate back to when things get tough. The choice is completely yours when it comes to the time you want to invest and just how detailed and/or specific you want to get with your notebook. In the last segment of this series, I’ll take a closer look at a few of the trading habits many dynasty owners use to negotiate trades and how tracking those tendencies can make you more adept at closing the deal. Also the team here at DLF is helping me put together a notebook template to help with the tracking process so keep watching for it.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me here at DLF or on Twitter @FFHoudini
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well done Leo. love the series.
this was great to read. i couldn’t help but notice that many owners are a combo of many of these types.
i had to LOL at the captain ahab one. i have one such owner in my league and i think he may be only one (or 1 of a few) i have never struck a deal with. i am a combo of at least 4…waiver guru, open 24/7, the shark and positional tell (when it comes to TEs).
there may be a few more.
maybe one of the takeaways from the article is for ourselves – we can take something from many of these types and add to our arsenal.
some of it is seasonal/time of year. another words, i may be 24/7 in offseason…
again, nice job.
I’m an evil fountain who’s waiver is open 24/7.
Awesome read. Here’s 2 other management styles: Those who stockpile next year’s rookie draft picks & those who trade all of theirs away.
These 2 management styles can probably be filed under extreme examples of Found of Youth & Veteran Magnet.