In Dynasty Diaries, I give you an inside look at all of my teams, their history and my plans for the future. I’d like to provide some insight into struggles I’ve faced, and reveal weekly thoughts and feelings on anything and everything football. Join me as I succeed or crash and burn. For more information on the leagues, check out the introduction or any previous post. If there is anything more you’d like to see or any questions you have, please let me know in the comments section.
We’re at the NFL mid-season. Many of you have probably been in “win or go home” mode in your dynasty leagues for a few weeks. You get to a point where decisions have to be made: trade for now, or for the future? Start scooping up the picks, or aim for the high-scoring veterans?
Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. What if your team is talented, but you’re underperforming? Or if you’ve simply come up against top-scoring opponents every week? Alternatively, what if you had planned for the future but have ended up in a prime position to compete?
This week, I’ll ask those questions for all of my dynasty squads. What should we do next?
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- Carlos Hyde, Hunter Henry and 1.08 for Jimmy Graham, Jordy Nelson, 2.01 (Alvin Kamara) and 2.08 (Golden Tate)
- Travis Kelce and 2.06 for Kenneth Dixon and Ameer Abdullah
- Jerick McKinnon and a 2018 third for Matt Forte
- Week six – Tyreek Hill for Mark Ingram and a 2018 second
- Week seven – 2018 second for Ben Roethlisberger
This is a team to be happy with. Nelson helped a ton in the early weeks, and Graham has stepped up recently. His boom in the last couple of games has made me feel a whole lot better about the second off-season trade, which hasn’t panned out so far (oh dear, Ameer). I thought moving a position of strength for two starters at a need would help, but it was simply a case of overthinking – why move Kelce? I was desperate for backs before the season started and went after Forte (unfortunately he sat on the bench this Thursday).
A hot start prompted trade talks with another owner looking for a receiver, and I managed to bag Ingram just before his breakout. Aaron Rodgers’ injury left a huge hole at QB2, and another owner jumped right in by offering Roethlisberger.
Clearly, this team is competing, and I’m happy with the squad. On the squads where you’re doing well, are you staying put, or going for broke? I’d love to hear some trades from Championship contenders.
- Marcus Mariota and 1.08 for Tyler Eifert and 1.04 (Dalvin Cook)
- Jarvis Landry and a 2018 second for Stefon Diggs
Before Dalvin Cook’s injury, this team was hot. Now we’re looking at a 16-team league squad missing Andrew Luck, Cook, Greg Olsen and Tyler Eifert. If that wasn’t bad enough, Melvin Gordon, Duke Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are on a bye this week – this starting lineup doesn’t look pretty at all.
As for the mood, this week will be the life or death of me. If I can scrape a win, the starters return and byes are out of the way. With six teams on better records, and four on the same, a loss will likely mean the end of the run. If that’s the case, I’ll dive right to my favorite rebuilding strategy of acquiring injured players. Realistically, it’s a young team with some stars returning, and the aim will be to turn draft capital and current production into players who can help next season.
One word of advice to rebuilders: if you’re opportunistic, a turnaround could be quicker than you think. Rather than acquiring all the rookies, buy the injured players. When next season rolls around, seek cheap veterans and you could be challenging immediately.
- Marshawn Lynch for Jeremy Maclin
- Spencer Ware for 2.09 (JuJu Smith-Schuster)
- 2.04 for 2.07 (Alvin Kamara) and a 2018 second
- Jeremy Maclin for LeSean McCoy
- Week eight – Wendell Smallwood for DeMarco Murray
As mentioned in the previous section, rebuilds can happen quicker than you think if you take your chances. This is a squad that I took over in a dispersal and rebuilt with four of the top 19 picks in this year’s rookie draft. Still, we should always aim to win as soon as possible.
I had luck and timing on my side in one series of trades. Ultimately, Christine Michael was turned into LeSean McCoy in one off-season. Michael was dropped for Marshawn Lynch with rumors of his return, Lynch was moved for Maclin when he did sign with Oakland, and Maclin’s move to Baltimore moved his value up enough to get McCoy in return. Anything is possible!
The team is 4-4, so we’ve got a shot. Until this team is out of contention, we are fighting to win now. After a couple more wins, I may even go after more vets.
- Ty Montgomery, Jordan Reed and a 2018 second for Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates
- Jonathan Williams and $110 of $120 devy for Elijah Holyfield
- Week seven – Jacoby Brissett, Duke Johnson, Robby Anderson and a 2018 third for LeSean McCoy and Jimmy Graham
In week seven, I doubled down for this year in a blockbuster trade, shipping a bunch of youngsters for an (as of that time) underperforming McCoy and Graham. Before the trade, McCoy had 279 rushing yards and no touchdowns. In the two games after, he had 242 yards, three total touchdowns and scored a whopping 29 PPR points in both. Graham has had three scores of his own.
When you make moves to win right now, it’s extremely disappointing not to go home with the title. Are any of you in a golden year where anything other than a win would be a let-down?
- Gave up all my 2017 devy and rookie dollars for startup cash
Cinco is perhaps the most difficult league to make a decision on. Unlike the others, the nature of the startup meant seven teams went all in for now, and five looked towards the future. Unfortunately for me, I’m currently sitting as the seventh of seven and out of the playoff spots.
I spent an insane $276 of $400 startup dollars (69 percent) on Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota and Odell Beckham. We know the deal with Luck and OBJ, and Mariota has missed time and underperformed when on the field. The ‘future’ teams don’t have too many veteran assets worth targeting while the ‘now’ teams have no interest in selling players scoring points for them. It’s quite the pickle.
Realistically, we’ll have to ride it out and see what comes next. Nevertheless, the team is scoring fairly well, and I face the teams directly above and below me this week. It’ll be huge for playoff hopes.
How are your teams doing? Are you in any tough spots, not knowing what to do next?
It would be unfair finish a Dynasty Diaries entry without offering a few of the players I’d be targeting in dynasty right now, as many of you will likely be weighing up trades and deciding who to acquire or avoid.
Now is the time to get Aaron Rodgers and/or Andrew Luck. If you’re in a 2QB or superflex league and you’re holding on to those 2018 draft picks for dear life, let go if you have the chance to bag one of these two. They are the building blocks for teams that want to compete in coming years. Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers are probably your cheapest quick fixes. I posted my full 2QB/Superflex rankings earlier this week.
Any suspension offers a chance for a discount, and as soon as Ezekiel Elliott finally gets his suspension (if ever) there may be one shot to prize him away from his owners. I do believe DeMarco Murray will still be the feature back for the rest of the season (and possibly longer), so if you can acquire him for this year, go ahead. I’d expect this month to be the biggest dip for David Johnson and Dalvin Cook as others rise.
T.Y. Hilton isn’t performing to the level we’re used to, and that presents an opportunity to buy a star. Both Brandin Cooks and Sammy Watkins aren’t living up to very high expectations, but they are both super young and talented. He’ll be back on the field on Sunday, but there may be one last chance to buy Corey Davis before he breaks out in the second half of this year.
Also, another rookie receiver has gone completely off the radar. Check out this tweet by Ryan McDowell:
Top rookies based on Nov. dynasty ADP:
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) November 3, 2017
Someone missing? John Ross. The ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft has been forgotten about because of the lack of immediate impact. Naturally, his value to owners will be higher than to those drafting in a mock startup, but it’s worth asking the question.
As Ryan’s tweet again highlighted, two players who were first round rookie draft picks (David Njoku and OJ Howard) haven’t really burst on the scene yet. Did you expect them to? I’d love to have either. If you’re contending, make sure you find out what type of squad Greg Olsen is on. There shouldn’t be an issue with chemistry with Cam Newton for the last month of the season, and he can play from week 12 on at a position where pickings are slim.
As well as editing for DLF, James writes for Sky Sports and can be found on Twitter at @JS_Football