Five Dynasty Confessions

Ryan Finley

Here we are, embroiled in the NFL playoffs, one of my favorite times of the year. As I watch the teams that have been oh-so-much-better than my beloved Bears, I can’t help but turn my mind to my dynasty squads. One of the things I love to do every off-season is attempting to take an honest look at my teams and my overall management of those teams. I may have won a couple of championships this year, but I also failed to make the playoffs in quite a few leagues. Nobody’s perfect, right?

So this is the time I really have to ask myself the tough questions. Where did I go wrong? What mistakes did I make that I can correct for next year? Well, I find out quite often that I repeat the same mistakes across several leagues. Let’s face it, we all have some bad dynasty habits. With that in mind, I thought I’d ask around and see if any staffers felt the same. I know we all have these bad dynasty habits, so I thought I’d ask the team to share with me some of theirs. Let’s take a look at what dirty secrets I unearthed.

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Matt Price

“My name is Matt Price and I have a problem. I can’t say no to league invitations because I’m addicted to startup drafts and auctions. This has led to my worst dynasty habit, which is not being diligent on the waiver wire each and every week, especially in deeper leagues. I went from ten leagues in 2016 to 15 in 2017 and it’s made weekly waivers a daunting chore. I plan to combat this by actually, seriously, I promise for real this time, cutting a few leagues and refusing any invitations to add new leagues… okay, fine, let’s not get crazy here. Maybe just *one* new startup in 2018…”

Don’t worry Matt, this is a safe place. Thank you for sharing!

I really feel Matt’s pain. Becoming a writer can be a bit of a double-edged sword in this area. It seemed once I started with DLF, it came with a flood of interesting league invites. We have the opportunity to play in interesting leagues with strong owners, and it can be tough to turn those opportunities down.

Who doesn’t love a start-up draft? It always seems just fine when you’re in the early stages, but then you realize you have to manage waivers, trades, and lineups for X number of teams. It can get overwhelming. I went from three leagues when I started at DLF to around ten last year. I plan to drop at least one or two, as I found it was just too many to manage. The scary part (for me) is that there are guys out there with a LOT more than ten leagues. I honestly don’t know how they do it!

Nick Canzanese

“I tend to overreact to small samples of poor play of my own players. For example, during the middle of this season, I desperately tried to move Alshon Jeffery for much lower than his perceived value when he was struggling to produce. I am fortunate that no one bit on my offers! The lesson I learned is that I need to let more of the season play out before jettisoning my own underperforming players.”

I think that we’ve all been in this situation. A key player you were depending on just isn’t getting it done, and maybe he’s looking bad on the field. Sometimes our first instinct is to desperately try to move that player before they lose all value. But when you get down to it, this is dynasty we play here. Hopefully, our cooler heads prevail and we don’t overreact to small samples of bad play. We just need to remember that we develop the value we see in players over longer periods. Let’s let the redraft crowd worry about the shorter-term swings.

Austan Kas

“I tend to focus too much on the present, and that manifests itself in a few ways. The most glaring of which is I sometimes don’t place enough value on unproven assets (picks and young players). When I have a quality team, I almost always make mid-season trades. These involve me giving away future assets for more proven players in an effort to bolster my chances at a title run in the current campaign. While this mindset has helped me in some instances, it has hurt me in others. I need to find a better balance in my dynasty philosophy.”

I’ve played in leagues with Austan (and made trades with him) so I know full-well he values veteran players more than most dynasty owners. Austan is looking to compete and win every year, and I can really respect that. I tend to do this myself, as I’m more interested in trying to win every year than over-reacting to the crop of new faces that come into the league every season. Still, this kind of philosophy can harm your team’s long-term prognosis. I sometimes likely don’t get as much as I should for my picks, and I also often hold onto veterans until they have no value left at all. It’s a balancing act that both Austan and myself have to learn.

Noah Ballweg

“There’s one area of concern I continually find myself evaluating throughout the season. It’s my inability to move on from players have consistently been ineffective but I jumped up in the draft to pick. It’s similar to my favorite dress-shirt I pick out for dates (the same one my wife always tells me to put back). I love to pull it out of the closet and fit it into my lineup, but I’m always let down by its performance. These players are no different. Eventually, they cost me a few losses throughout the season and find their way to my bench, only to sneak back in after one good performance. (For example, Ameer Abdullah, and Jeremy Maclin.)”

I hear you, Noah. My wife is just as important to saving me from my own lack of fashion sense. It can be hard to give up on players we really loved at one point or another. We often plant our flags, and it can be very hard to let go. But you can see why this happens, can’t you? Sometimes even those players left for dead suddenly surge back up into the fantasy consciousness. (Nelson Agholor, anyone?) But at the same time, we have to know when to hold tjem and know when to cut bait and make room on the bench for someone else.

Jeff Haverlack

“I’ve made my living in dynasty from back in the day through major scouting and analysis starting when the players are in college. I consider myself to be a “true” dynasty player in that I’m seeking to build a dynasty-capable team. This means I desire youth and production over veterans and old(er) players.

I’ve learned to trust my own scouting research and player assessments, but like any analyst, it’s fraught with failure that can take a long time to play out in the NFL. I tend to stay true to my assessments and fail to cut bait when it should be obvious the player isn’t going to develop. This, when combined with trying to build through youth, can take a lot of management and more luck than building with ‘known’ production.”

Jeff hits us here with a bit of a combo confession, he sees the perils of always building through youth (sort of the opposite problem that Austan shared above) but also suffers from the same problems as Noah with a failure to sometimes move on from players when he should. It is hard to build teams effectively through youth. One problem is that if you get a few things wrong, it can cripple you for longer periods. It can be easier to build with known assets, but even that can blow up in our faces.


So there you have it, five dynasty confessions from some of the staff here at DLF. When looking at these various issues, I see a bit of a throughline. All of them, at their core, are about a lack of balance. The problems that all the writers describe in some way deal with going too far in one direction or another. Sometimes that direction is how we value veterans, how we value youth, or perhaps in how strongly we cling to our own player evaluations.

I think we love this game because of these very difficulties. Would dynasty be any fun if there were no risk, no question marks? I think not. We need to have some time to lose if we’re going to enjoy it when we happen to win. So take heart, if you have some mistakes you made, most of us probably made them, too. The only thing we can do is roll up our sleeves, get back to work and see what we might be able to do better in 2018. Good luck in the new year!