Dynasty Fantasy Football Novice: Episode One

Brandon Pauley

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series by new dynasty writer Brandon Pauley. Please provide any feedback and suggestions in the comments.

So, you’ve conquered the world of redraft and dominated the realm of best ball, you now look forward to a more challenging but rewarding task. May I suggest dynasty?

While other fantasy football leagues provide challenges and fun, nothing is quite as rewarding as hoisting a dynasty league trophy into the air and unleashing a verbal assault paired with a GIF offensive in the direction of your friends and family.

What makes dynasty the superior choice for your next conquest?

Whether we admit it or even realize it, we play this game, in part, because we love the rush of being placed into the general manager seat for a year-long voyage. As football fans, we love the feeling of getting a hidden gem late in drafts or even off the waiver wire. We also love watching our favorite players on Monday night have a career game when it means sending Bob into Tuesday morning therapy. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to the redraft game is every year you are forced to wipe the board clean and start from scratch. Your favorite player that you overpaid to get? Gone. The undrafted diamond in the rough that led you to a title? Bye.

Why not reward yourself for your outstanding abilities as a general manager? Well, dynasty allows you to do just that. It allows you the ability to assemble a team for the foreseeable future and see what that team can do over the course of several years. Of course, with the good always comes bad, as with everything. Sure, redraft leagues swipe you of an undervalued stud, but it also grants you the ability to reset after every season, no matter what mistakes you may or may not have made that year. As a long-time fantasy football player, I’m familiar with making bold moves and being thankful for the opportunity to wipe the slate clean at the end of every season.

Before we get you signed up for your first dynasty league (might I suggest dynastyleaguefootball.com) let’s run through the differences between redraft and dynasty. One of my personal favorite features of dynasty is the different landscapes of teams and the different goals for each team, each year.

For example, Team One may be a contending team and looking to “reload” for a possible championship run. In this instance, this manager is more willing to offer premium picks for proven veterans, despite their age or injury history. However, on the other side of the negotiating table is Team Two. Team Two is entering more of a rebuild, looking to trade their proven veterans in exchange for a young player or draft picks. The beauty of dynasty is that you will see trades and moves made that would certainly catch your eye in a redraft setting.

In what redraft league would you see Cooper Kupp traded for Breece Hall? Or Drake London being able to fetch Stefon Diggs in return? Would you trade Christian McCaffrey straight up for Javonte Williams If you wanted to win this year alone?

As stated above, these types of deals are common in dynasty, as there are multiple routes to take to compete and achieve success. In many deals, one team receives a proven veteran in hopes of winning a championship, with little to no regard for next year or the future. On the other side, one team receives a package of younger players in hopes of rebuilding and competing in the future. Honestly, sometimes the most difficult thing is to know if you are reloading or rebuilding and then making the correct moves to do so.

Another difference in dynasty is that age is often viewed as a significant factor in player value, thus should be factored in as early as your draft plans. If you have a young player you want to be the anchor of your franchise, you may do so and do so for the next decade. Unfortunately, the rest of your league may want to do the same and realize the ability to hold said player for years into the future. With that said, if you truly want a younger player, you may need to be willing to pay a little richer of a price tag. As stated, if you believe Kyler Murray would be an incredible asset to your team, due to age and talent, the rest of your league likely has the same thought. My personal advice is if you are “all in” on any player, you may want to take him a round earlier than his ADP would suggest.

In the same breath, unlike in redrafts, a player’s previous success does not define their current value. For example, a 26-year-old Alvin Kamara has proven to be a stud his entire career and despite finishing as RB8 last season, you may not receive RB8 compensation in any deal involving him. To a first-time dynasty manager, this may be among the most difficult switches to make in terms of logic and strategy. As many fantasy football managers before us – many smarter than me – have said: “I’d rather be a year early than a year late.”

Frankly, with no knowledge of dynasty, we are entering this arena with the notion that we are playing the stock market ladies and gentlemen. Yes, that’s right. We’re going full “buy low, sell high” in efforts to bring home those shiny trophies to sit on the fireplace mantle for the next 10-12 months, collecting dust.

Finally, among the most important pieces of strategy you will need is what positions to value over others. Ultimately, you will want to look at the players who remain “at their peaks” longest, so quarterbacks (assuming superflex) and wide receivers often rule fantasy, with difference-making tight ends following and running backs bringing up the rear.

Now that we have gotten a little more familiar with dynasty and the differences, I invite you to join me as I embark on my first dynasty fantasy football experience. I am a lifelong redraft manager but, as I stated earlier, I’m looking to take on a different challenge and aim for extended success. Our first stop on this adventure will be the startup draft, entering a 12-team, superflex, points per reception, tight end premium league. In case you’ve forgotten or simply didn’t know, this means that we will receive a point for every catch on our team and now the tight end position has become even more important. With that knowledge, I will enter hoping to grab a talented young signal-caller like Murray, Lamar Jackson or Joe Burrow and a difference-maker at tight end like Mark Andrews or Kyle Pitts with my first two picks. Unfortunately, and possibly more entertaining, is that I will have no clue what the board will look like before I’m on the clock.

So, you’ve stumbled across this article by fate, why not join a fellow rookie dynasty manager and learn this game together? I’ve played fantasy football since 2006 and am entering this new arena for the challenge, so I extend an invitation to you in hopes you’ll join me to make some memories along the way, possibly learn some things we didn’t already know and if we’re lucky, have a few laughs… and of course win a few games.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Novice: Episode One