Dynasty League Football


How To Fill an Opening in a Dynasty Fantasy Football League

Are you a dynasty commissioner looking to fill a league spot? We have a guide just for you.

Patrick Mahomes

As a dynasty fantasy football commissioner, I have a love/hate relationship with the off-season. Things like adding the incoming NFL rookies to the player pool and creating new startup leagues are exciting, but trying to fill open spots in existing leagues can be a hassle without the right resources.

That’s where this commish guide comes in. Here is how to fill an opening in a dynasty league.


It probably goes without saying, but if you’re commishing a dynasty football league, make sure to have your league rules buttoned up before inviting more people into the league. If there are any bylaw changes that your league wanted to make, take care of them before adding new people. This will keep the new managers from being confused about any details of the league they’re joining.

Which Spots are Open?

The first step is to figure out who will return for the upcoming season and who plans to call it quits. To give yourself ample opportunity to find a new manager, I recommend figuring this out as soon as possible. Especially if you’re playing with people you’ve only met online, the easiest way to do this is to set an early deadline for everyone to pay their league dues. Setting the fee deadline to align with an NFL date makes it easy to remember. Common options include things like the start of NFL playoffs, the first day of the NFL Combine, or the start of the NFL Draft.

Tip: Make it clear in your league bylaws that if people aren’t paid up by the due date, then the team is considered abandoned and you’ll work to find a replacement for their spot.

Evaluate the Open Team(s)

Once you find out which team(s) are open, it’s time to review all of the team assets – this includes all players (including devy/taxi, if appropriate) and rookie picks. What you’re trying to do is weigh the combined assets against what an average team would look like in a similar league. It’s okay if the team is loaded with studs but light on rookie picks or vice versa since those assets can balance each other out. As the fantasy football commissioner, you’ll also want to consider how the open team(s) compare to the strong and weak teams in the league.

Unfortunately, a lot of times, it’s the weakest teams that are left open. In this case, consider giving some benefit to help entice a new manager. Examples include giving the team an extra rookie pick or extra rookie auction money, giving the team extra FAAB, or offsetting their league dues so they can play the first season at no cost or half-price.

Decision Time: How to Allocate Resources to New Managers

Okay, so now you’ve got a handle on the assets that are available, it’s time to decide how you’ll divvy up the assets between the new managers. If you only had one open team, congrats because this step will be very easy on you. The new manager will simply take over the open team, including all players and draft picks. If your dynasty league had multiple open teams, that’s where the decisions come into play.

Dispersal (draft or auction): For those who aren’t familiar, a dispersal is where you take all of the assets from all of the impacted teams and place them into a communal draft pool. Then, each manager takes turns drafting from the limited pool to create their team. This is my favorite way of handling open teams for a couple of reasons. One, it helps balance out teams if you had drastic differences between the strengths of the open teams. Two, it allows the new members of the league some freedom in creating their own team that fits their playstyle and preferences. This helps increase engagement with the league. Assign people their draft slots using your favorite randomizer (mine is 100 Yard Rush).

If your league is an auction league, then instead of running a dispersal draft, you’d run a dispersal auction. It is the same basic idea, but instead of determining a draft order, you’ll set everyone in the dispersal up with the same starting budget and away you go!

Tip: Consider allowing returning people the opportunity to opt into the dispersal pool, now often called the ‘Second Chance’ rule.

Orphan Takeover: The other option is to assign the entirety of the open team to the new managers in some way. Some leagues use ‘First Come, First Choice’ while others randomize the order managers pick from the available teams. Using this method can create ill will, especially if there is a large value difference between the orphan teams. However, it’s definitely the easier option on the commish so when the teams are fairly even, it can make sense to do it this way for the sake of simplicity.

Summarize Your League

Next up! Create a brief summary of your league. Here are some things to include:

  • Link to bylaws
  • League dues and how they’re collected such as LeagueSafe
  • High-level settings such as “12 team, PPR, superflex”
  • Link to the league site so potential managers can scout the league activity and the other teams
  • League communication platform
  • Link to available dispersal/orphan assets
  • Relevant deadlines (fee due date, draft date, etc.)

Spread the Word!

Last step – Let everyone know about your league opening(s). Use the summary you created in the step above and post to the several great options available. Here are some good ones to try:

Being prepared is half the battle. With a little bit of effort ahead of time, you’ll make your life as a commish significantly easier. Good luck finding new managers for your dynasty orphans!

Latest posts by Amy Garcia (see all)
How To Fill an Opening in a Dynasty Fantasy Football League
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1 month ago

I’m not a fan of dispersal drafts, for a couple of reasons.
First off, I want dedicated owners, owners who see it as a privilege or challenge to join my league, not approaching it as if they are doing me a favor and expect special treatment.
Also, if you do decide to do a dispersal draft, I think you need to open it to your current owners as well. Perhaps a hapless owner or two in your league would like a quick way to shake up their roster. They should have that option too if the new owners are having that opportunity. Plus, that would put even more players into the draft pool, so can lead to more diverse builds.

Samuel Judd
1 month ago

Nice article, turnover is sometimes inevitable and its tough out there as a commish to find the right personalities always to fill those vacancies. Best of luck to those doing the thankless job of commissioning leagues in a hobby we all spend way too much time with but love.
Shameless plug – League construct, people, community matters. I went from playing in countless vanilla leagues to trimming it to select few. If you’re not satisfied with the mass league approach I challenge you to check us out or a league close to it (none are like it 🙂 )

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