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robshady

IDP Dynasty League - Streaming vs Contracts

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First post here, but long time FBG subscriber. I joined my first IDP Dynasty league this year, and after the inaugural draft, I've got serious buyer's remorse for contracting IDP players. Bottom line is I think I'd be better off, with few exceptions, of streaming IDP players instead of contracting them. Here's the background:

League overview

  • 14 starters each week: 8 on offense (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 SUPERFLEX, 1 FLEX) and 6 on defense (1 DT, 1 DE, 1 LB, 1 S, 1 CB, 1 FLEX)
  • 18 Bench Slots + 4-slot Taxi Squad
  • 2 IR Slots (PUP and worse only)
  • 0.5 PPR
  • 250M Salary Cap
  • 12 team dynasty

IDP scoring

  • 3 points for every 4 Assisted Tackles (0.75 per)
  • 3 points for every 2 Solo Tackles (1.5 per)
  • 3 points for every 2 Passes Defended (1.5 per)
  • 2 points for every Tackle for Loss
  • 2 points for every Sack 
  • 3 points for every Fumble Recovered
  • 4 points for every Fumble Forced
  • 6 points for every Interception
  • 6 points for every Defensive TD
  • 6 points for every Blocked Kick
  • 6 points for every Conversion Return

Without going into extreme detail on how the contracts work (and consequential heavy cap hits for dropping players under contract), here's an illustrative example of players on my team and their contracts:

  • Matt Ryan: 4 yrs at 18M/yr
  • Christian McCaffrey: 5 yrs at 5.5M/yr
  • Michael Thomas: 4 yrs at 16M/yr
  • Zack Ertz: 4 yrs at 8M/yr
  • Malik Jackson: 3 yrs at 7M/yr
  • Zach Brown: 3 yrs at 11M/yr
  • Micah Hyde: 3 yrs at 7M/yr
  • Demarcus Lawrence: 4 yrs at 8.5M/yr

The salary structure was created to mirror NFL contract averages. I have no issues with the offensive player contracts. The dropoff in talent from top tier QB/RB/WR/TEs to the waiver wire scraps can be pretty dramatic, so those guys are worth contracting. But here's the kicker for me: free agent acquisitions get a 1 year 1M contract. And if you drop them, you get immediate cap relief (the 1M doesn't count for current year) at the cost of only a 100K cap hit the next year.

So why am I committed to the highly dynasty rated DT Malik Jackson for 21M over three years when I can pick up guys like Jarran Reed for peanuts? Or Kiko Alonso vs 33M for Zach Brown, or Jamal Adams vs 21M for Micah Hyde... Every week FBG lineup dominator shows me better IDP players avail on the wire than I have under contract, with few exceptions (e.g. Lawrence or Chandler Jones). In fact, I could pick up and drop IDP players 70 times for the cost of rostering Malik Jackson just one year. It's obvious, right? And streaming lets me avoid injury risks and play optimal matchups.

Further evidence that streaming IDP in a salary cap league is a sound strategy:

  • 4 of the top 10 CB are avail (by scoring avg year to date)
  • 2 of the top 10 S are avail
  • 3 of the top 10 DL are avail
  • 4 of the top 10 LB are avail (seriously, the IDP money position...)

You might assume my league is composed of a bunch of newbies or morons based on the above, but the reality is everyone is committed to their drafted players under contract, and they simply don't have enough bench spots to pick up rising talent, or alternatively take a 10M cap hit for dropping a guy like Zach Brown to pick up Kiko Alonso.

Unfortunately it'll take me 2/3 years to shed these IDP contracts for reasonable cap hits, but I'm thinking I can do that, stream IDP players, and free up that cap space to overspend on offensive player free agent auctions (assuming the rest of the league doesn't catch on and keep signing dumb IDP contracts).

Am I missing something? Don't buy the cow when the milk is damn near free...

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It may be the right choice for your league but it definitely isn't the right choice in all leagues.  This may be avoided by having a soft cap in season and increasing bench spots.  Then it makes it easier to go after free agents which will help thin the talent on the waiver wire.  There is no way there should be four top 10 LB's on the waiver wire.  That is a big problem. 

 

I might also suggest increasing the number of IDP starters to match the offensive side.  That will give some more value to the IDP side.  In order for the IDP side to matter you have to make them equal to their offensive counterparts.  If they don't score as much and you need less of them it really minimizes their importance and leads to streaming all IDP's all the time. 

 

It would also be helpful to understand how your contracts work to see if it is worth it to give contracts to anybody.

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The league rules are set, I don't anticipate the commish (who isn't me) changing the parameters anytime soon. It's not that lopsided at 8 offense vs 6 defense starters though. And we have 30 roster spots, not including 2 IR and 4 person taxi.

If I were to keep any of my FA acquisitions, I'd have to award them a new 2-5 year contract with an annual value based on their positional ranking, cross referenced with NFL salaries. So, for example, say I pick up Kiko Alonso and he finishes the year as the 6th rated LB, I'd have to pay him $12.3M/yr, which is the 6th highest LB salary (Clowney). Or I could drop him, and bid on him via auction and likely get a better deal. Or let him walk and pick up the next LB wonder for almost nothing, and free up money to go big on a QB free agent...

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1 hour ago, robshady said:

The league rules are set, I don't anticipate the commish (who isn't me) changing the parameters anytime soon. It's not that lopsided at 8 offense vs 6 defense starters though. And we have 30 roster spots, not including 2 IR and 4 person taxi.

If I were to keep any of my FA acquisitions, I'd have to award them a new 2-5 year contract with an annual value based on their positional ranking, cross referenced with NFL salaries. So, for example, say I pick up Kiko Alonso and he finishes the year as the 6th rated LB, I'd have to pay him $12.3M/yr, which is the 6th highest LB salary (Clowney). Or I could drop him, and bid on him via auction and likely get a better deal. Or let him walk and pick up the next LB wonder for almost nothing, and free up money to go big on a QB free agent...

This just seems like a bad idea for fantasy because the value in real life is way different than in fake football.  Because of this I can see why you would want to stream all defense because the salaries are going to be way out of wack.  

 

As far as awarding a contract, do you do that at the end of the year or do you have to pick a contract length and then wait to see what the value is?  It seems like you have some flexibility if you don't have to decide on contracts until after the year has concluded. 

 

It seems like just auctioning players or going waiver wire makes a lot of sense based on your structure. 

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47 minutes ago, Gally said:

This just seems like a bad idea for fantasy because the value in real life is way different than in fake football.  Because of this I can see why you would want to stream all defense because the salaries are going to be way out of wack.  

 

As far as awarding a contract, do you do that at the end of the year or do you have to pick a contract length and then wait to see what the value is?  It seems like you have some flexibility if you don't have to decide on contracts until after the year has concluded. 

 

It seems like just auctioning players or going waiver wire makes a lot of sense based on your structure. 

New contracts are awarded during the offseason, after the rookie draft. I can pick the number of years, between two and five, but the annual value is based on NFL salaries. I agree with your thoughts though, based on how this league is structured, streaming IDP is the best way. I'll probably keep a few IDP studs on contract to obfuscate my strategy for as long as I can.

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