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Concept Coop

Coop's Dynasty Rules Of Thumb

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I won the championship in 3 of my 4 dynasty leagues and largely credit these rules of thumb. I'm an impulsive person, so I've learned to rely on rules to curb my would-be moments of impulsivity, when it comes to things like budgeting and time management. I saw immediate and drastic results as soon as I applied this to fantasy football. I know this is a little :pointsatownshirt:, but I hope it sparks dialog or helps other owners.

(Keep in my mind that I came up with these through trial and error and with only myself in mind; I'm not claiming they're universal; of course there are exceptions to every rule; I'm not claiming that luck didn't play a role.)

At core my philosophy is: Invest all available value into starting lineup, creating "churn-able" roster spots in order to maximize potential weekly output and waiver wire value, and backfill depth. I don't think that is particularly novel, but I do think I push it more than the majority. My stance on rookie picks is probably pretty out there.  

Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate (This should be a given, but really go for fit. Consolidate more than it is comfortable to. Have the most churn-able roster spots in the league.)
-Trade depth for upgrades in the starting lineup
-Keep favorite WW prospects and trade the rest ASAP (for picks, BB$, or to upgrade another part)
-Limit the number of QBs, TEs, and DSTs on roster
-Aim to acquire the best player in every deal
-Be willing to overpay for your guys

Trade rookie picks
Rookie picks are most valuable as trade assets and prospects can waste roster space. 
-Trade rookie picks for proven assets or future picks (Trading late 1sts for future 1sts is a favorite of mine – all reward, no risk, opens a roster spot)
-The premium for targeting a player after a promising start to his career, rather than during the rookie draft, is well worth it
-Absolutely no drafting QBs, WRs, or TEs
-Elite RBs an exception (Zeke, Barkley, Fournette, Gurley, Richardson)

Bargain shop at QB
QBs are hard to trade for good value and easy to land at a discount, once considered old.
-No premium assets invested in the QB position, until rest of starting lineup is maximized 
-Target QBs as soon as the market considers them old 
-QBBC: Have 2 solid options and play match-ups  

Go big or go home at TE
TEs take a long time to develop, are scheme dependent, and only the elite options make a material difference.
-Pay full price for proven elite options (Ertz/Kelce/Kittle) or bargain shop
-Don’t draft them or get attached to WW finds

Other
-Avoid sunk cost fallacy: move on quickly from mistakes and don't let past investment dictate future moves
-Don't get attached to players
-(Latest entry) Don't make trades with future trades in mind (don't assume you can flip for profit)

Examples:
I landed Philip Lindsay in 3 of my 4 leagues. Not because I spent time scouting him, but because I had the rosters spots to take chances on a lot of guys. Once he was on my roster, I watched him closely and decided that he was a keeper (though I did add to him for Guice in one league).  

Traded Hunt, Wilson, Tate, 2nd for Zeke, 1st, Carr (last off-season). Not to pretend I saw the Hunt thing coming, but even ignoring the outcome, this is a great example of deals that I like to seek out. I upgraded one of my starting spots, got market value for a high-end QB, and opened up rosters spots. 

Traded Cooper, Ingram, Rosen for Hill. Upgrade a starting spot, open up rosters spots, get a QB off of my roster. 

En example of me acting against my rules of thumb and really regretting it: Traded Hill, Jackson for Fournette, Boyd. I really like Boyd, but the trade was always going to come down to Fournette vs Hill. I had no business trading the safer and more valuable asset. I got cute and paid for it. 

Rosters: to give you an idea of how I like to build my teams. Starters bolded. All 12 Tm PPR, 1x QB. 

Team 1  (Ommegang) 12-1, won championship*
Q - Ryan, Rivers
R - Zeke, Kamara, Fournette, Thompson
W - Hopkins, Thomas, Thielen, Watkins, Foster
T - Ertz
Churn-able roster spots: 12/25
*Got away from my rules far too often this year. 

Team 2 (Bullet Club) 12-1, won championship
Q - Rodgers, Allen
R - Barkley, Zeke, Kamara, Mixon, Ito
W - Juju, Evans, Tate
T - Engram, Everett
Churn-able roster spots: 13/25

Team 3 (Bullet Club) 11-2, won championship (startup season)
Q - Ben, Dak
R - Kamara, Mixon, Lindsay, White, Thompson
W - OBJ, Julio, Ridley, Tate, Anderson, Smith, Samuel 
T - Graham, Everett
Churn-able roster spots: 12/28

Team 4 (Bullet Club) 9-4, lost in first round, injury bug
Q - Wentz, Mayfield, Dak, Allen (I know)
R - Kamara, Cook, Guice, Lindsay, Thompson
W - OBJ, Kupp, Boyd, Ridley, Smith, MVS
T - Reed, Everett
Churn-able roster spots: 12/28

A few notes: I use the rankings of ZWK and Ryan McDowell at DLF as a 2nd/3rd opinion. I use the DTC trade calculator to help build quality offers. (I'm typically very active and careful not to offend with lowballs.)
 

 

 

Edited by Concept Coop
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Great post, I like it much better than the typical "dynasty strategy discussion" posting.  Maybe because you were a bit more descriptive and specific.

You've got a lot of studs on your teams, so no surprise you performed well.  But I'd like to know how you acquired all those guys (like your example with Zeke).

I'm trying to talk myself into being a little more redraft-like in my dynasty approach (i.e. churn-able).

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I recently subscribed to the only focus on starting lineup strategy. Why do I care what my bench does?

It's really all about the acquisition of stud players. I will give up any combination of non-stud players and picks to land the guy who's gonna score me 25-30 points a game.

 

As much as it seems like RBs are what win championships. I really think the focus should be on acquiring stud receivers.

RBs come and go, quickly. Ride the WW and get production there for free.

Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and AJ Green have been fantasy gold for years. I'll take them over a RB who's gonna tear his ACL and get replaced.

 

Obviously there are exceptions like Gurley and Barkley. But you're never gonna pry those guys away for fair value.

Why would you trade a Top 5 asset? You wouldn't.

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3 hours ago, zed2283 said:

Great post, I like it much better than the typical "dynasty strategy discussion" posting.  Maybe because you were a bit more descriptive and specific.

You've got a lot of studs on your teams, so no surprise you performed well.  But I'd like to know how you acquired all those guys (like your example with Zeke).

I'm trying to talk myself into being a little more redraft-like in my dynasty approach (i.e. churn-able).

Sticking to the first league, these are the deals that took me from below average to dominant in a couple years. (There were others, but these are the core deals. I might be forgetting a piece here or there):

Kamara: Traded McCoy, D.Thomas, 3rd (2017, mid-season)
Hopkins: Traded Dez, L.Murray (2016, at trade deadlins)
Thomas: Traded mid 1st round pick (2016, mid-season)
Ertz: Traded T.Coleman, Ekeler, 3rd (2017)
Gordon: (later traded for Freeman, then Freeman for Hunt) Golden Tate (2015/16 offseason, Gordon had just had knee surgery)
Green: (later traded for Dez + Funchess) : (2016) Traded mid first round pick that I got for a late first the prior offseason
Traded Freeman, Hyde, 1st for Hunt, Wentz (2017)

A few from the other leagues:
Traded Luck for 2x 1sts (2017 draft) that were later traded for OBJ (2018 draft)
Traded Gronk for Kamara/Wentz (2017)
Traded OBJ/Freeman for Barkley/Cook (2018 draft)
Traded Cook/Boyd for Mixon (2016) (MIght not make that trade today, but it fits)
Traded Gronk/Drake for Mixon/Ben (early 2018 season)
Traded Hunt/Cobb/Westbrook/2nd for Juju/Engram (2017/18 offseason)
Traded Newton for Kupp (2017)
Traded Green and Dez for OBJ (2016/17)
 

Edited by Concept Coop

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31 minutes ago, The Fearless said:

As much as it seems like RBs are what win championships. I really think the focus should be on acquiring stud receivers.

RBs come and go, quickly. Ride the WW and get production there for free.

Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and AJ Green have been fantasy gold for years. I'll take them over a RB who's gonna tear his ACL and get replaced.

I've gone back and forth on this so many times in my decade of play. 

Today I take value where I can get it. If that's at the WR spot - great. If that's at the RB spot - great. Stud WRs are safer and last longer, while stud RBs score more points and are more likely to win your league. 

I think the key is to go young and stay young at RB. You do that by knowing when to trade your studs. You add to Bell/DJ for Gurley (back when you could) and then add to Gurley for Barkley. 

Edited by Concept Coop
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Solid post/advice! I’m in 2 dynasty leagues and won the Championship in both this year. My strategy was pretty simple and followed your first rule... I invested heavily in my starters. In fact in both leagues we start 9 players and I only carried 11 players. Meaning I had only 2 players on my bench. In one of my leagues those 2 players were Sam Bradford and Isiah Crowell, so basically I had no bench and I also had Evan Engram as my only TE who missed 6 weeks of the season. I barely made the playoffs then steamrolled the playoffs thanks in part to Derrick Henry’s late season explosion. In short though, I was aggressive in trades and many times was perceived to have “lost” the trade on paper but my starting lineups were pretty much stacked in both leagues. 

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I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to FF. I had my best year ever in FF this season, and it was mainly down to widespread ownership of Mahomes/Tyreek/JuJu/Ebron, all of whom I got either in the rookie draft or on waivers before they broke out. If I had followed the "never draft QB/WR/TE" suggestion then I probably wouldn't have gotten those guys, and those guys carried my teams. However, what works for one owner might not work for another, and what worked in one season might not work the next. Correlation in a small sample size does not equal causation.

Personally, if I had to try to condense my core dynasty philosophy into a few bullet points, I'd probably say:

1. Identify the players whose market price is most out of sync with your valuation and act accordingly in your drafts/trades/waivers. If your roster is roughly akin to a stock portfolio then of course you'd want to buy/hold cheap stocks before they spike and sell/avoid overvalued stocks before they fall. If you can do that (easier said than done), you'll always be growing the value of your team. This is where I focus most of my time in FF.

2. Prioritize elite players over depth. Depth is important, but depth is easier to acquire than difference-makers, which is pretty intuitive if you think about it. If there are 30 guys in the league who score 10 ppg then there might only be 5 guys who score 20 ppg. The consequence of this is that true difference makers are harder to find, whereas depth is relatively easy to acquire. Thus if you have a roster with a few superstars and poor depth, you'll have an easier time improving your roster than you will if you have a team with lots of mediocre depth, but no stars. Elite players are gold in FF and must be guarded carefully.

3. Prioritize long-term value over immediate roster needs. Maybe this doesn't apply to everyone, but I've always found that my biggest mistakes happen when I prioritize immediate concerns over long-term value. The future comes quickly in dynasty FF and certain assets that are overvalued by the consensus can decay very quickly, so if a trade "feels" wrong then I'll usually avoid it, even if consensus rankings say I "should" do the deal. Usually when I go against my gut, I regret it.

4. Be proactive at all times. Don't flip your roster simply for the sake of boredom, but don't get complacent. Try to make every pick count, whether it's the 1.01 or the last pick in the draft. You never know when that random 3rd round rookie pick is going to become a savior like Jimmy Graham or Patrick Mahomes, so always try to make good decisions. Be on the lookout for waiver gems, as you never know when that open roster spot is going to turn into Chris Carson, Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, etc. You will never get these guys if you are sitting on your hands.

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19 minutes ago, Concept Coop said:

I've gone back and forth on this so many times in my decade of play. 

Today I take value where I can get it. If that's at the WR spot - great. If that's at the RB spot - great. Stud WRs are safer and last longer, while stud RBs score more points and are more likely to win your league. 

I think the key is to go young and stay young at RB. You do that by knowing when to trade your studs. You add to Bell/DJ for Gurley (back when you could) and then add to Gurley for Barkley. 

I like this. Think it's smart. I got Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry as my RB in my main dynasty.

They're great players, but championship winners? Not sure I'm not better off getting some quality WRs for either of them.

Wonder what quality of RB / WR I could get in a package deal for them.

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2 minutes ago, EBF said:

I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to FF. I had my best year ever in FF this season, and it was mainly down to widespread ownership of Mahomes/Tyreek/JuJu/Ebron, all of whom I got either in the rookie draft or on waivers before they broke out. If I had followed the "never draft QB/WR/TE" suggestion then I probably wouldn't have gotten those guys, and those guys carried my teams. However, what works for one owner might not work for another, and what worked in one season might not work the next. Correlation in a small sample size does not equal causation.

Personally, if I had to try to condense my core dynasty philosophy into a few bullet points, I'd probably say:

1. Identify the players whose market price is most out of sync with your valuation and act accordingly in your drafts/trades/waivers. If your roster is roughly akin to a stock portfolio then of course you'd want to buy/hold cheap stocks before they spike and sell/avoid overvalued stocks before they fall. If you can do that (easier said than done), you'll always be growing the value of your team. This is where I focus most of my time in FF.

2. Prioritize elite players over depth. Depth is important, but depth is easier to acquire than difference-makers, which is pretty intuitive if you think about it. If there are 30 guys in the league who score 10 ppg then there might only be 5 guys who score 20 ppg. The consequence of this is that true difference makers are harder to find, whereas depth is relatively easy to acquire. Thus if you have a roster with a few superstars and poor depth, you'll have an easier time improving your roster than you will if you have a team with lots of mediocre depth, but no stars. Elite players are gold in FF and must be guarded carefully.

I definitely agree with these two bullets. I think the accuracy of valuation is a HUGE advantage if you can nail it. It definitely helped me a ton on those “losing” trades. In fact your first point is probably the most beneficial one if you can get it right. 

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Just now, EBF said:

I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to FF. I had my best year ever in FF this season, and it was mainly down to widespread ownership of Mahomes/Tyreek/JuJu/Ebron, all of whom I got either in the rookie draft or on waivers before they broke out. If I had followed the "never draft QB/WR/TE" suggestion then I probably wouldn't have gotten those guys, and those guys carried my teams. However, what works for one owner might not work for another, and what worked in one season might not work the next. Correlation in a small sample size does not equal causation.

I absolutely agree. I'm impulsive and extremely active, sometimes to a fault, and don't watch ton of college ball. My rules of thumb help me account for that. I've absolutely seen guys dominate leagues based on routinely finding value in the rookie draft and giving their prospects time to pan out. 

 

1 minute ago, EBF said:

Personally, if I had to try to condense my core dynasty philosophy into a few bullet points, I'd probably say:

1. Identify the players whose market price is most out of sync with your valuation and act accordingly in your drafts/trades/waivers. If your roster is roughly akin to a stock portfolio then of course you'd want to buy/hold cheap stocks before they spike and sell/avoid overvalued stocks before they fall. If you can do that (easier said than done), you'll always be growing the value of your team. This is where I focus most of my time in FF.

2. Prioritize elite players over depth. Depth is important, but depth is easier to acquire than difference-makers, which is pretty intuitive if you think about it. If there are 30 guys in the league who score 10 ppg then there might only be 5 guys who score 20 ppg. The consequence of this is that true difference makers are harder to find, whereas depth is relatively easy to acquire. Thus if you have a roster with a few superstars and poor depth, you'll have an easier time improving your roster than you will if you have a team with lots of mediocre depth, but no stars. Elite players are gold in FF and must be guarded carefully.

3. Prioritize long-term value over immediate roster needs. Maybe this doesn't apply to everyone, but I've always found that my biggest mistakes happen when I prioritize immediate concerns over long-term value. The future comes quickly in dynasty FF and certain assets that are overvalued by the consensus can decay very quickly, so if a trade "feels" wrong then I'll usually avoid it, even if consensus rankings say I "should" do the deal. Usually when I go against my gut, I regret it.

4. Be proactive at all times. Don't flip your roster simply for the sake of boredom, but don't get complacent. Try to make every pick count, whether it's the 1.01 or the last pick in the draft. You never know when that random 3rd round rookie pick is going to become a savior like Jimmy Graham or Patrick Mahomes, so always try to make good decisions. Be on the lookout for waiver gems, as you never know when that open roster spot is going to turn into Chris Carson, Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, etc. You will never get these guys if you are sitting on your hands.

I think these are all good rules to follow. 

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13 minutes ago, Rhythmdoctor said:

I definitely agree with these two bullets. I think the accuracy of valuation is a HUGE advantage if you can nail it. It definitely helped me a ton on those “losing” trades. In fact your first point is probably the most beneficial one if you can get it right. 

Yea, for sure. Weirdly, I am watching less football than ever before, but I feel more confident in my ability to make the right calls than ever. Watching more basketball and soccer has really helped me develop a more nuanced understanding of what athleticism is and what elite athletes look like.

I definitely don't get my evaluations right all the time and I miss on lots of players, but another thing I'd point out is that you don't have to be right about every player.

This is an important point that I think is lost in the tendency to make comprehensive rankings that include every player. For example, most dynasty WR rankings will go 60-80 players deep. However, if I were doing a startup draft, I might only have 15-20 WRs on my list. Basically, I don't worry about trying to perfectly nail every player's exact worth. I only focus on the players for whom I have a high degree of confidence. If I KNOW that those guys are worth X then it doesn't matter what everybody else is worth because I only get one pick per round. If I hit with that pick then what happens to the other guys is irrelevant.

For example, I was always a pretty big JuJu fan and my faith never really wavered. On the other hand, I didn't really know what to make of Kamara, Ross, Hunt, and Howard. I had an opinion on them, but it was a lot more fluid. So when push came to shove and I had to actually draft one of these guys, I would always go with JuJu. I ended up getting him in the 1.05-1.10 range of several leagues. It turns out that I almost completely whiffed on my evaluations of Hunt and Kamara. Guess what? It doesn't matter because the guy I drafted instead of them has the same type of value.

I am repeating myself here, but in FF, you don't need to be right about every player because you're not going to draft every player. You only get one pick per round and long as you're right with that call, the rest doesn't really matter. This is why my actual draft board for redraft/dynasty/rookie is actually very short in most years. It's built almost entirely of players that I have a high degree of confidence in, and if I'm on the fence about a guy then I'll usually just avoid him because what happens to him essentially doesn't matter as long as "my guys" deliver what I expect.

 

Edited by EBF
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1 hour ago, The Fearless said:

I recently subscribed to the only focus on starting lineup strategy. Why do I care what my bench does?

Because when you lose Emmanuel Sanders, James Conner, and Melvin Gordon at inopportune times you have bullets like Mike Williams, Derrick Henry, and Josh Adams to fire. 

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31 minutes ago, Concept Coop said:

Sticking to the first league, these are the deals that took me from below average to dominant in a couple years. (There were others, but these are the core deals. I might be forgetting a piece here or there):

Kamara: Traded McCoy, D.Thomas, 3rd (2017, mid-season)
Hopkins: Traded Dez, L.Murray (2016, at trade deadlins)
Thomas: Traded mid 1st round pick (2016, mid-season)
Ertz: Traded T.Coleman, Ekeler, 3rd (2017)
Gordon: (later traded for Freeman, then Freeman for Hunt) Golden Tate (2015/16 offseason, Gordon had just had knee surgery)
Green: (later traded for Dez + Funchess) : (2016) Traded mid first round pick that I got for a late first the prior offseason
Traded Freeman, Hyde, 1st for Hunt, Wentz (2017)

A few from the other leagues:
Traded Luck for 2x 1sts (2017 draft) that were later traded for OBJ (2018 draft)
Traded Gronk for Kamara/Wentz (2017)
Traded OBJ/Freeman for Barkley/Cook (2018 draft)
Traded Cook/Boyd for Mixon (2016) (MIght not make that trade today, but it fits)
Traded Gronk/Drake for Mixon/Ben
Traded Hunt/Cobb/Westbrook/2nd for Juju/Engram

 

First, I think you're initial post is great. Lots of good insight and while I have tried to follow the consolidate studs approach in my leagues, I have found it really comes down to health when you go that route. In one league I have finished with a Bye 3 years running and have yet to win the big game, injuries (or in the case of Hunt, suspensions) suck.

Second, there are far too many owners in my leagues that sit on their kiester's and don't make trades. When about half my team went down this year in one league, I made trades to keep the momentum going and ended up in 2nd place losing by only 5 pts. I targeted young guys in trades as well (like Mixon) and so it didn't mortgage the future much at all. One thing I don't want to harp on too much is that I think a lot of those trades you listed are particularly one-sided in your favor at the time. However some of them were just recognizing when guys were at low points in the their value and capitalizing on that. For example, I'm jealous you were able to pry a guy like Hopkins away during his bad season for relatively cheap, his owners in my leagues were not willing to sell him at a discount. I take an approach almost exactly as @EBF describes treating all players as stocks basically and trying to buy low and sell high where I can, however it takes two to tango.

Unfortunately, many of my leaguemate's don't trade very often and they aren't going to do things like trade breaking out young guys like M. Thomas for mid-round picks or a top TE like Ertz for a couple of flyers. However, rather than get lost in some of the trades above, I think your OP had a lot of good meat in it. I think far too many players overvalue rookies and young flyers or guys with potential. Most of those dudes flame out and lose value quickly.

I don't really agree on passing on TE's/QB's but every league is different. One of my strategies is to consistently target TE's and QB's after the late 2nd round. I've looked back at many past drafts and the hit rate on RB/WR's in those rounds in my leagues is abysmal. However, quality starters at QB & TE routinely come out of those rounds if you are willing to sit on them for a few years (my leagues generally have large rosters, some have taxi squads.) People seem to always overvalue young QB's, and one of my favorite things is to grab a guy in the 3rd, he shows promise and I can then trade him off for a nice gain. I occasionally end up with a Josh Rosen taking up space but a lot of times I can turn a Mariota in his first few years into a late 1st or early 2nd for example. Occasionally I end up trading away a guy like Wentz for an early 2nd and it looks bad, until a year later when I can reacquire him cheaper after some injuries and down games.

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I can certainly take some positive points from you but much of what you are saying really depends on your league setup.  In my dynasty league it is set up with a salary structure and sometimes you really can't afford to have veteran studs at every position.  A roster like one of yours would be so far over the salary cap it would be impossible to acquire.  In some cases getting the young guy with a draft pick at one position may allow you to afford a higher priced veteran at another.  Right now Goff or Wentz or Watson or other young QB in his first six years may cost you 25% of the CAP space that Brees, Brady, Rogers, Big Ben will cost you and pretty much the only way to acquire a good younger QB like that is to draft one.  Right now I'm actually in a little bit of a pickle in this area as I have Rivers who I only have through the next season and to keep him I'll have to give him a raise to an already high contract price if I can't acquire someone younger to replace him. 

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1 hour ago, Buckna said:

One thing I don't want to harp on too much is that I think a lot of those trades you listed are particularly one-sided in your favor at the time. However some of them were just recognizing when guys were at low points in the their value and capitalizing on that. For example, I'm jealous you were able to pry a guy like Hopkins away during his bad season for relatively cheap, his owners in my leagues were not willing to sell him at a discount.

Unfortunately, many of my leaguemate's don't trade very often and they aren't going to do things like trade breaking out young guys like M. Thomas for mid-round picks or a top TE like Ertz for a couple of flyers. However, rather than get lost in some of the trades above, I think your OP had a lot of good meat in it. I think far too many players overvalue rookies and young flyers or guys with potential. Most of those dudes flame out and lose value quickly.

The Thomas deal was probably lopsided at the time. The other owner paid the 1.07 for him and, after checking, the pick would have been 1.05 at the time of the trade. I think a lot of the hobby was drooling over that Fournette class, and I have to assume he was too. Good owner though. 

I was stoked to land Hopkins, but wouldn't call it lopsided at the time. Dez was still a top 10 dynasty WR. IIRC, the other owner was dealing with an injury at RB going into the playoffs. 

I was honestly torn on the Ertz deal at the time and the response to it was mixed. (I think FreeBaGel helped talk me into it, actually.) I think a lof of us were overrating Coleman then. And it was hard to know whether to trust Ertz to continue putting up big numbers or go back to his steady 75/800/5 pace. 

The Kamara deals were universally seen as an overpay, FWIW. 

But yeah, you definately need an active league to make it work. Some of mine are more active than others, but I've never had a problem making deals during rookie drafts, at least.

1 hour ago, Buckna said:

I don't really agree on passing on TE's/QB's but every league is different. One of my strategies is to consistently target TE's and QB's after the late 2nd round. I've looked back at many past drafts and the hit rate on RB/WR's in those rounds in my leagues is abysmal. However, quality starters at QB & TE routinely come out of those rounds if you are willing to sit on them for a few years (my leagues generally have large rosters, some have taxi squads.) People seem to always overvalue young QB's, and one of my favorite things is to grab a guy in the 3rd, he shows promise and I can then trade him off for a nice gain. I occasionally end up with a Josh Rosen taking up space but a lot of times I can turn a Mariota in his first few years into a late 1st or early 2nd for example. Occasionally I end up trading away a guy like Wentz for an early 2nd and it looks bad, until a year later when I can reacquire him cheaper after some injuries and down games.

You can definately make it work, and all leagues and formats are different. If I can't trade the picks for great value (haven't had an issue in the last couple years, but small sample size), I'd personally prefer to swing for the fences with a RB. They easier to move and I feel like they hit or bust quicker, allowing me to move on. 

Edited by Concept Coop

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Don't draft QB,WR or TE? terrible approach....just looks at this past draft.... in round2 I don't see a single RB worth more than Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield, not to mention Pettis, Anthony Miller etc....not going to burn the pick on Hines or Ballage.

Congrats on your wins, that one Kamara trade for McCoy is awful.

I think the biggest thing I notice in a lot of dyno leagues is a lot of owners just aren't active on the WW during the off- season and even post draft....players like Kittle/Lindsay can be snagged.

 

ETA --- BTW good thread, don't mean to sound negative

 

 

Edited by bicycle_seat_sniffer

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To piggy back, if I keep my 19 picks this year they will almost certainly be pass catchers. 

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13 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Don't draft QB,WR or TE? terrible approach....just looks at this past draft.... in round2 I don't see a single RB worth more than Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield, not to mention Pettis, Anthony Miller etc....not going to burn the pick on Hines or Ballage.

Congrats on your wins, that one Kamara trade for McCoy is awful.

I think the biggest thing I notice in a lot of dyno leagues is a lot of owners just aren't active on the WW during the off- season and even post draft....players like Kittle/Lindsay can be snagged.

Perhaps I wasn't clear about my stance. My ideal scenario is to trade my rookie picks. Mike Williams was traded multiple times this offseason for 2nd round picks, and I'd take him over everyone you named. And last year was an anomoly for QBs. I can't fault anyone for not passing on that value (I drafted QBs myself), but I doubt we'll see another class like that anytime soon. In general, I'm passing. 

The Kamara deal was received poorly, both here and on DLF. It came before Kamara's breakout and McCoy was putting up RB1 numbers. It's easy to say it's awful now, but it wasn't at the time. McCoy was commanding late 1st round picks himself. Kamara was being drafted anywhere from 1.07 - 2.01.

Here is the response to the Kamara trade at DLF--two posters said it was awful (way too much for Kamara) and two said it was "pretty fair". It's harder to track down posts here, so you'll have to take my word for it, but that was the response I got here, too. 

Edited by Concept Coop
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What I'm reading about McCoy screams of revisionist history. He was horribly over valued up til the Georgia thing. Then after he was only badly over valued. I kept waiting for his market to crash and it just didnt happen. I watched it all from afar and haven't owned him since I dont remember when but that's a weird hill to die on.

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2 hours ago, EBF said:

Yea, for sure. Weirdly, I am watching less football than ever before, but I feel more confident in my ability to make the right calls than ever. Watching more basketball and soccer has really helped me develop a more nuanced understanding of what athleticism is and what elite athletes look like.

I definitely don't get my evaluations right all the time and I miss on lots of players, but another thing I'd point out is that you don't have to be right about every player.

This is an important point that I think is lost in the tendency to make comprehensive rankings that include every player. For example, most dynasty WR rankings will go 60-80 players deep. However, if I were doing a startup draft, I might only have 15-20 WRs on my list. Basically, I don't worry about trying to perfectly nail every player's exact worth. I only focus on the players for whom I have a high degree of confidence. If I KNOW that those guys are worth X then it doesn't matter what everybody else is worth because I only get one pick per round. If I hit with that pick then what happens to the other guys is irrelevant.

For example, I was always a pretty big JuJu fan and my faith never really wavered. On the other hand, I didn't really know what to make of Kamara, Ross, Hunt, and Howard. I had an opinion on them, but it was a lot more fluid. So when push came to shove and I had to actually draft one of these guys, I would always go with JuJu. I ended up getting him in the 1.05-1.10 range of several leagues. It turns out that I almost completely whiffed on my evaluations of Hunt and Kamara. Guess what? It doesn't matter because the guy I drafted instead of them has the same type of value.

I am repeating myself here, but in FF, you don't need to be right about every player because you're not going to draft every player. You only get one pick per round and long as you're right with that call, the rest doesn't really matter. This is why my actual draft board for redraft/dynasty/rookie is actually very short in most years. It's built almost entirely of players that I have a high degree of confidence in, and if I'm on the fence about a guy then I'll usually just avoid him because what happens to him essentially doesn't matter as long as "my guys" deliver what I expect.

 

Great points, I only go around 25 deep. 

Exmaple, 2019 I have 12 picks in the first two rounds. I’m not going to draft beyond round two. I will trade rounds 3-5 for 2020 picks. It’s a Dynasty that carries 36 on a team. There is no reason for me to study 50 rookie players. Instead I will focus on the top 25 no need to study more than that since I’m not drafting after the 2nd round. So every year is different however I’ve found that studying less players my hit rate has increased dramatically.

1. Stick with your draft board.

2. If a players doesn’t produce at a high level in the NCAAF but blows up the NFL Combine don’t draft him let someone else make that mistake.

3. Patience is a virtue, at minimum don’t give up on your draft pick until after their rookie contract. (For different reasons). One example: Running Backs score more points and hit there peak during their rookie contracts, after their rookie contracts they start to decline and that’s when I seek the best possible trade for WRs who hold there value much longer. Which brings me to #4.

4. Know when each position peak and decline so you may get the best out of the player and to trade the player before the obvious fade.

5. Never follow the hype, look into it to see if it’s real but know what you’re looking for. Be your own evaluator you probably know more than some of those clowns on ESPN and other various shows. Brings me to #6.

6. Study!

Tex

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57 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

What I'm reading about McCoy screams of revisionist history. He was horribly over valued up til the Georgia thing. Then after he was only badly over valued. I kept waiting for his market to crash and it just didnt happen. I watched it all from afar and haven't owned him since I dont remember when but that's a weird hill to die on.

I think any aging asset who is scoring a lot of points is going to be overrated, by a few guys in every league, at least. Antonio Brown was a first round startup pick last offseason. That seems crazy today, but he was winning people leagues—and that’s hard to walk away from. Same with the sizable group of owners drafting Bell and DJ over Barkley and Kamara. I’ve found myself putting more emphasis on youth these days. 

Edited by Concept Coop

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I like all 4 of EBF's.

The biggest thing that seems to be missing is something like: deeply understand your league's format and what it does to player values, and adjust your approach accordingly.

Here are some of the more concrete "rules of thumb" that I act on (things that it are generally good to do, but which it is fine to go against when it makes sense to do so):

1. Make most of your trades near "generic market value". Don't overpay by much relative to how guys are typically ranked, and don't try to get huge steals (although it's fine to take them if they're offered).
2. Treat future draft picks as currency, acquiring them and trading them away to keep trades churning. But on the whole, try to acquire more future draft value than you trade away (especially early picks).
3. Move around a lot during the rookie draft, trading up & down so that most of the picks that you wind up making are guys who are near the end of a tier / who have fallen farther than they should / who you're getting near their ADP and are widely underrated.
4. Try to get stopgap starters for cheap when you're thin at a position for this season. It's fine if that means collecting a few "potential starters" and not knowing which one will emerge. Fill out your starting lineup and have 1-2 backups at the prime positions.
5. Try to free up roster space. Go for 2-for-1 type deals, and avoid 1-for-2 type deals. Trade players for future picks, then later use those future picks in 2-for-1 type deals (player+pick for player) or to trade up in the draft.
6. Buy cheap on injured players.
7. Position-specific rules of thumb vary by league (and mostly depend on the league format/lineup/scoring rules). In League A: fill most of my roster with RBs & WRs, look to trade away any non-elite TE who gets some hype, try to acquire RBs who have a shot at becoming their team's starter this year, try to flex RBs. In League B: try to own 4 starting QBs, collect pass-catching RBs like Chris Thompson, go after any next-man-up QB when the starter goes down, don't bother with non-elite prospects who you'll have to wait on, churn through guys with a shot at their team's lead receiving TE role.

Though note that I have broken most of these rules at least once in the past year.

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18 minutes ago, Concept Coop said:

I think any aging asset who is scoring a lot of points is going to be overrated, by a few guys in every league, at least. Antonio Brown was a first round startup pick last offseason. That seems crazy today, but he was winning people leagues—and that’s hard to walk away from. Same with the sizable group of owners drafting Bell and DJ over Barkley and Kamara. I’ve found myself putting more emphasis on youth these days. 

I think my leagues are vastly different than yours and treat my roster accordingly, but I've trended that way too. Get more young bodies than your opponents then hope you get lucky in December. If you can find a sell window on an aging asset before the bottom falls out then jump. I generally only trade on the edges of my roster and a player and a pick for a better pick in drafts. Only real exception is if i have an obvious hole in November and a seller can fill it via quality veteran. And moving around the actual rookie draft. Great time to get future picks. 

Edited by MAC_32

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4 hours ago, The Fearless said:

I recently subscribed to the only focus on starting lineup strategy. Why do I care what my bench does?

Because great players on your bench can't be in opponents' lineups.  Robby Anderson didn't score 29.5 against me in the championship because he was on my bench.

Because when Gurley pulls up lame in week 16 you put Damien Williams in your lineup and win your league.

Because you can trade Dalvin Cook and Kenny Golloday for Antonio Brown to a rebuilder.

Because you can trade Joe Mixon and Corey Davis for Deandre Hopkins.

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36 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

I think my leagues are vastly different than yours and treat my roster accordingly, but I've trended that way too. Get more young bodies than your opponents then hope you get lucky in December. If you can find a sell window on an aging asset before the bottom falls out then jump. I generally only trade on the edges of my roster and a player and a pick for a better pick in drafts. Only real exception is if i have an obvious hole in November and a seller can fill it via quality veteran. And moving around the actual rookie draft. Great time to get future picks. 

I'd be interested in taking a look at your leagues, if you wouldn't mind DMing me the links. 

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2 minutes ago, Concept Coop said:

I'd be interested in taking a look at your leagues, if you wouldn't mind DMing me the links. 

I meant leagues as in types of owners. If they have a star or a potential star you cant buy them without giving up a star. The Kamara owners would have laughed and laughed and laughed some more with such an offer last year. But I also know my league mates vary substantially from the market.

I adapted years ago and have gone the quantity route and been consistently more competitive. Buying opportunities usually center around injuries and early career down periods. Half of my trades are trading young depth for better future picks or buying veteran bandaids in November. I usually get to January with a surplus of picks and no late rounders. 

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13 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

I meant leagues as in types of owners. If they have a star or a potential star you cant buy them without giving up a star. The Kamara owners would have laughed and laughed and laughed some more with such an offer last year. But I also know my league mates vary substantially from the market.

I know what you meant. No worries; I'll take your word for it. 

Edited by Concept Coop

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So what happens when your guys get hurt then? I won last year & was on the way this year even w/my RBs being meh b/c my WRS were hold (PPR) then I lost AJG, Kupp & Sanders & Allen was hurt for a little as well.

 

What happens when no one wants guys like Gronk? He didn't help me

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15 hours ago, Concept Coop said:

At core my philosophy is: Invest all available value into starting lineup

Great post, so I hate to sound negative, but if this is your philosophy then you have to include the other critical part of your philosophy which is obviously "luckily avoid injuries." ;) I've been bitten too many times by the injury bug to jump without a backup parachute like this. But your point is well made that if you have too much depth, it'll hold you back on free agent pick ups. I've been guilty of this.

I 100% agree on trading draft picks, especially a late 1st for a future 1st (hopefully + a 2nd or a throw-in player you like) or an early 2nd for a future 1st. However, I'm not opposed to drafting a WR in the 1st or even a TE in the late 1st if I can't make a trade - these are basically luxury picks because, as you mentioned, the incubation period can be lengthy. In 1QB leagues (you really should try a superflex - they're fun), you are right to avoid QBs early, although they become the safest bet if you are drafting in the late 2nd and on.

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17 minutes ago, Twenty-Four Eighty-Four said:

Reading this really makes me want to join a dynasty league.

Recommendations:

1) first and foremost, make sure it's auction
2) once you go superflex, you never go back
3) minimum 12 teams x 25 roster spots

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10 minutes ago, FF Ninja said:

Recommendations:

1) first and foremost, make sure it's auction
2) once you go superflex, you never go back
3) minimum 12 teams x 25 roster spots

Add in that you need to go IDP with the same number of starting spots as the offensive starting spots.  Once you go full IDP you never go back.

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1 minute ago, Gally said:

Add in that you need to go IDP with the same number of starting spots as the offensive starting spots.  Once you go full IDP you never go back.

You're probably right, but I just don't have time to double the player pool I need to analyize. 

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I completely agree with the concept that draft picks are much more valuable as trade assets than they are as actual picks.  Draft picks are a crap shoot.  For every stud that does what they should there are 3 or 4 sure things that flame out and have no value.   Don't get me wrong that there are exceptions but by in large I have had much better success in acquiring commodities that I have seen at the NFL level perform for future draft picks. 

 

I am not sure how the OP was able to acquire the players he did for the trades he listed.  I understand there is some hindsight in looking back but the studs he got were never going as cheap in my leagues as he was able to obtain them.  Trading is very league/owner dependent.  There are far too many owners that don't trust their player evaluations to pull triggers on star players because they think they are missing something.   Trading has been very difficult in most of my leagues.  Dynasty owners tend to have a more personal connection with the players they have invested in and 95% of the time believe they are worth much more than what they are realistically worth.  This makes buying low on an underperforming player sometimes very difficult.  The other owner has too much investment and since they invested in the first place they many times believe the turn around is coming so they want full market value as if they are hitting their potential.  The most trading luck I have had has been trading future picks for veterans or players I have identified as potential jumpers in value that haven't done anything yet. 

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When it comes to dynasty I have a two things that I always employ, and I think have been the biggest key to my success.  

 

Always tank year 1.  I personally think this is one of the biggest advantages you can get.  Where I differ is how I go about it.  I am not taking all fliers on young players or rookies.  Best example I can give is in one league two years ago I drafted a team with guys like Kamara, K. Allen, Tyreek Hill, etc., so hardly a team devoid of talent.  My only QB drafted was Mahomes, and I didn’t draft a starting caliber TE.  I acquired multiple future 1sts as well.  By essentially taking a 0 at QB and TE every week my otherwise talented team finished with the worst record in the league.  Drafted Barkley at 1.01, Mahomes takes over as starter, moved draft picks for veteran talent and in the course of one year I dominated the league and cruised to a championship year 2.  Some may view this as shady but it is within the rules and I am starting my best lineup every week.  

 

Acquire future 1st rounders, but rarely make the picks. Rookie 1st rounders are the greatest appreciating asset in dynasty football.  As the OP mentioned, there is no better trade to make in dynasty than a late 1st rounder for a future 1st (preferably from a bad team).  Last year I was able to move the 1.11 (Christian Kirk) for a future 1st that now ended up the 1.02.  I’ll either trade down and acquire more picks or move that to upgrade with a veteran.  I’ll draft a Zeke or Barkley type if available but all other picks will be moved for veterans or future picks.

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31 minutes ago, Raback said:

When it comes to dynasty I have a two things that I always employ, and I think have been the biggest key to my success.  

 

Always tank year 1.  I personally think this is one of the biggest advantages you can get.  Where I differ is how I go about it.  I am not taking all fliers on young players or rookies.  Best example I can give is in one league two years ago I drafted a team with guys like Kamara, K. Allen, Tyreek Hill, etc., so hardly a team devoid of talent.  My only QB drafted was Mahomes, and I didn’t draft a starting caliber TE.  I acquired multiple future 1sts as well.  By essentially taking a 0 at QB and TE every week my otherwise talented team finished with the worst record in the league.  Drafted Barkley at 1.01, Mahomes takes over as starter, moved draft picks for veteran talent and in the course of one year I dominated the league and cruised to a championship year 2.  Some may view this as shady but it is within the rules and I am starting my best lineup every week.  

 

Acquire future 1st rounders, but rarely make the picks. Rookie 1st rounders are the greatest appreciating asset in dynasty football.  As the OP mentioned, there is no better trade to make in dynasty than a late 1st rounder for a future 1st (preferably from a bad team).  Last year I was able to move the 1.11 (Christian Kirk) for a future 1st that now ended up the 1.02.  I’ll either trade down and acquire more picks or move that to upgrade with a veteran.  I’ll draft a Zeke or Barkley type if available but all other picks will be moved for veterans or future picks.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think you went a step too far on both.  Prioritize young guys with your early picks? Yes, absolutely. Doing so means you won't have the best roster week 1, but you could certainly have one of the better rosters by November and obviously be set up for the long term as well.  And I totally agree about acquiring future round 1 draft capital.  But rarely use it?  Can't force what's not there.  Depending on the board and the offers sometimes the best move is to pick.  Just be flexible.

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32 minutes ago, Raback said:

When it comes to dynasty I have a two things that I always employ, and I think have been the biggest key to my success.  

 

Always tank year 1.  I personally think this is one of the biggest advantages you can get.  Where I differ is how I go about it.  I am not taking all fliers on young players or rookies.  Best example I can give is in one league two years ago I drafted a team with guys like Kamara, K. Allen, Tyreek Hill, etc., so hardly a team devoid of talent.  My only QB drafted was Mahomes, and I didn’t draft a starting caliber TE.  I acquired multiple future 1sts as well.  By essentially taking a 0 at QB and TE every week my otherwise talented team finished with the worst record in the league.  Drafted Barkley at 1.01, Mahomes takes over as starter, moved draft picks for veteran talent and in the course of one year I dominated the league and cruised to a championship year 2.  Some may view this as shady but it is within the rules and I am starting my best lineup every week.  

The point of playing is to win.  I would say you should never tank.  It doesn't take much to jump from worst to first or back again.  Much of it is injury/schedule luck.  Your version of "tanking" isn't really tanking.  You targeted players you felt had upside and game changing talent that needed time to develop.  That is not tanking in any way.  The fact that they panned out it is a feather in your cap but it easily could have gone the other way.  It's easy to say Mahomes would be good now.  It was still a risk that panned out in your favor. 

 

I would say you had a quality initial draft and put your eggs in an unproven basket with Mahomes.  If he doesn't have a record breaking year things could have been much different for your results. 

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42 minutes ago, Raback said:

QB drafted was Mahomes, and I didn’t draft a starting caliber TE.  I acquired multiple future 1sts as well.  By essentially taking a 0 at QB and TE every week my otherwise talented team finished with the worst record in the league. 

Your league let you take a zero at QB all season?

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Interesting topic. I need to read through the thread, but I started doing something different.

This is the short version because there's a lot to it, but I believe situation is more important than ever & is the proverbial elephant in the room. Due to that, I believe depth is becoming critical to LONG-TERM success. Starting lineup will always take priority, but I began to "maximize" positions. Once a position is maximized, you can work off of it to improve other positions. It doesn't have to be one position at a time, either (depending on how many assets you start out with). BTW, my general definition of a maximized position is a quality starter(s) & at least two quality backups depending on the position.

The key is to stay patient & let it work. It's not an overnight strategy. I'm down to one dynasty league now, but I very well might have the best team I've ever had all things considered.

I agree with a lot of CC's points, but my main strategy is pretty much opposite of his main strategy. That said, there are a lot of ways to skin a cat in FF (dynasty leagues, in particular).

Edited by Football Jones

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20 hours ago, Concept Coop said:


-Be willing to overpay for your guys


 

 

 

Some very good information but this is my favorite.  So many quys in leagues I'm in are so concerned about "winning" every trade they lose sight of the big picture of improving weaknesses on their own team.  I'd had great success in my big money modified keeper league by oftentimes overpaying for guys.  You shouldn't do it if all the time but if you have a solid squad and have a hole or two be aggressive and get the guys you need.

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44 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Your league let you take a zero at QB all season?

What option did they have? This isn’t a redraft league with Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton on the waiver wire to pick up.  Every starting QB and multiple backup QBs were rostered.  

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52 minutes ago, Gally said:

The point of playing is to win.  I would say you should never tank.  It doesn't take much to jump from worst to first or back again.  Much of it is injury/schedule luck.  Your version of "tanking" isn't really tanking.  You targeted players you felt had upside and game changing talent that needed time to develop.  That is not tanking in any way.  The fact that they panned out it is a feather in your cap but it easily could have gone the other way.  It's easy to say Mahomes would be good now.  It was still a risk that panned out in your favor. 

 

I would say you had a quality initial draft and put your eggs in an unproven basket with Mahomes.  If he doesn't have a record breaking year things could have been much different for your results. 

Of course the point is to win.  My view is that sometimes you have to take a step or two back to position yourself for greater success in the future, the Philadelphia 76ers model.  The tanking comes into play by deliberately structuring my roster to score almost nothing at QB and TE, thus allowing me to add a Barkley to a roster that is nowhere near the worst in the league in terms of raw talent.  Mahomes obviously proves this example well but I’ve done this in multiple leagues over the years with other QBs who did not end up as well as Mahomes. 

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15 minutes ago, Raback said:

What option did they have? This isn’t a redraft league with Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton on the waiver wire to pick up.  Every starting QB and multiple backup QBs were rostered.  

My leagues would have pressured you to make a trade or made waiver claims when starters went down. Blatant tanking like that is frowned upon in every league I'm in.

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16 minutes ago, Raback said:

What option did they have? This isn’t a redraft league with Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton on the waiver wire to pick up.  Every starting QB and multiple backup QBs were rostered.  

Was this a startup or did you take over a team in an existing league?  If it was the former then one could have drafted a cheap QB late to start until Maholmes was ready if it was the latter then there was probably a QB or two already on the roster that could have been held until he was ready.  If there were literally zero other options to get a starting QB then that is one thing, but intentionally taking a zero at two positions if there were ways to improve that performance is crap.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Octopus said:

My leagues would have pressured you to make a trade or made waiver claims when starters went down. Blatant tanking like that is frowned upon in every league I'm in.

It may be frowned upon but it’s not against the rules.  Do your leagues force people to make trades if say their top 4 RBs all go on the IR? How do you police that? 

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Just now, Raback said:

It may be frowned upon but it’s not against the rules.  Do your leagues force people to make trades if say their top 4 RBs all go on the IR? How do you police that? 

I don't want to tie up this thread, but there are anti-tanking rules that would apply to what you did - and there's a tremendous difference between your counter-example and what you did, but those people would be expected to find a way to start 2 RBs nevertheless.

However, it doesn't matter if your league was fine with it.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I don't want to tie up this thread, but there are anti-tanking rules that would apply to what you did - and there's a tremendous difference between your counter-example and what you did, but those people would be expected to find a way to start 2 RBs nevertheless.

However, it doesn't matter if your league was fine with it.

A bit extreme. You couldn’t spend one spot to roster Flacco. It would annoy me if you were in my league.

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22 hours ago, zed2283 said:

Great post, I like it much better than the typical "dynasty strategy discussion" posting.  Maybe because you were a bit more descriptive and specific.

You've got a lot of studs on your teams, so no surprise you performed well.  But I'd like to know how you acquired all those guys (like your example with Zeke).

I'm trying to talk myself into being a little more redraft-like in my dynasty approach (i.e. churn-able).

Wow, I was going to write a very similar post about how I do it. Our philosophies are almost exactly the same. 

I call it Zero Draft Pick strategy because I always trade my picks for proven players and consolidate like crazy.  Opening those roster spots is how you can be the first to scoop up the waiver wire heros before they break out. 

Usually there are waiver heros every year who become major dynasty assets, and you need the open roster spots to get as many as you can.  Then package them with draft picks for proven elite players. 

Awesome write up. 

 

Oops, meant to quote OP. 

Edited by kittenmittens

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2 minutes ago, kittenmittens said:

Wow, I was going to write a very similar post about how I do it. Our philosophies are almost exactly the same. 

I call it Zero Draft Pick strategy because I always trade my picks for proven players and consolidate like crazy.  Opening those roster spots is how you can be the first to scoop up the waiver wire heros before they break out. 

Usually there are waiver heros every year who become major dynasty assets, and you need the open roster spots to get as many as you can.  Then package them with draft picks for proven elite players. 

Awesome write up. 

 

Oops, meant to quote OP. 

We have kind of closed this loophole to some degree in that we charge real money per FA acquisition AND the salary cap hit is equivalent to a first round rookie pick.  In addition you cannot give a contract to a free agent so they are subject to escalation if they finish in the top 15 of their position.  We wanted to make it hard to keep free agents since you get a sneak peak in the season before picking them up.  It makes the draft much more important in the later rounds because their salary is cheaper and you can give them a contract.  We didn't want free agents to be long term difference makers. 

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1 hour ago, JackReacher said:

A bit extreme. You couldn’t spend one spot to roster Flacco. It would annoy me if you were in my league.

Of course I could have.  And if I had I’d likely have Sony Michel on my roster instead of Saquon Barkley 

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