In my previous article, I discussed how playing dynasty fantasy football could help you win your redraft leagues. I said the two types of leagues are symbiotic, similar to how the cyanobacteria and fungus team up to create the lichen. In this analogy, I thought it that a dynasty league would be the autotroph, since it is self-sustaining, and a decomposer would befit a seasonal league.
Redraft Helps You Play Dynasty: The Fungus
The Inverse of the Rookie Edge
Redraft players inherently know this, and plenty of dynasty enthusiasts, podcasters, and article writers preach, but it bears repeating: you shouldn’t chase youth blindly. In a redraft format, this concept is natural, because you only have a player for a year. However, in a dynasty league, you have players forever, so it’s understandable to want to stock up on guys who will be around for a long time. But while you are pursuing the younger players in a startup or trades, you may miss out on veterans who can help you win now. While age should be considered in a dynasty league, playing redraft will help you value those older guys that will help your roster before they slip through your drafting fingers. They may not have as many years left, but they can still score points in the short term. Which brings up the next point…
It’s a Weekly Game
All the moves you make from drafting to trades to waiver moves should push you towards a great roster. That roster needs to win each week, though, not just on paper. If you have a few pug-uglies down in the trenches to get you a few points when you’re in a pinch, then so be it. Peyton Barber is no one’s sweetheart (sorry, Peyton Barber’s high school sweetheart), but last year he was a starting running back, and that’s good enough in a lot of cases. This advice is similar to the above “don’t always chase youth” narrative. You need to construct a roster that has some flexibility and fill-in potential at the backend. They can’t all be diamonds-in-the-rough; some of these guys just need to get the job done in week 9 when bye weeks hit and you’re scrambling for a starter.
Attack that Top-End Talent
I just spoke about the nitty-gritty, so let’s flip it and talk about the first few rounds. As any redraft player will tell you, it is absolutely devastating to miss in the first or second round. The same is true for dynasty, although the round difference tends to be broader. Here’s an example: many were drafting C.J. Anderson, then Denver Broncos’ running back, high in startups following his breakout 2014 season. He probably was your top running back heading into that 2015 season. But even if you drafted well after that pick, you probably severely regretted it, and it hurt you down the stretch. The point here is to try to mitigate your risk at the top end and provide your dynasty team a stable base. Take your flyers in the later rounds, where missing out hurts less.
There’s no Replacement for Experience
As I mentioned before, if you play dynasty, you probably played or currently play in a seasonal league. However, having that experience is invaluable. The opportunity draft, mock draft, trade, and hit the waiver wire makes you a sharper fantasy player. The waiver wire is an excellent example. Plenty of dynasty players become complacent with the waiver wire. They assume that the latest, low-owned player is probably already take or not worth the risk. They don’t want to lose that 10th wide receiver who is on a practice squad for a guy who is producing in the here and now. However, if you have redraft experience, you know that the waiver wire is not for the faint of heart. Be aggressive. Go get the guy you want before someone else beats you to it. Everyone who has played fantasy has a story about a guy they missed on the waiver wire, how that guy went on to beat them in the playoffs, and how they all said at the end, “Not me. Never again.” After all, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
Just in case someone out there is reading this (thanks again!) and doesn’t play in one of these formats, let me give a couple of closing thoughts on the best things about each format.
Dynasty – The best things have to be trading in the offseason and building a true dynasty. When you’re bored on the weekend and have an itch to get a player you’ve never routed for before, you can do that! Any time! Also, there are fewer satisfying things in this world than building a team, through drafts and trades, that is just amazing top to bottom.
Redraft – It’s all about the live draft, in person. I’ve played in a redraft for 10 years, and draft day really is my Christmas. You wake up early, talk smack with your friends, laugh, argue, and generally have a great time. It’s one of the best feelings you can have, and then you take a nap.
Thanks, as always, for reading. If you have anything to add or want to generally discuss fantasy football, you can find me on Twitter @DFF_sbt1030. Thanks again!