Dynasty Fantasy Football for Beginners: Pre-Draft Prep

One of my favorite parts of Dynasty Fantasy Football is introducing someone new to it. It’s a more complex game than Redraft. requiring more forward-thinking, with many strategies and approaches to building your team. Your Dynasty startup is crucial to setting your team up for success in a Dynasty league. As we plunge into startup season, I’ll author a series of articles on different concepts, strategies, and tips for the beginner Dynasty manager. I primarily use Sleeper; it’s the easiest app for a league commissioner to utilize and navigate, so I will defer to it for this article. For now, we’ll start at square one.

Know Your League Settings

Not all leagues are created equally. Knowing your league settings will give a better understanding of how to value certain players. For example, I would value Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb higher than normal in standard or point-per-carry (PPC) leagues. In PPR leagues, I’m more inclined to take wide receivers before running backs in the startup. On Sleeper, under the leaders’ tab, you can sort through the past few years’ fantasy finishes according to your league settings. This will give you a better view of certain players’ minor statistical advantages, such as a Superflex league that gives negative 0.5 points for a sack. In that type of setting, Austin Ekeler scored more points than Joe Burrow last year.

The point differential is relatively minor for top point scorers. However, for middle-of-pack quarterbacks, it has a much higher effect. For example, Aaron Rodgers would’ve finished as the 38th overall scorer last season in the league mentioned. Instead, in a league without negative points for sacks, he finished 28th overall. Learn the intricacies of your league and use that to your advantage over your league mates who may not be as attentive as you.

1QB vs. Superflex

This category could fall under Know Your League Settings. Yet it deserves its own category because of the vast difference between the two league types. It’s imperative to understand the fundamental differences between 1QB and Superflex leagues. The most noteworthy difference is in the first round; in Superflex leagues, quarterbacks are king. On average, eight of the first 12 draft picks are quarterbacks. 

If it’s not a concept you’re familiar with, I recommend doing as many mock drafts as possible before your league startup. Not all drafts are the same, but multiple mock drafts will give you a feel for the general community ADP. Since there is such a limited amount of capable starting quarterbacks, they become exponentially more valuable in Superflex formats.

Adapt Your Startup Strategy

Startups are a tricky tightrope to walk. Some people will say, “Not having a strategy is the best strategy.” I am not one of those people. We should all go into the startup draft with a strategy in mind. Choosing a specific strategy will allow you to guide your team in a certain direction and achieve desired results more efficiently whether you want to put your team in an immediate tank, a one-year punt, or go for the championship in Year 1. Each strategy will guide you toward selecting a different subset of players.

However, it’s important to remember our strategies aren’t etched in stone. Each draft will have its own nuance, so it’s essential to be fluid and adaptable when unexpected circumstances inevitably arise. No two drafts are alike. When an opportunity presents itself, it’s crucial to recognize and capitalize on that. Regardless of your planned strategy, use the option to pivot or trade said player for proper market value later.

For example, if you’re in a Superflex league and attempting a Zero RB build or a win-now approach. You must be ready to take Breece Hall if he falls to the third round and pivot to  Hero RB or even  Robust RB depending on how your league starts valuing players for the rest of the draft. You will always have the option to trade a player of that caliber later. Procuring value while giving your team direction is the goal of the startup. The inability to adapt your strategy could severely disadvantage you because other league mates have a similar approach and an earlier pick. Adaptability is not a strategy, but it is just as important as having one.

Dynasty Fantasy Football is a fantastic game that can be played in many ways. No one way is better than another. It’s just a matter of preference and finding out what works for you. Being well prepared is a surefire way to ensure you aren’t starting out of the gate at a disadvantage to your league mates who may be more experienced than yourself.

I find true enjoyment in sharing my experience and helping others. So, I’m always more than willing to answer questions via Twitter @FF_Reez. Don’t forget to sign up for our Dynasty Football Factory Membership for more awesome content to help you dominate your Dynasty leagues. Thanks for reading!

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