Dynasty Strategy: Going All In

In Dynasty Leagues you are either rebuilding, retooling, or going all-in. For some of us, the fun in a dynasty league is rebuilding or retooling our team. Hell, isn’t that the reason you chose the worst-rated team in Madden franchise mode to build them back up from the bottom to get your hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Sometimes the lines can get blurred when you’re in the retooling phase. You’re one or maybe two players away from putting you over the top and one or two away from forcing your hand into a rebuild.

I’ve talked about doing the rebuild for your dynasty league. Now let’s talk about going all-in. Although not as “scary” as a full rebuild, there are some things that you need to keep in mind as you push the chips to the center of the table.


Everyone is operating on a different timeline. As noted before, you are either rebuilding, retooling, or going all-in. Take an honest assessment of your team and your opponents’ teams. Every player in fantasy should be viewed as a stock, either rising or dropping. If your players are rising then you’re headed for, or on the cusp of, all-in mode.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’re almost there.

As fun as it is rebuilding a team, we’re ultimately playing to win it all. To rub it in our friend’s face, indulge ourselves in the spoils of a successful season. But how do you put yourself over the top, ensuring a victory over your fellow “all-in comrades”?
Simple, get veterans.

Rookies are coveted in dynasty leagues. They’re your team’s future, the foundation on which your team will be built on for future seasons’ glories.
Here’s a fun stat from last year, because I know we all love stats. Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Calvin Ridley, and Chris Herndon were all the highest scoring rookies at their respective positions last year.
All of these rookies finished outside of the top 15 in scoring at their position last year, except for Saquon, who passes the eye test and looks to be a fantasy football god in the making and has “Zero to Hero,” from Hercules playing in my head every time I see highlights of him. Baker finished at QB16, Calvin at WR18, and Chris at TE15.

If you’re on the cusp of all-in mode having a QB16 and a TE15 certainly will not help you reach the mountain top. Having WR18 helps if he’s your second or third best option, but not your first option.

I know what you’re thinking, “very insightful genius, but we’re not counting on the rookies to win us our leagues, they’re there to win us future seasons in our league.” Yes, they’re there to win you future seasons, but we’re not talking about future seasons, we’re talking about now.

So why identify whose on all-in mode? These are not only your competition for the year, but the players who are currently in rebuilding or retooling mode are potential trade partners to put your team over the top.


Who’s on your roster that is long in the tooth?
Do you have Drew Brees, where the finish line is in sight?
Or Patrick Mahomes, where it’s out past the horizon?
What does the depth of your roster look like at each position?

These are things you need to ask yourself and consider in the offseason as the arms race for veteran players begins. If you’re on the cusp then you may not need to mortgage your team’s future to try and win now. But if your roster is aging at key spots and there’s not a lot of depth that follows, well buddy you need to start making moves.


So we’ve found our teams that are currently rebuilding, great!

We’ve looked at our roster and decided areas that we need to improve, great!

The rebuilding teams have an aging veteran on the back nine of his career, great!

That veteran doesn’t fit the timeline with the rebuilding team roster, great!

Well Sherlock, if you’re in an experienced and competitive league, all of your fellow all-in candidates know this as well.

Make a move for that aging veteran that has one last hurrah in him. Move swiftly before anyone else can obtain him in a trade. It may come off as desperate, but overpay if you must. It’s more important to beat out your fellow league mates to an asset than it is worrying about what that asset cost.

As a side note, I strongly suggest acting in good faith when it comes to trades. Don’t try and be cute, lowballing an offer to try and get the best deal for you. Remember, you may not be the only person pursuing this veteran and time spent squabbling over players and picks could result in someone else taking the asset you want.

It’s not an earth-shattering revelation to know that rookies are the lifeblood of your dynasty roster, but veterans are the keys that unlock the door to a championship.
If you’re in “desperate” mode with aging superstars and you need to trade away young talented prospects and high draft picks to give yourself a chance to win a title, then it’s part of the cost to win a league.

Trades for young talent will always be appealing, they’re the lottery ticket that costs little, but can win you a lot. But there’s something to be said about acquiring a known commodity like a veteran player. The floor and the ceiling are set for them and you know their role on their team. It will give you peace of mind as you give one last charge at a championship before those veterans head out into the sunset.

Check out my other content here and follow me on Twitter @MichaelOshita90

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