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Intro to Dynasty Fantasy Football: Expectations and Rules


Intro to Dynasty Fantasy Football

By Zach Attack @FFChalupaBatman

I just finished my first ever dynasty startup draft for the #FFFitClub dynasty league.  I have been playing fantasy football for 14 years, but have never tried dynasty until now.  The thought of playing in a dynasty league can be intimidating for some, so I want to share my experience and some advice to help ease any nervousness to give dynasty a chance.

  1. There is no offseason in dynasty

At the beginning of a dynasty league it will feel similar to a redraft league.  There will be a startup draft that may be veterans only or include rookies.  If it is veterans only there will be a second, much smaller, draft of just rookies.  This rookie only draft typically happens after the actual NFL draft.  After the draft is complete you are waiting for the season to start then in-season will feel like redraft.  Then the season ends after a champion is crowned.  

Now a major difference from redraft, going into season 2 you keep all of your players that were on your roster when you finished season 1.  The only draft you will have in the “offseason” of season 2 is the rookie draft, and the draft order is typically reverse of the final standings.  

Some people may be intimidated by dynasty because now you see how important your startup draft is since that is your roster for years, unless you make trades.  There is no offseason because a player’s value is constantly changing based on news and performances, so ideally you want to be well connected with player news so you can try to trade away players at top value (if you want to) and trade for players at their lowest value (if you think the player will bounce back). However, if you have really been into redraft then you most likely pay attention to the big free agents and draft news already.  

  1. Knowing the league settings, rules, and scoring

Just like in redraft, you need to know how your league is setup and the scoring.  There are lots of options and you can find some incredibly creative league setups.  Scoring will greatly affect which players are more or less valuable.  Points per reception scoring will significantly impact WRs and RBs, and TE premiums will increase the value of TEs.  The thought of multiple drafts, taxi squads, and rookie picks can sound confusing.  It is okay to ask the commissioner and/or league-mates questions.  You do not have to be a dynasty expert when you go into your first ever startup draft.

  1. Trading

Trading is an art.  I love to trade, and in my home league (redraft) there are tons of trades and it is so much fun.  Some are hesitant to trade because they are afraid of “losing” the trade.  Typically, there is a lot more trading in dynasty because that is really the only way to change your team since the waiver wire will be shallow.  The best part of trading in dynasty is rookie picks!  Everyone values rookie picks differently, so you can use this to your advantage to seal the deal.  If you still are unsure of where to start there are several dynasty trade calculators out there to help give you a baseline of values.

  1. Long term commitment

Dynasty leagues are supposed to last “forever.”  There are leagues out there that have been going for 30+ years and that is amazing.  However, I expect most dynasty leagues last around 5 years because life happens.  Find a group of people you know or at least know they have a passion for fantasy football, and you have a higher chance of keeping the league together for a long time.  Try not to let the thought of long term commitment scare you away because once you try it you will have fun and want to keep playing season after season.

My Experience

I have never played dynasty before now because I never felt like I had a group of people that I could see all of us staying together long enough to make it worth my time.  I decided to create the first #FFFitClub dynasty league because I knew it would be a group of passionate fantasy football people and it would be low cost and have a charitable element.  We decided to do a vets only startup draft and you could draft rookie pick slots by drafting kickers.  This was a slow draft so we each had up to 8 hours to make a pick, which makes it much less stressful since you don’t feel rushed.  This is a 12 team PPR Superflex TE premium league, and I had the 1.09.  I could not be happier with my start: Justin Herbert, Justin Jefferson, Aaron Jones, and Calvin Ridley.  My focus was trying to draft younger, but hopefully proven, players.  I ended up not drafting any rookie draft slots because I never felt like the value was there when it was my turn to pick based on who was still available.  I had a blast doing my first startup draft! I knew this was my opportunity to build my team however I wanted and this would determine if I would try to contend for a championship this season or build a team that could contend in a year or two.  In redraft, you always play to win that season, but the great part of dynasty is you can lose for a year or two to collect assets to eventually create a dominant team.  Even if you do not like your team after the draft it isn’t the end of the world because you can make moves to build for the future instead of just worrying about this season.  

My Advice

  • Just give it a try! I promise you will find a lot of new things that you like about dynasty that you cannot do in redraft.
  • Do your research.  You should know players’ ages, contract situations, and team situations or at least look it up before your pick.
  • Know what kind of team you have built.  Finishing in the middle of the league won’t help you. Be realistic about your team and figure out if you are a true contender or not then make all decisions based on that expectation.
  • Don’t worry too much about ADP; draft your guys!  This will be your team (barring trades) so draft the players you would most excited to have on your roster.
  • It is okay to not know everything, ask questions!
  • Follow dynasty accounts on Twitter and listen to some dynasty podcasts (there are plenty to choose from).

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