Be Your Own Dynasty Boss

 

If you ask any avid fantasy football fiend why he prefers dynasty football over redraft formats you can expect a few different responses.  Here are a few of the main factors:

  1. Redraft formats became too simple as dynasty owners often found themselves at the top of the league standings every year.
  2. If you catch the injury bug in a redraft league you’re season is spent.  With a dynasty league there is always the future, and you are still able to build for it. You may also have a better chance of weathering the storm as dynasty benches are typically deep enough for you to be able to recover.
  3. There is much more strategy involved in dynasty vs redraft as you’re trying to win the current year, but you’re also looking to keep your team competitive for years to come.

While all of the above or some of the above may apply to you, the most resonating fact about dynasty football always remains:

  • You can be your own boss.

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to run your own NFL team?  I’m sure you have, and that’s why we all play dynasty.  This allows us to express ourselves through our teams, and a dynasty team becomes an extension of us.  After speaking with some people on Twitter about this very subject, I started thinking about the correlation between dynasty team management and General Managers in the the NFL today.  This idea is the premise of this article, and it’s a fun one to talk about and share.  I polled a handful of dynasty players and experts in the fantasy community and asked them:

“If you were to compare yourself to a GM in the NFL based on how you manage your dynasty football teams, who would it be and why?”

Below are the responses:

 

Russell Clay

www.ffoasis.com

@FFRussellClay

As a fantasy owner, Russell compares himself to the New England Patriots de facto GM Bill Belichick.  The comparison is mainly due to the “next man up” approach.  “The Patriots rely heavily on depth; they may not have the best team but will always be competitive.”

Rich Hribar

www.Xnsports.com

www.thefakefootball.com

www.numberfire.com

@LordReebs

Rich compares his fantasy management style to Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburg Steelers.  No, Rich does not like tiny wide receivers, but he has a game-plan and a system that he does not waiver from. Rich is more conservative in his approach, rarely reaching for potential outliers.  “It’s boring, I know,” he says. “But it’s tried and true.”

“Scott Chadzinski”

www.Thefakefootball.com

@Chad_Scott13

“I think I resemble John Schneider as a fantasy GM more than anyone else around the league.  If you look at his first couple years in Seattle, you’ll see he led the league in transactions.  I’m THAT guy in just about all my fantasy leagues – redraft or dynasty.  I’m always looking for the next big – yet cheap – thing.  Making moves is like breathing oxygen to me.”

Chad Parsons

www.Footballguys.com

Under the Helmet

@ChadParsonsNFL

“When constructing and managing a fantasy roster, the NFL General Manager I most relate to is John Schneider of the Seattle Seahawks. The draft philosophy is best player available even if there is already a strength at a particular position (see Seattle’s selection of Christine Michael in the second round when Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin already manned the backfield). They also took the plunge on talented Luke Willson in the fifth round as an under-the-radar athlete that happened to be playing behind Vance McDonald in college, suppressing his opportunities. Seattle is not afraid of a bold move when the opportunity strikes (see the Percy Harvin trade). Finally, they work the salary cap extremely well by finding starters later in the draft for a value, keeping ahead of the typical NFL team’s roster churn for one of the best 53-man rosters in the league.”

Shane P. Hallam

www.DraftTV.com

@ShanePHallam

“For my dynasty Fantasy Football leagues, I am comparable to General Manager Phil Emery of the Chicago Bears, both in a positive and negative ways:Positives:
-I’m not afraid to pick up extra picks and really fit players into my “system”.  I draft based on need a lot and will take a lot of upside type players to fill holes and hope to develop them quickly (like Emery with Kyle Long and Shea McClellin).-I will make trades for veterans who fit my squad to go for the gold (like he did with Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler)-I am not afraid to own up to my mistakes and learn from them if I draft the wrong player who ends up not fitting in (Like he admitted with Brandon Hardin)-I will bail on players who aren’t getting it done for me, sometimes too quickly (like he has with Devin Hester, etc)Negatives:
-I can be a bit too much of a “gunslinger” making trades, moving players/picks, to try to get what I deem a perfect draft/team, even if it isn’t.

-I can fall in love with some players based on need, and convince myself they will turn it around (like he did with Gabe Carimi)”.

Karl Safchick

www.dynastyleaguefootball.com

@KarlSafchick

“Comparing myself to an NFL general manager is an exercise more difficult than it seems. Many successful general managers model their teams to be big at the line of scrimmage, great on defense, or led by veterans. A dominate dynasty fantasy football team does not mirror an NFL franchise, but there are GM’s that I admire.Thomas Dimitroff has shown to possess some of the skills necessary to run a great pro team, but can also be paralleled in fantasy football. I admired when he decided to move up in the 2011 draft to select Julio Jones. He decided to go grab his guy, and that is something I am not afraid to do in fantasy drafts. He was the mastermind behind bringing in an aging tight end to help his quarterback mature. I love his mindset when he decides to get “his guy”. If I were to compare myself to any NFL GM, it would be Dimitroff.”

 

 

Taking team management to mind, you have to determine what the best game-plan is for you.  There are many ways to manage your team.  After all, you’re the GM!  Without further adieu, I give to you a league filled with diversified strategic opportunity, and you may be able to relate to some of these players and strategies in your existing leagues.  If you’re new to dynasty football, be sure to take some notes and identify what to watch out for, and what to embrace. 

 

The Hell With Tomorrow!

Every league seems to have one guy that is willing to do whatever it take in order to take home the trophy.  If it means he needs to give up the farm to make it happen – so be it – draft picks, young talent, bench depth, whatever.  It seems like after all of these efforts, this team always seems to just miss out at the end of the day.  It can work, so maybe this is right for you?  I mean, at the end of the day we’re here to win, so if the ball bounces in your favor – power to you!

Now and Later

This is a very strategic owner.  This owner understands that a dynasty is not only about building a team for the future, but it’s also important to win now.  This team usually has a nice blend of veteran value players, up and coming developing type players, and typically and extra draft pick or two along the way.  They understand the concepts of market value and buy-low/ sell-high.  After all, this owner has a wholistic vision for his team.

Young Guns

“I’ll make you famous.”  This is my personal favorite strategy for a dynasty team, and I’m methodically aligning all of my fantasy teams to this strategy each year.  This owner goes into the start-up draft with a strict set of rules around what types of players are even allowed to sniff the team’s roster form the start.  This owner may set an age limit, and may even be willing to trade a rookie pick or two during the draft in order to draft a high upside guy now that he believes will help for years.  He’ll take a vet in the draft or trade if he knows he can flip it for something better.  It’s okay to take a year off if you already have that team built with all young players.  He also acquires picks mid- season by selling guys with exacerbated values on his roster or acquired via waivers.  He’s willing to not make the playoffs for a year if need be, as his eye is on the prize for years to come.

The Godfather

This owner approaches the start-up draft and the season with one thing in mind – value.  In dynasty, often times you’re in a league with a bunch of owners that don’t value veterans as much as their production might be worth.  This owner continues to acquire these players on the cheap and leverages this strategy to make a push at the playoffs every year. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  When it doesn’t pan out, it’s a difficult recovery period if this is not approached with a grain of salt.

That was Then, This is Now

This is where an owner really learns a lot about himself and how he handles adversity and ambiguity.  This could be the “The Godfather” with an aftermath of broken strategy, or an owner that lost key players to long-term injury, or maybe an owner that has a new found love for dynasty after a cycle of apathy.  This could also be an owner that realized that he <had> a contending team, but it’s just not panning out any longer and decides to blow the team up to start fresh.  I’ve been in this boat.  In fact, I’m such a lunatic to the point in which I purposely took over a spent/ dead-beat team so I could build a dynasty from scratch.  The future is bright, you just have to be a savvy owner.

The Replacements

The injury bug can get a hold of you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  No matter how savvy you are, you could have made all the right moves to put yourself in a position to kill it this upcoming year, and then your players start dropping like flies.  It’s like as Shane Falco put it: “It’s like quicksand.  The harder you fight, the deeper you sink.” When this happens to you (and it will) begin to target owners with players that will give you the best return to come back blazing next year.

The Contender

This owner may potentially fall into any of the strategies that involve a winning concept, because this owner always seems to be in the running for the big game every single year.  He’s a shark on the trade block, he’s quick to the waiver draw, and the fantasy gods always seem to be in his favor.  He is the arch nemesis in every league. Therefore, he gets his own strategy.  I hate you Ron Burgondy, but damn it do I respect you.

A.B.C.

Put. That Coffee. Down. That coffee’s for closers only.  “Always Be Closing” is this owner’s middle name.  He is that same owner that always seems to pop up on the transaction list and in your email inbox with what seems like a deal that’s almost borderline collusion.  You constantly wonder how this guy gets some of the deals he gets.  He’s a smooth talker.  He will make deals that work for both sides, and he’s not afraid to give up value if needed as long as he’s getting his in return.  But somehow, he still manages to sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. Owners vow to never trade with him again — until the next time.

Strawman

The ultimate pushover may have made himself known in one of your leagues.  He’s a constant target of the shark, and everyone else seems to get a piece of the action as well.  He may be a new dynasty owner and simply not understand player values related to rookie draft picks.  This is understandable, but most people scrape their knees and learn from their mistakes.  This owner, however, seems to be the definition of insanity as he continues to make all the wrong trades, draft all the wrong players in all the wrong spots, and bids a fortune to acquire Jake Ballard because he’s the next man up.  Don’t be this guy.

The Lonely Chair

A player is on IR, yet he’s in this guys lineup.  A players is on bye, yet this owner somehow still has the player in his lineup come Sunday morning.  He’s the commissioner’s worst nightmare and makes apathy look like an understatement.  I think you sent this guy a trade offer 2 weeks ago, but the activity log shows he hasn’t logged onto the site in 3 weeks.  Hopefully you’re joining leagues that have by laws to help combat this owner’s lack of everything.  Even when the rules are in place, there always seems to be one guy that does the absolute bare minimum.  If this is you, please do us all a favor and stick to redraft leagues with your college buddies – please.

 

As you can see above in the league of hypothetical degenerate hood, there are many different ways you can approach your team. Identify which strategy works best for you, and stay true to your strategy.  It doesn’t do you any favors to go in with one strategy in mind and then make choices and moves later on that do not support this strategy.  This self conflicting behavior will cost you championships. My favorite way to approach a start-up is to come in and build a team full of solid players that are young; I believe  in them from a talent perspective for years to come – regardless of the situation.  Having said this, it does behoove you to be a chameleon, if you will.  If you take this approach, but you later find out that the league extremely under-values the vets and gives them away for next to nothing, then go ahead and adjust your strategy going forward simply based on the dynamic of the league.  But don’t half-ass it.  You road map for success is dependent upon whether or not you know where you’re going before you get there.

Which strategy works best for you?

~Fantasy Gumshoe

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