Dynasty is a Three Year Window?

3-Year Window

When I first got thrown into the stormy ocean known as Dynasty Fantasy Football, I did not have the leisure of slow-to-warm-up acclimation period. I was immediately thrown into a 2QB Salary IDP Dynasty league. Unlike most who starts out with a simple dynasty league and get to keep their players forever (which I’ll unkindly refer to as super keeper leagues), my players have a max 5 year ownership contract, with the option to Franchise Tag or Restricted Free Agent Tender at the end of the contract. Because of such a frame, I learned early on to view players from a 5 year window. I am all for grabbing any players and immediately assigning them a full 5 year contract. Happy as a cloud, I went through the season and continued to learn about the nuances of a dynasty league.

When year two rolled around, I quickly learned that giving Jon Baldwin a 5 year deal was a mistake and the consequence was dead cap for the remaining 4 years. At this point I thought to myself, “Wow how does an NFL GM suck this much? How does one whiff so badly on a 1st round talent?” It was during this time that also learned to distinguish NFL impact versus Fantasy impact. Full of ego and hubris, I decided to go and do my own scouting and strongly voiced my own opinion while denigrating these so-called ‘experts’. Of course I have to trust my own eyes (never knowing how little I knew about breaking down films or even know how to use stats). With a BIG Head, I gave players that I like from my ‘scouting’ the max contract, while  others I like less 3 or 4 years. Yep…giving Greg Little a 5 year contract and 3 years to Jordan Cameron worked out really well #SarcasticFont

After a few more trials and errors, I finally found a happy medium that I like to work with. One, I know absolutely nothing, just like Jon Snow. But more importantly: Dynasty is a Three Year Window. This is, like any strategies, NOT I repeat NOT a hard and fast rule. I still give out the 5 year max deals, but I am also more realistic about the rookie draft. What salary cap dynasty has taught me, and which I think is more superior than a no-limit dynasty league, is to calibrate my value expectations. After looking at a 3-year cross sectional study, I have come to the general conclusion that the batting average of landing serviceable players through the rookie draft is closer to 35%. The number drops even further if you’re hoping to land a 5 year stud. Let me show a two year example of a draft in my 16 team 2-QB Salary Cap  IDP Dynasty league (40 man roster). Most people usually say that a draft should be evaluated after 3 years, so I will present the data of the 2012 draft and 2013 (it is also for the sake of the reader, since writing too long of an article can become cumbersome). The reason why I chose this league, is because it highlights several elements that I’ll discuss later. I have underlined the names of players who are worthy of a 5+ year contract. While there are other names that are still serviceable, I think most would agree that they wouldn’t tie themselves down to those players for long term.

2012 Draft

Round 1
1. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Robert Griffin III QB WAS
2. Drew’s Crew – Andrew Luck QB IND
3. Expansion Team – Trent Richardson RB CLE
4. Philly Cheesesteak – Doug Martin RB TB
5. West Canaan Coyotes – Justin Blackmon WR JAC
6. The Stompers – Michael Floyd WR ARI
7. Sea Titans – Ryan Tannehill QB MIA
8. Expansion Team – Luke Kuetchly LB CAR
9. Ravens/49ers – Kendall Wright WR TEN
10. TebowMania – Lamar Miller RB MIA
11. West Canaan Coyotes – David Wilson RB NYG
12. The Stompers – Brandon Weeden QB CLE
13. Dalton’s Pondering – Alshon Jeffery WR CHI
14. Dalton’s Pondering- Mark Barron S TB
15. The Stompers – Coby Fleener TE IND
16. Ravens/49ers – Isaiah Pead RB STL

Round 2
1. Drew’s Crew – Lavonte David LB TB
2. Drew’s Crew – Brian Quick WR STL
3. Dalton’s Pondering – Nick Perry LB GB
4. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Bobby Wagner LB SEA
5. Philly Cheesesteaks – Dont’a Hightower LB NE
6. Ravens/49ers – Mohammad Sanu WR CIN
7. Ravens/49ers – Courtney Upshaw LB BAL
8. Discount Double Check – Morris Clailborne CB DAL
9. Expansion Team – Stephen Hill WR NYJ
10. Ravens/49ers – Stephon Gilmore CB BUF
11. Expansion Team – Ronnie Hillman RB DEN
12. Primanti’s Sandwhich – Fletcher Cox DT PHI
13. Ravens/49ers – Quinton Coples DE NYJ
14. Ravens/49ers – George Iloka S CIN
15. Ravens/49ers – Michael Brockers DT STL
16. Ravens/49ers – Marvin McNutt WR PHI

Round 3
1. Expansion Team – Melvin Ingram DE SD
2. Columbus Buckeyes – Dre Kirkpatrick CB CIN
3. Discount Double Check – Shea McClellin DE CHI
4. Philly Cheesesteaks – Mychael Kendricks LB PHI
5. Philly Cheesesteaks – Rueben Randel WR NYG
6. Primanti’s Sandwiches – Lemichael James RB SF
7. Seahawks/Titans – Andre Branch DE JAC
8. Expansion Team – Harrison Smith S MIN
9. Primanti’s Sandwiches – Ryan Broyles WR DET
10. West Canaan Coyotes – Ladarius Green TE SD
11. Philly Cheesesteaks – Brock Oswieler QB DEN
12. The Stompers – Bernard Pierce RB BAL
13. Philly Cheesesteaks – Nick Toon WR NO
14. Philly Cheesesteaks – Chandler Jones DE NE
15. Daltons Pondering (Sacrificed for Wes Welker)
16. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Russell Wilson QB SEA

Round 4
1. Discount Double Check – Robert Turbin RB SEA
2. Daltons Pondering (Sacrificed for Wes Welker)
3. Drew’s Crew – AJ Jenkins WR SF
4. The Stompers – Bruce Irvin LB SEA
5. West Canaan Coyotes – Marvin Jones WR CIN
6. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Chris Givens WR STL
7. Expansion Team – Junior Criner WR OAK
8. Drew’s Crew – Whitney Mercilus DE HOU
9. Philly Cheesesteaks – Brandon Taylor S SD
10. Tebow Mania – Greg Childs WR MIN
11. Expansion Team – Zach Brown LB TEN
12. Drew’s crew – Demario Davis LB NYJ
13. Sea Titans – Tommy Streeter WR BAL
14. Architecture of Aggression – James Michael-Johnson LB CLE
15. Tebow Mania – Sean Spence LB PIT
16. Daltons Pondering – Jerel Worthy DT GB

Round 5
1. Expansion Team – Bryan Anger P JAX
2. Expansion Team – Ryan Lindley QB ARI
3. Expansion Team – BJ Cunningham WR MIA
4. Philly Cheesesteaks – Chris Polk RB PHI
5. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Jenoris Jenkins CB STL
6. Discount Double Check – Dwayne Allen TE IND
7. Expansion Team – Blair Walsh K MIN
8. Architecture of Aggression – Edwin Baker RB SD
9. Steelers/Broncos – Alfonzo Dennard CB NE
10. The Stompers – Devier Posey WR HOU
11. Discount Double Check – Dontari Poe DT KC
12. SAMCRO aka TheFallen – Derek Wolfe DT DEN
13. Sea Titans – Devon Still DT CIN
14. Architecture of Aggression – Danny Coale WR DAL
15. Drew’s Crew – Michael Egnew TE MIA
16. Drew’s Crew – Nick Foles QB PHI

———-

2013 Draft

Round 1
1. Dalton’s Pondering – EJ Manuel $2,000,000 2017
2. The Fallen – Tavon Austin $2,000,000 2017
3. Philly Cheesesteaks – Giovani Bernard $2,000,000 2017
4. The Cisco Kid – Montee Ball $2,000,000 2017
5. The Fallen – DeAndre Hopkins $2,000,000 2017
6. The Fallen – Le’Veon Bell $2,000,000 2017
7. Stevie’s Johnson – Zac Stacy $2,000,000 2017
8. Viva La Revolucion – Eddie Lacy $2,000,000 2017
9. Tebow Motion – Jonathan Franklin $1,500,000 2017
10. Drew’s Crew – Geno Smith $1,500,000 2017
11. Tebow Motion – Marcus Lattimore $1,500,000 2017
12. Stevie’s Johnson – Tyler Eifert $1,500,000 2017
13. Dalton’s Pondering – Cordarrelle Patterson $1,500,000 2017
14. Drew’s Crew – Arthur Brown $1,500,000 2017
15. Architecture of Aggression – Markus Wheaton $1,500,000 2017
16. The Cisco Kid – Tyler Wilson $1,500,000 2017

Round 2
1. The Stompers – Justin Hunter $1,000,000 2017
2. Architecture of Aggression – Keenan Allen $1,000,000 2017
3. Philly Cheesesteaks – Aaron Dobson $1,000,000 2016
4. Dalton’s Pondering – Robert Woods $1,000,000 2017
5. Stevie’s Johnson – Quinton Patton $1,000,000 2016
6. The Fallen – Zach Ertz $1,000,000 2017
7. Philly Cheesesteaks – Matt Barkley $1,000,000 2017
8. Stevie’s Johnson – Christine Michael $1,000,000 2017
9. The Fallen – Mike Glennon $1,000,000 2017
10. Expansion Team – Joseph Randle $1,000,000 2016
11. Discount Double Check – Jarvis Jones $1,000,000 2017
12. Ravens/49ers – Kevin Minter $1,000,000 2017
13. Philly Cheesesteaks – Kiko Alonso $1,000,000 2016
14. Tebow Motion – Jonathan Cyprien $1,000,000 2016
15. The Fallen – Kenny Vaccaro $1,000,000 2017
16. The Stompers – Manti Te’o $1,000,000 2017

Round 3
1. Stevie’s Johnson – Stedman Bailey $700,000 2017
2. Dalton’s Pondering – Alec Ogletree $700,000 2017
3. Ravens/49ers – Stepfan Taylor $700,000 2017
4. Expansion Team – Matt Elam $700,000 2017
5. Tebow Motion – Mike Gillislee $700,000 2016
6. Expansion Team – Jon Bostic $700,000 2016
7. Discount Double Check – Eric Reid $700,000 2017
8. The Fallen – Dion Jordan $700,000 2017
9. Architecture of Aggression – Gerald Hodges $700,000 2017
10. Architecture of Aggression – Travis Kelce $700,000 2017
11. Expansion Team – Ezekiel Ansah $700,000 2016
12. Dalton’s Pondering – Dee Milliner $700,000 2017
13. The Stompers – D.J. Swearinger $700,000 2017
14. Viva La Revolucion – Terrance Williams $700,000 2017
15. Stevie’s Johnson – Kenny Stills $700,000 2017
16. Architecture of Aggression – Sio Moore $700,000 2017
17. Philly Cheesesteaks – Knile Davis $700,000 2017

Round 4
1. Architecture of Aggression – Margus Hunt $500,000 2017
2. Architecture of Aggression – Jonathan Banks $500,000 2017
3. Architecture of Aggression – TJ McDonald $500,000 2017
4. Discount Double Check – Bjoern Werner $500,000 2017
5. Philly Cheesesteaks – Barkevious Mingo $500,000 2017
6. The Fallen – Latavius Murray $500,000 2017
7. Tebow Motion – Andre Ellington $500,000 2015
8. Stevie’s Johnson – Shamarko Thomas $500,000 2016
9. The Fallen – Shawn Williams $500,000 2017
10. The Fallen – Datone Jones $500,000 2017
11. The Cisco Kid – Denard Robinson $500,000 2017
12. The Fallen – Khaseem Greene $500,000 2017
13. Tebow Motion – Tyler Bray $500,000 2015
14. Ravens/49ers – Ryan Swope $500,000 2015
15. Stevie’s Johnson – Desmond Trufant $500,000 2017
16. Drew’s Crew – Charles Johnson $500,000 2017
17. Discount Double Check – Vance McDonald $500,000 2017

Round 5
1. Expansion Team – D.J. Hayden $300,000 2017
2. Expansion Team – Ryan Nassib $300,000 2017
3. The Cisco Kid – Da’Rick Rodgers $300,000 2017
4. The Fallen – Xavier Rhodes $300,000 2017
5. Architecture of Aggression – Kerwynn Williams $300,000 2017
6. The Stompers – Darius Slay $300,000 2017
7. Drew’s Crew – Tyrann Mathieu $300,000 2017
8. Steelers Broncos – Jordan Reed $300,000 2017
9. Architecture of Aggression – Tavarres King $300,000 2017
10. Discount Double Check – Josh Boyce $300,000 2016
11. Expansion Team – Aaron Mellette $300,000 2015
12. Tebow Motion – Dustin Hopkins $300,000 2015
13. Philly Cheesesteaks – Damontre Moore $300,000 2017
14. Stevie’s Johnson – Phillip Thomas $300,000 2016
15. Architecture of Aggression – Dion Sims $300,000 2017
16. Tebow Motion – Caleb Sturgis $300,000 2016
17. Philly Chesesteaks – Gavin Escobar $300,000 2017

————

I’ll try to summarize some of my thoughts:

– Carefully look at the list of names. While it is easy to try to spot the studs/great players in between, notice from a 20-foot view how many other players taken ahead has either busts or are still in wait-and-see status

– I chose a complex league, because a lot of times owners will reach for players because they are drafting for needs. This post hoc study now makes me question whether one should ever draft for needs instead of just going Best Player Available

– Adding the IDP element helps make the 3rd/4th round picks have some value, but more often than not the IDP players on your waiver wire will be more useful than waiting for the middle tier rookie IDPs.

– 12 out of 12 owners will probably believe they hit on every single one of their draft picks [Gambler’s fallacy] in spite of these numbers, and that’s why draft picks are overpriced during the draft season

– Should you choose to choose the more practical approach, be prepared to receive insulting trade feedback or offers. It is still an unpopular way of thinking about rookie draft picks or rookies.

In conclusion, this article’s hope is for readers to readjust their thinking about the 5 year window and to not overvalue rookie picks. This is particularly difficult, because when you’re caught up in the draft season, there is an extremely high level of excitement both purported by us writers and the NFL. What is important to know is to take a step back and view the rookies in light of the league as a whole. Perhaps a better illustration would be, “Do not laugh off the owner who is offering you Eddie Royal, because you think that Quinton Patton is SO MUCH MORE TALENTED AND VALUABLE”. Things change on a dime, and the sooner you know that, the less you’ll overestimate longevity.

 

 

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