There is no Offseason
It is the most critical time of year as an owner in dynasty fantasy football. This is the time of year that separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls.) This is the time of year when you find out just how deep this fantasy football addiction runs. We all see it; we all have at least one owner in every dynasty league that tends to “take the off-season off.” Maybe they log into the league on a reactionary basis in order to respond to a trade. You might not even see them log into the league as they log in only as much as the email that is sent to their inbox that prompts them to decline a trade offer. Maybe your league doesn’t have rules built into the By-Laws that set expectations around league activity. If you find yourself in a more casual dynasty league with as much leniency as the parent that doesn’t know how to control their tantrum throwing children that kick and scream in the store because they didn’t get that candy bar at the front register, it’s time to try and make some headway toward developing such rules. Okay full disclosure – I’ve been that parent before – but you better believe I did everything I could to not be that guy again. I just bought the sticking candy bar. In any event, take the hand you’re dealt and push your chips into the center of the table. If you do find yourself in this casual of a league, it’s time to pounce like a predator in the jungle. You need to be the first to the waiver-wire if it’s open; knowing what’s happening around the league is giving you a sizable advantage in terms of knowing which players are creating buzz, which players are increasing in value, and which players are losing value. If there’s a situation playing out that is going to adversely impact the fantasy production of a player, you should actively shop that player to an owner that may just be logging into the league this time of year casually in order to accept trades (without actually performing a deep-dive into their team or the league in general.) These owners are the prey, and you haven’t eaten since last fantasy season. Whether or not you’re new to dynasty or a seasoned veteran, having a leg-up in the off season is critical to the success of your team. Are you okay with your lineup? Is your team built in a way in which it’s time to remove dead weight? Do you have an opportunity to consolidate multiple picks for higher picks or even the opposite to that? Is there a team in your league that looks like they could really use a little punch to their wide receiver corps, and you happen to be loaded? It’s already past the time to buckle down and feverishly get ready for the next season. For many dynasty owners, this information is engraved into the core, and they practice these concepts passionately. Here are some additional points to keep in mind:
Know the Rules
- When approaching a start-up for a new draft – it’s critical to know the rules! The league commissioner more than likely put a lot of effort into putting the rules together. Do the commissioner, your league mates, and yourself a favor – know them!
- Roster requirements
- Scoring set-up
- Draft set up and timing
- Activity Rules
- Waiver Wire Set-up and Schedule
- Were there any updates made to the league By-Laws based on previous year feedback or votes or a change in league direction overall?
A Trade is Meant to Help both Parties Involved
- You can “win” a trade today, but are you winning in the long-run?
- The more times you “hose” an owner repeatedly in a trade, the less times that owner will be willing to trade with you in the long-haul.
- You don’t want to ostracize yourself from future trades as you’re going to be in the same league with the same owners for a long time.
Make Realistic Trade Offers
- Offering up blind trade offers is okay to an extent. You never know when you throw out a trade offer, it gets accepted, and you’re pleasantly surprised when you see the confirmation email.
- When doing the above, make sure that you’re attempting to pull off a trade that makes sense for that owner. Sure I like Colin Kaepernick, but do I Really need to give you my staple wide receiver for another quarterback when I’m already sitting on Russell Wilson and Tony Romo?
- I’m an advocate of the UTHDynasty.com “package-up” philosophy, and it’s a great way to take a step forward. Having said that, don’t offer me Jeremy Kerley, Kendall Hunter, and a second round draft pick for Alshon Jeffery. Come on, Man!
Respond to Trade offers the right way
- Leave some comments; let the owner know what you’re thinking.
- Is there another player on your team an owner would be willing to negotiate?
- Remain objective. Even if the offer isn’t good, let the owner know you’re not very close on the trade valuation. Don’t belittle the owner or make them feel dumb.
- Don’t be that guy that let’s trade offers sit in queue without a response.
How well do you know your league mates?
- What are your league mates’ draft tendencies?
- How have they approached their team landscape?
- What does their trade history look like?
- Are they the type of owner that likes to build around a particular position?
Build Rapport with your League Mates
- Strike up an email conversation about football in general. What is an owner’s thoughts and approach to dynasty football across the board?
- Get an owner’s thoughts on the draft class. Who are they highest on? How are they approaching the draft?
- Are they “in-it-to-win-it?” Are they looking to trade out of some players that haven’t produced yet?
- Striking up a conversation goes a long way. An owner will be much more willing to deal with you if you’ve successfully create a bridge of trust. That owner may even be willing to in a sense “lose” a deal if he still thinks the final outcome is that it makes his team better. He will be less bent on the fact that he may have gotten less value in return for his investments.
- A caveat to this approach is to keep an owner close. IF you don’t agree with or even like the way a certain owner approaches his team, his conduct, or even his trades, it’s not going to do you any good to burn a bridge. Unless he’s an owner that exhibits behaviors that are generally outside of your leagues code of conduct (every league needs this talked about in the By-Laws), keep him close. You may even be able to help him change his ways.
How many Trade Offers have you Sent?
- You should have an offer for every owner as long as you can find something you think may pique interest.
- Are there teams that could use an upgrade at a position you’re in which you’re well-off?
- Are you sitting on a couple 3rd round picks while an owner has only a 2nd round pick for the entire draft?
- Do you see a glaring need at Running Back on an owner’s team presenting an opportunity for you to trade up to lock down a top wide receiver option?
Back to Basics
Much of the above is likely like riding a bike for the best dynasty owners that are already emulating these points on a daily basis. It goes without saying, however, that this is information that is always invaluable to bring to the surface on a recurring basis. Even as a seasoned dynasty veteran it’s easy to forget about the basics, and the advanced knowledge you possess around film study, metrics analysis, and general football IQ aren’t worth a darn if you forget about how to be a solid owner and league mate. If you’re this seasoned owner, it’s time to get back to the basics. If you’re just now dipping your trembling toes into the water of dynasty leagues, these points are critical to the long-term success of your team. Consider this your cliff-notes version to dynasty domination.
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