Dynasty leagues offer the closest experience to run your own fantasy football organization from player selection and valuation to drafting, scouting, trades, and working the waiver wire. Here are highlights from the footballguys staff responses in what makes for a good dynasty general manager:
Matt Waldman: My two base strengths in dynasty leagues are the rookie draft and the waiver wire (big surprise, I realize...). Most of my leagues are dynasty formats and they're split among Internet leagues with serious fantasy owners who consume everything online--including the Rookie Scouting Portfolio--and writers and/or site-based leagues where maybe one-third to one-half of the writers buy the RSP.
For the past 5-7 years, this dynamic as put me in a unique situation where a healthy amount of my competition knows how I value players and often use my work as a guide. It has forced me to push outside my comfort zone of leaning on the draft and free agency to acquire game-changing value because those players aren't there for me as it was in the past.
I've experimented with a lot of different methods during this time--some ideas more extreme than others:
- Blowing up a team of veterans in an attempt to get value ahead of their drop-off (that failed miserably).
- Drafting a veteran-heavy start-up and using the waiver wire as my method of infusing the roster with underrated talents (which had success in one league when I landed successful young players before the vets experienced a drop-off).
- Drafting and fielding less-conventional lineups in terms of positional allotment to earn a draft-day and waiver-wire edge.
- Increasing my volume of trades during the draft and the season.
- Reaching two or three rounds earlier for players I value.
- Trading away all of my draft picks and going two or three years without picks.
The common thing I discovered regardless of my experimenting is leveraging the bubbles that your leagues' owners leave available on the waiver wire. I've had numerous rebuilds where I've inherited bottom-dwellers and turned them around within a year or two because I could look at the previous two or three seasons of waiver transactions, find the talent that the league isn't good at identifying early, and use that to prioritize which method I'll use to build my squad.
This point is so vital because it helps you learn how much depth you should stock at each position, who will be available on the waiver wire, which positions that you need to draft early, and which ones you can add during the season. Do this, and it will guide your decisions about each component of team management.
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