When my dynasty league started in 2008, I searched the Internet for help and insight as to how to draft and found very little. After two years and one championship, I have become much better at figuring out how to dominate.
When doing a dynasty league, you just need to remember that you’re going to have these players until you don’t want them any more, so draft wisely.
If I were to have my dynasty draft over I would have done a lot of things differently.
My first five picks were as follows: Marshawn Lynch, Marion Barber, Andre Johnson, Jay Cutler and Anthony Gonzalez.
I want you to dominate your friends. I want you to be that guy that doesn’t need to trade because your team is so stacked. Follow the tips below and dominance will be right around the corner.
First, you will be tempted to go out and buy a fantasy magazine. Before you go to the local book store and spend $7.99 on a book, perhaps you should write a check to Chinstrap Ninjas for $5.99 and drop it in the mail. Once the check is in the mail, come back and finish this article.
Now that you have saved yourself $2 on the magazine and an unknown amount on gas and time, here is everything you need to know.
Everyone thinks that you need to build with running backs … wrong. The running back stud theory is only good in redraft leagues, so abandon it.
Right now you are thinking I am crazy, but ask yourself in the past few years how many RBs have consistently been picked in the first round and been worth the pick. Not many.
Some of the best fantasy backs of the past season were not even drafted in the first three rounds: Cedric Benson, Ray Rice, Ricky Williams, Ryan Grant, the list goes on. The turnover at running back is crazy and in fantasy it only takes a few good games to get them in the first round. Look at Jamaal Charles — he strung together five good games in a row and is being discussed as a top 10 pick for the coming season.
So what to do? Well if I were participating in a draft tomorrow, I would draft in this manner: WR, WR, QB, and here is why.
First, wide receivers hardly ever get hurt badly (quarterbacks as well). Receivers pull their groins and twist ankles, but in the past season only one big name wideout went down, that was Wes Welker and it wasn’t until the end of the season and well past fantasy relevancy.
Second, the best wide receivers are all young and they play at a high level into their early- to mid-30s.
Third, wide receivers and quarterbacks both have strong carry-over value from season to season. There are very few backs that stay good for more than three to four years. A lower body injury to a RB is crushing to their fantasy value where as with a WR or QB it doesn’t close the door on them.
One caveat, if everyone in your league is jumping all over QBs and RBs, adjust and go WR, QB, WR. You need to be able to make changes when you’re drafting to maximize your pick’s worth. The main fact here is that you should not be looking for RBs until the fourth or fifth round.
So you should be looking at these players at the top of your draft: Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson and a top QB.
Now in rounds four to six, you go after some running backs. I will also suggest that you should look at drafting a solid tight end. A player such as Jermichael Finley, Brent Celek or Vernon Davis could be instrumental to year-to-year dominance.
So now you have this team with no “stud” running backs and a bunch of young stud players. Have faith, grasshopper. While I understand that you will most likely not win your fantasy championship the first year, I will be willing to bet you make it to the Super Bowl by the end year three.
Here is why it is going to be like that:
1. You have drafted players that are elite talents at their position and they are going to be good for years to come.
2. If you take a tight end early, you will have a top player at a position that is scarce and again he will be good for years to come.
3. You read the articles on Chinstrap Ninjas so you will know who the up and comers are going to be so you will be ahead of the curve.
As the draft continues, remember you’re going to be picking about 17 to 20 players and you’re only going to start about 8 players (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 FLEX). So about 5-8 players are going to be for depth and about 3-5 will be for development. Continue to fill out your roster with a healthy mix of youth and solid starters.
At the draft, you should have about five guys in mind that are a year or two away from being impact guys. It is OK to reach for these guys — when I had my draft, my reaches were for (this draft was 20 rounds and took place in 2008): Eddie Royal (15th), Rashard Mendenhall (6th), Sidney Rice (16th), Anthony Gonzalez (5th). You just need to remember to draft for the future … having a wealth of young players can be great trading material and can help you maintain a solid core.
Finally, if you don’t believe me, ask some people who are in dynasty leagues. Who are the guys they wish they had and don’t be surprised when they rattle off the names of top wideouts, tight ends and quarterbacks.
The only guys that will say running backs will qualify it by saying where the back was drafted. It will sound like this: “Man, I wish I would have drafted Ray Rice. he was picked in the 10th round. I would have gladly given a ninth-round pick.”
In following this way to draft, you are building your team to be good for years. If you want the instant gratification of winning the inaugural season, than don’t listen, but if you want to have your name on the trophy numerous times … take notes and dominate for years to come.
What are your suggestions for drafting your initial team in a dynasty league? Feel free to share your comments below.