Better Dynasty Play
Know Your Mates
It’s start-up season and the itch to join a new league is calling out to me stronger than my jock itch after a 5k run, even though I joined way too many leagues last year. After all, that is one of the documented side effects of COVID in relation to Fantasy Football.
In my journey to become the best version of myself as a fantasy footballer, I have consumed hours of deep dives into dynasty theory: Zero RB, VOR, WAR, Modified Zero RB, QB streaming, QB hoarding, investing in your Dynasty team like a 401(k) and countless other well published theories out there. I listened and re-listened, took notes, then tried out the different approaches in multiple leagues. In my experience I found simple principles can easily be overlooked and often have a large impact. Also, these principles can be implemented easily in a few minutes.
Today I wanted to look at some incredibly simple advice and how this advice impacted my leagues. It is the age-old principle of knowing your fellow league owners or “Know Your Mates”. Let’s look at this principle through the lens of some leagues I play in and you can see how important this can be, how it can impact other dynasty strategy, and how easily you can do the same in any upcoming start-ups or rookie drafts.
Aussie Guys 4 is a 14 team Dynasty League that started in 2017. It’s an auction-based league, Superflex .5 PPR with a full PPR for TE. In 2020 in this league there was a total of four trades in the year, and three of them involved me, I put out numerous offers and did not receive even a single counteroffer.
“You should never draft for team need” is standard dynasty advice often extended with no context, though it would be a critical mistake to draft solely on value in this type of league. I’m sure we all play in these types of leagues, this a fun league with some of my favourite fantasy owners
Though not many deals are done. “Know your mates” tells me here I should be drafting on team needs more than anywhere else. I’m not saying you pass on Lawrence at 1.01 in a rookie draft in this type of league, but for pretty much every other decision it should be slanted towards current team need.
Cracking a Cold one with the boys is 12 team Dynasty I joined as an orphan a couple of years ago. It’s a Superflex with standard draft, full PPR, .25 per carry, start 2 TE league. In 2020 there was a total of 84 trades in this league.
“Know you mates” tells me when I draft or trade in this league it should be almost exclusively for value. There were 84 trades but there must have been 1000 offers. I can throw team need out the window. I rebuilt the orphan I inherited and stacked picks. I had six 2020 firsts at one stage, I picked four of them and sold two. One of those trades was a terrible trade that I still receiving therapy for…
FOG of WAR is a 70-team league, 5 player copy, it’s a new league I joined this year as part of an expansion and dispersal wrapped into one. In this league the startup draft consists of Blind Waiver Bids. I was bidding against 29 teams and there was at least one copy of every player sometimes there was 3 or 4 copies of the same player.
I haven’t played with 90% of these teams before, I went in thinking I could get a multicopy player on the cheap and just accumulate value. After all there would be a market to resell with 70 other owners. This was a mistake. There were very few bargains to be found and owners were price enforcing. “Knowing your mates” should have told me I was in a league with very savvy players, and half of my start-up involved owners who were in the original start-up last year, so they had considerably more experience in this format than me. Fortunately, I realized this pretty quickly and had an ok start-up, I have good core of players I am happy with and the 3rd most rookie blind bidding dollars out of 70 teams in the rookie draft. Though it could have been so much better. I was stuck at the dreaded end of a tier for QBs and had to overpay slightly for my guys which left me with less depth.
I encourage you to take a minute before any new start-up or rookie draft you may be in and look over your league mates and consider how this will impact your league strategy.