One of the contests closest to our heart among the Fantasy Football World Championships is the Dynasty Football World Championship (DFWC). The dynasty format lends itself all sorts of interesting caveats between team-building, trading, accumulating draft picks and more, all in a year-round format where you build relationships with your leaguemates.
The DFWC also has a special prize: Dynasty King. For every three-year window, the team that scores the most points during the Weeks 1 to 16 of each season is crowned the Dynasty King. 2017’s Dynasty King was Aaron Statts, owner of “Governor Blam”. In addition, Statts’ team was the winner of 2017 DFWC.
This is an email interview with Statts after his big win:
Scout Fantasy Sports (SFS): Congrats on the winning the 2017 Dynasty King, Aaron. Tell us a bit about your Fantasy and Dynasty background / experience.
Aaron Statts (AS): I first got involved with fantasy football back in 2004, just playing in Yahoo leagues with friends and coworkers. It wasn’t until 2009 that I dipped my toes into mid stakes, and later on in 2011, I tried some higher stakes leagues. My first dynasty league was in 2012, and I got crushed early. I quickly learned that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. It was around this time that I learned of the upcoming DFWC through Micheal Bronte’s Dynasty Soundtrack podcast. I drafted my first team in the DFWC back in 2013, and another in 2014 which is the team that earned the Dynasty King title. I also have one more team that was an orphan that I acquired in 2016.
SFS: What drew you to Scout Fantasy Sports’ Dynasty Football World Championship?
AS: I fell in love with tournament-style contests playing in other high stakes leagues in the past, and that’s what initially intrigued me about the DFWC. As of now, aside from a small stakes friends league, its the only dynasty format I play in. To me, the tournament style play and the duel flex option is what truly makes the DFWC better than other formats.
SFS: Which moves prior and during the season do you think helped carry you to the overall win?
AS: By the time 2014 rolled around, and I was about to draft the team that would eventually win the overall prize and the Dynasty King title in 2017, I had only drafted in two dynasty start-ups, both with minimal success. I learned from my mistakes and took into account what I perceived my weaknesses were and used that as the basis of my draft strategy. My plan was simple, load up early and often at WR, try to lock in a solid QB if the price was right, take the RB position at value, and entirely punt the TE position with plans to trade for one later. My strategy was based on me scouting my scouting abilities. I was much better at identifying talent at RB than I was at WR, so I wanted to load up at the WR position to create a healthy and deep core, and later, add pieces at RB via trade or the draft. Over these last few years, I proved myself correct. I suck at scouting WRs, but I’m not so bad with RBs.
SFS: Were there any specific strategies to your game in building this team?
AS: Heading into the 2017 season, I knew my team was solid with nice depth, so I was just hoped to avoid major injuries and simply not make any wrong decisions when trading. One trade I made that helped the team sustain success throughout the year was when I traded away Amari Cooper, a 2018 1st and 2nd, along with Chris Godwin for WR DeAndre Hopkins. To be honest, I hated to make that deal because I felt like I was losing tons of future value, but I was in the win now mindset and knew I had to pull the trigger if I was going to compete for the overall title. Ironically enough, the week after I traded Cooper away, he put up his 40 burger game, and very soon after the trade, WR Hopkins lost his QB Watson to an ACL injury. If I didn’t think I was cursed by the fantasy gods at that point, I truly did when I lost Aaron Rodgers a few weeks later. Luckily I was able to make another trade for Kirk Cousins who would be just good enough not to leave a huge hole in my roster for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, I traded away all of my 2018 picks, so keeping this team competitive over the next few seasons is going to be tricky. But the way I see it when it comes to dynasty, and especially in this tournament format, you only have a certain window of time to be dominant, and eventually, father time will catch up to your team. If this were your typical dynasty league in which you’re just competing against 11 other players, I probably would have played things differently. But when you’re competing against 600 or so other teams for a chance at $10,000, you have to make bold moves while possibly sacrificing your team’s future chances at success. Heading into 2018, I’ll be at a disadvantage with my league mates when it comes to adding future talent, but I look forward to the challenge.
SFS: What will you be doing this offseason to improve your team? Anything specific?
AS: As for this offseason and looking into 2018, I’m just doing what most guys do. I have a hand full of podcasts I listen to keep the fantasy juices flowing. I find myself on YouTube a good bit watching tape of upcoming rookies, and I have a few friends that I have met over the years in the fantasy community that I’ll call or text to get their thoughts on players and such. I am excited about this upcoming class of players, especially from the RB position. I don’t want to show my cards too much to the four guys who have actually read this much of what I have to say, but I will say that I’m glad that I don’t own the #1 overall pick this year because more times than not Saquon Barkley reminds me more of Reggie Bush than LaDainian Tomlinson. I could be wrong, and that wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last. Don’t get me wrong, I see his talent, but I’m not so sure I’d be jumping on him #1 overall. As far as the rest of the RBs go, pretty much all of the SEC RBs are at the very least solid guys that can find a fantasy producing roles given they land in the right situation…. except Bo Scarbrough. I think all of those knee injuries have taken too much of a toll on him. Typically, if I owned a late pick in the 1st round, I’d trade it off for a future 1st round pick, but not this year. I see plenty of quality in this class that runs deep into the 2nd round of rookie drafts.
SFS: Any final thoughts about your win or about your league you’d like to close with?
AS: I’d like to say thanks to Scott Atkins and the rest of the guys at Scout for giving us players the DFWC. I’d also like to thank all of my leaguemates for the kind words over the last few weeks. I’ve enjoyed this time competing along with you guys and getting to know some of you over the years. Draft season is just a few months away so get to work ladies and gents. I’m looking forward to what 2018 has waiting for us.