How to Prepare for a Startup Dynasty League

So how do you to begin your journey when preparing for a startup Dynasty league? Let's cover the basics so you know what you're getting into!

Dynasty Startup / Fantasy Football Basics

A dynasty startup league gives fantasy competitors a much more realistic feel of being a real life owner or general manager. Unlike in redrafts or even keeper leagues, in dynasty leagues, you retain the vast majority or nearly every player on your roster. You can reap the benefits of a marvelous move or pay the consequences of a crucial mistake for years to come. These leagues require much more strategy and dedication. If you’re a serious Fantasy Football owner who at the end of each year is depressed as you have to empty your roster of its abundant talent, dynasty leagues may be for you. These are some things that you must consider when deciding to create or join a startup dynasty league.


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Dynasty Leagues vs. Keeper Leagues

Dynasty leagues are almost like keeper leagues on steroids. Great owners tend to lament narrowing down their keepers because they have so much talent they have to unleash back into the free agent pool. With dynasty leagues, you won’t have that issue. You get to keep them all and build your dynasty. Watch your young promising prospects develop into elite Fantasy stars. It allows you to invest emotionally in players and take pride in your profound vision for young talent.

Commitment

A dynasty team is a serious commitment. If you decide to join a dynasty league, you should be prepared to commit to your league indefinitely. At the same time, if you’re joining or create a league, you want other owners that share the same commitment and passion. The less turnover, the better. Personal issues arise sometimes, we all understand that, but it’s inconsiderate to join a dynasty league just to quit within a year or two. It’s just as frustrating to watch other owners in your league do that as well. It leaves the remaining members scrambling to fill the ownership of the orphan team. It also takes away some of the intensity of building rivalries and consistency. If you are getting into a startup dynasty league in 2016, be sure it’s something you’re willing to commit to.

Creating a Dynasty League (Being a Commissioner)

There are numerous things to consider when creating a dynasty league. Of course, you have the standard questions that all leagues including redrafts have. The standard issues like number of teams, scoring system and starting positions. In general, most leagues consist of 10-to-12 teams although you can use any even number that you’d like. The scoring system is to your discretion; standard PPR is probably your best bet, and the offensive lineup most often used is QB, two RBs, two WRs and one TE (I prefer two TEs) and one FLEX (RB/WR/TE). You can change the roster configuration accordingly. Multiple flexes are often used. There is also IDP, which we will cover in just a moment.

You also have dynasty specific decisions to make like roster size and quantity of players that will be retained. You should probably have a minimum of 30 players on your roster, especially if it’s an IDP league. I prefer a 45-man roster. The deeper, the better. You should allow teams to keep at least 75 percent of their players; you can go all in at 100 percent though. That makes it a true dynasty league. Of course, some players will be let go to make room for rookies and free agents.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Dynasty leagues quite often use IDPs. There are a number of ways to utilize IDPs and point systems. In general, a tackle-heavy point system is standard and predictably big plays get big points. Don’t forget that sacks also count as tackles and tackles for loss if it’s in your point system. Same thing goes for passes defended with interceptions. So if you get too carried away and make it seven points for a sack and four points for a tackle for loss, all of a sudden, a sack can turn into an 11 point play. Just something to keep in mind. In general IDP leagues use at least one DL, one LB, and one DB. I much prefer a full defensive roster: three DL, four LBs, and four DBs. You can also divide up DEs and DTs as well as CBs and safeties if your particular site allows it. This is all up to your preference, IDP is probably one of the most fluid systems in Fantasy Football, it all depends on the football knowledge and commitment of your league members.

Free Agency

In general, you can use a standard waiver wire system just like any typical league. That’s what the majority of people utilize. There is, of course, the mayhem of a first-come-first-serve system too, which many sites will not allow you to do. However, the most intriguing of the free agency systems is blind bidding. When doing a blind bidding system, each owner is allotted a set amount of money at the beginning of the season. Each week you can bid on players without anybody else having knowledge of your bid until the players are added to the rosters. Since you only have a limited amount of money for a full season, a lot of strategy goes into the bids. You don’t want to run out of money midseason because you bid irresponsibly then injuries and bye weeks begin to mount, and you can’t produce a respectable roster let alone compete for a title. This is for more advanced dynasty leagues. It’s probably best not to jump right into a 45-man roster with a full IDP starting roster and a blind bidding system. Nonetheless, to each their own. Also, blind bidding is not an option on many sites. It is however in the Dynasty Fantasy Football World Championships.

Salary Cap

A salary cap puts a whole other twist on things and gives you even more of a GM feel. This is only for the most dedicated of dynasty leagues. It is just another feature that makes the whole experience more realistic and more difficult. Again, not all sites offer this option. This forces you to move some of your elite talent for youth because you simply can’t afford them. You’ve likely felt the same pain as a fan watching a veteran favorite walk to a different team due to money.

Drafting

It is extremely important to have all draft rules set before the first draft since people are building teams based on the long-term future. You can’t have teams draft and make trades all year based on one set of rules then just change it on them and mess up their whole strategy. That’s the kind of thing that causes contention in a league and causes them to disband. Typically you have a date set for your keepers, as well as the amount of players you keep. A draft is held not long after the real NFL Draft.

You can hold a draft of all available players or split up your rookie and free agent drafts. However, you should always have a set number of rounds and how you determine the order planned out in advance. Free agency is usually closed until the end of preseason. However, that is optional. You can hold a live draft (which is the most fun), a standard online draft or a slow draft. A slow draft can allow owners anywhere from an hour to 24 hours or longer to make their selection. The kind of draft all depends on your league members, their schedules, and location.

Trading

Trades are the greatest thing about dynasty leagues. It keeps the fantasy season going for 12 months of the year. You can trade all offseason, including draft picks! It all depends on what you value and how you want to construct your team. Do you want proven stars or do you want to go young and build through the draft? That’s the beauty of a dynasty league; it’s all preference. You’re the GM! For in-season trades, there is one very important decision you need to make. That decision is are you competing for a championship right now or are you rebuilding for the long-term future. If you are in the title hunt, you may trade a young prospect for a proven veteran. On the other hand, if your team is down and out you can move a talented but older player for an abundance of young talent with a lot more upside for the future. Trades are much more prevalent in dynasty leagues, and it’s key to building your franchise. It’s imperative to make wise decisions, or it can haunt you for a very long time. This isn’t something that will plague you for the season and then you move on; it can haunt your team for a decade.