and Jon Millman
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2011 4:24 PM
Fantasy Football University – Class III
Pre and Off-season Strategies for Keeper and Dynasty Leagues
The first thing to do in these types of leagues is to evaluate if your team is a contender, needs a few players to get there, or is a work in progress with several holes to fill. Once you figure out where you are you can figure out what you need to do and prioritize.
For example, if you are a contender, you do not need to focus on rebuilding and long term planning. You can hold off on drafting younger guys, maybe even look to trade a few picks to move up and get another big contributor and forego some depth. Instead of rebuilding you are just looking for those last few holes you have that you need to fill.
If you are far from the top team in your league, you'll need to prepare to rebuild. Draft some more freshmen or young players who have more potential upside, but may take time. You can grab some solid freshmen RBs who are behind veterans this year, but could be the starter in a year or two.
So the first key to planning your strategy is to analyze and assess where you are now, and then formulate a plan to improve. You'll also need to figure out who to keep and who to let go.
How to Decide Who to Keep
In Dynasty Leagues you retain your entire roster for the next season, while in Keeper Leagues you hold just a select few. Those decisions will hinge on the strength of your team and the age of your players. Education may be wasted on the young, but fantasy football value is not. Simply stated, if you perceive that two players have equal value, always choose the younger one. Try to add youth and pull the plug on aging superstars.
Teams that are rebuilding in this format are advised to stock up on some younger players who could break out, while contending teams with a strong core are best-suited to add quality veteran depth to solidify their club and get prepared for the long stretch of the season. The key point is that you want to keep players who are still on the way up and have plenty of mileage left on their treads.
As a rule of thumb, don't keep a quarterback at the expense of a good running back or receiver (we're talking in a Keeper league where you only keep 3-6 players or so). Stud running backs generally receive a higher premium than stud receivers, so opt for the runner if you have a stud at each position and can only hold one. With Quarterbacks, unless you have one of the elite 3 or 4 QBs, you generally do not want to waste one of your valuable keeper slots on them. You will get a starting QB in your draft.
You should also try to upgrade at your thinnest position without weakening an already strong one. This point brings us to trading.
Trading For Draft Picks
The way you go about trading should also depend on where your team is, success-wise. If a fantasy owner is very strong at running back with excellent depth, then it is a good idea to trade a quality runner to fill a void at another position, like quarterback or receiver. Draft picks can also be gold, if you can land a freshman with stud potential.
In keeper leagues, I always have more strong talent then I can legally hold, so I try to trade some of those gems for draft picks, as the alternative of flat-out losing those excess players to free agency is not a good one. I usually am willing to overpay to get a deal done, and am always looking to “trade up”. Meaning, I'm happy to give up two quality players for a stud. The two players combine for much more points than any one player, but I am looking to build the strongest STARTERS, so getting a stud and sacrificing a little depth is what I am almost always willing to do.
If I can't find another stud for one of my spots, I am fine trading for additional draft picks, you take what you can get. But the best advice to follow is to constantly build depth during the season via the waiver wire, and then use that depth to trade up for better players by offering multiple lesser-talented guys.
The key to building a Dynasty in your College Fantasy Football league is to always stay active trying to improve your team. In the off-season and pre-season, try to unload your graduating guys, and lean towards younger guys who are on good offenses or good teams to be your future.
I do have one other point to leave you with if this is your first year drafting a Dynasty or Keeper League…
The truth is any league I draft in I draft to win THIS year, so I really don't "over" play the youth aspect even in a Dynasty league if I am starting a new team. But I do use that as the tie breaker if I have two guys in the same tier or am stuck on which of two to draft.