Advice for Rebuilding in a Dynasty Fantasy Football League
Dynasty fantasy football (DFF) is the ultimate “be an NFL GM” experience. In DFF, you keep your whole team each year, and every year there is a rookie draft just like the real NFL. This added fun of being able to build your team the way you want it through trading and rookie picks is what separates DFF from redraft. The most important thing for owners in a DFF league to decide is if they are in win-now mode or “rebuilding”. Looking at your team and deciding whether or not you can win this year is a lot easier said than done. In this article I will be focusing on helping out those in the “rebuilding” phase. So, don’t worry DFF league owners, I am here to help.
As we are nearing the start of the fantasy football playoffs, week 14 for most, you likely already know if you are making the playoffs or not. For those who will make the playoffs, congratulations. For those who aren’t, now is the time to make some moves to prepare your team for the next few years. Firstly, we must establish that there is a difference between a “rebuilding” team and a “retooling” team. A rebuilding team is usually bottom tier team in the league, usually one of the worst 3 teams in an average 12 team league. A rebuilding team may have a fantasy star or two, but does not have much depth and has players that put up inconsistent numbers. A rebuild will take longer than 1 year to complete. A retooling team is a team in which that is only a couple fantasy studs away from competing for a championship. A retooling team is likely middle of the pack, or even a lower seeded playoff team. A retool can be completed in 1 season, but could take longer.
Depending on what site you play on, you may be able to trade picks up to 3 years in advance. Trading your older players for picks is the “traditional” way to rebuild, however, this varies based on which player you are selling. Some older players are actually a very good investment for you team, so don’t just sell all of your players over a certain age for picks. Unless you can predict the future, those picks you obtain for your older player may turn out to be a bust. If this is the case, you just sold a solid fantasy player because he was “too old”. You must be smart about which players to sell and when to sell them, which is a lot easier said than done.
Next, I would like to take a rebuilding team from one of the dynasty leagues I am in and give my advice on how I would approach the rebuild process. This league starts 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, and 3 RB/WR/TE FLEX. No K or D/ST. Their lineup is below (R denotes rookie):
QB: Carson Wentz, Gardner Minshew, Jake Luton(R)
RB: Nick Chubb, Marlon Mack, Deejay Dallas(R), Tyler Erwin, Bryce Love, Raymond Calais(R)
WR: Davante Parker, Will Fuller, Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper, Michael Pittman(R), Gabriel Davis(R), Cedrick Wilson, Collin Johnson(R), Kalif Raymond, Isiah Hodgins(R)
TE: Tyler Kroft, Dallas Goedert, Will Dissly
This team is currently 2-8, 2nd worst in the league. They have the following rookie draft picks: 2021 (1,1,2,2,2,3,3,4), 2022 (1,2,3,4,5), and 2023 (1,2,3,4,5). Obviously, they have made some moves already to gather some rookie picks for this year, but let’s take a look at each position group and how I would go about the rebuild process.
QB: This year, Minshew is averaging more FPPG than Wentz. I would keep Minshew, especially since you have his backup already in Luton. Wentz is in an interesting situation with Jalen Hurts being drafted this past year along with the Eagles struggling. I believe Wentz will remain starter for time being, but I don’t trust his injury history or the looming Hurts. I’d look to acquire Hurts in a trade or send Wentz and pick for an upgrade. Drafting a QB is also an option, but would not use a high pick on a QB due to bigger holes in the roster.
RB: Nick Chubb is a must keep. Marlon Mack is someone I would trade, although it may be hard to find value. Trading for a future 2nd or 3rd round pick may be the best route, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines seem to be handling the backfield well without Mack. Deejay Dallas has shown he can put up numbers if he starts, but being 3rd string in SEA is not very helpful. With that being said, keeping Dallas for depth is a smart move as you likely won’t find an owner willing to give up much for him. The rest of the RB group (Ervin, Love and Calais) are holds for now, but possibly droppable in future. With the amount of rookie picks this year, I would select RB with at least 2 of the top 5 draft picks. Value is there and RB is a weak spot on this team.
WR: This is the best positional group on this team, and easy to build with. Parker, Fuller, Cooper, Pittman and Davis are definite holds for me unless someone wants to overpay for one of them. Antonio Brown is the one guy I would try to move, as I don’t like his situation in Tampa with all the other weapons Tom Brady has to throw to. Also, his contract is only 1 year and his history is not appetizing. Sell him to a contender for a rookie pick, hopefully a 2nd or 3rd rounder. All the other WR’s are stashes to see where they go. Plus, with the amount of rookie picks, there’s definitely an opportunity to add quality rookie WR’s.
TE: This is the one group I would say needs to upgrade ASAP. Tyler Kroft has Dawson Knox behind him stealing snaps. Goedert will do well once Ertz is gone, but until then he is not a starting fantasy TE. With the picks available, I would send Kroft and a pick(s) for an upgrade at the position. TE’s I would target include: Jonnu Smith, TJ Hockenson, Noah Fant, Evan Engram. I would oppose drafting a TE due to the time it takes for most TE’s to produce in the NFL (I use the 3-year rule for TE).
When all said is done, this team has a good chance make the playoffs next year with the right moves. This is just one team and just one example of a rebuild, or a “retool” for that matter. All teams and leagues are different, so now is your chance to get individualized advice on your dynasty team! Drop your dynasty teams below that are rebuilding or retooling and I will offer my advice on what moves you should make to turn your team into a championship contender.