If you’re here on this site browsing through articles you probably have an interest in dynasty leagues. Merriam-Webster defines a dynasty as a powerful group that maintains its position for a considerable time. That’s what separates dynasty leagues from any other fantasy league you have joined in the past. The goal isn’t just to win this year, it’s to win every year, or at least as many years as possible. In a redraft league, the mission is the same for every owner, win now. Every owner should be drafting, trading and scouring the waiver wire to win this year. Since all owners will have the same goal, the strategies will be very similar. In dynasty, the goal is still to win but each draft pick, trade or waiver wire move has a lasting effect. Not only does it change your team for the current season, but also for every season beyond.
I own teams in several different dynasty formats and each have differences in the setup and rules that have a large effect on strategy. The most important thing you can do when joining a new league is to make sure that you completely understand the rules. I can’t stress this point enough, understand what the scoring setup is and the keeper system that is in place. Ask questions, a reputable and trustworthy company will have an infrastructure in place that allows you to ask questions. It may be a messaging app, a forum or simply an email to the league commissioner. With the internet and social media, you may also find yourself in the new version of a home league. You may not know any of your fellow owners personally but rather frequent the same forums or share the same followers on Twitter. Expect the same level of commitment from the league commissioner from your home league as you would any other league. The biggest asset we have is time, there is nothing worse than spending your time on a league that collapses after two years because of a lack of leadership. As with most aspects of life, it’s better to ask what you may feel like is a “stupid” question than to assume you understand the rule(s). There is nothing worse than basing a decision on a false assumption, those types of decisions tend to snowball and have a lasting effect on your teams.
Know the scoring format, is it Head to Head points? Head to Head categories? Old school 5×5 Roto? They all play a significant role in draft strategy and in season roster moves. Picking up the latest ranking magazine that is geared for a standard 5×5 Roto league will give you a decent indication of what ADP should look like in a redraft league, but it doesn’t translate well to dynasty. There are sites that cater to dynasty and keeper leagues, but there aren’t many. You’ll find that to be successful you’ll need to do some of the work on your own. That 5×5 Roto dynasty list won’t be very much help in your head to head points leagues. Have an idea of what your rankings are before the draft starts. Dynasty leagues are generally deep leagues; they aren’t your typical 16-20 round draft with a few guys on your bench. They are likely 40-50 rounds depending on the size of the league. That’s 500+ players, what you do in the last quarter of the draft will make a big difference in the success of your team. Be prepared.
The other major aspect of a dynasty or keeper league is player retention. How many players will you be able to keep at the end of the season. There is a wide range as far as this goes, some leagues are 5 man keepers, some leagues allow you to keep as many players as you want. These distinctions also play a role in your thought process when making picks or trades. Knowing that you can only keep 5 players allows you to try to maximize those slots with the best 5 players you can acquire. When you can keep upwards of 75% of your roster, depth becomes much more important. If you can build a solid core with great depth, you’ll be in the hunt for a championship every year. Let’s face it, this is fantasy, the most dominant teams can get beat in a one-week sample late in the season. You just need to get yourself to the playoffs and hope for the best. Take advantage of the top seed bye week in the playoffs if your league uses it, manage every week like they matter, because at the end of the season, they do.
Once you understand the nuances of your league, it’s time to prep for the draft. What strategy will you use? Will you be drafting for the future and taking guys under 25 in the first few rounds? How soon will you take that top prospect? Will you focus on pitching or hitting? The beauty of dynasty is there are so many ways you can go.
I wish you all the best of luck in this roller coaster of a game we call Fantasy Baseball and I hope this helps!