A few weeks ago I decided to do something different and take over an orphaned DSE team. I thought it would be fun to see what I could do with the ingredients someone else put in the refrigerator, if you will. The roster I took over had some talent on it with Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard, Antonio Brown, Jamison Crowder and a few others. After looking at my roster, and that of the other teams in this existing dynasty league, I decided I wanted to tear things down and rebuild from scratch. While I had inherited a good team, I didn’t think it had enough to compete for a championship. Quite honestly, I also wanted to take a team down to nothing and see if I could rebuild it. I have built my others teams to contend and wanted to try doing things differently with this one.
The Rebuild Begins – Out with the Old
Below are the league trades I made before the rookie draft started:
- Traded Eli Manning for rookie 2.12 and 3.12
- Traded Matt Ryan and Quincy Enunwa for Jared Goff, rookie 1.07 and 3.07
- Traded Antonio Brown and Luke Kuechly for Davante Adams, rookie 1.10, rookie 2.01, rookie 2.11 and a 2018 rookie 1st
- Traded Jamison Crowder for rookie 1.12 and a 2018 2nd round pick
Going into the rookie draft I had picks 1.05, 1.07, 1.10, 1.12, 2.01, 2.05, 2.11 and 2.12 in the first two rounds. Before I had set out to rebuild I had done my research using several dynasty trade calculators to get an idea of what type of return I should expect for each player. The hardest player to find an equal return for, especially since I was focused on picks, was Antonio Brown. While there was a lot of interest most of it was centered around veteran players. It was difficult to stay on task and stick with the rebuild idea. However, I was able to find a deal that I felt allowed me to stay on my path while getting a fair return.
The Foundation of the Rebuild – In with the New
Once the rookie draft started I had a few players I liked at 1.05 and unfortunately for me none of them slipped down to my pick. As a result I decided to explore the market for 1.05. I was able to make a deal for pick 2.07 and a 2018 1st (I also threw in 4.05). Beyond not loving the players available at this spot I also wanted to make sure I had a few 1sts next year to continue my rebuild. From what I have seen and read, the 2018 draft is shaping up to be a very good draft. I felt it was worth the risk to acquire the 2018 pick considering I still had three 1st round picks left in the draft. In the 1st round I was able to take:
- Kareem Hunt at 1.07
- Mike Williams at 1.10
- Alvin Kamara at 1.11
- Zay Jones at 2.01
At this point one of the other owners decided to put pick 2.04 on the block. I sent Kenny Stills and 2.12 to him for 2.04. With that, I took Joe Williams and followed it up at 2.05 with Jamaal Williams, Myles Garrett at 2.07 and Cooper Kupp at 2.11.
In the 3rd round, I was able to get James Conner at 3.05, Chad Williams at 3.07 and then traded FA 2.05 for pick 3.09 where I took Gerald Everett. To finish off round 3, I took Haason Reddick at 3.12. I didn’t have any 4th round picks.
I felt pretty good coming out of the rookie draft as I was able to draft 5 RBs, 4 WRs, 1 TE and 2 IDP. While I understand not all of these guys will pan out based on the sheer volume I am hopeful I found 3 or 4 stars out of the group. I was also pleased to be able to pick up some 2018 picks and currently have three 1sts and three 2nds already for next year. (I recently traded Kenny Britt for a 2018 2nd after the draft)
Stay the Course When Doing a Rebuild
I have to admit that rebuilding has been more difficult than what I thought it would be. The hardest part about it is being “all-in” on the idea. There have been multiple times where I have had the opportunity to acquire a player that would help now, but honestly, that is not what I am looking to do. I am a really competitive person, as I believe most fantasy football players are, so not doing all I can to win this year is difficult. Although I understand that to get to where I want to be, a perennial contender, I have to commit to the process.
I truly believe the worst place you can be in a dynasty league is in the middle. In that position you have just enough hope to not sell but not enough to buy. The tricky part is that fantasy football is such a game of luck. A team that could look mediocre all year could suddenly surge at the end of the year due to rookies getting more playing time or due to injuries on other teams. With this team I wanted to make sure if I was going to rebuild I was going to rip it down as far as I can.
Because of this I did hold onto some of my veteran players like Greg Olsen, Todd Gurley, and Marqise Lee. I simply wasn’t getting the offers for these players that were good enough for me to move them. I do feel that at some point during the course of the year I will move the majority of these players, but it will be when the price is right. While I certainly don’t wish that any player gets hurt, the reality is that it is going to happen. A team in my league is going to need a TE or WR and hopefully I will be able to get the return I want for my guys. Since I am not going to contend this year I don’t feel any pressure to trade my veteran guys now.
One other factor that has made getting this process started easier is the team is in a very active league. I have actually never seen a league that makes as many trades as are made in this league. This has been fortunate for me and my effort to rebuild because the other teams are constantly looking to get better leading to me finding deals. If I had ended up in a league where nobody had interest in giving up picks then I would have had to reconsider my strategy. When you make a decision to either win or rebuild take into consideration how active your league is. Is it going to be relatively easy to make the deal you need to make to move up or down?
When I took over this team I really had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Once I decided I wanted to rebuild the team I knew I had to be all-in on the idea. As mentioned above, this was not always an easy thing to do and staying on course has been harder than I thought it would be. However, I can say I have had a blast trying to do it. To an extent it has been freeing to be able to make decisions based on the future without the pressure to win now. I don’t think I will know whether I made the right decisions (picks, trades, etc.) for a couple of years.
The best piece of advice I can give is no matter what direction you want to take your team (contender or rebuild) be 100% committed to that direction. I will make sure and update you on how the rebuild is going as I am excited to see for myself.