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How To Turn Around A Dynasty Team

Dynasty Strategy

A Song of Yardage and Tackles: Issue 1 – Game of Touchdowns

112is a record no fantasy owner should need to endure, but it was my reality in the first year of my IDP dynasty league, Game of Touchdowns, as my Miami-Dade Dragons dropped nearly every game. While my squad in this 14-team league loosely themed to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” shed nearly as much blood as the Starks at the red wedding, this is a dynasty league and throwing in the towel is not an option. It’s re-building time!

First, you’ll need to view the following info to see how I ended-up 1-12 (please note that Percy Harvin did not have a hip injury when I drafted him in round 2): Start-up Draft, My Current Roster.

If there is any reward for a 1-12 finish, it’s the top pick in the rookie draft. Naturally, that pick drew interest like it was one of the establishments Littlefinger runs in King’s Landing. I was able to secure the following trade with Zhan Mourning (@zbullsmoke) just after Super Bowl XXL:

  • I got: RB Eddie Lacy, pick 1.8, pick 4.8 and TE Jason Witten
  • I gave-up: 1.1, TE Jordan Cameron and my round 2 pick in 2015

Eddie LacyWhy make this deal? I think Eddie Lacy is on track to be an elite NFL RB for years to come after his impressive rookie year, which Zhan did not feel the same way about. In this league RBs will always be at a premiere. We just saw Lacy have a great rookie year, so I rather invest in him than roll the dice on the in-coming rookie RBs. This trade does not happen if I don’t deal Jordan Cameron, which was hard, but I also have Dennis Pitta and Martellus Bennett. Witten was almost a toss-in, likely due to his age, and helped this deal feel a lot more like a no-brainer. My 2015 round 2 pick was not easy to part with, but I still have my round 1 and I want to try and get this team turned around this year.

Getting RBs in dynasty is vital. Consider them your dragons and make sure to hatch at least three in the massive fire that is a dynasty start-up draft. Other than QBs, they touch the ball the most and you can sometimes start three or more each week. With Lacy, Doug Martin, Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcus Lattimore, Bernard Pierce and a pair of Saints RBs with Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram, I feel good at RB going forward.

Tight End is a very important position and one where you always want an elite talent the size of Ser Gregor Clegane. Still, when weighing TE vs. RB, the back is more important in dynasty formats. I honestly think Pitta is the better choice than Cameron down the road. Pitta has great chemistry with Joe Flacco and we don’t even know who the Browns will have under center in 2014. If all else fails, Witten and Bennett are more than capable back-ups.

The 1.8 pick is pretty strong this year, as is any first rounder. It’s early, but the potential top 8 fantasy rookies could be: Sammy Watkins, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Ka’Deem Carey, Dre Mason, Mike Evens, Marqise Lee and, since this is an IDP league, Jadeveon Clowney. Knowing I’ll be able to get one of these guys was a key to the trade since I shipped away my round 2 and 3 picks in trades during the start-up draft last year.

Going into the 2014 season you need to know how deep the rookie pool is. WR looks to be very deep. QB looks to have promise, mostly at the top with Bridgewater and Manziel. There are some solid looking prospects at TE too. RB is a bit foggy this year and once again it looks like one might not go in round one. When the draft takes place and we see who takes what RB where will be the best indication of the 2014 rookie RBs’ true value. This mock rookie draft shows how much talent will be up for grabs this year.

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If you have a high first round pick, I would recommend trying to trade back to a later first round pick to gain talent. Maybe you could trade down from 1.3 to 1.10 and pick-up a promising young player like a DeAndre Hopkins and still have a good chance to land a potential star rookie who will emerge around the time winter is coming…

With a pretty good RB core, I will likely look to draft a WR at 1.8 in May. With just Percy Harvin, Julian Edelman and Anquan Boldin as my top WRs, the position is clearly in need of an upgrade. If Bridgewater or Manziel slip that far, I may opt for them since this a 6 points per QB touchdown league. I did that last season in another league (also 6 points per QB TD) when E.J. Manuel fell to me at 2.6. Sometimes it’s best to draft for value within your league’s scoring system, rather than what you think you need.

On the IDP side of the ball, I have three solid starting LBs that should all remain in the top 20 going forward and a pair of solid safeties. My weakness is at CB, DT and somewhat at DE. While DT is the lowest scoring position in our format, I really got nothing from my guys last year. I know a lot of owners would not have done it, but I recently traded my 4.8 pick for Gerald McCoy. Hopefully, a stronger weekly presence at DT will up my team average enough to produce a few more wins, but I am not under the delusion that it’s a huge gain. In IDP, never will a DT really go “dracarys” all over anyone.

Currently, I am looking to trade for a WR. Jody Smith (@JodySmith_NFL) is in this league and has dangled Pierre Garçon, but wants Doug Martin in return. He’s weak at TE and that’s one of the few positions where I seem to have a surplus of talent and could afford to trade Pitta, Witten or Bennett. When you have a surplus at a position like TE, it’s best to look at all other rosters and find a TE weak team with a surplus at a position you need.

I’ll try to sell Jody on his the fact that he only has Tyler Eifert (his TE1 last season was Tony Gonzalez)… and maybe remind him that he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan and should really want Witten… I don’t want to trade Martin, but that might be the only way I’ll get a Garçon or Jordy Nelson from him. Due to the value of a RB, I must look to make this a TE deal of some kind and try to up my offer with bench players and/or draft picks. I think I’ll need to walk away from this trade if he insists on Martin.

It royally sucked to finished in dead last like a peasant in Flea Bottom. Hopefully, after a year or two of re-building, I can raise to wear the championship crown and achieve the title: God of Tits and Wine!

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