Die-Hard Fantasy: The Dynasty
July 18, 2012 | Jeff
Yippee-ki-yay, fake footballers!
Us fine folks here at The Fake Football have been spreading the good word of snake draft strategery like wild fire this summer, so let’s take a quick detour through the rough and rugged terrain of a “Dynasty League Start-Up Draft.” A “dynasty” league is only for the most die-hard of fantasy players, so buckle up.
For those who aren’t yet hip to the dynasty scene, a dynasty fantasy football league gives a fake footballer the experience of running their own NFL franchise. After an initial “start-up” draft, players are kept year after year until they retire, are traded/cut, or start hanging out with Maurice Clarett. The only additions to rosters are made through the waiver wire, or via an annual “rookie draft.” Owning a dynasty team is extremely exciting and also gives us fantasy junkies a nice offseason fix, as dynasty leagues are active 12 months a year.
Recently, our friends at www.dynastyfootballwarehouse.com gave me the opportunity to partake in the Gridiron Classic dynasty “start-up” draft and begin crafting my own super franchise. Instead of the usual round-by-round breakdown, the following jumble of letters explains how I attempted to build my team, by position:
(12 teams, 22 roster spots, 1 pt. PPR)
Starter: Drew Brees (No)
Bench: Robert Griffin III (Wash) , Matt Flynn (Sea)
Drew Brees (3rd round) is a bit on the older side of things, but he should still have a few years of elite level performance left in his now very, very rich tank. Behind Brees, I drafted my QB of the future in Robert Griffin III (7th round). RGIII is an absurd talent and if he comes out of the gate anywhere close to where Cam Newton was last season, I’ll have some nice trade bait on my roster with both he and Brees. I added Matt Flynn (15th round) as another capable backup in the event I trade one of my top two arms. I feel confident that my quarterback situation is in good hands in 2012 and for years to come.
Starters: Ray Rice (Bal), Jonathan Stewart (Car), Stevan Ridley –flex (Ne)
Bench: Shane Vereen (Ne), Daniel Thomas (Mia), Felix Jones (Dal), Dexter McCluster (Kc)
Having the #1 pick in the draft, I had to decide whether I wanted to hitch my dynasty wagon to one of the NFL’s premier young ball carriers or opt for the one and only Megatron. After much debate, I selected Ray Rice. Rice has averaged 72.3 receptions a season over the last three years and at 25 years old, will be a monster in a PPR format for a few more seasons. After Rice, I was very happy to land Jonathan Stewart (5th round). Stewart is a free agent after the 2012 season, so hopefully he will find his way out of the tangled web of Carolina running backs. As for 2012, Stewart will still be a solid contributor in PPR formats, as he broke out with 47 catches in 2011.
I used the “buddy system” for my third running back, by selecting both of New England’s young backs in Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Whichever youngster wrangles up the starting gig will be playing for my team, which should work out nicely. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was productive in the Pats’ system, so hopefully I will land a significant contributor. The rest of my bench backs (Thomas, 13th– Jones, 12th– McCluster, 18th) are still on the younger side, so there is hope for some contribution from my scrap heap.
Starters: Torrey Smith (bal) , Greg Little (cle), Mike Williams (tb)
Bench: Lance Moore (no), Doug Baldwin (sea), Vincent Brown (sd), Mohamed Sanu (cin), Lestar Jean (hou)
My wide receiver group ended up much thinner than I would have hoped, due to spending two early picks on a QB and TE. Luckily, I snared Torrey Smith (4th round), who is one of my favorite 2012 receivers, and has a bright future ahead of him in Baltimore. Fellow youngsters Greg Little (6th round) and Mike Williams-tb (8th round) round out my group of starters, and will hopefully develop into nice PPR options. I was able to add plenty of receivers in the later rounds, in an attempt to cure my lack of top end talent with depth. Vincent Brown (13th round) and Doug Baldwin (15th round) both had nice moments in 2011 and should be able to continue that trend. Brand new wide outs Mohamed Sanu (14th round) and Lestar Jean (17th round) are still looking to carve out roles for themselves, but could end up being productive in the future. Lance Moore (14th round) could be a solid contributor in 2012 with Meachem out of New Orleans. Weak group overall, but my strength at the other positions should carry the team.
Starter: Rob Gronkowski (ne)
Bench: Martellus Bennett (nyg)
My hands were tied as the second round concluded with my pick at 2.12, when New England’s big beefer of a tight end slid all the way to my spot. Rob Gronkowski, at a mere 23 years old, was a fantastic value at that point and will be a huge, shirtless, fist pumping rock to build my team around. Martellus Bennett (16th round) is another super-sized tight end that will finally get a shot with the Giants this season. He was well worth a pick as my backup in the later stages of the draft.
Starters: Matt Prater (den), Seattle Seahawks
Kickers are kickers, but Matt Prater (20th round) can boot it. The Seahawks (19th round) have a very young and VERY good defense that should be a solid crew for the next few years in Seattle.
The entire draft was an incredible experience, as other savvy dynasty owners were trading players and picks during the draft like they were Twinkies at the lunch table. I even managed to get in the mix and swapped my 10th/21st/22nd round picks for 13th/14th/15th round picks in an attempt to build more depth at the quickly dwindling wide receiver position. The amount of trading and personalization of the franchises in a dynasty league makes for a very fun and interactive league, which I encourage every fake footballer to try.
In the end, I built an anti-Matt Millen team, as I didn’t draft wide receivers early enough. However, my top end talent elsewhere should keep the team competitive in the standings. In the case that my team pulls a Dolphins and isn’t a playoff team in 2012, I can still deal a few of my trade chips to set myself up for a run in the future. So get yourself started in the world of dynasty leagues, and you’ll never look at fake football the same way.