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2024 Dynasty Startup Blueprint - FFPC Draft Strategies and More

There's nothing quite like the feel of a new dynasty startup and the anticipation of your incoming draft slot as you decide which players you want to make up the cornerstone of your roster for years to come. While we still have to wait four months for some live NFL action, the good news about the offseason is that it's dynasty startup season! If you haven't participated in a dynasty league yet, I highly recommend it. Not only will it keep you active in the 24/7 NFL news cycle, but you'll have a vested interest in the NFL Draft and will have a leg-up on all the other fantasy players out there by the time the redraft season rolls around.

If you're gearing up to join in the dynasty league fray, you're in luck. Our pals over at FFPC are the gold standard in dynasty fantasy football, boasting a buffet of formats from standard to Superflex and even Best Ball. Whether you fancy a leisurely slow draft or the thrill of a live draft session, they've got you covered with buy-ins from $100 to a high-stakes $5,000 league. Plus, snag a cool $25 off when you sign up as a new player! Navigating a dynasty draft is no small feat, especially in the intricate web of a 12-team, Superflex, Tight End Premium, PPR league. Your drafting strategy must be as flexible as a seasoned quarterback's playbook, adapting to the ebbs and flows of your league's unique scoring and roster settings. Going into battle unprepared? Rookie mistake. A botched startup draft could leave your team rebuilding for years. My friend, Alex Korff over at Draft Sharks, does a monthly trade value chart based on player values from Reddit. It's seriously one of the best resources out there for dynasty trades. And hey, don't just stop there -- here at RotoBaller, we offer a slew of other resources brimming with dynasty insights to sharpen your drafting sword.

Most dynasty drafts are a marathon, not a sprint, often unfolding as slow drafts that open strategic trade doors, both up and down the board. I'll pull back the curtain on my own 20-round dynasty startup journey at FFPC, sharing the logic behind each selection as well as tips for extracting maximum value while keeping a hawk's eye on your league rivals. Ready to transform your fantasy football aspirations into dynasty domination? Let’s kick this baby off!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

Featured Promo: Join an FFPC Dynasty league startup for standard, best ball or Superflex formats. All new sign-ups get $25 off any FFPC contest! These leagues have year-round team management, trading, and are available in slow-draft or live-draft formats!

Sign Up Now!

Importance of Knowing Your League Settings

It's always important to know your league's settings before the draft begins. In this league, the starting lineups consist of:

1 - QB
2 - RB
3 - WR
1 - TE
1 - Superflex
2 - Flex
10 - Bench
3 - Injured Reserve

In some leagues with shallower starting lineups such as seven players, trading up and gathering more star players is likely the move, but in leagues where you start as many as 10 or 12 guys, trading back to acquire depth is more important. In this format, wide receiver depth is absolutely paramount as there is a massive drop-off around WR45 or so.

The number of starting spots and scoring settings can also become a factor in Zero-RB builds as well as when to prioritize backs in your startup (more on that later). But in a full PPR scoring league where RBs only make up 20% of the starting lineup, you can afford the luxury of not having to invest in backs early in the startup while targeting pass-catching ones at a discount later.

A few important notes for the sake of context in this dynasty startup:

  • FFPC includes all 2024 rookies in their startups. This can prove problematic as we don't yet know their landing spots, but it can also provide some opportunity if you play your cards right. Last year, this author had a team who drafted De'Von Achane with the 12.03 and Sam LaPorta with the 14.03. *bows*
  • In managed leagues, FFPC caps each team at three quarterbacks in the startup and 36 drafted overall. Teams can roster as many as they want once the season begins, but for the startup draft, each team is capped at three in order to prevent hoarding. I have mixed thoughts on this as it can be both good and bad, but the most important aspect of playing on FFPC is that they are the commissioner of every league and have never had a dynasty league fold since they started in 2010.
  • If you are doing a startup draft before the NFL Draft, have everyone in your league draft for rookie slots (usually with kickers) and have a separate rookie draft after the NFL Draft.

Why You Need a Tier-Based Drafting System

Here’s a simple tip from the pros that can transform your approach: dive deep into tier-based drafting. This isn’t just about knowing who to take while on the clock; it's about structuring your player rankings into well-defined tiers that reflect their value and projected performance not just for the upcoming season, but over the next few years.

Think of it as creating a hierarchy of talent, from the young gunslingers to the seasoned vets, based on everything from raw potential to expected fantasy output. A dynasty draft is much like the stock market: you don't want to invest in a bunch of players (at least with your early picks) who could see their dynasty value plummet one year from now, but we'll get into more of that down the road.

Why bother with tiers? Because in the wild west of dynasty drafts, value is king. You might think you don’t need another wide receiver or a young QB if you’re set this season, but dynasty drafting is playing the long game. Like savvy NFL GMs who draft the best talent on the board regardless of immediate need, smart dynasty owners grab value that can be leveraged later. This could be through trades or by simply banking on potential that unfolds down the line. It’s about drafting smart, not just drafting hard.

"One of the biggest mistakes dynasty players make this early in the offseason is drafting based on how they think their roster will look in September. There aren't any games being played for the next four months, so don't worry about any of that. Just draft for talent. You can always trade for need later." Make it a motivational dynasty quote and put it on the wall.

With a solid tier-based system in place, you won’t sweat it when the inevitable run on quarterback or running back happens. Your tiers will guide you calmly through the storm, ensuring you make picks that are value-packed, not panic-driven. It’s like having a fantasy GPS in a draft full of detours. This approach keeps you proactive, not reactive, letting you navigate your dynasty draft with the cool, calculated finesse of a chess master making well-planned moves. Ready to build a dynasty that lasts? Get ready to set those tiers and dominate the draft board!

Here is an example of a tiered rankings system for the early part of a Superflex, TE Premium, Full PPR startup draft. This is something you will want to sit down and do for every player in your dynasty start-up. It might sound like a lot, but in the end, it will be well worth it. Since dynasty is forever, you will definitely get out of your startup draft what you put into it, and preparation is key.

Right now, three quarterbacks appear worth trading up for or worth taking with the first three picks in the startup, with there being seven quarterbacks and three wide receivers worth drafting in the top-10 selections overall:

  1. QB1 - Josh Allen (Tier 1)
  2. QB2 - Patrick Mahomes (Tier 1)
  3. QB3 - C.J. Stroud (Tier 1)
  4. QB4 - Jalen Hurts (Tier 2)
  5. QB5 - Lamar Jackson (Tier 2)
  6. QB6 - Joe Burrow (Tier 2)
  7. WR1 - Justin Jefferson (Tier 2)
  8. WR2 - Ja'Marr Chase (Tier 2)
  9. QB7 - Justin Herbert (Tier 2)
  10. WR3 - CeeDee Lamb (Tier 2)
  11. RB1 - Bijan Robinson (Tier 3)
  12. QB8 - Kyler Murray (Tier 3)
  13. QB9 - Anthony Richardson (Tier 3)
  14. WR4 - Amon-Ra St. Brown (Tier 3)
  15. QB10 - Trevor Lawrence (Tier 3)

Some of the top QBs are included in Tier 2 due to the overall scarcity of the position in Superflex. Since quarterbacks tend to play the longest out of any position, elite ones are usually worth investing in this early. Given their age and proven production, Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, and CeeDee Lamb are all highly above the rest of the other WRs out there and represent a big tier-break at the position as well.

If you are picking at the 1.11, 1.12, 2.01, or 2.02, and all 10 of those players above are gone, the better move is to trade back and try to pick up some more value. Why? Because the reality is the player you might take at the 1.11 is likely in a similar tier with who you might draft at the 2.06.

By trading back a few spots, you can always move up in later rounds or try to acquire other team's 2025 rookie draft picks. Think of it like this: would you rather have Anthony Richardson OR Trevor Lawrence plus Jordan Addison? When you trade back, you're often getting just that in the end: a two-for-one deal.

Let the Drafting Commence

Draft day is here, folks, and the football gods stuck us with the 1.05 slot in our dynasty startup. Everyone at the top of the draft lets it be known that they'd prefer to move back. In fact, seven different players post in the league message board that they are wanting to trade back. In a league like this where you start 10 players each week, moving back to have as many picks in the top 80-100 (depending on your tiers) is usually the smart move. This lobby has a lot of sharps in it, so moving back is likely going to be more difficult than usual.

A new dynasty lobby is like sitting down at a poker table. Remember that quote from Matt Damon in Rounders?" "If you can't spot the sucker within the first 20 minutes at the table, odds are that you're the sucker." It might sound harsh, but it's true. Usually, there's always one newbie in a dynasty lobby and the key is to find that player, make friends with them, and see if you can negotiate a dynasty trade or two in your favor.

The whistle blows and, like clockwork, the quarterback frenzy kicks off. Allen, Stroud, Mahomes, and Hurts all vanish faster than concessions at halftime. The plan was to hopefully get Stroud with the 1.05, but he is gone. Preferably, we move back from the 1.05 to the 1.07 in exchange to swap fourths, sixths, and eighths. Was it enough? It's close, but we slid back to the 1.07 in order to slide up two spots in Rounds 4, 6, and 8 that could come in handy later.

Usually when you move back this early in a startup, you would prefer to acquire a future rookie first, but in a tough lobby like this, nobody bites. I am fine with whoever is there at the 1.07 as I am with the 1.05. Here's a quick look at the draft board for the first eight rounds. If you're a fan of the "Witcher" series, then you can only guess which team is mine:

When to Draft a Running Back?

Running backs tend to see their dynasty values fluctuate more than any other position. Drafting a running back early is like buying a car: it's value starts dropping the minute you drive it off the lot. Elite RBs are valuable, but they should always be that final piece to push your team over the top.

This concept is just as true for a dynasty league as it is for the NFL Draft. I have no issue with someone drafting a RB early, but the rest of the moves made in the startup draft should be to contend and win it all in Year 1 to maximize the value of said elite RB. Otherwise, why take on a potential depreciating asset only to see them get injured or burn up their high-end productive years when your dynasty team isn't even contending?

If you're splashing early draft capital on a RB, you better be sure the rest of your squad is ready to gun for glory. Because nothing stings like squandering a running back's prime years on a rebuild. Think about it -- every time you draft a rookie RB, you're watching value drop as soon as they hit the field, just like that new car depreciating the moment it hits the pavement.

In this format (full PPR), pass-catching backs are even more important and can be a fantasy cheat code. Since this startup is taking place before the NFL Draft, the wise move is to avoid any early capital at running back and to focus on the other positions, especially wide receiver. With a three WR + two flex lineup, we can really hammer receiver early to give us five potential starters in our lineup and a big advantage over the rest of the league.

 

Additional Draft Tips

Keeping an eye on your leaguemates' builds during the draft is important. How many QBs do they have? Are they going zero at a certain position, such as running back? I have always been a fan of Zero RB builds in dynasty startups, but it's much more difficult to pull off if three other teams in the startup are doing the same thing. Otherwise, you'll both just be stepping over each other later on in the draft while severely diminishing the strengths of your roster in the process.

When we decided to take RB D'Andre Swift at the 8.06, he was just the RB18 off the board and three other teams in the league had yet to select a back. Given the break in our tiers after Swift, it felt like a good time to take one. We would double up with Rhamondre Stevenson and Tyjae Spears in the 10th, and after they were both picked, 15 of the next 24 picks were running backs and a run on the position commenced! By staying proactive, we were able to get players we liked at RB while hardly any WRs or TEs went off the board by the time we were up again.

 

What to Do When You Get Sniped?

After selecting QB Brock Purdy with the 3.05, we hammered falling WRs since that was where the value was. As Round 7 rolled around, QBs Deshaun Watson and Bryce Young were still on the board, and the excitement of being able to take both of them and not worry about quarterback for the rest of the draft was a good feeling! We had back-to-back picks at the 7.04 and 7.05, but lo and behold, Bryce and Watson were taken at the 7.02 and 7.03, respectively. Double sniped! Brutal.

As frustrating as it can be, it's important to maintain your composure and not react emotionally when this happens, especially in a slow draft. Go outside and go for a walk. Clear your head. Close your computer. Take a deep breath. Even though Bryce Young had a disappointing rookie season in Carolina, I am expecting him to bounce back in Year 2 with a new head coach and better weapons around him. The same goes for Deshaun Watson, if he can stay healthy, with a loaded roster around him in Cleveland.

Instead of panicking, I got an offer for the 7.04 and traded it for the 8.01, 2025 second, 2025 third, as well as a pick swap a few rounds later in the draft that enabled us to acquire more depth while still taking QB Will Levis at the 7.05. We could have just panicked and taken QB Matthew Stafford at the 7.04, but we were able to get him at the 8.01 instead.

While it wasn't an ideal situation (I have my worries about Levis), we were able to get two starting QBs and one with upside in Levis. The Titans have done everything possible they can to surround him with weapons heading into 2024 and there is a chance he can emerge this year and do some real damage.

The Potential Pitfalls of Trading Away Your Future First

In a dynasty startup, there's usually the option to trade away next year's rookie first for more capital in the startup draft. Opinions on the actual value may vary, but it's usually between a fifth and sixth rounder in the startup. Trading away your future first is more of a veteran move than for new players, and if this is your first dynasty startup, it's definitely not recommended.

In fact, if you are new to dynasty, it's better that you try to move back once in the startup and obtain an additional 2025 rookie pick. Why? Since you are new, you are inevitably going to make some mistakes (everyone does in their first startup draft), and the extra rookie pick will give you more room to recover from your misses.

If you decide to move your future first-round selection, it is advised that you are doing so with the intention of competing right away. Trust me, there's nothing more painful in a dynasty league than being the person who gave up what later became the rookie 1.01. Just like you don't want to wind up like the Carolina Panthers in the 2024 NFL Draft, you don't want that to happen to you in dynasty, either.

The strengths of rookie classes usually have an impact on what I decide to do in a startup. For instance, seeing the strength of the 2024 rookie class ahead of time, last year I tried to trade back in startups and acquire future rookie capital as much as possible.

In last year's FFPC Dynasty Startup Article, we traded back four times and wound up with five rookie firsts. One year later and yours truly is heading into the rookie draft with the 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.06, 1.12, and 2.01. Some of the selections I made during the startup could have been better and the great experiment of trying to acquire rookie picks while fielding a competitive team clearly didn't work.

In dynasty, it's important that you pick a side: contending or rebuilding. But with a few tweaks, the additional draft capital should help get the team back on track right away.

 

Player Selections

Here are the players that were chosen with each pick along with what number they were taken off the board by position:

1.07 - WR1 Justin Jefferson
2.08 - TE1 Sam LaPorta
3.05 - QB16 Brock Purdy
4.06 - WR14 Brandon Aiyuk
4.09 - WR16 DeVonta Smith
5.05 - WR19 Nico Collins
7.05 - QB24 Will Levis
8.01 - QB26 Matthew Stafford
8.06 - RB18 D'Andre Swift
10.01 - WR45 Chris Godwin
10.08 - RB25 Rhamondre Stevenson
10.09 - RB26 Tyjae Spears
12.08 - TE17 Cole Kmet
12.09 - WR55 Roman Wilson (rookie)
13.12 - RB43 Bucky Irving (rookie)
14.03 - RB45 Austin Ekeler
14.08 - WR64 DeAndre Hopkins
15.10 - RB50 Chuba Hubbard
16.08 - WR75 Tyler Lockett
18.08 - RB66 Dameon Pierce

Landing four of the top-19 WRs in a startup who are all young feels like a massive cheat code, especially when we can start up five of them each week! Chris Godwin at the 10.01 when he can be our other flex and is just 28 years old feels like some nice value as well. Some of the other receivers available in that range: Amari Cooper, Terry McLaurin, Keenan Allen, and Calvin Ridley are all older.

We will end up with 20 rostered players and waivers will not run until the first Wednesday of Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season, so outside of trading, our roster will be locked all summer long, but that's okay.

Here is a look at the draft board from Rounds 9 through 16:

Final Roster

QB - Brock Purdy, Matthew Stafford, Will Levis (FFPC caps each team at three QBs in the startup)
RB - D'Andre Swift, Rhamondre Stevenson, Tyjae Spears, Austin Ekeler, Bucky Irving, Chuba Hubbard, Dameon Pierce
WR - Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, DeVonta Smith, Nico Collins, Chris Godwin, Roman Wilson, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyler Lockett
TE - Sam LaPorta, Cole Kmet
2025 Rookie Draft Capital: (no 2025 first), 2025 rookie second, 2025 rookie third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh

We surrendered our 2025 first as part of a trade to move up several times in the startup as well as to gain an additional startup pick in the earlier rounds. This trade also brought us WR DeVonta Smith. As mentioned above, there is always risk in trading away your future first, but we were able to get the future second of a team who looks to be rebuilding, so our first pick might end up as an early second anyway.

This team did not invest any major startup capital at running back, but felt like some potential high-end starters were obtained based on how their teams perform in 2024. The squad is absolutely loaded at wide receiver and has the most complete position group of anyone else in the league!

Given that this is a full PPR format, it only works to our benefit. Rookies were taken at running back and wide receiver just to give us a lottery ticket on trying to hit on someone with high-end upside. If you are targeting a Zero-RB build, it is always recommended that you try to draft several rookies in the startup just to give yourself that extra chance of striking gold.

We have two plug-and-play starting quarterbacks and Will Levis is a high-upside pick to give us someone who could eventually replace Matthew Stafford on our roster. During a dynasty startup is when quarterbacks always tend to be the cheapest. Had our team not been capped at three quarterbacks per FFPC rules, we would have drafted more. Due to Matthew Stafford's age, it will be important for us to try and acquire another QB with high-end potential by this time next year.

 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, we are out of space for this article, but stay tuned for Part 2 in the coming weeks that will feature some more in-depth tips and tricks to dominate your dynasty startup. Since this is a tight-end premium league (TE receptions are worth an additional 0.5), having Sam LaPorta on the team is a big advantage and he's a player who can only get better with time.

If you want to make the argument that Trey McBride in Round 4 was a better value than LaPorta in Round 2, I won't fight you on that, but since the QBs I liked were gone and I couldn't find a partner to trade back, LaPorta made the most sense.

In hindsight, it would have been nice to grab a rookie back like Trey Benson, Jonathon Brooks, MarShawn Lloyd, Jaylen Wright, or Blake Corum, but they were all drafted rather highly and just didn't feel worth the investment when we don't know their landing spots yet.

The good news is this team is an absolute juggernaut at wide receiver and will be able to start five of them per week. We will have $1000 of FAAB to pick up any potential QBs as well to continue the succession plan for Matthew Stafford. This will be a fun team going forward and we shouldn't have any problem contending in Year 1.

If you have any additional comments or questions about startup strategies, please get at me on X! I am happy to be here as a resource for you and to help you win big in 2024!

 

Dynasty Startup Leagues

FFPC is the industry leader in dynasty leagues, and offers standard, Superflex and best ball dynasty leagues. FFPC dynasty leagues are full of active, competitive and committed owners, and not a single FFPC Dynasty league has yet to fold! These leagues have year-round team management and trading. Drafts are available in Slow or Live formats, and range from $77 to $5000. If you’re a dynasty player and you want a challenge, go no further.



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Ends Second-Round Series With Overtime Winner
Jake Oettinger3 days ago

Leads Stars To Western Conference Final
Sergei Bobrovsky3 days ago

Stellar In Game 6 Win
Anton Lundell3 days ago

Comes Up Huge In Series-Clinching Win
T.J. Hockenson4 days ago

Won't Put A Timeline On His Recovery
TOR4 days ago

Maple Leafs Bring In Craig Berube As New Head Coach
Nick Cousins4 days ago

Re-Enters Panthers Lineup Friday
Yakov Trenin4 days ago

Considered Day-To-Day
Tyler Seguin4 days ago

Good To Go Friday
Roope Hintz4 days ago

Remains Out For Game 6
Brad Marchand4 days ago

A Game-Time Call Friday
San Francisco 49ers4 days ago

Dre Greenlaw Ditches Walking Boot
Lerone Murphy4 days ago

Looks To Remain Undefeated
Carlston Harris4 days ago

Set For Co-Main Event
Khaos Williams4 days ago

Faces Carlston Harris In The Co-Main Event Of UFC Vegas 92
Angela Hill4 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 92
Luana Pinheiro4 days ago

Looks To Get Back In Win Column
J.T. Miller4 days ago

Scores Dramatic Game-Winner
Leon Draisaitl4 days ago

Extends Postseason-Opening Point Streak With An Assist
Ilya Mikheyev4 days ago

Dealing With Undisclosed Injury
Scottie Scheffler4 days ago

Detained By Louisville Police Following Traffic Incident
Vinicius Salvador5 days ago

Moves Up To Bantamweight At UFC Vegas 92
Adrian Yanez5 days ago

Looks To Snap Losing Skid At UFC Vegas 92
Themba Gorimbo5 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 92
Ramiz Brahimaj5 days ago

Ends Layoff At UFC Vegas 92
Edson Barboza5 days ago

Headlines UFC Vegas 92
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

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