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Breakdown Of Dynasty Fantasy Football Leagues

Dynasty fantasy football leagues have been around for years, but with each new NFL season comes more people joining these types of leagues. If you are a redraft fan who doesn’t want the fantasy season to end, dynasty might be right up your alley. 

The Senior Bowl has happened, NFL Draft excitement is ramping up, and free agency makes itself known in March. With all the NFL activity, redraft managers could want to join a dynasty league. Dynasty is a league type that focuses on year-round fantasy football.

Joining a dynasty league can be overwhelming, especially the commitment. Dynasty takes time to master, and trial and error is part of the process. Strategies that work in redraft won’t always translate to dynasty. Having redraft experience is not necessary to play in a dynasty league. Starting out playing redraft and migrating to dynasty is a common theme in fantasy football. Let's break down more about dynasty leagues.

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!


What is Dynasty Fantasy Football?

Dynasty is a type of league where your roster rolls over to the next season instead of having to redraft a new team each season. In dynasty leagues, you only have one startup draft during the first offseason of the league’s creation. When you do a startup draft, remember that you could potentially roster these players until they no longer play in the NFL. 

Depending on workload, team dynamics, age, and other factors, a player’s value could go up or down as the season progresses. Dynasty startups are typically a snake or auction league.

In redraft leagues, injuries and poor performance can put a damper on the season. Dynasty leagues are different because you constantly make moves to improve your roster. Sometimes you’ll decide to go the route of rebuilding your team, meaning you tear it down to acquire younger players and draft picks. Your team might not look great on paper, but once you start hitting on players and gaining draft picks, you’ll be in an ideal spot.


Getting Started

It is easy to get started in a dynasty league. You may choose to play with friends, family members, and co-workers. There are additional resources for finding leagues such as social media, where I find my leagues. When I first started playing dynasty, I joined a league with 11 other individuals who had never played dynasty. That set me up to join more leagues as I felt comfortable in the dynasty space. The best way to learn is to start playing.

If you think you’ll miss the draft experience, dynasty leagues have a rookie draft every season. Similar to the NFL Draft, the rookie draft is usually linear. This type of draft means a team that comes in last place for the season will have the first overall pick in the next season’s rookie draft. That team’s manager will have the first pick in each round. Expect the rookie drafts to be three to five rounds.

Startup drafts have different strategies utilized to draft your roster. You need to evaluate your league’s scoring and settings, as this will give you clarity on what players you want to take in each round. Trading draft picks without researching how much those picks are worth can be detrimental to your roster, something I struggled with in my first startup.

You may choose to go the route of joining a league by taking over an orphan. When a manager leaves a dynasty league, the team becomes open for a new manager. You will not get to participate in a start-up draft, but some leagues will allow for a dispersal draft. In a dispersal draft, certain teams place all their players and picks into a draft, and then those teams will draft from that pool. Leagues will do dispersal drafts if there are multiple orphan teams, sometimes allowing managers with poor teams to join the dispersal.


Building Your Team After the Draft

Trading is a beneficial tool in dynasty. There is less (or no) trading in redraft leagues. Dynasty is different because you are trying to build your team for not just this season but for future seasons to come. Managers can trade draft picks and players for a big chunk of the year to refresh their roster. You often won’t know if you won a trade until seasons have passed. 

Usually, a roster will hold 20-40 players, while others have an even larger roster. You should check to see if your league has a taxi squad. A taxi squad is where you can move players out of your main roster. 

Placing a player on a taxi squad means they don’t count toward your actual roster size. Many times, these players will be rookies who won’t make a substantial impact on your team. Your league settings will tell you how many players are allowed on taxi, and whether or not your league has a taxi squad. Oftentimes, if you move a player from the taxi squad to the active roster, they are no longer eligible to be placed back on the taxi squad.

If you have an injured player on your roster, you can add them to injured reserve, if available in your league. Putting a player in an IR spot also allows for more flexibility with your roster. You can pick up a player on waivers, make trades, or move a player from the taxi squad if you have the available space on your roster. 

Placing a player on IR frees up a roster spot, but remember that once the player is ready to return from IR, they’ll need to move back to the active roster. There may no longer be a space for this player on the active roster, meaning you need to move someone to IR, taxi, or off your team completely.

Dynasty rosters are deeper than most redraft rosters, and fewer players are available on waivers. While you might find a hidden gem on the waivers, don’t be surprised if no fantasy-relevant player is available. The limited availability of players on waivers means trading becomes even more crucial.

Having solid veteran players on your squad can be helpful for the win-now mindset. These players could only have a few years left in the tank, but they can be valuable in those few years. Just remember that as players age, their value often falls. You won’t get the highest value for these players if you trade them after they decline.

Building a team in dynasty takes plenty of experimentation. There will be times when you need to mix up your roster to win. As you continue playing dynasty, you will learn what strategies work best for your team. Don’t get frustrated, as some of the best teams have gone years through the rebuilding phase to get where they are. Seeing your team go from worst to first is a proud moment in a fantasy manager’s journey.

There are several strategies to build your team, and no one strategy works better than another. It is all about knowing your league and building your roster how you want it to look. Dynasty does not have just one format, so testing the waters and seeing what format works best for you is ideal. 


Types of Leagues

Superflex leagues allow you to start two quarterbacks weekly, meaning acquiring a dependable QB is vital. You can play a quarterback in the flex position or choose to start a running back, wide receiver, or tight end.

2-QB leagues put a similar focus on the quarterback position. It is mandatory to start two quarterbacks each week. Paying attention to bye weeks and injuries is paramount in this league type. If you are lacking at QB, you could start someone like Drew Lock or Andy Dalton when C.J. Stroud has a bye week or is injured.

Single-QB leagues still focus on quarterback as a valuable asset. Solid quarterbacks retain their value longer than other positions. Because of the number of viable quarterbacks available, managers often draft stud wide receivers and running backs in the early rounds. Quarterbacks sometimes fall down the draft board in single-QB leagues.


Positional Value

Age is a principal factor to take into consideration when constructing your roster. Although age isn’t the only factor that matters in dynasty, you must pay attention to the ages of the players on your team. Quarterbacks, for the most part, last a while in the NFL. The same is true for dependable wide receivers.

Young running backs can be considered a foundation of your team. Rookie running backs are often the premier component of a fantasy roster. Remember that running backs decline as they age, particularly if they get injured due to usage. Workhorse running backs will get your team production, but a player having this much playing time can find themselves injured or out of the league sooner than they would like.

The tight end position in dynasty is valued much the same as the position in redraft. The top tight ends can produce for your team, although relying on most tight ends in redraft and dynasty is difficult. Check your roster settings when drafting a tight end, as most leagues call for only one to start.

Running backs and wide receivers tally one point per reception in PPR leagues. Tight ends become valuable in leagues employing tight end premium. You will see leagues that give an additional half point or more to tight ends on top of the regular PPR scoring. In these leagues, the top tight ends regularly get taken in the first few rounds. The bulk of tight ends are inconsistent, so be cautious when valuing these players.



As you start playing dynasty, you will find it becomes more comfortable to navigate. If you are a fan of redraft, joining a dynasty league adds a different layer to the fantasy game. Being able to control a team for years like a real-life GM makes dynasty leagues enjoyable for the entire year. 

Making sure you know the settings and scoring of your league is one of the most important parts when starting your dynasty journey. Once you have that down, you’ll feel more comfortable in the draft and the season. Mistakes can happen, but you can fix them by making moves.

Dynasty is supposed to be fun, and you can make it that way by staying active. Send trade offers, bid on waivers, and enjoy the process. 

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