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Taking Over a Dynasty Orphan Team Successfully

So, you're taking over a dynasty orphan that someone didn't want. As the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. How are you going to take this lump of coal and turn it into a diamond looking for championships?

That's what we're here to do today. If you've never taken over a dynasty-orphan team before, let's get your feet wet on how to get started. It's not going to happen overnight, and it very well may be a year or two before you're legitimately contending. If you're in for a quick fix, then you're likely more suited for a dynasty start-up or redraft league.

However, if you're in it for the long haul and looking for a challenge. Look no further. You can take a team that was gutted of talent with little picks to help you turn around and take it to the top. So, let's see how we're going to do that.

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Establish Your Team's Outlook

Right off the bat, your first order of business is to determine where your team stands in the upcoming season. You're either contending or your rebuilding. There is no third option. If they're close to contending or they're not far off, you can play the year out that way. If you have a lot of older players that are either in the middle or end of their primes, such as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees or players of that ilk. Your goal should be to maximize your window of opportunity.

If your team is closer to the number one pick than the final pick in your draft, you have a couple of options. You can fight to stay relevant in the short term, or you can determine what the valuable pieces on your roster are and sell them off. Fighting to stay relevant and make the playoffs is where you'll likely fall if you are a player that refuses to give up and lose. If you understand you have to take your lumps now to reap the rewards later, you'll fall into the other category.


If You're A Contender

If you have a contender on your hands, first off, congratulations. Second, you have to take advantage of your opportunity. The team's title window may be close to over, so you have to be aggressive to make trades to give yourself the best chance to win in this season. If you would normally hold onto some draft picks but can give them up to get yourself over the hump, you would be stupid not to. Fantasy football is all about winning titles.

Some of the players that you should consider moves for if you're in this situation are guys like the ever-volatile Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown or Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II. Both of these players fall into the category of short-term pieces rather than long-term pieces. Again, you have to be sure that your team can truly contend for a title with these moves. If you get overzealous in evaluating your roster, you could leave yourself buried in a deeper hole for years to come.


If You're Rebuilding

When looking at your roster, you have a lot of young developmental pieces like New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman. They're not going to be consistent starting threats for you until at least the 2020 season. However, you do still have some veteran pieces that could be attractive to other teams. Maybe you have Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones or the aforementioned Ingram. Guys like that aren't going to be top-flight pieces when you finish your rebuild, so you should get value for them while you still can.

You should look to add players that will sync up better with the core players that you're developing. Grabbing a wide receiver like Curtis Samuel of the Carolina Panthers or running back David Montgomery of the Chicago Bears. Neither of these guys is going to give you tremendous value in the immediate, but they can give you that long-term upside that you're looking for. If you can't add young talent, grabbing multiple future draft picks will give you more bites at the apple, and the 2020 draft class is looking pretty talented right now.


Pitfalls to Avoid

Avoid Being too Prideful

No one ever wants to lose. We all want to be champions that win our leagues year after year. However, when taking over a dynasty team, it's unlikely that you're going to be in the situation to do that. Far more often, you're going to have a team that's closer to losing every week than winning. Going back to what we talked about earlier, you have to be ok with losing while your team builds. Trading for short-term pieces with a roster that's not capable of competing will handicap you in the long run while disabling your ability to get better players next year.


Stay the Course

Once you determine your course of action, whether it be contending or rebuilding, stick to it. If you're in rebuild mode but you start the season 2-0 because of some surprise performances, don't get distracted to try and become a win-now player. Vice-versa, if you're going to be contending but someone wants you to sell off some pieces to help their chances, don't make the mistake of handicapping yourself after a couple of off weeks. Rome wasn't built in a day, and your fantasy dynasty won't be either.


Don't Make a Move Just Because You Feel You Have to

You've read all of this, and, looking at your team, you know where you stand. Just because you feel your team falls on one side of the fence or the other doesn't automatically mean you have to make a move. You can stand pat until it gets into the season to decide how to proceed. You don't have to sell off Jones just because he's the only elite talent that you have. You also don't have to go buy Ingram just because I said so. Every roster and situation is different. Every league is different, and you have to fully understand your situation before you make your move.

Dynasty leagues aren't won in a day, but they can be lost in one. Take your time. Have fun with it. At the end of the day, that's what this is all about. It's about winning and having fun while doing it. So, now that you've come this far, go find your next project and get to work.

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