Do you go into the draft in a Dynasty startup with a win-now plan, a build-for-the-future plan, or something else? How much adjustment to that strategy will you make during the draft? Is there a point in the draft where it's too late or wrong to adjust?
I don't understand why anyone would go into a startup draft not expecting to win immediately. Focusing on future returns in a startup is a recipe for disaster because our ability to forecast Year N+2 is less predictive than our views on Year N+1, which, in turn, are less predictive than our views on Year N.
I think you have to go in with a win-now approach or, at the very least, be competitive now and go for it all next year. As Jason points out, predicting performance 2 years down the road is really difficult - simply because there are too many variables with coaching changes, free agency and injuries. Many times, even your 'sure thing' rookie pick turns into someone who has minimal impact on your roster after a couple of years in the league. Take the 2019 rookie draft as an example: Guys like N'Keal Harry, Mecole Hardman and Parris Campbell were highly touted and went in the 1st round of many drafts. Deebo Samuel, Terry McLarin and Hunter Renfrow were taken much later that season, and all are going high in redraft leagues now.
Draft for this season, trade for next season.
You have to try and draft and have the best team every year. Building for future years is a fraught task. A look through the first rounds of rookie drafts sees a high percentage of failures. Starting from scratch allows you to take advantage of other players overvaluing youth. Guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce fall much lower than they should.
I always want to come away from the startup draft with as many long-term core pieces and future trade assets as possible. My mindset going into the draft is that I want to put together the youngest team possible that can also at least compete for the playoffs in year one and be a true contender for the title by year two. I will stick to the youth strategy without question the first few rounds but am somewhat open to adjusting along the way if the league is over drafting youth and letting veterans slide. It is also important to keep in mind that you do not have to go all or nothing with one strategy. If you have drafted a relatively young team, that doesn’t mean you can’t grab an older veteran who may only have one or two good years left once you get into the middle rounds.
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