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With week eight of the fantasy football season over, you should start seeing more and more activity among your leagues. As managers start identifying whether they are contenders or pretenders, there will be a rush to start off-loading assets for future draft capital or positioning themselves for a run at their league title. If you find yourself in a rebuilding scenario, you will quickly learn that rebuilding a dynasty team can be one of the more challenging aspects of the format.
The first inclination of any manager is to offload top talent for young depth or future picks; however, that could plunge you even deeper into the bottom part of your league. Instead, the move may be to retool, not completely rebuild the roster, and have your team competing faster than you may have planned. If you've decided to head down the road of a rebuild, let’s discuss how to make that road less bumpy.
Assessing Your Roster
One of the hardest parts of dynasty is being honest with yourself that your team doesn't have the talent to compete. Part of it is ego and realizing that the team you drafted isn't good enough. That's a tough pill to swallow for some managers but a necessary one in this format. There are a few ways to assess your roster, so let's dive into the best ones:
- Points For/Points Against - This is a tried and true method of determining whether your current team is a legitimate contender or a paper warrior. Your team might be in the top six of the league, but that's due to your schedule rather than your team being good. If you are looking for a simple method of determining your team's strength, this is a good starting point.
- Dynasty Daddy - One of the best free resources is Dynasty-Daddy.com. This site allows you to sync all your teams from whatever platform you play on and get a breakdown of every team in your league. I’ve included a screenshot of one of my leagues below. As you can see, it will provide you with your current standings, positional ranks, positional values, and tiers within the league. One of its most remarkable features is it allows you to change the fantasy market that it pulls value from. The available markets include KeepTradeCut, FantasyCalc, Dynasty Process, and Dynasty Superflex. Multiple markets allow you to use different values based on your leaguemate's preferences. If you know that they primarily use KeepTradeCut, you can exploit those values to suit your team's needs best. Another added tool is the website syncs your league settings to its database, which gives you a fantasy football trade calculator specifically for your league. It will come in handy as you build trades and attempt to rebuild.
- KeepTradeCut - Another free resource similar to Dynasty Daddy is KTC’s league power rankings. The tool lets you get a league overview, power rankings, team breakdown, and available players on waivers with the most dynasty value.
Another thing to remember as you assess your roster is to remember your league settings. Understanding what positions have the most value and what positions your league covets matters immensely. As you evaluate your roster, start identifying positions where you are over-saturated, and those should be the first pieces you look to move off your roster. If you decide rebuilding is the best option after using the tools above, let's walk you through the options.
Planning the Rebuild
The number one mistake I see dynasty managers make as soon as they start their rebuild is placing all their talented players on the block of a league and sending out a blanket, “Send offers looking for youth or picks.” in the league chat. It’s a surefire way of receiving lowball offers from almost everyone in the league, and it takes away any leverage you have in negotiating.
Before making offers, you must first make a league audit of your leaguemates. The best way to do this is by keeping a running spreadsheet on all your leaguemate's team needs, trades (offered/completed), FAAB bids, draft pick tendencies, and anything else you deem valuable. Remember, dynasty managers are getting smarter and wiser each season, so you need to be able to find an edge that no one else is using. Let's discuss why each is important to note as you prepare for your rebuild.
- Team Needs - This one is pretty cut and dry. Knowing what position your opponent needs is where negotiations should start. If it’s Superflex, look for contenders with a QB2 issue. If they feel like they are a quarterback away from contending, they may be willing to overpay for the positions. You should target teams who need help at premium positions, where you can get a more significant return on investment (ROI). They could also be willing to take more risks with veteran players whose value peaks have already passed them by.
- Trades - This is one of my favorite items to track in leagues. Knowing what other managers look for in trades and their tendencies 100% matters in negotiating. You should monitor every trade transaction they make with every manager in the league and every offer they make to you, even if it’s not accepted. That allows you to mine data for what they look for and gives you areas to exploit later in the season. This can also help you identify what positions they could overpay for if you cross-reference them with team needs.
- FAAB - This allows you to see where they have spent their money and what position hole they have been trying to fill. Also, note what players they missed and whether you won those bids; if you won those players, that gives you the first teams you should be making offers to.
- Draft Pick Tendencies - You must also track how they value their draft picks from year to year. There will always be managers who look to hoard multiple picks year in and year out. These managers are challenging to negotiate with when picks are involved. However, some managers will ship draft capital to add veteran pieces to their roster. Identify those managers early so that when you are ready to rebuild, you know which managers to negotiate with first. Also, keep track of the type of players they target in their rookie drafts, including the late-round picks. Knowing your leaguemate's drafting tendencies will help you down the road when you are in your rookie drafts.
To help you track your league moves, I’ve shared a generic tracking form that I use for my leagues here: Dynasty League Template
You may access it using that link and make a copy to use it for your pleasure. If you want an edge in your league and want to plan for the best rebuild strategy possible, you should be using some type of data collection on your leaguemates.
Now that we have assessed our roster and audited our leaguemates, let's break down the different rebuild strategies you can implement.
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