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Welcome to the second installment of Razzball’s Dynasty League strategy guide.  Last time we talked we discussed some of the ways for 1st year owners in a Dynasty League to succeed amongst both veteran and rookie owners.  Today we will look into strategies that can help veteran owners in existing leagues take your team not just into the postseason but into a Championship contender for years to come.

Quote, “It’s always better to trade a player a year too early then a year too late.”

Maintaining a format and structure you can buy into isn’t as easy as it seems when it comes to running a dynasty team.  Usually you have to be one of three types of owners.  There’s the one who constantly tries to out duel his opponents in the off season by trading talent for talent, draft picks for talent or picks for picks in an effort to move up the draft board and take the best available player or the player who will best suit the teams current needs.  On the other hand you have owners that will sit back, wait for others to trade away their picks and make tons of mistakes on draft day and throughout the season.  These owners are usually very patient, do the bulk of their homework weeks before the draft and have enough talent on their roster to keep themselves in the hunt for many years.  The downfall to this type of owner is that they sometimes miss out on an opportunity to strike gold in the draft or via a  trade due to the late bloomer approach they take.  It certainly does not mean they will not have a solid draft or a successful season, it just means that they are usually the last ones to be prepared to make any deals with you or to seriously consider any major changes to their teams nucleus.  Finally,  the approach that has seemed to strike some of my league owners with sudden success is what I have dubbed the” Three and Out” approach.  It could very quickly become a staple of every Dynasty League and due to the playing life of the average football player (3 ½ years) can have a huge upside.  Every three years they evaluate their current situation and decide who will stay on their team and be productive for the next three seasons.  If they don’t fit the bill – they’re gone.  This way you’re constantly living with a team that can, at any moment be an All-American collegiate team one year and an NFL Rookie of the Year team the next.  It’s quite the ballsy stlye that many league owners are envious of until of course, the picks don’t pan out.  But when you see their roster filled with young studs waiting to breakout in the NFL you just can’t help but to ask yourself what you needed to do to put yourself in that same position.  This strategy is really starting to grow on me and I strongly suggest you try to do the same if you find yourself scraping the bottom of your leagues standings or just missing the playoffs every year.  Of course, as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

How To Beat Yourself

All it takes is one season, one trade, one week or one owner.  Year after year owners do it with ease and never see the light of the fantasy championship tunnel again.  I’m referring to killing your own chances of success by over-thinking everything you do in your league.

The Offseason Beating – Losing Before The First Snap

In secret, owners talk to themselves, recklessly scavenge message boards for “insider” info and analyze depth charts way before the team has had their first OTA of the season.  I am all for the hardcore owners approach and dedication to their league but more often then not it can lead to a recipe for disaster.  The NFL bandwagon is a very easy one to jump on if you are a hardcore gamer.  The off season combine, draft and OTA news is enough to make you want to draft in early March.

!!!***WARNING***!!!  Please proceed with caution from this point forward…

Your fellow league owners, by now,  know exactly what you are up to and are patiently waiting for you to make the first mistake of the season.

Some fella out of Old Dominion just broke the 40 meter record and he just happens to be a Special Teams/WR/KR dynamo in the vastly popular Big 24 division in Bumbleville, USA.  This means you should quit your job, grab every social network account possible, tell all your family members to go to hell and dedicate every waking moment in preparation of your 1st round Rookie pick, right?

Ok, so maybe I overdid it a bit but I can guarantee you that there are some owners that have previously been diagnosed with (SSS) Sudden Sleeper Syndrome.  For God sakes, let the experts cover this end of the analytical spectrum.  You have no business being here and your team will thank you later on for not committing fantasy suicide before Week 1.

The Draft Beating – Let The Picks Fall Where They May

At some point you need to tell yourself that this is going to work out, that everything is going to be fine.  Then, in a quick fart-like burst of energy you decide that Bobby Carpenter, since being released from the Cowboys, is going to land a job with a team in need for a starting linebacker and will finally become the fantasy stud you’ve been ensuring all your league mates about since he left Ohio State four years ago.  So you gather up the email and phone list, call the next team up in the draft (which happens to be on the other side of the planet) and trade your life savings in Running Back prospects for the chance to select the boy wonder, that has now become one Bobby Carpenter.

This is great time to go outside and ask your neighbor to kick you square in the scrotum.

After you gather your manhood, come inside, re-arrange your draft strategy and explain to your roommate how awesome you are you check your email and find four league replies to Re: Dumbass.

The Lesson – Keep your pants on and wait for the players to come to you.    Chances are if you can find value in the 4th round you can find it in the 10th .  It’s a simple strategy called patience and more often than not it pays off.  Your league mates are dying to see you drop the ball and if you have already become “that guy” chances are there is a reason why.

The advantage existing owners have on one another lies in the depth and production of the roster.  Get yourself in a position to keep pace, land a playoff spot and eventually topple the completion enroute to a championship.  Make the short term success deals before the playoff push and try to obtain long term success in the draft.  As much as I’d like to sit here and tell you to trade everything you have for that one money player, I just can’t.  It’s not a strategy that has proven successful and it never will be.  Dynasty leagues are about playing the mind game as much as the physical version (setting your lineups).  The best way to stay ahead of the veteran pack is to get inside their heads by asking questions and repeatedly monitoring how they develop their teams winning ways.

I hope this article has insulted and driven most of you to turn to a better life in the realm of fantasy football.  Of course it’s all in fun and meant to motivate you to be better, smarter owners.  League success comes from successful owners so if you want your league to flourish, spend more time paying in a timely manner,  getting to know your mates and less time complaining about the hierarchy and how the league has gone to crap since that one rule change they made nine-thousand years ago. Good luck to you and your fantasy endeavors.  Let’s make 2010 a great year!

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14 Responses

  1. Greg says:
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    Lawrence,

    Kick ass piece. I definately have fallen victim to “(SSS) Sudden Sleeper Syndrome.” In fact he is still sitting on my keeper league roster – Brandon Tate. I also at one point this offseason have had Karim Osgood and some scrub out of Miami that I can’t even remember….DAvid somethingorother

    So you seem like a bright guy….on the SSS bandwagon which POS has the best chance at scoring the most points in a PPR league….Derrick Ward or Darius Heyward-Bey? I’m torn… I lean towards Ward bc the Cadillac might break down…it is a GM afterall. But then again Schilens has an injury hx so by default Heyward Bey might be pressed into WR1 duty…..and as you know by now I LOVE WRs!

  2. Lawrence

    Lawrence says:
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    Thanks for the kind words Greg.

    DHB has been getting a ton of good press lately. If you can hold you until camp is mid-way through you will feel better about keeping him over Ward. I’m not slighting Ward but anything is better than Jamarcus Russell and the 09′ Raider offense. Campbell will help DHB and if Schilens goes down with another injury you can count on an increased role for him too. Even if Schilens stays healthy it’s still a win for DHB. Any increase in coverage to one WR will provide better looks for another WR.

    Good Luck this season!!!
    Lawrence

  3. Lawrence

    Lawrence says:
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    *you was supposed to say *out … “If you can hold you until camp”

    Sorry

  4. Greg says:
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    Thanks for the help Lawrence….keep up the good piece. I love coming to this site daily…there is always a good read here!

  5. Dayton movers says:
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    The biggest thing holding DHB back was his comprehension of the system oh and his previous QB. Drannk. Physically he has it. But when he is on the field the routes and timing needs to be second nature and that will happen the more he gets use to the offense. I expect bigger things out of him with Campbell under center.

  6. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Dayton movers: He’ll need to really show up this season. He was the worst in the league in drops last year.

  7. Greg says:
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    @DAyton movers – Do you feel he will be a legit #2 WR in fantasy play this year? Well I’ll put it like this… do you think that Campbell will turn Schilens or DHB into a #2 WR in fantasy?

  8. Isles Guru says:
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    Doc, talk some sense into Greg.

    In our Dynasty League, he turned down Carolina Steve Smith ($17) and Hightower ($2) for Jennings ($22).

    Greg is Swiss Cheese thin at RB. I know Hightower isn’t anything special but in a PPR league with his only other RB options being Julius Jones and Larry Johnson, don’t you think he should pull the trigger?

  9. Greg says:
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    Doc,

    It’s official Isles Guru is on bleeping CRACK. Greg Jennings will be MUCH better then Greg Jennings! And we all know Hightower is DONE in Arizona. Tell Isles to get it together….

  10. Greg says:
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    oops Greg Jennings will be much better then Steve Smith….

  11. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Greg: Hah, it’s a close call. Hightower will still have some value in ppr. But I do think I’d be looking for a bigger upgrade at RB than trading a WR for WR and a meh RB. You very much need to upgrade at RB. Make that your #1 priority.

  12. Greg says:
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    thanks for the advice… I’m not worried bout the RB at all… I role w. a 3 WR set and only 1 RB…. I have MJD as my primary back. G Jennings as my primary WR, Santana Moss as my WR2, Gates as my TE… I’m golden – I have to start 2 of these WRs to complete my stellar lineup: Donald Driver, Schilens, DHB, Mike Thomas, James Jones, Laurent Robinson, Devery Henderson, Jabar Gaffney…one of these stiffs will stick and I’ll make the playoffs as always rolling against the trend w. the 3 WR set…tried and true method. Of those folks I’ll be able to play the matchups after a couple weeks. I’ll know which of those folks are for real or stiffs…

  13. Greg says:
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    oh and lets not forget my QB is Drew Brees :)

  14. Greg says:
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    Ok Doc….I worked your angle…. I can get Hightower for Driver. I’m 99% sure I’ll make this move….u concur? figure you would since it is PPR

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