Talking Dynasty Fantasy Football


$2500 FFPC Dynasty Game Changer

There are some trades that you look back on that were so big that they changed the fortunes of a dynasty team. I’m not talking about the small trade where one piece comes out of nowhere to rise to super stardom. Those too can change the fortunes of a team, but are often the product of luck or being unlucky.

I took a gamble in the $2500 FFPC Dynasty League #2 that could determine, for better or worse, the fate of the team. I’ve been on a course over the last few years to build what could be a dominant team as soon as next year, picking up future 1sts whenever I could to build for the future. Things were going as planned this offseason as I got to 4 2016 1sts through sacrifices in current production here and there.

But all of that was derailed (possibly prematurely) by my most recent move, a potential game changer.

I traded the 2015 1.5, two 2016 1sts AND Jeremy Maclin for AJ Green.

Despite a down year last year (due to QB play and injury), I still consider AJ Green among the best of the best in Dynasty, a Top 5 overall player. My two main directives in Dynasty are to (1) invest for the future (because winning will naturally come through the growth of a team year to year) and (2) acquire elite talent (almost always at WR) if and when they become available. After a while, all my teams start to look alike with a core of 4-6 elite WR and a seemingly endless flow of future draft picks year after year. But there is a clear conflict between these two directives, because satisfying Directive 2 will almost always come at the expense of Directive 1, and that’s where I get in trouble sometimes.

For example, as discussed in this blog way back in 2011, I traded the 1.1 and 1.3 (and change) for Chris Johnson who was considered by many to be the #1 overall dynasty player. Looking back, my team was on the path of dominance but I tried to take a shortcut and it backfired big time. The 1.1 that year was in a majority of 2RB leagues Mark Ingram (ok, no loss there) but could have easily and should have been AJ Green instead. The 1.3 was Julio Jones. I had 6 2011 1sts that year, and somehow I wasted it away through trades in order to get in a position to win-now. My team finished in 2nd that year (due to a heartbreaking 1 point performance by Tony Romo in Week 16), and finished 3rd the following year, but it took several years after that to finally get back on the right track (which the team is now thankfully).

What I like about this blog is that I can look back and see all the mistakes I made, some HUGE ones, and hopefully avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Unfortunately, I didn’t look back this time around before making this monster trade, and it might cost me.

Did I repeat the mistake here that I made in 2011? Possibly, but there are differences between then and now that give me a little comfort. First of all, AJ Green is a far better Dynasty asset than Chris Johnson ever was (Johnson being a RB and all). I would have been far better off in 2011 in acquiring Calvin Johnson for those same picks than Chris Johnson. I was under the mistaken belief that a young stud RB, in a high stakes 2RB min league, was a necessity. AJ Green today is what Calvin Johnson was in 2011 (well, maybe not quite, but awfully close). Trading for Chris Johnson then would have been more like trading for Leveon Bell now.

Secondly, what I traded here (Maclin, 1.5, 2 2016 1sts) does not quite measure up to what I gave up then. While perhaps close in value, I don’t envision on missing out on this year’s versions of Julio Jones and AJ Green in this set of picks.

Third, and I should have known this back then, my team in 2011 was not ready enough for prime time to offer that much for a stud player like Chris Johnson (or Calvin Johnson even). My lineup was good enough to win in 2011, but it wasn’t good enough in Dynasty to sustain it year after year. It did not have the 4-6 stud WR that most of my other teams enjoy today, which I am finding to be a critical ingredient to the best Dynasty teams.

With this trade, this team now has AJ Green, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham at WR (by the way, listing Beckham last is probably not appropriate anymore). While lacking the typical 5th stud, this starting foursome is as good as it gets in Dynasty. This team doesn’t have to win in 2015 to make this trade worthwhile. Having this foursome next year will be almost as good as having the foursome in 2015, and the team overall should be even better.

RB is thin, but the team has Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, two very young and very good RBs. TE is looking very weak with oft injured Jordan Reed and still developing Eric Ebron, but they are both very young and still promising. Last but not least, I still have 2 future 1sts to look forward to next year (my own and the one I acquired for CJ Anderson). The aftermath of this deal is that this team is still on the rise, something I couldn’t say for my team in 2011 (which I unknowingly set up to fall).

Finally, I always talk about two things when it comes to investing in Dynasty. The first is investing in appreciating assets. Trading an already valuable CJ Anderson, the 1.8 and 1.12 (plus Doug Martin/Sankey) for future firsts are examples of that. The second and just as important is finding safe places to park a large amount of value. That’s what Dez Bryant and Julio Jones have been to this team up to this point, a great place to park value. It is value the team has as its foundation year after year that you can continue to build around. It is also value that you can convert to appreciating assets at any time when necessary for growth.

Like cash, AJ Green is as safe as they come, other than the natural decline in value due to age (like inflation). Investing in AJ Green is not investing in the future, but it guarantees that the team will have a strong base in future years as other future-centric assets develop (such as Hill, Bernard, Ebron. Jordan and, most importantly, the 2 future 1sts). The base also makes any additional assets I can bring in through free agent bidding that much more meaningful and useful (such as the acquisition of CJ Anderson during the season last year).

All of this may just be me rationalizing my trade, because I never intended to trade that much value for one player (yet again) for this team. I didn’t even know that AJ Green was available to begin with until he was traded to another team for the 1.3, Jordan Mathews and Donte Moncrief, quite a bit less than what I paid. Once that trade was made, and knowing that I could offer more, I took the chance. This was the first time that AJ Green became available in this league’s history (as far as I know), and I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass me by, or worse yet, let AJ Green ultimately fall into the wrong team’s hands never to be seen again.
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