Talking Dynasty Fantasy Football


FFPC $1250 Dynasty League / Part 1: Overview and Draft Plan

I am very excited about this newest offering in the high stakes dynasty arena – the Fantasy Football Players Championship’s $1,250 High Stakes Dynasty, the highest stakes dynasty league in the land. The FFPC is offering dynasty leagues for the first time, two at $750 and one at $1,250. I signed up at $1,250 to test myself against some of the top redraft and dynasty fantasy football players around and to see if I could translate my success in other dynasty leagues to success in true high stakes dynasty.

Basic Rules:

The scoring rules and lineup requirements for the FFPC dynasty leagues are the same as those for the FFPC’s Main Event. The starting lineup requirements are 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE), Def and K. The league is PPR, although TEs get 1.5 PPR! QB scoring is the standard 4pts per passing TD with 1pt every 20 yards. All other TDs are at 6pts and yardage is at 1pt every 10 yards rushing/receiving. Offensive players can get 6pts for special teams TD. Defensive team scoring is about average as well with the top teams scoring 180-200 points for a 17-game season.

Rosters are at 20 players during the season, but teams must cut down to 16 in the off season prior to the annual 7-round rookie/free agent draft. The thin roster maximums will place a premium on rostering the right prospects versus allowing the shotgun approach of collecting and hoarding prospects.

Draft Slot and Game Plan

Draft slots came out yesterday, and I drew the 1.12/2.01 slot in the startup draft. I was hoping for a top 7 pick in order to get one of the uber-RBs or WRs (i.e., one of CJ3, ADP, MJD, Rice, Fitz, AJ, Calvin – not necessarily in that order). The 12-hole may be my least favorite, but you can make any slot work in a startup draft. You just may need to work a little harder from some versus another.

Big Picture Game Plan

Going all out to win now in year 1 can be extremely dangerous in dynasty. One, you never know when your team will sustain a major loss due to injury and two, come year 3 (if not sooner), a long and painful rebuilding process is usually in order. Going all youth in year 1 to build for the future can also be a dangerous plan as their is a risk that you may never be able to transition from a building team to an actual winner.

My usual MO is to build a team that has a chance to win in year 1 (a potential 6th seed in the playoffs), but stock the team mostly with youth and one or two additional future 1st rounders with the goal of becoming dominant in year 2.

Drawing the 12-slot (not exactly a safe win-now position and outside the prime 1.01-1.07 slots), I thought this would be a good opportunity to go for the riskier (but potentially more rewarding) plan of going all-youth with the goal of becoming dominant in year 2 and well beyond. A big part of this strategy is to accumulate as many 2011 1st rounders as I can acquire at reasonable cost through trade. The 1.12/2.01 picks are well suited to downgrade to accomplish that goal. The high stakes nature of this league could also help in that I anticipate that more owners will be going all out to win in 2010. Accordingly, there should be more than a few teams looking for an opportunity to trade a future 1st rounder for a player that can produce today. With likely only a few teams looking to acquire those picks, supply and demand should work in my favor.

Draft Plan

One way or another, my specific drafting plan will have to account for the two distinguishing features in this league, the 1.5 PPR for TE and the ability to start 4 RB and 2 WR (or 3TE). The 1.5 PPR for TE obviously increases the value of the TE (by a ton actually). The ability to start a maximum of 4 RB and a minimum of 2 RB increases the value of RB a bit relative to WR versus the typical 2RB/3WR/TE/Flex league and certainly versus the 1RB/2WR/1TE/3 Flex leagues.

First, I need to decide on the course of action for TEs. With the increased scoring, I anticipate that the elite TEs will start flying off the shelves in the 2nd round. In the $750 FFPC Dynasty League that drafted a few weeks prior, Jermichael Finley went at the back end of the first round and Vernon Davis went at the beginning of the second, both drafted by the same team, so it should be no surprise if this happens again here. For me though, that is just too soon to grab a TE in dynasty (even for these young studs) if your goal is to maximize value in 2011 (as you only need to start 1 TE, elite TEs even in 1.5PPR rarely command the same kind of market value in trade as do stud WRs at this range, and good potential impact TE value can be had much later in the draft - e.g., Finley and Davis last year, possibly Jared Cook and Jermaine Gresham this year). Drafting a TE like Dallas Clark or Antonio Gates in the 2nd round, while excellent picks in the 2nd round in redrafts, would be a huge and shortsighted mistake in dynasty imo. Grabbing a Brandon Marshall, Roddy White or Greg Jennings instead, players that will be playing at a high level for a long time, that are much easier to trade and that still have a reasonable possibility of upside, would be the better move at least for the strategy I will be employing. Drafting on expected trade value is not always the best move, but trading is very important in dynasty leagues so market value does matter (a lot).

What this means then is I will likely be acquiring my first TE after round 6 and look for a young TE with upside in the 7th or 8th rounds (Dustin Keller fits that bill) and another young TE with upside but perhaps lower 2010 expectations (e.g., Jared Cook) in the 10th round or later. I will also need to look for value TEs in the rookie ranks later in the draft such as Ed Dickson or hopefully Jimmy Graham to round out my TE corp. What I really like about this gameplan is that in this format (1.5 PPR), the stud RBs and WRs I normally try to draft end up getting pushed down by TEs to very desireable draft slots in the 3-5th rounds. I also love how the third tier TEs (whom I really like such as Keller) present great value in this format in the 7-10th rounds and for some (like Olsen) perhaps beyond. In my experience with startups, the 7-10th rounds are a bit of a dead zone for value in the typical startup dynasty league anyway so having valuable TEs to grab there due to this scoring rule makes this format very appealing for my draft style.

Now for WRs and RBs. My draft plan in practically all of my dynasty leagues is to load up on WRs and worry about RBs later. With the rules here, though, I will need to take a harder look at RB, particularly those young stud RBs that may fall to the end of the 3rd round, beginning of 4th, presenting good value there. While doing that, I still need to be careful not to miss out on any stud or potential stud WRs that may slip due to a perceived value drop in WR relative to TE/RB in this format. I am estimating that I will draft one of Jamaal Charles, Felix Jones, CJ Spiller or Lesean McCoy either at the 3/4 turn or by trading from DOWN from there into the late 4th. With the focus being on RBs at the 3/4 range, I should probably look to acquire stud WRs with my first two picks.

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