Talking Dynasty Fantasy Football


Stockpiling 1sts in High Stakes Dynasty – How far is taking it too far?

The FFPC – The Introduction of Mass Firsts in High Stakes Dynasty

In the 2010 maiden draft for the $1250 FFPC Dynasty League, the highest stakes dynasty league at the time, I came out of the startup draft with 6 future first round picks. At the time, such a feat was rare and seemed to many an outrageous strategy, particularly in a high stakes league with smaller rosters. Many (including, at times, myself) questioned whether I took it too far.

As one prominent FFPC player commented:

“How do people spend 1250 for next year and beyond? Next year your QBs will suck, Next year your TEs are weak at best, next year your WR are below average, Next year your RB depth will be thin. Next year, if you have 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 you will have to hit on all three (which you won't) to have a chance. (Reggie Bush DMac etc) But the good news is after 3 years and $3750 you might make the playoffs in year four.”

Fortunately it didn’t take as long as that poster predicted for that team to make the playoffs. While not the success I had hoped for, the results were decent with a 2nd place finish in Year 2 and a 3rd place finish in Year 3. The success in Year 2 (which was a Tony Romo Week 16 zero (thumb to helmet) away from winning the title) was enough for other FFPC players to take notice (and to encourage some others to try the strategy themselves in the years to follow).

In that same year, I also acquired five 1sts in a $750 FFPC Dynasty League. By Year 3 (2012), I had won that league (and a cool $4,550) and am going into Year 4 as the favorite to win it all again (despite the loss of Aaron Hernandez this offseason). Results show that going five and six first rounders in 2010 was not going too far after all.

In 2011, I entered another $750 FFPC Dynasty League startup and decided to push the envelope out a little more, this time leaving the startup draft with nine(!!) future first rounders and a skeleton crew (albeit an extremely well drafted skeleton crew). In Year 2, I won the title and am going into Year 3 as the heavy favorite to win it all again with the best team on paper in the FFPC’s 26 leagues. Apparently, going nine first rounders was not going too far either.

The Dynasty Football World Championships – A Tale of Two Teams

In 2013, I decided to take the strategy a little further, this time in the Dynasty Football World Championships - a $299-entry, 12-league, 144-team competition (PPR). There, I drafted a ridiculous Year 1 team (ridiculous, meaning ridiculously bad) but left the startup draft with eleven (!!!) future first rounders. I really took things to the extreme here by leaving the draft with just five players. Those five players were Rob Gronkowski (1PPR), Cam Newton, Tavon Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Blackmon - a nice but not elite bunch. I drafted so few players in part because of the relatively high prices that I had to pay for 1sts. In some cases, I paid early 6th round prices for a random future 1st, which is higher than I had been willing to pay in prior startups and which is probably more than anyone should be paying for a random first. Since then, I made one trade of Cam Newton, Bilal Powell (free agent pickup) and Andre Roberts (another pickup) for Percy Harvin (post surgery), Keenan Allen and Ryan Tannehill, not the best of trades, but one that made sense for this particular team.

Ok, so now I have eleven future first rounders which are sure to be quite valuable next year, but will it be enough to offset the skimpy start and permit the evolution to a dominant team? I wish the answer were a definitive “yes”, but I wasn’t entirely sure at first given that eleven firsts with a team as thin as this is unchartered territory in high stakes dynasty. Did I finally go too far? Did I acquire too many firsts and/or did I pay too much in doing so? Upon further analysis, evidence suggests that I probably did not.

I compare this team with another team I drafted in the DFWC. With that other team, I left the startup draft with “only” 6 firsts but a much better initial team as a result. That team consists of the following key players (after a few post-startup trades): AJ Green, Demaryius Thomas, Giovanni Bernard, Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd. As compared to the team with eleven firsts, it is easier to draw the conclusion that this team, with its elite core of AJ Green and Demaryius Thomas, its complementary future studs in Bernard, Patterson, Blackmon and Floyd, and its six firsts WILL evolve into a dominant team. That is the conclusion I draw for this team. But how does this team really compare to the team with eleven firsts?
By cancelling out equal or comparable values (i.e., Demaryius for Gronk, Bernard for Tavon, Patterson for Patterson, Blackmon for Blackmon and 1sts for 1sts), what I am left with is roughly AJ Green and Michael Floyd on one team and Percy Harvin and 5 1sts on the other. I would personally take Harvin and 5 1sts over Green and Floyd, but in any event, the values are at the very least comparable. This suggests to me that the team with eleven first rounders is at least as good or possibly even better than the team with AJ/Demaryius and 6 firsts, a team I have already concluded will be dominant.

Bottomline, I believe results will show that going even eleven firsts and paying inflated prices to get there is still not going too far.
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