Talking Dynasty Fantasy Football


2015 Week 15 Performance Update

Up to this point in 2014, I was having a stellar year.

Out of my 7 teams in the FFPC, 6 were still in contention for the title in Week 15 (in the Final 4). The only team out of it was my rebuilding team in the FFPC $1250 #1 League. The rebuild though went very well and that same team received a bye into this year’s Final 4.

Out of my 3 nonstartup teams in the DFWC in 2014, all 3 had a good shot at a title going into Week 15.

Unfortunately, despite the large number of chances in the FFPC and DFWC for titles (9 in all), I ended up winning only two of those leagues, with 5 2nd place finishes, a 3rd place finish and a 4th.

This year was not as stellar but still very solid nonetheless. In Week 15 of 2015, I still have 5 FFPC teams in the Final 4 and with very legitimate shots at winning the title. My 2 other FFPC teams failed to reach the playoffs entirely, one of which boasted a starting lineup of Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, CJ Anderson, Doug Martin, Calvin Johnson, Randall Cobb, Julio Jones and Jimmy Graham. Going into 2015, missing the playoffs in that league was the last thing I thought would happen.

In the DFWC, I thought I would have repeat performances out of my 3 teams in win mode (my other 3 are still in build mode). Unfortunately, one of the teams went down in flames and ended up with the 1.2! The remaining 2, however, remain in excellent position to win this year through Week 15. Both teams took down the prizes for Best Record and Most Points in their leagues.

Despite the small decline in overall performance as of Week 15, the potential payday this late in the year is still north of $33,000 (with a huge amount of luck).

Red vs Blue Special Combine Show

Better late than never, I just recently listened to the Special Combine Show on the Red vs Blue podcast on blogtalkradio. Excellent show! Scott Atkins and Michael Trent discuss the rookies you need to know, particularly the deep field of running backs. It's a great kickstart to this year's rookie draft season. Scott, a media member at the combine (that would be a blast), gives the listeners an added bonus of some valuable inside information and impressions on certain fantasy situations.

Here's the link.

$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.

$2500 FFPC League #2 Update

I made a flurry of trades in this league.

Trade 1 - Deandre Hopkins for Jeremy Hill:

I’ll probably regret this one, but I thought it was close enough when it was offered to me that I just shrugged my shoulders and gave it the old “Why not?” Unlike most others, I am intrigued with the idea of starting BOTH Gio and Hill. Both together generate a decent amount of RB points week to week as starters. If one gets injured, team output would likely increase (a sort of good news and bad news).

Trade 2 - CJ Anderson for a 2016 1st

The other team was a non-playoff team last year (a bottom 2 team), but has nice young pieces to build around.  The team could end up converting youth to win-now, so I did not make the trade counting on the team not making the playoffs. I went in on the assumption that the team is middle of the road.  In the FFPC, a middle of the road team has a better chance to be the 1.1 than the 1.12, simply because the competition in the consolation bracket for the 6th worst team is much easier than the competition in the money bracket for the 6th best team.
Although my team is also in win-now mode, I looked at this trade specifically considering where I could park value to save for the future.  Accordingly, I removed entirely this year’s production from the equation and looked only at the potential future value of the two assets.  Both obviously could go up or down in value, but how far up and how far down would determine the value of the trade for me. 
Lets say for argument purposes that CJ Anderson is worth the 1.6 right now.  In a year from now, his value could blow up, but probably never to the level of the 1.1 (in my estimation, due to age and other factors).  However, the downside for a promising RB new on the scene such as CJ Anderson is bottomless.  He could lose his starter role or suffer a major injury among other things.  As with most players but in particular with a RB, value tends to go down over time.    
The future 1st is a much less risky asset.  At worst, it can be valued no less than the 1.12 (which would be very unlikely to begin with as mentioned above).  However, it has similar or better upside than CJ Anderson in that it could be worth as much as the 1.1 next year.  For that reason, future 1sts are a great investment vehicle in dynasty (stability with upside).  In addition, a future 1st does not suffer from the natural trend of players’ values going down over time.          

Of course, it is CJ Anderson’s expected current production that evens out the deal, but every trade has a different purpose and for my purpose for this particular trade (saving value for the future in a safe investment), I accomplished my goal.   

Trade 3 - 2015 1.08 for another 2016 1st:

That makes 3 2016 1sts, this one from another middle of the road team. I am still trying to win-now in 2015, I promise. I am almost done with saving for the future and will be focusing on 2015 soon enough.

I do prefer to have 3 or more 1sts going into the next year regardless of stage of a team, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of win-now firepower.  For this team, I started Year 1 (2013) with 7 future 1sts , Year 2 (2014) I acquired 3 future 1sts, and Year 3, I am good with 3 (but looking to end up with 4 or 5 in an ideal world). 
In the long run, these little sacrifices each year should result in a powerhouse team. 

Trade 4 - 2015 1.12, Doug Martin and Bishop Sankey for a 2016 1st (you guessed it, middle of the road) and the 2015 3.05.

Martin and Sankey brought in so much less value than I had hoped. Oh well. I did get my fourth 2016 1st.

Here is the team now:

QB: Big Ben, RG3

RB: Jeremy Hill, Gio Bernard, Justin Forsett

WR: Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham, Jeremy Maclin, Cecil Shorts, Marques Colston

TE: Jordan Reed, Eric Ebron

2015 Rookie picks: 1.05
2016 Rookie picks: 4 1sts

Overall Assessment: The team is looking very good for the future and competitive for 2015. Now that the future is in great shape, I can focus the rest of the off season on upgrading the team’s chances for 2015.

FFPC Dynasty Top 20 Career Earnings and Most Cashes

With 5 years of FFPC Dynasty now in the books during which span FFPC Dynasty Leagues grew from 3 total in 2010 to 38 today, the top 20 lists start getting more and more interesting.

I have put together here the lists for the Top 20 in FFPC Dynasty Career Earnings and the Top 20 in Most FFPC Dynasty Cashes. For purposes of determining a player’s individual earnings, earnings for a partnered league are divided equally between the partners. The Top 20 FFPC Dynasty Career Earnings list also include partnered teams, so it is possible that a player shows up as both part of a partnership and as an individual (and this happened with Wayne Ellis).

For the Top 20 Most Cashes, each player gets full credit for cashing in a league whether as a solo or as a partnership. Also, cashing in a $500 League is equal to cashing in a $2500 league for purposes of the Top 20 Most Cashes list.

Here they are:

Top 20 FFPC Dynasty Career Earnings

1. Derek Pierson (Must Have TV): $53,375
2. Norm Cruz (Cavalier King Charles, Piano Man): $35,250
3. Wayne Ellis (Coltsfan, Anklebreakers): $33,000
4. Erik Federer & Ryan Howell (Hawkeye Hellraisers): $20,150
5. Adam Grossman (Atom Bombs): $19,600
6. Dave Asrani (Redshirted Seniors): $19,400
7. Shawn Coots (Coots): $16,900
8. Chris Boudreaux (Galaxy Aces, Dark Helmet): $16,375
9. Jeremy Roach & Danny Mueller (Ground & Pound, Blitzkrieg, Big Red): $16,300
10. Henry Muto & Tim Noch (Gryphons, Wyverns): $15,200
11. Ed Haupt (GDF): $15,175
12. Josh Smith (Rude Awakening): $13,925
13. Kurt Kuekes (Three Arch Bay Bandits, Miscreants, Coyote Miscreants): $13,575
14. Jack Haan & Wayne Ellis (Anklebreakers): $13,000
15. Ron Phillips (XXX): $12,650
16. Mike Santos (Coyote Streakers, Coyote Miscreants): $11,975
17. Michael Bronte (Invictus): $11,625
18. Jeff Tirabassi (Cornfins): $10,500
19. Josh Neblett (Big Janikowski, Big Black Robots): $10,500
20. Nick Glennis (Taco Hunters): $10,050

Top 20 FFPC Dynasty Most Cashes

1. Norm Cruz (Cavalier King Charles, Piano Man): 11
2. Wayne Ellis (Coltsfan, Anklebreakers): 10
3. Jeremy Roach & Danny Mueller (Ground & Pound, Blitzkrieg, Big Red): 8
4T. Dave Asrani (Redshirted Seniors): 7
4T. Henry Muto (Gryphons, Wyverns, Dragons): 7
4T. Shawn Coots (Coots): 7
4T. Kurt Kuekes (Three Arch Bay Bandits, Miscreants, Coyote Miscreants): 7
8T. Erik Federer & Ryan Howell (Hawkeye Hellraisers): 6
8T. Chris Carlson (American Mullet): 6
8T. Mike Santos (Coyote Streakers, Coyote Miscreants): 6
8T. Josh Smith (Rude Awakening): 6
8T. Tim Noch (Gryphons, Wyverns, Boise): 6
8T. Todd Hunter (Tree Huggers, Badass Honey Badgers, Evil Monkeys): 6
14T. Derek Pierson (Must Have TV): 5
14T. Adam Grossman (Atom Bomb): 5
14T. Michael Bronte (Invictus): 5
14T. Kip Lockwood (Nimrods): 5
18T. Ed Haupt (GDF): 4
18T. John Terry (Aunt Jemima’s): 4
18T. Todd Aron (Mad Genius of FB): 4
18T. Mark Peraino (Michigan Fanatics): 4

A New Year, A New Story

In this blog, 2010 and 2011 were about the advent of true high stakes dynasty and my team in the then highest stakes dynasty league in history (the $1250 FFPC Dynasty League #1). In 2012 and 2013 my focus was on the rise of my team in the FFPC $750 Dynasty League #4, the highest scoring team in the FFPC over the last thee years. 2014 was a story of the DWFC and the quest for the best dynasty team ever (which by the way has been derailed for now with the downfall of Josh Gordon).

To kick off 2015, I am going back to my team in the $1250 FFPC Dynasty League #1, which is just now emerging from a rebuild, and its near twin in the $2500 FFPC Dynasty League #2 coming off of a championship. My teams in the FFPC last year were largely on autopilot as I focused on my DFWC teams going for the Dynasty King title. These two FFPC teams in particular got the least attention, but that’s not always a bad thing in Dynasty. In Dynasty, you’ve got to be patient when managing young teams so that your rookies and other young players can develop and so your future picks can grow in value. Sometimes a self-imposed moratorium on trades can be just what a team needs for that to happen. Sometimes I tinker with my teams too much, and I end up missing out on talent that was once on my roster. Of course, you don’t want to leave a team on autopilot too long, and this is a good year for both of these teams to get some TLC.

These two teams naturally go together because they are so similar. Both teams are built around super studs Julio Jones (my #1 ranked dynasty player overall) and Dez Bryant. Both teams now boast a third elite (and ultra young) player in Odell Beckham. Both will be starting Big Ben at QB, and both will be contemplating cutting backup QB, Robert Griffin III. Both have three 1st round picks in 2015, the 1.1, 1.9 and 1.10 in the $1250 and the 1.5, 1.7, 1.12 in the $2500. Both are figuring what to do with Bishop Sankey. Both have a set of potential super star (but not near established) tight ends in a 1.5 PPR TE league (Tyler Eifert, Eric Ebron, Ladarius Green, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Coby Fleener in the $1250 and Eric Ebron and Jordan Reed in the $1250).

Neither are among my best dynasty teams, but both are on their way up and, given the stakes involved, both may be the key to what could be a very big year for my teams as a whole. Both are very fun teams to manage and are in very tough leagues and have just enough holes to make it interesting to write about.

Lets start the year off with my team in the $2,500 FFPC Dynasty League #2. Like my team in the $1250, this one was built to be young and pretty, which carries with it a negative connotation on message boards. I’ve read more than a handful of times something to the effect of “some like to build pretty rosters, others prefer to win”. I certainly don’t subscribe to that, but I do understand where they are coming from. Some teams do seem to always play for the future and never win. For this team, I’d like to continue to play for next year, every year. The competition in this particular league is really tough and very youth minded. Switching to win-now mode, even for just a year, could set this team behind in the youth arms race to a point where it could take years to recover. If I can, I’d like to stay ahead in that arms race and let the championships take care of themselves.

Here’s what I have to play with:

QB: Big Ben, RG3. Not much to see here. RG3 is worthless in the trade market and Big Ben is worth more to me on this team than what I could get back in return (a 2nd rounder maybe?). I’d be surprised if RG3 makes the cut in most FFPC Dynasty Leagues this off season, but I’d like to keep him if I can (but I don’t think I can).

RB: Gio Bernard, CJ Anderson, Doug Martin, Bishop Sankey, Justin Forsett. Last year, this team bought Forsett after Week 1 on the free agent waiver wire and then saved and saved until it had the lead in free agent dollars by mid year. It looked like the savings was going to be a waste, but then Week 10 came along and CJ Anderson emerged. Suddenly, this team had a formidable duo of CJ Anderson and Justin Forsett at RB. But that was then. Now, outside of CJ Anderson (maybe), there is not a lot trade value here. Forsett is 29 and a free agent, and Baltimore will likely be looking to bring in a new young RB to take the reigns. I’ll be entertaining offers for Forsett, but I won’t get a first, and that is really all I ever shoot for in trades in the FFPC. I’d like to move Doug Martin, but I’d rather take the chance on him than trade him for cheap. I am keeping Gio because his perceived value is down right now, and his profile (young, quick, pass catching RB) fits this team well. Sankey is on the block for a 1st rounder, but we’ll see if that pans out. Despite my goal to make this team pretty, and as pretty as RB was last year with Gio at or near the top of the fantasy world (and Doug Martin not being bad himself), the perceived market value of this group of RBs this year is not good, and that will pose a challenge for the future growth of this team. Clearly, I would have liked to have moved Doug Martin last year before his value went in the toilet, but no one in this league wanted him. Since I can’t really trade them, I might as well enjoy the deep stable of productive backs in 2015 while I wait for the opportunity to move one or two.

WR: Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham, Deandre Hopkins, Jeremy Maclin, Marques Colston, Cecil Shorts. Like most of my teams, WR is this team’s strength. Unlike some of my better teams, this team only has 3 elite WRs, so getting the fourth and hopefully fifth will be priority number one over the next few years. You can never have too many stud WRs. Colston and Shorts are on the bubble and could be cut.

TE Eric Ebron, Jordan Reed: Jordan Reed was a huge downer at the end of the year. Its difficult to tell if it was mostly Reed or the QB situation in Washington (probably the latter), but there is no questioning that he is injury prone and carries significant risk. Then again, he’s young and talented, and pretty teams should be made of young, talented, high risk types like Reed. So he stays. Eric Ebron has not even begun to scratch the surface of his NFL career, so he’s a player worth holding to see if he develops into a star. In a 1.5 PPR TE league, Ebron could be gold.

Draft Picks: 1.5, 1.7, 1.12. I’d like to trade one of these picks for a future 1st and draft the other two for potential. The 1.5 in particular has a good chance of netting this team a young superstar.

Now for the $1250 team.

QB: Same as above. RG3 doesn’t look like he’s going to make the team.

RB: This was a pool of death in 2014. With a decent set of RB, this team might have won the league (like the $2500 team). By the time Latavius Murray and Jonathan Stewart became relevant, it was too late, but they did carry the team to the consolation bracket title and the 1.1 with it (with a week 14-16 total that would have won it all if the team were in the playoffs). In 2015, this team will have Murray and Stewart along with Bishop Sankey (and quite possibly Melvin Gordon). I’d like to trade Sankey here as well if I can get a future 1st.

WR: The WR core here is even better than the $2500. Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham are the rock stars, but Sammy Watkins is as close to one as they come. Michael Floyd is a nice piece to have for additional potential. Jeremy Maclin could be trade bait for a future 1st. Tavon Austin could be a cut down casualty.

TE: I don’t normally like to keep so many TEs, I don’t even like TEs in general, but in a 1.5 PPR TE league, you can’t live without them. So for this team, I’ve stocked TE full of potential (matched only by their lack of actual production). Tyler Eifert has been the poster boy for potential without production in his first two years. Eric Ebron may be following in his footsteps. Ladarius Green, more of the same. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins may end up being the best of them all. Coby Fleener was the most productive of the group, but he may be the one that gets cut if I cant make some more roster room.

Draft Picks: 1.1, 1.9, 1.11. Similar team, same story. I’d like to trade one of these picks for a future 1st and make the other two picks.

So far, I haven’t yet made any moves for either team and am taking a slow deliberate approach, but things are likely to pick up soon, particularly as we get closer to the cut down date of February 28 when we are forced to cut down to 16 players.