As I sit here on my couch on what feels like day 400 of this quarantine, I can’t help but to tinker with my dynasty lineups. In a time when there is no actual football being played, dynasty is the thing that allows you to get by from the end of Week 17 all the way up to the always entertaining Hall of Fame game in August. This website is designed for those of you like myself who cannot go that long without football in your lives, those of you who probably have an addiction to statistics and rankings, those of you who need to sit on the toilet and contemplate whether or not you should move up in the first round of your rookie draft. If this is your first time even thinking about a dynasty league don’t worry, we have plenty of information here to help you choose the best platform, the best lineups, the best rules and regulations to make sure your league is enjoyable and fun. Those of you who are seasoned vets at dynasty football will find our rankings of upcoming classes, our stat projections, and much, much more information incredibly useful in making certain that you are on the Frontline when it comes to your dynasty league.
For those of you that are new to dynasty, I say welcome. At first glance a dynasty league can seem very overwhelming. This isn’t your typical 16-round redraft league where if you pick David Johnson first overall and he ends up breaking his wrist, your season is over. Dynasty seasons are never over. I started my first league back in the summer of 2018 and now I’m part of four different leagues.
Choose the best people to make-up your league
When starting your dynasty, you first need to consider the type of people you are inviting to your league. I know it seems like anyone who loves doing redraft would obviously be interested in football year-round, but that is where you are wrong. You need the type of people who are reading this article, the type of people who watch a college football game and say damn, I need to make sure I have some 1st round picks in the upcoming draft because I want that guy! Dynasty leagues need more than the average fantasy football player who says things like “Oh yeah I started that wide receiver for the Browns last week”. You need people who respond to a statement like that with “OBJ? Landry? Taylor? Ratley?” In dynasty you will begin to learn the names of every player whether they have done anything meaningful at all. So my first tip in creating your league is do a deep-dive of your friends and family and find the people who you think already know about those end-of-roster players, or who you think would enjoy putting in the effort to research those players.
Choosing how many people for your league
Choosing the amount of people for your league really depends on how many people you can find that will be fully invested in year-round football. I am only in 12-man leagues and it feels perfect in terms of the amount of talent on each team. If you go with an 8 or 10-man league each team will have more “studs” and there will probably be some talent left on the waiver wire, whereas a 14 or 16-man league will drastically reduce both of those. I think the sweet spot is a 12 or 14 man league, but again it is up to you to determine.
Choose a site for your league
There are a ton of ways to host your dynasty league, but the best one I have found is MFL (My Fantasy League). It is very customizable and you can fine tune things to your liking. You can change the backgrounds, the site structure as far as what shows up on the homepage, and especially the lineups and scoring. Of my four leagues I am in, three of them are on MFL. The other website that people love to use is called Sleeper. The benefit to Sleeper is that it is free, whereas MFL costs about $75 per year. If you break up the cost among the league it comes out to about $6 for a 12-man league, which nobody has had any problem with. I do believe that you can make things work on a site like ESPN, but there isn’t a specific function for a dynasty league, so there would be a lot of manual work for the commissioner.
Choosing your scoring settings
This is really where leagues start to become their own. As I’ve said, I’m in four dynasty leagues and none of them have the same scoring settings. More and more I am seeing people scrapping standard scoring and switching to PPR (point per reception) and I fully support the movement. Standard scoring makes it so that whoever drafts the Saquon, the Christian McCaffrey, the Ezekiel Elliott, any of those 250+ carry running backs, gets the immediate leg-up on the league. PPR allows a slightly more level playing field. One of the fun things I’ve seen in our leagues is Tight End Premium which gives the Tight End position a bump in PPR. Wide Receivers and Running Backs might get 1 PPR, while Tight End gets 1.5 or even 2 PPR. Using a site like MFL allows you to alter the scoring however you want. You can add points per first down, points per carry, and so much more. The benefit to messing with the scoring and making it your own is that every team can be constructed a little differently and everyone can win in unique ways. This pairs into our next section about choosing your starting lineup.
Choosing your starting lineup requirements
Once you have chosen your scoring settings, or maybe you do these two steps in tandem, you need to figure out what sort of lineup you are going to require. First and foremost, I will advocate for not using Kickers or Defense in your Dynasty League, unless you are going to do IDP (Individual Defensive Player). Kicker and Defense are way too random and it is very hard to predict what defense will be good year to year. Who would’ve guessed in 2019 that the Patriots’ defense would’ve led people to the championship? You can’t predict that stuff, and you certainly can’t count on Justin Tucker to carry you to the playoffs when he hasn’t missed a kick all year and then finally misses one in because the announce jinxed him, but I’m not bitter, I’ve moved on. Personally, I like to shoot for 10-11 total starters, so however that works out for your league. My favorite type of league is one where you pull out all the stops and the scoring is far from your typical standard redraft. Superflex, TE Premium, tons of Flex spots. I like to run with QB/RB/WR/TE and then 4 Flex positions that are RB/WR/TE and 1 Superflex spot that could be QB/RB/WR/TE. This gives you 10 starting spots but allows people to make their team however they want. If someone wants to start 5 Tight Ends they certainly can.
Choosing your roster spots
Once you have determined how many starting spots you are going to have, you need to determine your bench spots. I have seen dynasty leagues with as few as 16-20 total roster spots, and there are leagues with as many as 36-40 spots. This is ultimately up to you since the more bench spots you allow, the less likely you are to find a gem on the waiver wire. A good rule of them would be something your bench should 1.5 times your starting lineup size. You have 10 starters? You should have 15 bench spots at least. I would argue that two times your starting lineup is preferable. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
Finally, the draft
After you have determined who will be a part of your league, how your league will be constructed, where to host your league, you will need to determine how your league will draft. There are a couple of options that I really enjoy, and they are extremely different. First is the obvious one, live drafting. Now drafting 28 rounds with 12 people can take a long time, so grab a bunch of chips and a bunch of beer because you are going to be tucked into this thing for a bit. Live drafting is the go-to way to get a bunch of dudes together to give each other crap about taking Sammy Watkins in the 3rd round of this startup draft. It gives you the chance to make trades right then and there and it forces people to really pay attention to what’s going on. Go on Amazon and buy a draft board so you can make people write their player up there. The second option is much slower, and it is aptly named, A Slow Draft. This is used when people can’t take the time to do a 6 hour draft in one day and instead you do it online through a group chat. Everyone is given something like 8 hours per pick and you just text your pick in. This is good for people who want to do a lot of research or make those last second trades. We did a 28 round slow draft last summer and it took a little over two weeks to complete. Either way you decide to do it, just have fun and remember that this draft will shape your team for decades to come, no pressure. That’s what we are here for, let us help you construct a roster you will be proud of.