If I may share my experience:
DFS: I was there last year. Tried it out, spent a few bucks, won a few, but at the end, lost them all. This year, I tried it a little bit more systematically. That did work very well at first, but just when I thought I had found the success formula, it stopped working.
DFS is very random. It is a pure lottery, but one that allows you to tweak the chances in your favor. Essentially, it comes down to mixing a few underdog players that offer a good $/FFP ratio with a few studs.
Don’t dream of winning the million dollar jackpot every week. The rosters that do are usually highly random. Ideally, you will just barely hit the money in most of your competitions, which means you’re essentially playing for free. Or, in other words, get a free lottery ticket every week.
I need to refine my data approach, will do that during the offseason and try again next year. But I will keep working with a fixed seasonal budget. If it doesn’t work out, then so be it.
Aside from DFS, I actually prefer free leagues. I usually played 3 small-stakes leagues every year, but 2 of those were cancelled this year, and I’m not sure if I’ll look for replacements next season.
12 team dynasty is my preferred format by now. I play 2 leagues at the moment, may add a 3rd one for next season, but I think that will be enough for me.
My main league: 12 teams, half PPR, SFLEX, deep rosters (10 starters, 15 bench, 5 IR, 5 TAXI). 27 keepers. 4 round draft, rookies only. FAAB waivers.
Just finished the 4th season with my first title.
My second league: 12 teams, full PPR, 1QB, medium sized rosters (9 starters, 11 bench, 3 IR, 2 TAXI). 20 keepers. Unlimited draft, rookies + free agents. You can draft as many players as roster maximums allow. We increase rosters by 5 bench spots prior to the draft, and cut it back to the original size for week 1. Priority waivers.
I joined that league before the 2020 season, taking over a team the previous owner had run into the ground.
Based on my experience, I prefer following settings for dynasty leagues:
Scoring: half PPR > full PPR >>> standard scoring
I feel that half PPR offers the best balance between RBs and WRs.
Lineup: SFLEX >>> 1QB
SFLEX puts a lot more emphasis on the QB position, making it more valuable than even RB. Whereas in 1QB leagues, you can stream the position if you don’t have a top 10 QB.
Roster size: Shallow rosters <> deep rosters
No real preference here. Both setups offer their challenges. Wouldn’t recommend any shallower than my 2nd league, and any deeper than my 1st.
Draft: Rookies only <> Rookies + free agents
Again, no strong preference. Both is fun.
Waivers: Priority <> FAAB
Priority is definitely better for turnaround teams. Top teams will struggle to ever get a top free agent. Struggling teams will usually have a high waiver priority and can basically freely chose which free agent to add every week.
FAAB gives every owner more options to act, which makes it a litle more fun. It does make turnarounds more difficult, though.
As for online resources for dynasty leagues: FantasyPros has some great tools. The Playbook is fantastic, indeed. But (there had to be a “but”) I’m not a fan of their ECR approach anymore. There are too many sub-par analysts factoring in, resulting in ECR results being mediocre. Yes, you can configure “your” experts, and that is indeed a helpful thing, but can get a bit tedious, and also needs to be checked weekly, as some analysts seem to stop updating their rankings at some point of the season. This is especially true for dynasty rankings.
And since most FantasyPros tools are based on ECR, I would always take their results with a grain of salt. They are a great place to start planning your weekly moves, but I would not recommend using any “auto” features here.
In terms of roster planning, FantasyPros offers some great resources, Their dynasty trade value chart is an extremely helpful tool, as are their dynasty podcasts. But during the season, they have a very strong redraft focus here. All roster recommendations (buy/sell/hold/cut/add) are 100% tailored to redraft leagues.
Also, even their dynasty tools (even the trade value chart) are again based on ECR, and many experts contributing to the dynasty rankings seem to update their lists only once per season. That leads to oddities like KJ Osborn still not being ranked in dynasty tools. How can you not rank a sophomore who will probably finish the season as a WR3 and is likely to retain that role next year? Simply: because your dynasty ranking is based on analysts who didn’t update their lists since September.
I recently joined DLF ( https://dynastyleaguefootball.com/ ). They have a pure dynasty focus, meaning their weekly recommendations usually include a dynasty perspective. I’m not around long enough to make a verdict, but the first impression is great. They also have a very active forum in which discussions are going beyond “should I start X or Y”.
For the 2022 season, I plan to compare my own rankings against both FantasyPros and DLF and see what works better. 2021 was the first season where I did some serious player ranking. Will spend the offseason on a serious post-mortem analysis, but I think I did pretty well. Doing my own rankings also gave me a much better understanding how team scoring, target distribution and fantasy scoring are interconnected.
After next weekend, I will start adding the season stats to my ever growing djungle of Excel tables. This offseason’s project: moving from season stats for each player to weekly stats for each player. Not sure if I can pull that off, though. That’s a lot of data.
And once I have the 2021 season data filed, I’ll move on to planning the 2022 draft. That’s what I love about dynasty. There is no offseaon.