Starting a dynasty league

I’m starting a dynasty league and was hoping I could get advice on any sites out there you recommend using, formats, and anything you all think is important to setting it up. We have been in a regular league together since 93 so its a good group of experienced players but none of us have played in a dynasty league …

Thanks for any help you all can assist with.

There are a few basics you should decide up front, as it will be very difficult to change them later on:

The 2 most important ones:

Scoring: standard, half PPR or full PPR

QB: single QB or dual QB / Superflex

There is no right or wrong here, it’s all up to personal preferences. Changing any of these settings later on will almost always lead to discussions, as it will shift the power balance within the league. So better to make up your minds before starting the league.

Roster sizes (starters. bench, IR and TAXI) are easier to adjust later on.

A few details you should also discuss before the first season:

How do you want to determine the draft order in the future? You will only draft rookies after the first season, so the draft order becomes even more important than in redraft leagues, as the draft-worthy talent will quickly grow thin in the 2nd round already.

Also, you should define what constitutes as tanking. If you determine the draft order by reverse seeds, some owners may be motivated to intentionally lose matchups in the second half of the season, to secure better draft spots. It’s better to agree on what is considered acceptable inforehand, as such discussions tend to get heated when you have an actual case at hand.

Other than that, there is not too much to observe. For the startup draft, I would remind all owners that player age is a lot more important in dynasty than in redraft leagues. In redraft, Derrick Henry is a top 3 pick. In a dynasty startup draft, I’d pass on him even in the second round.

As for resources - there’s the FantasyPros Dynasty Podcast hosted by @kyleyates that is very helpful. He recently had an episode with Scott Fish, they discussed a lot of general dynasty questions. That’s a 30 minute video I’d definitely recommend:

Other than that, there is
They are fully focused on dynasty and offer a lot helpful tools and a very active forum, so that’s another bookmark to add.

If you need any additional information, don’t hesitate to ask. I love dynasty formats and host 2 leagues myself, so I had the chance to make a few experiences, good and bad.

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Let’s clarify here: You will MAINLY draft rookies. Occasionally, owners drop a decent veteran prior to the draft, allowing that veteran into the draft pool.

I am generally ok with this, as long as it isn’t obscene. If everyone is submitting a true roster of guys playing, then I won’t complain. If they start all their guys on IR, that’s a red flag.

I will second this. Yates isn’t always right, but he is pretty darned good, and his podcast is a must for any dynasty fanatic.

Another detail to decide, but that one can be changed any time: do you draft rookies only, or rookies + free agents?

This is completely up to personal preference. My league with deeper rosters drafts rookies only, the one with shallower rosters drafts rookies + free agents. Both is great.

Another detail to decide: how do you handle the waiver wire? I would not recommend a free-for-all first-come-first-served approach. Some owners do not have the opportunity to be online all day, so that approach would be unfair to them.

I would recommend a bidding system. Every owner can place bids on free agents, these bids are usually being processed on Wednesday morning.

There are 2 basic approaches to bidding: FAAB or waiver priority. FAAB means every owner gets a virtual money budget (standard is $100) and can then place a certain amount out of his remaining budget on a player. It’s a blind-bid auction, highest bid wins the player. Unsuccessful bids mean you keep the $$$ of course.

Waiver priority also works in a blind-bid-auction style. You place bids on players, and at the processing deadline, the player with the highest waiver priority gets the player. Waiver priority is determined automatically by the current seeding. Placing a successful bid puts the owner to the end of the priority list for the moment.

Waiver priority makes it easier for struggling teams to get help from the waiver wire. If you are the #12 seed, it means you can basically pick 1 player from the waiver wire that you will get for sure.

FAAB adds more strategic depth. Some owners will only make 2-3 high bids during a season, others (like me) will place small bids every week, trying to score sleepers while they are still flying under everybody’s radar.

Again, no right or wrong here - it’s all down to personal preference.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what the majority of owners prefer. Some leagues are very strict, others are more relaxed.

Either way, I can only recommend to agree on a mutual course of action as early as possible. No matter in which direction the pendulum swings in a given league: if you start discussing vital rules only once they have allegedly been broken, things usually escalate quickly.

In my humble opinion, every owner should be required to start the best possible lineup any given week. “Best lineup” doesn’t necessarily mean “highest projections”. But if you bench a healthy starter for a gadget player who usually sees no more than a handful of snaps, than that would constitute tanking in my book.

Example: starting Pollard over Zeke is legitimate in my book. Starting Isaiah McKenzie over Stefon Diggs isn’t.

Another question that should be clarified: are owners required to replace K and DST during their bye week? Especially in leagues with shallow rosters, that means you have to drop a player you wouldn’t want to drop. Nothing I would want to do when I’m 25 points ahead in projections that week.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind allowing to start a K and DST on BYE once per season. But in both my leagues, the majority of owners said no. And that’s another lesson: for such decisions, when there is no definite right or wrong, I’d always leave it up for the owners to decide by vote. A majority decision leaves no room for debate. A “my way or the highway” style commish does.

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Another issue we haven’t discussed is trades. This is where things get dicey. With Yahoo, I know they have an “undroppable players” list, and when you see one of those kind of players getting traded for garbage, this is where you draw the line as commissioner. Even if both teams are still competitive, it could be two buddies agreeing for one to tank so the other can win. You have to draw the line on these kinds of trades, or everyone else in the league will be in your ear to do it.

Mind you, when you reject a trade, you will hear from the owners involved, but better two whiners than all of the rest of your league whining. Did I mention being a commish is a thankless job?