Dynasty Roster Management – Tanking

What’s up, buttercup? Welcome back to the Dynasty Roster Management series! You’re headed into the most important week of your season. Don’t panic. It’s decision time!

Before we get into it, a small bit of housekeeping. Any rankings point or finish stats will be using full PPR scoring for all receiving positions and standard scoring for QBs.


Week 4 Recap

As usual, we had some players have a random boom week that no one really expected. One at every position too! Sam Darnold being the top-scoring Quarterback this week was likely the most unsurprising outcome out of the four too. Cordarelle Patterson scoring 3 receiving touchdowns led him to score the most points at the Running Back position. Kalif Raymond (I hear you – who??) scoring 19.6 points and being the WR12 this week came out of nowhere. Lastly, CJ Uzomah showed up in Thursday night primetime with a 95 yard, 2 touchdown game. Fantasy Football remains one of the most unpredictable hobbies there are.

That’s not to say some top players didn’t score well too. Patrick Mahomes was the 2nd highest scoring Quarterback this week while supporting Tyreek Hill’s top-scoring Wide Receiver week.

Don’t get distracted though. It’s time to decide whether to pull the plug on this season. Now, I don’t mean you either dive right in to contend or pull the plug to give up on the season. I believe this week is the last feasible week to “tank” effectively. This will vary from league to league. However, this week is where I decide whether my team(s) can make it to the playoffs or not. 


When deciding what to do with your team, I believe there are only two options at this point of the season: give up on the season or hold re-evaluate over the coming weeks.

But before that, the most important part of deciding: how to decide. There are many ways to do this depending on how deep you want to dive. The most basic way would be using two datasets: record and points for. When you compare your record to the rest of the league, it doesn’t tell the full story. Looking at your points for (or points scored – so the total points you’ve scored this season) should be a good indicator of how good your team actually is. Compare both your record and “points for” to the rest of the league to understand whether you’re a true contender, whether you got lucky or unlucky with the schedule.

If you want to dive a little deeper, looking at “potential points”/”Max PF” will give you a great indication of how good your team could have been. This will show you the most points your team could have scored over the season had you set the best lineup possible (basically your Bestball points). Comparing this, with your record and “points for” will give even more context to your current situation.

Diving even deeper, looking at your “Points Against” could prove worthwhile as this will show you the strength of the schedule you’ve faced to this point. If you have faced an easy schedule, you’ll have a low “Points Against”. This will be the opposite for a strong schedule. This is the deepest I tend to dive into with my team evaluations.

If you really wanted to, you could go one step further. This is very time-consuming and is open to opinion – often bias too. You could look at the remaining schedules of your teams, other teams, and figure out the strength of the schedule. Essentially, you’ll do everything you’ve done for your team (above) but for other teams and figuring out who still needs to play the best teams. If multiple contenders are yet to face the toughest teams, it could be that their season is headed for a downward turn. You could even evaluate each team’s players to see who is overperforming, underperforming and who you expect to get better/worse as the season continues. This is risky though, if you’re wrong, you could take your roster down the wrong path and spend another year in the middle of the table, not any closer to the championship you crave.

Once you have decided what you’ll do, follow these steps.

If you decide to re-evaluate, don’t do anything yet. Don’t trade your picks. Wait. Injuries at the wrong time can ruin your season. You need to be patient. Your team can still surprise you.

If you decide to give up, you need to decide if you’re going to retool for next year, or rebuild.

  • Retool – as I spoke about this last week, I won’t go into too much detail. The idea here is to pivot from some of your older players to future assets. For example, trading someone like Keenan Allen for Tee Higgins. You could give up a top-end player like DeAndre Hopkins (and a small piece) for Tee Higgins and a 1st. Deals like this will set you up for success in the near future.
  • Rebuild – you need to try to get the lowest draft pick possible. The next section is for you.


Your first port of call: the league rules. If your commissioner has a league rules pack, check it. in the event they don’t, 100% check with the commissioner what the draft order logic is. If it is potential points, ideally you need to trade the assets that won’t help you this year and that are scoring lots of points. Alternatively, it could be based by records, you need to do the same to an extent – but records are easier to navigate in my opinion.

You also need to check your league’s tanking rules. Most leagues do not allow extreme forms of tanking, but each league varies in its tolerance of tanking. Some leagues will require you to set a full lineup but do not specify whether you can sit your “stud” players. Some leagues require you to start your “best” lineup, so here you’ll need to sell those top guys you don’t believe will return the same value next year. 

Personally, I set my leagues up so everyone is expected to put their best lineups out. But if you want to trade your team for picks leaving a very poor lineup, you can. Tanking is a very controversial topic in Dynasty circles so be sure to check with your league (mostly commissioner) to ensure you aren’t breaking any rules. You don’t want to be punished and have that 1st round pick you’ve been working for to be taken away because you broke some rules.

Whatever the rules are, play by them. But be sure you have a real shot at the 1.01 before you begin tanking. The only thing worse than falling short of the championship after a push? Blowing up your team and not getting one of the top two picks.

Thanks for reading! As usual, you can find me .@theFSAtweets on Twitter if you have any questions or want to discuss theories! Remember to take a look at our other great in-season content all over the website! Catch you soon Rush Nation.

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