Hello Rush Nation. Welcome back to the Dynasty Roster Management series! We’re one week further into the schedule. This means you’re one week closer to having to make the decision: to contend or to not contend. That is the all-important question in Dynasty.
I received a few questions about my last Dynasty Roster Management article (if you didn’t catch it, take a look!). So firstly, thank you for engaging with me! I’m always happy to explain my thought processes, concepts, and theories. Secondly, I thought I’d cover some of the concepts I spoke about last week in a little more detail.
Before we get into it, a small bit of housekeeping. Any rankings, points or finish stats will be using 0.5 PPR scoring for all receiving positions and standard scoring for QBs.
So let’s go! (“Don’t mess with the Zohan” reference)
Week 2 Recap
How is week 2 treating you so far? Hopefully, you don’t have many matchups hanging in the balance going into the Monday night game.
This is the week where some trends start to emerge, but a lot of false threads appear too. You need to find your way through this maze to get to the end, the championship. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a trend will playout for the whole season. Josh Jacobs was a top 5 Running Back in the first few weeks of last season. Although Jacobs did finish as the RB8, he didn’t keep that top 5 Running Back status. Equally, guys who haven’t performed well so far can become top assets at their positions.
Some players who did really well last week (Amari Cooper) put up some poor games. On the other hand, we finally saw some signs of life from players like Henry Ruggs. Oh, and don’t forget we had another standout game from a rookie. We had Ja’Marr Chase bursting out of the blocks last week. This week, Rondale Moore had himself a day catching 7 receptions on 8 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in targets.
As I said last week, you need to evaluate your roster each week. On an anecdotal point, I took over an orphan roster mid-way through last year. I set myself a 2-year rebuild plan to get into a position to compete in year 3. I put a message in the group after last week offering up win-now pieces. I got a message from a league mate asking if I saw myself as a contender. My response? “No, I didn’t score enough to have a shot at the title”. Turns out, I was third in the league in Potential Points/Max Points For. These stats show how many points your roster would have scored had you played the perfect lineup.
We both knew it was one week and things can change quickly but this put a spanner in the works. This entire story shows how little we know about each season before it happens. It’s why we need to evaluate both our own rosters, and the league in total. I’m now rethinking my plan and holding my win-now pieces for a decision later in the year.
Average Roster Age
I wanted to dig into evaluating your roster in more depth this week. I decided to pick out the “Average Roster Age” point I mentioned last week.
With dynasty rosters being on the deeper side, doing a calculation of all rostered assets could give a false representation of your roster. For example, you could have two “aging” quarterbacks (say Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers) on your roster. These two, being over 30, will pull your average roster age up by a decent chunk. I see both of these as having at least 3 years left in the league. With this in mind, I ignore the Quarterback position when calculating average roster age. Rich (@DynastyIsland) will be happy with that.
This position is the one that desperately needs you to evaluate its average age frequently. Running Backs have the shortest careers in the NFL (on average) which makes having an older average age at the position a dangerous prospect. For win-now teams, an average age of 24/25 is what I’d be looking at. Rebuilding becomes a scramble for the youngest guys possible. One thing to remember is wear. Always take a look at the workload of a player when looking at age. These go hand in hand. High workload and age players tend to be closer to decline. Not all players that are on the older side have a high workload. This could be used to your advantage should someone devalue them due to age alone.
Although Wide Receivers tend to have the longest “effective” careers – the longest period of effectiveness/prime years – having young wide receivers in a rebuild is a great way to start rebuilding. For rebuilding teams, I’m looking for young wide receivers with upside. So that’s around age 23. When trying to contend, I always prefer players in their prime. For this position, players tend to take a value hit when they get past 27. That’s when I’m looking to buy for my contending teams. I’d say an average age of 27-28 is just right.
Tight end is a weird position. If you listen to the Dynasty pod, you’ll know my dislike for the position. Well – at least its value. When you look at the players who succeed in the position, you notice most take a few years to become fantasy-relevant. For this reason alone, I always want the age of my tight ends to be around 26-28. You’re looking at players around their 3rd year in the league. This is the point where most show whether they’re worth holding onto or not. I always try to sort this position last in a rebuild.
Within Dynasty Roster Management, Rebuilding is widely known. I do enjoy rebuilding rosters. Not every situation calls for a rebuild, however. Oftentimes, you are middle of the pack. You’re good enough to make the playoffs but can’t quite get over the final hurdle, or you just miss out. In cases like these, rebuilds can be a good option. This is where your understanding of supply and demand come into play. If there are 3 or more teams holding multiple 1st round picks in the next draft, be careful. It could be that there is no supply of 1st round picks for you. In these situations, retooling is the way forward.
Retooling is a way to gain younger players while helping contending teams make a push for the playoffs. Your aim here is not to rebuild through the rookie drafts coming up and plan 3 years out. Instead, you want to sell your older/win-now type players – think Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins – for either similarly valued players. An example for Hopkins could be McLaurin.
Another method you could use as a retooling team is to sell those older/win-now players for someone with less value and include a pick to make up the difference in value (e.g. Hopkins for Ja’Marr Chase + a 2nd).
The whole aim is to compete sooner, while getting younger. Always keep that in mind. The best way to success? Trade for players who will increase in value in a year’s time.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back next week again with the next in the series of Dynasty Roster Management. As usual, you can find me [email protected] 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.