How to Rebuild: Transition to Contention

Welcome to the final article in this four part series. In this final installment I will be discussing the final moves you need to make as a fantasy manager to create a contender. As your rebuilding year ends, hopefully you’ve seen some success with your younger players, and have some foundational assets to build on. An ideal rebuild should only take one season, however that may not always be the case. If things didn’t go as planned, or if you started off multiple years from competing, simply follow the same steps as the first year. Be honest with yourself, and look at the other top teams in your league. Your team doesn’t have to be the best, but you should see yourself on par with most of the other teams in the league.

If you followed my advice earlier in the article and stacked Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks, you might not have the Running Backs or Tight Ends you need to compete yet on your roster. That’s perfectly fine, your roster doesn’t need to be a finished product. However, there should be enough trade capital on your team to acquire these final pieces. If you can’t see yourself making a playoff push, you should consider retooling for one more season.

If you do see yourself as a contender it’s time to move on to the next step. This is acquiring those final pieces like we’ve discussed to push your team over the top. This can be done either through trade, or your upcoming rookie draft. First let’s focus on your dynasty rookie draft. Early picks are gold from January all the way through August. If you were able to acquire multiple rookie picks that’s great because the value of your team will increase automatically. These picks can be used to select a very talented young player, or used to acquire a veteran to help your team win sooner.

In general, I think it’s always best to take the best player available with every rookie pick. This doesn’t mean take the player with the highest ADP, but who you determine it to be after your research. This is because rookies bust at a relatively high rate. They’re a commodity because of their upside, and their perceived value in the fantasy football community. Reaching for need will expose you to more risk, as well as a higher bust rate. Draft who you think will provide the most fantasy value to your team, and trade for need later on.

If you’re like me your Running Backs are probably thin after a rebuilding year, so they will need to be acquired through trade. My preferred method is to turn to that particular year’s rookie Running Back class. Now this is dependent on if you have draft capital, and the talent of the Running Back class. I love taking a chance in dynasty leagues on highly drafted rookie Running Backs (first two rounds or so). It is the cheapest way to acquire a potential top 5 back in fantasy football. Veteran Running Backs bust at a massive rate too, so give me the younger player in most situations. If you hit on that player they will dramatically increase in value immediately as well. Think about a player like Javonte Williams. Modest expectations but skyrocketed up draft boards after flashing promise.

Trading is also an important part of transitioning out of a rebuild. Even after your rookie draft you might be lacking a Running Back or Tight End still. Particularly in the early Summer, veterans can be acquired at a great value. This is the time of year everyone is focused on the incoming rookie class, and other young talent. Players such as Derrick Henry or Allen Robinson can be acquired for a late first round pick or less right now. Although they likely won’t be long term contributors to your dynasty team, they are worth their price just based on their 2022 upside.

Thank you for reading and good luck in your dynasty rebuild. If you follow the advice through these four articles you should be well on your way to building a contender in no time. If you take away one thing from this article though, it should be to stay active. Always be on top of the waiver wire, and be on the lookout for sell opportunities. Have a goal of when you want to come out of your rebuild, and focus on building toward that moment.

Make sure to check Emerson out on Twitter @dynasty_analyst. We will have more articles from the 5 Yard Rush team coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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