Contender or Rebuild. Those are the only two places for your Dynasty roster to be. Before you begin your rebuild if you’re not a contender why not look at retooling?
I appreciate at this time of the year you’re probably looking at your Dynasty roster. Thinking why would I rebuild when my team is stacked. I hate to break it to you but so is every other owner in your league.
Just before the NFL draft. I pencilled an article about the value of future draft picks and this is essentially building off that. This is another method in which you can gain an advantage by taking a different approach.
What I think you need to do at this time of the season is take a long hard look at your roster and analyse your roster strength (check out my YouTube video on how I approach this process). Once you’ve done that. You’ll be in a better place to decide what to do with your roster.
Rebuilding isn’t the only answer
If your roster is in a torrid state. Then yes you may need to punt this year and rebuild for 2022. However, before you decide if it’s time to start the rebuild why not look at retooling?
Rebuilding is a well-known dynasty strategy. You sell off ageing assets, target young players and draft picks. In the hope, you put yourself in a better position for future seasons.
Retooling is one of my favourite strategies. However, it isn’t talked about as much so I thought I’d dive in and discuss it in more detail.
What is retooling?
The worst place to be in Dynasty is mid-table mediocrity. You’re not competing for a title. You’re not in a place to get a top 3 pick. That would reboot your roster.
So what is retooling? Retooling is essentially tweaking your roster to raise the risk profile. The idea being it will push you toward either competing or starting the rebuild. The general idea is to take calculated risks. If they pay off it will push you towards contention. However, if they don’t, they push you towards the bottom of the pack and into a true rebuild scenario.
So how do you retool?
There are a few different steps you can take and I will walk you through them here. The key thing with retooling is you don’t want to be affecting the future capital of your roster. It’s not a case of going all in and spending all your future picks in a move to try and win now. You want to ensure that if the re-tooling doesn’t work you still have your future picks with which to rebuild.
Targeting High ceiling risky players
Normally I don’t like rostering the boom/bust type players as I’d rather be comfortable with what I’m getting on a given week. However, when you’re trying to raise your risk profile and the variance on your dynasty roster, this is absolutely the move to go for.
This isn’t a case of targeting the receivers that could be great one week and disappear the next (Desean Jackson, Will fuller types of old). This is about targeting players whose range of outcomes on the season is huge and therefore they can be acquired at a discount from their ceiling.
At QB there are quite a few great examples. Perhaps none more so than Jameis Winston. In 2019 he was the QB3 and in 2020 he was a backup. Now whilst I believe he’ll be a toned-down version of himself in New Orleans if he wins the job he has the potential to be a top 5 QB. Right now his price in a SF league is around two 2nd round picks. If you were to compare Winston to a QB like Brady. Brady is currently more expensive and you know exactly what you’ll get. He will likely finish in the QB10-15 range at the end of the season. He will be solid for you all year but if you’re retooling you don’t need solid. If you can turn a solid QB like a Brady into Jameis plus a pick you could be laughing! Yes, it is absolutely a risk. You could end up without a starting QB or Jameis could disappoint. But that’s the whole idea of retooling.
Targeting depreciated assets
This is an obvious move. You buy players whose actual value is greater than their perceived value. Any list on the internet of “players to buy” will list a range of these guys.
In this instance, I’m talking about targeting a player who was once valued highly for whatever reason but is not anymore. 12 months ago my favourite candidate for this was Corey Davis. Currently, there are a couple of options.
N’Keal Harry was almost the consensus 1.01 in 1 QB rookie drafts two years ago and now is nothing more than bench fodder. I called him a sell candidate 12 months ago but given his price and the lack of a true number 1 target leading receiver in that offence, he is absolutely worth the risk of a 4th round pick.
Another option could be Henry Ruggs. Now I’m really not a fan or even a believer in Ruggs as a prospect or as a player. But the Raiders believed in him enough for him to be the 1st wide receiver drafted in an absolutely loaded class. With a current price of a late 2nd rounder again he has the potential to hugely return on his investment.
Target Sell now ageing veterans
This may seem slightly counterproductive targeting ageing veterans when you’re not sure if you’re a contender or not. However, the idea of this is that if you play it right you can gain roster value by playing the time cycle within Dynasty.
It is a widely agreed idea that the value of both picks and ageing veterans go through a cycle where they peak in value and plummet in value at opposite times of the season. I’ve discussed trying to play the draft pick cycle in order to recoup value and now I’m suggesting you play the opposite side.
At this time of the year, most dynasty owners are looking to get better but also looking to get younger. The infatuation with rookies who have never stepped foot on an NFL field is at an all-time high. This also means the value of ageing vets is currently at its lowest. If you can buy an ageing veteran at a discount it does two things. One, it helps you to win now. Two, if you play it right you can sell the vet for a higher price in the season as contending teams are scrambling trying to find the final piece to put them over the top.
Who are the players you should target?
You can find a list of “sell now” players on any dynasty website. They include the likes of Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Adam Thielen and Julio Jones amongst others. These players are all under-priced currently because most owners are trying to sell before the bottom falls out of the asset. However, as we approach Trade deadlines most dynasty owners turn into redraft mode and see these players as the studs they are that can help them win.
This is a hugely risky strategy as you risk being saddled with an ageing player that you can’t trade away and end up with the asset ageing out into nothing. However, that is the whole idea of the retooling strategy it pushes you one way or the other rather than settling in mid-table mediocrity
Retooling isn’t going to be for everyone. A lot of people are happy having a winning roster and a 1st round playoff exit every year and there is nothing wrong with that. However, I’m in Dynasty for one thing and that’s to win titles. So for me before I go blowing everything up and rebuilding. Why not look at retooling? It could help you for that one final push at a title. You may just surprise yourself and win a championship in the process.