A month ago I noticed tweets from Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) and Jarrett Behar (@EyeoftheGator), each of Dynasty League Football (DLF) fame who I have known (via the Internet) for some time, looking for owners for an existing dynasty league.
Do I have room to add another fantasy football league to my stable? That is a recurring question every season due to concern taking on too many teams to manage. I’ve done well the past few seasons keeping things under control. Five to six leagues is a good number for me (down from over a dozen in my heyday, B.K. – before kids).
I was certainly intrigued by the prospects of playing in a private league against guys who write for and frequent DLF. This would be a league of strong, keen owners. Okay, I’m in.
The league welcomed three new owners this season, myself included, so instead of each newbie taking an existing team as-is, we participated in a dispersal auction draft. Cool.
Let me back up a second and give an overview of the league. It is a contract dynasty league. In my opinion, when teams keep every player year over year and the league holds a rookie draft or rookie plus very limited free agent pool draft once a year, I consider that a, “true dynasty”.
Contract leagues, where players are held for a certain number of years, whether salaried under a cap or not, I think of as more of a hybrid dynasty-keeper league. The contracts run out and, even with the inclusion of franchise and restricted free agent tags, there is a relatively deep veteran free agent pool each off-season.
This league is the latter, the hybrid. There is an annual auction for veteran free agents, but post-auction the dollar amounts are not relevant. Players can be signed to one-year or multi-year contracts (maximum 4 years) and each owner must keep the total contract years of their roster within a range, otherwise suffering penalties for failing to meet those guidelines. This is a 12-team league with 24 roster spots, and the total contract years assigned to those 24 players must be between 35 and 52 years.
Players are also acquired via a rookie draft, which is a rather unique auction format in that teams are assigned available dollars based on their rookie picks. The league also has a 1-round development player draft to acquire a player in college. There is a restricted free agent draft, as each team has two RFA tags they can use.
There is a lot to keep track of in this league, but all very interesting and unique rules which further attracted me to join. In terms of basic rules, the starters are 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex RB/WR/TE and 1 DEF. Performance scoring, 4 points per passing TD and +1 points-per-reception except TE receive 1.5 PPR, so TE is particularly valuable.
Dispersal Auction Draft
On to the dispersal draft. There were certainly some impressive assets available from the three abandoned teams to form the dispersal. Here are the highlights:
WR Odell Beckham Jr. – 3 year contract
WR A.J. Green – 1 year
WR Martavis Bryant – 3 years
WR Jarvis Landry – 2 years
WR Marqise Lee – 3 years
WR Terrance Williams – 2 years
WR Emmanuel Sanders – 0 years (eligible to franchise or RFA)
RB DeMarco Murray – 1 year
TE Zach Ertz – 2 years
TE Eric Ebron – 3 years
RB Melvin Gordon – development player; can be signed for up to 4 years in 2015
RB T.J. Yeldon – same as Gordon
1.01 development draft pick
1.03 development draft pick
1.04 development draft pick
1.04 rookie draft pick
1.06 rookie draft pick
In recent years I’ve had good results in auction drafts following a general strategy of being aggressive early, securing top available players, and then being patient (forced patience, due to early spending spree) and picking spots later. This works much better for me than being passive early and watching too many top performers go to other teams, settling for perhaps better “value” players but ones inevitably with some warts.
An auction involving only three teams is a little strange to guess what to expect, but it still only takes two owners keen for the same player to drive the price up. Maybe the other two owners ultimately had little interest in Odell Beckham Jr. if it meant paying what was surely going to be the highest winning bid in the entire auction. Regardless, premium players deserve a premium price, so even at 50% of my budget (he went for $499 of $1,000), I was willing to take the plunge.
Similarly, I was keen to acquire Melvin Gordon – another $211. When DeMarco Murray was just a shade over $100, I thought that was a bargain price and won him at $103.
As you can guess, having spent $813 or 81% of my cap on those three players did not allow me to get too many other quality players. Heck, from the above list, those are the only three I own.
My roster depth is questionable, as I filled out my running backs with Charles Sims (1 year) and Shane Vereen (free agent, requiring a tag to keep) and the WR position with Kenny Britt (1 year), Percy Harvin (1), Charles Johnson (1), Riley Cooper (2) and free agents Marques Colston and Roddy White. At the important TE position I acquired Charles Clay and at QB, Matthew Stafford, each on 1-year deals.
No doubt the development picks, and to a lesser degree the available rookie draft picks have some value, but I didn’t put a lot of emphasis on acquiring those. I am in another fantasy football league involving development players and it really is a bit of a crapshoot acquiring college players a year or more out from their NFL eligibility to hope they pan out as a valuable fantasy player.
Plus, the presence of development players still detracts from the value of rookie draft picks, since it is a smaller than normal rookie pool. I was happy to see the other two owners compete aggressively for these picks which shot the prices up on those assets.
As with any auction, it is easy to step away with hindsight and wish you had placed higher bids on certain players (Eli Manning, Eric Ebron, Emmanuel Sanders for example) and wish you hadn’t been so trigger happy on others (Harvin). Overall though, I am fairly happy with the results because I know I have the most valuable asset amongst the three teams in Beckham, and arguably the second most valuable in Gordon. We’ll see where he lands at the end of this month.
This is my full roster post-dispersal draft:
|3.06, Rookie Pick FA QB (R)||–||–||$33.00||1|
|Stafford, Matthew DET QB||310.0||9||$18.00||1|
|Gordon, Melvin FA RB||–||–||$211.00||0|
|Dunbar, Lance DAL RB||50.0||11||$1.00||3|
|Murray, DeMarco PHI RB||356.1||7||$103.00||1|
|Sims, Charles TBB RB||62.0||7||$27.00||1|
|Vereen, Shane NYG RB||165.8||8||$2.00||0|
|Beckham, Odell NYG WR (P)||296.2||8||$499.00||3|
|Britt, Kenny STL WR||142.2||4||$1.00||1|
|Colston, Marques NOS WR||178.2||6||$1.00||0|
|Cooper, Riley PHI WR||129.7||7||$1.00||2|
|Hartline, Brian CLE WR||98.4||4||$1.00||1|
|Harvin, Percy BUF WR||130.6||9||$30.00||1|
|Johnson, Charles MIN WR||92.5||10||$27.00||1|
|White, Roddy ATL WR||213.1||9||$1.00||0|
|Clay, Charles BUF TE||165.5||9||$11.00||1|
|Pitta, Dennis BAL TE (Q)||36.5||11||$1.00||-1|
|Seahawks, Seattle SEA Def||183.0||4||$1.00||0|
|18 Total Players|
I still have opportunity to acquire players via the RFA and free agent auctions. The next thing I need to do for this league is figure out who I am going to franchise tag and RFA, plus assess what players will be available through free agency. Oh, and I still need a decent team name. Can’t forget that!
There is still plenty of time to alter this roster prior to the start of the season so it is ready to compete Week 1. I look forward to competing against all of these guys in what is surely going to be a challenging league.