Starting a Dynasty League
So, you wanna start a Dynasty League, eh? That's cool – Dynasty is a great way to play Fantasy Football. If you've been doing Redraft leagues for awhile and feel a little “been there done that” about it, then Dynasty is something you should be exploring. This post should give you a bunch of things to think about if you want to be the person to start the league.
To Be A Dynasty
There are a lot of Fantasy Football League Formats out there, but the easiest way to think of Dynasty is to contrast it with the other more common formats. The three below are certainly not the only three, but to keep this list from being too long, I'll start with three:
- Redraft Leagues are where you draft a completely new team every year. Your league is like a goldfish: “what was last year, again?” This is the most popular format.
- Keeper Leagues are where you get to keep a few players year-over-year. The number is usually small in comparison to your total roster size, and there is usually a cost in the decision to keep a player.
- Dynasty Leagues are where you get to keep larger portions of your roster year-over-year, and often that portion is all of your roster.
These aren't the only differences, but at it's core, how many players you get to keep year-over-year is the most fundamental difference.
Oh The Places We'll Go
When you decide to do a Dynasty League, you open a lot of doors into the multiverse of Fantasy Football. Below is a list of possible “features” of Fantasy Football that you unlock when you decide to do a Dynasty League. These are only possible because managers are now thinking beyond the frame of a single season:
- Prizes that span seasons
- Draft picks assigned based on prior year finish
- The ability to trade those draft picks
- Multi-year player contracts
- NFL features like the Franchise Tag and the Rookie Option
And these are just a few. The bottom line is that Dynasty opens up many possibilities into how you play Fantasy Football and how you craft a league.
Look Before You Leap
Because of all these possibilities, Dynasty Leagues are more complex to get started and to run as a Commissioner, especially year-over-year. Before you dive in and get started, here are a few things to think about:
- Do you have a good core of reliable league-mates? In Redraft, you can always find another guy, but in Dynasty, replacing managers has more logistical complexity (a post for another day). Before you start, find your core that is definitely all-in for a few years.
- When you have that core, are you all aligned on the general style of the league you want? Does everyone want all of the most complex features? The most complex roster configuration? The most crazy scoring settings? You don't need to know the details yet, but you should be aligned on the style of league you all want.
- The more complex you get, the more you need to spell out how things work. This is not to discourage you from creating a complex league – they can be very rewarding. But it does mean there are many more finer points for everyone to know, and putting those on “paper” is helpful for everyone.
- Are you up for the challenge? Dynasty, by nature, is more year-round than other league formats. That means your work as a Commissioner is more year-round as well. Make sure you're up for that effort.
Beyond The Core
It goes without saying that you will have a lot of things to think about regarding the configuration of your league, but you will also have a lot of other things to think about that aren't just about league configuration. Let's end this post with a few of those things:
- How will you manage money? Funds in Dynasty sometimes have a multi-year component to them. I'll cover this more in another post.
- How will you communicate to the league and how will the league communicate with each other? Email is certainly on the table, but this is the 21st Century – you have other, better options.
- Where are you going to operate the league? I refer to this as the League Platform and your choice will sometimes dictate other decisions about your league configuration.
- How will you handle less than desirable human behavior? The stakes in Dynasty are often higher, and as such, you need to be ready to deal with people being people. Start to think about your philosophy on this.
I will dive into everything in this post and more in future posts, but hopefully this gives you a bunch of things to think about when starting your league. If it feels like a lot, don't fret – starting a Dynasty League is a lot of fun!