There isn’t a bigger hero in fantasy football than those who are willing to take on dynasty teams that have been left behind. Most dynasty orphans are left in poor shape, and it takes a brave soul willing to take on a rebuilding project. With that in mind, I wanted to cover some tips and advice that every fantasy manager should follow when taking on a new team. This includes how to find a league, the first steps to improving the roster, as well as what kind of assets to look for on the trade market.
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Orphan Takeover Strategies
Dynasty Fantasy Football Orphan Tip #1: Finding the Right Dynasty Team
Finding a dynasty fantasy football orphan that a fantasy manager can get excited about is paramount. That doesn’t mean the team has to be good, as taking on a challenge can be the best part. However, fantasy managers should make sure that is what they are looking for. Assess the roster and prepare for a long rebuild if necessary. Not many dynasty managers leave great teams behind, and most won’t be set up for success.
Another key aspect in finding the right dynasty orphan is the league itself. Finding an active league that trades and participates in group chats will provide much more enjoyment. Ones that are stale simply aren’t as fun. They are more likely to fold, too, and it is harder to turn around a team if there isn’t an active trade market.
Additionally, there isn’t anything more critical to the health of a league than its commissioner. Nothing will scare other players away faster than an absentee commissioner or someone who doesn’t handle conflicts properly. There will always be members of a league who choose to leave as well, and a strong leader can fill these positions quickly.
Dynasty is facing an “orphan” crisis of late. Shame on coaches treating their leagues like a roulette wheel and then bailing on their league when their big gambles don’t pay out.
Consider stopping draft pick trades more than 1 year out.#FantasyFootball#DynastyFootball
— Jeff Haverlack (@DLF_Jeff) February 26, 2023
Dynasty Fantasy Football Orphan Tip #2: Assessing the Roster
Hopefully, if fantasy managers followed step one, they would be aware of the current state of their dynasty team. This will lead to the next steps that fantasy managers will take. It is very rare that a dynasty orphan is ready to win right away. Nonetheless, if that is the case, then the only thing to do is to personalize the roster. Trading away players that a manager believes to be overvalued on the market for players who are undervalued is a great start.
However, the more likely scenario is that a manager is inheriting a team that is a long way away from competing. The first step, then, is to identify players who are at risk of losing value in the near future. This could be due to age or even if a fantasy manager thinks that player is in store for a disappointing season. Either way, trading these players away for ascending assets or future capital is essential.
Risker assets include running backs, tight ends, and players who are getting older. These positions are more prone to injury and volume concerns, which can cause their trade value to fluctuate regularly. The dynasty community is very age adverse too so that any aging players will be risky as well.
Dynasty commissioners on fantasy football Twitter presenting an “orphan” team with no first round draft picks, Tevin Coleman as the lead back, and Ben Roethlisberger as the only QB pic.twitter.com/dZgKCZAFCO
— Edwin Porras, DPT (@FBInjuryDoc) September 22, 2021
Dynasty Fantasy Football Orphan Tip #3: Trade Targets
On the other hand, wide receivers are fantastic as they are less prone to injury and value dips on the trade market. There isn’t a point in just halfway committing to a rebuild, either. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be afraid to empty their running back room in favor of wide receivers and safer assets. The goal for a fantasy manager should be to acquire players who will be starters for the long term.
In Superflex leagues, there isn’t any better cornerstone asset than an elite quarterback. The top 15 quarterbacks put up strong fantasy numbers and will also be in the league for a long time. When taking over an orphan without two strong quarterbacks, managers should try and solidify these positions first. Then, other holes in a roster can be filled much more easily, and this will give teams a strong base of production.
The last capital rebuilding teams should be investing in is future draft picks. There isn’t a safer asset in dynasty leagues than upcoming rookie picks, as they will almost assuredly go up in value. Moreover, given how injuries and opportunity concerns can crater a player’s dynasty outlook, draft picks can be very attractive as they aren’t subject to value fluxations.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Orphan Tip #4: Be Active
This may seem easy, but when a fantasy manager is taking over an orphan, they are likely already at a disadvantage. Never miss a chance to make a key waiver wire addition or to pick up value in a trade. Every opportunity counts, and to improve a struggling dynasty team, a manager needs to stay productive. Be on top of news updates, and constantly communicate with league-mates about trades.
This is particularly important during the season when players will have short-term value spikes. Those who are thrust into a large opportunity due to injury aren’t likely to hold value in the long term. They have no value to a rebuilding team in the present, and they can also be used to accumulate future assets. These kinds of players can also get dynasty teams an unwanted win that can also worsen their draft capital.
Dynasty fantasy football is like playing Madden. Trading, scouting, finding free agents – the difference from redraft is you get to continue your process year after year. Even when your team is having a down year, you can still stay active as you build toward the future.
— Dan Bosse (@DanBosse1) January 22, 2020
These are my top four tips to improve a dynasty fantasy football orphan. Of course, there isn’t a more rewarding feeling than turning around a struggling team. However, fantasy managers who do this should be willing to take on a challenge. Have fun with it, though, and turn that team into a championship roster. If these steps are followed, then fantasy success should be right around the corner.