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How to Rebuild Your Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Roster

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 2, 2019

So, it’s come to this. You take a good, hard look at your fantasy roster wondering where it all went wrong. You’ve clawed and fought for a few years, but you’ve only made the playoffs once, and during that year, you were eliminated in the first round.

Like so many MLB teams have done in the past, it might be time for you to consider stripping it down and doing a full rebuild of your dynasty team.

Dynasty leagues have been more and more popular over the past five-plus years in the fantasy community. It gives you, the owner, a chance to feel like a real-life general manager as you build your roster, follow along with international signings and try to watch some grainy footage from a Single-A game in August. And once you go dynasty, it’s really hard to go back to a redraft league.

There are so many different setups for dynasty leagues, though, that it’s impossible to encapsulate all of them in any single article. From contract lengths, to roster size, to scoring — no single league is the same.

The one overarching similarity, though, is that eventually, maintaining your spot on top — or in the middle — in unsustainable, and you need to look to shake things up. It could be that you’re a middling team that can’t quite get over the hump, or you’re a team that went all in for a championship run, but now you’re left with a team that can’t compete.

No matter the case, how do you go about rebuilding your dynasty squad?

Here are some tips:

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Be Honest
The first step to rebuilding your roster is to take an honest look at it. Every fantasy player values their players more than anyone else does, but step back and put your clear lenses on. Is this team really going to lead you to fantasy dominance? If the answer is no, move forward. You should never play to be in the middle of the pack. 

Commit
We play fantasy baseball because we love baseball and we want to have fun. However, that nice little monetary prize at the end of the season is nice to have, too. If you play in free leagues, that’s awesome. Playing in free dynasty leagues is another level of commitment. But if you’re in the majority – especially for dynasty leagues – you’re spending something on your entry fee each year. With a rebuild, you have to be willing to burn your entry fees for at least two years.

If you’re rebuilding, commit to it like the Astros, Padres and White Sox have. Strip it all down, realize you have no shot to win the title and stay on the path.

Unload Your Assets
When assessing your roster, take a look at the players that have immediate fantasy value. Update your trade block and let the offers start rolling in. Guys like Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer or Clayton Kershaw really aren’t going help you with your rebuild, so you need to sell them off to the highest bidder. Same with 30-plus-year-old bats. Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. A lot of the trades on paper are going to look awkward, but that’s what you’ll see in dynasty leagues. Go after those high-ceiling prospects like Yordan Alvarez, Vidal Brujan or George Valera.

Get Your Return
Like we mentioned above, you want some high-ceiling pieces in return for your current contributors. If a team is a piece or two away from contending, make them pay a premium for your piece. Don’t take an offer just because you are nervous that you won’t be able to get rid of the players. Be patient, and get the return you deserve.

Avoid Pitchers
When rebuilding, just ignore pitching prospects. For real, don’t bother with them. We see it every year where the pitching prospects are highly touted, and injuries or a role change get in the way to slow them down. Michael Kopech, Alex Reyes, A.J. Puk, Carson Fulmer, Archie Bradley, Francis Martes … need I go on?

If you acquire young pitchers, flip them. Chris Paddack? See ya later. Mike Soroka? What can you fetch for me? It’s much easier to load up on hitters and flip them for major league pitchers when you’re ready to compete again. And who knows, you may end up acquiring them again if their new owners get impatient with them when they don’t produce right away.

Acquire Draft Picks/Auction Dollars
If you’re in a league that utilizes auctions, then you need to head into each auction with as much money as possible. Don’t worry about spreading it around to fill out your roster. You need to control the room and buy up as many studs as possible. You know what your league values and the scoring system. If it’s pitchers, bid as much as it takes to get the top-tier guys. If you’re in a roto league, pay up for those premium base stealers. And just like above, flip them.

If you have a draft system for minor leaguers, acquire as many picks as possible. If you’re tanking, you should have a Top 3 pick during those tanking years. If there is a clear-cut option (think Nick Senzel, Shohei Ohtani, Alex Bregman, Andrew Benintendi), then yes, you need to take them.

However, if there’s not a lot of difference between the prospects available (2018 first-year draft players, for instance), then you need to trade down. If you can get similar value at pick 10 that you can at pick two, but also get multiple other assets when moving down, you do it. It’s a no-brainer

Conclusion
A good, true rebuild can take two to three years. You’ll miss on some players, trade some players away that you shouldn’t have and get very, very impatient, but at the end of it, your club will be in position to contend for a title and help another team out who is in the rebuild phase of their team. It’s the circle of life in dynasty leagues.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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