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Getting to Know Your Dynasty League Mates (Fantasy Football)

by Shane Manila | @ShaneIsTheWorst | Featured Writer
Apr 21, 2020

Getting to know your fellow league mates is a key to dynasty success.

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One of my favorite quotes comes from the great Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” It speaks to believing what someone shows you through their actions, as opposed to their words. It’s easy for someone to hide their true intentions when talking, but their actions will reveal what they truly are. Just as in the NFL, when free-agent signings and draft picks speak louder than words, there are ways to discern who your league mates truly are in fantasy football instead of taking their words at face value. Not to discount the importance of talking to the other league members, but you should also take their actions into account. Below are a few simple suggestions to help you get to know your dynasty league mates better.

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Group Chats
Most of the successful dynasty leagues I play in have group chats that are pretty lively. There are multiple platforms that you can use to chat outside of your hosting platforms, message boards, or league chat. There are Twitter direct messaging threads, Facebook groups/pages, WhatsApp, Voxer, Discord, or GroupMe, to name a few. If you want to get to know your league mates on a personal level, this is also a great way to do so. I have more than a few chats where no discussion is off-limits. But if getting to know your league mates on a personal level doesn’t interest you, it still pays off to be in these group chats.

Even if you don’t contribute to these discussions on a daily basis, just being in the chat room is beneficial. You can lurk in the background and take note of the things the other owners are saying about strategy, players, and positional valuation. In just about every one of my league chats, at least once a day, an owner will ask the rest of the chat group about a trade offer they have received in another league. People will often speak freely about trades when the deal being discussed in another league. When others chime in with their thoughts, they’ll usually provide their rationale. This is a great source of information that you should use to figure out how to frame a trade offer to these owners at a later date. Most of these platforms also support some type of direct messaging. This is great when you want to discuss a trade with another manager discreetly.

Follow Them on Social Media
Twitter has a huge fantasy football community. Chances are many of your league mates are on Twitter, either because they’re content creators and want to promote their work, or they just enjoy interacting with other people in the community. If your league members are content creators, they’ll often get questions regarding strategy or their thoughts on specific players. Though they may be reluctant to divulge these thoughts directly to their competitors, they will freely give out these thoughts on Twitter or Facebook. It’s one way to build a large following, which is something most analysts want in order to build their brand. As an aside, if your league mates have a podcast or write for a site, like FantasyPros.com, make sure you listen to their podcast and/or read their work. You can then easily find out all of their tricks and their thought processes. Not that I ever would do it, but, you could even create a burner account that you only use for following your league members’ social media accounts, either on Twitter or Facebook (which also has a large fantasy community).

Transactions History
Group Chats are great for instantaneous results when you want to know other owners’ opinions on a trade or want everyone in your league to know that you’re looking to sell or buy specific players. But what if you just don’t feel like being in multiple chat rooms because you’re just not a sociable person? Social media is a great way to stalk your league mates to get a peek into their fantasy minds, but not all of your league mates might have social media accounts. You might not even want to create any social media accounts due to privacy concerns or other issues. This is where the “Transactions” tab comes into play.

Most of the leagues I play in are hosted on the MyFantasyLeague (MFL) platform, but I also play in leagues that are hosted on the FFPC site and the Sleeper app. All three platforms have a transactions tab. Yahoo and ESPN leagues also provide transaction history for you to peruse. Whenever I take over an orphan team, the first thing I like to do is look through the league’s transaction history. It can help you learn everything you need to know about your new league mates.

Even if you’ve been in a league since its inception, it’s still extremely useful to utilize the transaction history. Looking at the trades and waiver wire adds that your league mates have made throughout a season (or longer) is a telling exercise. You can hone in on the archetype of players that other owners value. Viewing the transactions tab will allow you to know if an adversary has added specific positions during every waiver run of the season. If that’s the case, and you happen to have a surplus at that position, you may have a trade partner waiting for an offer. Reviewing the trades your league mates have made over an extended period allows you to determine the type of players they value, and if they are willing to overpay to get them. You can construct trade offers based on previous trades that they have made. Everything you need to know about an owner in your league can be discerned by looking at the types of moves they make.

Whether you employ just one or all of the above suggestions, it’s imperative that you get to know your league mates. What are some of your strategies or tactics to get to know your league mates better?

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Shane Manila is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him @ShaneIsTheWorst.

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