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How to handle your first dynasty or keeper draft day (Fantasy Baseball)

Jun 26, 2020

Drafting Bryce Harper might not feel as sexy as drafting that Grade-A prospect

So you’ve been playing fantasy baseball for a few years and decided to kick it up a notch for an enhanced challenge. Keeper leagues are just that, but do know, there is much more strategy involved that you’ve likely considered. Don’t worry, though, I’ve been playing dynasty baseball in about a dozen leagues including one for all 20 years that is 24 team leagues with 60 keepers per team since I was 10 years old. I’ve learned a trick or two along the way. Today, I’ll share some with you as we key in on your very first dynasty or keeper draft day.

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It is easy to claim a major upper hand

Imagine you are high school baseball player. Now cut all of the practices. A handful of your teammates saw real-life pitching once or twice in a game but that’s the extent of their experience. The rest, like you, have never seen a single pitch in their lives. You’ve watched baseball. You’ve read about baseball. You even played t-ball with a few buddies in the backyard last year. But are you prepared to just dive right in and hit an 85 mile per hour fastball? That live pitching is your dynasty draft. The t-ball is your re-draft league. It just isn’t the same.

Fortunately, no one else is too far ahead. Sure, a few guys have participated in a start-up dynasty draft or two, but what if I told you that you can get yourself 100 reps? As they say, practice makes perfect, and in dynasty start-up drafts, so few people are willing to get that practice so that they can be prepared. Our Draft Simulation Software is compatible with dynasty leagues. You can set your specific settings and get a realistic feel for what you are about to dive into by running through a mock draft in 10 minutes. Do this three times a day for a few weeks before your dynasty draft and there is nothing that will surprise you. Every single draft will be different and you’ll be certain about when you can get guys and what will end up making you feel good about your team by the end of the draft. This is an easy way to claim a significant upper hand.

Winning is the most fun

We all know that draft day is like Christmas Day. Well, dynasty start-up draft day is like being given a freakin spaceship on Christmas Day. It is easy to be overcome with excitement for the day itself while missing out on the best part of the day; winning your dynasty league by dominating your draft. Yes, most of the guys at your draft will be drinking a beer or six. There is time for that later when it isn’t a risk at ruining the draft you’ve been looking forward to so much. Heck, if you are like me, joking around is half the fun too. Maybe take it down a notch if it gets to the point where you aren’t as focused as you need to be.

Most importantly, there is a deadly trap to be found in dynasty leagues. Many fall into it because it is so appetizing. If you are in a dynasty league, you surely know the young players and even prospects. How tempting is it to build an all young team that will just be unstoppable in the future? Well, friends, four others are going to do exactly that and I hate to break it to them, but their team’s won’t be unstoppable. They’ll be competing with each other, seeing their second round picks turn into Byron Buxton and Alex Reyes and frankly, your league has a 50/50 shot of folding within three seasons. Win now. It is easy to do in a dynasty league because value falls as a result of everyone trying to get cute for the future. In fact, win next season too when three other teams decide to sell off their stars to do the fun rebuild. Then keep that up every single season. Rebuilding is fun, but winning is the most fun.

Be certain to understand your exact league settings

Every dynasty league is different from one another. How many teams are there? How many roster spots? How many farm spots? How many players do you get to keep from year to year? Is there a cost to keep players? Contracts? Injury rules? Is there a possibility that your league rules will change? What is the process and timeline for major rule changes? Make yourself deeply familiar with every single detail of your league and again, you’ll quickly gain an upper hand. Don’t wing this or you will find yourself in a deep hole that takes years to climb out of.

Draft for value rather than balance

In standard redraft fantasy baseball leagues, you need to build the most complete team for the 2020 season. In a dynasty league, you draft the best value regardless of need or position. You see, the people who are wild enough to participate in full-blown dynasty leagues are just like you and they want to spend a lot of time competing in their favorite hobby. So they will trade a lot and when you have more talent than the next guy, you’ll be able to get more in return for your trades. It isn’t uncommon for a single team to complete five or even fifteen trades in a single dynasty season. If you have too many capable starting pitchers, you can easily flip them mid-season for prized prospects or a second basemen to replace your injured star. Get the best players no matter what and figure the rest out in the coming months.

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