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Galaxy Dynasty Startup Strategy (2022 Fantasy Football)

Galaxy Dynasty Startup Strategy (2022 Fantasy Football)

Most strategies in dynasty startup drafts come down to trying to win now vs. later.

Do you take older veterans who fall down the draft board in an attempt to claim a championship in the short term? Or do you focus on expensive younger players who might need time to develop but could become league winners in the long term?

I have an idea. An utterly galaxy-brained idea.

Win now and later. To quote The Office:

  • Andy: (Pulls candy bar out of his jacket and holds it up.) “Halfsies?”
  • Dwight: “No.” (Grabs candy bar.) “Wholesies.”

Be Palpatine. Rule the galaxy: “Unlimited power.”

Here’s a three-step guide on establishing an unyieldingly powerful dynastic empire.

Trade Away Early Startup Picks

In startup drafts, most fantasy managers are engaged and earnest. They’re willing to trade. And they want to get their guys — the young studs who could lead them to multiple championships.

That means they’re willing to overpay for premium picks. Many foolhardy managers are eager to trade away most of their middle-rounders and multiple future rookie first-rounders to acquire picks in Rounds 1-3 of dynasty startups.

Indulge them. Encourage them. Help them get their guys.

Fleece them.

Trade away your top picks for a tranche of mid-rounders and future rookie picks.

Yeah, it hurts to forfeit picks in the first few rounds. It’s not fun.

But pain is temporary — whereas fantasy glory is eternal.

Years ago — through a series of trades too numerous and complicated to outline — in one dynasty startup, I acquired seven extra picks in Rounds 3-9 as well as multiple picks in Rounds 1-3 of future rookie drafts without giving up anything of consequence outside of my first- and second-rounders.

In this league, we started nine position players:

  • One quarterback
  • Two running backs
  • Three wide receivers
  • One tight end
  • One RB/WR flex
  • One WR/TE flex

In a league like this, managers will generally draft their nine starters in Rounds 1-9, and they will invest their “starter” draft capital into nine players.

But in this specific startup, I was able to invest my “starter” capital into 14 players.

With a significant surplus of starter-caliber players, a team can withstand injuries. Additionally, because most of these players are acquired in the middle rounds, they have room to break out. In contrast, players selected at the top of the draft rarely outperform their draft capital: They merely meet high expectations.

Finally, the extra players with starter-level production can enable an aggressive fantasy manager to maneuver the in-season trade market to improve the roster as needed for a championship run.

By trading away premium picks for a stockpile of starter-worthy mid-rounders (in addition to future rookie selections), you give yourself depth, upside, and flexibility.

CTAs

Draft Discounted Veterans Who Still Produce Fantasy Points

As I’m writing this (April 30), I’m looking at our expert consensus redraft rankings and dynasty rankings for point-per-reception (PPR) scoring.

Here are the rankings for running backs, Derrick Henry and Najee Harris.

  • Redraft: Henry, No. 4 | Harris, No. 6
  • Dynasty: Harris, No. 2 | Henry, No. 15

In dynasty, Henry is markedly cheaper than Harris because of their age difference (28 years old vs. 24), but Henry — based on his redraft ranking — has the evident ability to outperform Harris this year and maybe even next year.

And Henry can be selected in dynasty startups outside of Rounds 1-2.

While he’s unlikely to outscore Harris in fantasy points 3-5 years from now, Henry is likely to provide Harris-comparable production for the next 1-to 2 years — and maybe, just maybe, he will maintain his elite production longer than the market expects.

And Henry isn’t alone. He’s representative of the most productive veterans in startup drafts. They’re cheap. Overlooked. Often unwanted.

In dynasty startups, most veterans are steeply discounted relative to their likely short-term production and maybe even their long-term potential output. Think about Tom Brady. That guy has been “about to retire” or “fall off the age cliff” for a decade.

Sometimes when you invest in aging veterans, they continue to play at their current production (or something close to it) for an extended period. And even if they don’t, they usually perform comparably to their younger, more expensive counterparts for a couple of seasons.

These discounted veterans — draft them and target them with your war chest of extra mid-round startup picks.

You don’t need to draft only old guys, and you shouldn’t reach for them, but when they’re available at a spot that offers value, take them.

Build a deep superteam — full of extra starters — with guys like Brady, Henry, Leonard Fournette, Keenan Allen, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, and Darren Waller. Assemble a juggernaut of unsexy grandads who collectively are likely to do this year more or less what they’ve done over the past few years.

And then win a championship in your first year of the league.

Replace Aging Veterans With Extra Rookies

The problem with a “win now” dynasty strategy is that eventually, the bill comes due, usually after a couple of years. The bill is large, and most fantasy managers have insufficient means to pay it.

The veterans who lead you to glory aren’t immortal, and they’re flesh-and-blood people with athletic expiration dates.

As Beanie from Old School puts it: “That’s what old people do: They die.”

For most fantasy managers, that’s a problem. But not for you.

For you, inevitable veteran obsolescence is part of the plan — because you acquired extra rookie picks when you traded away your top picks in the startup draft.

Hopefully, in the first two years of the league, you can win championships while also navigating the trade market at strategic points to offload some aging veterans. But even if that’s not possible — even if you’re left holding the bag on a former producer who now has little intrinsic or extrinsic value — that doesn’t mean your team has to suffer.

You need to be sure you have sufficient draft capital to give yourself a reasonable chance to replace that veteran with a rookie.

By trading away my first two picks in the startup mentioned above draft and continuing to make small-but-compounding transactions in the first two years of the league, I entered the rookie draft for our third season with three first-round, two second-round, and two third-round selections.

That’s a lot of draft capital — enough to position you to rule the galaxy for years.

Galaxy Dynasty Strategy

For the tl;dr folks among you.

  1. In your startup draft, trade away premium picks for extra mid-round and rookie picks.
  2. Draft productive and discounted veterans.
  3. Replace veterans as necessary with extra rookie draft capital.

And, obviously, subscribe to FantasyPros for all of our dynasty fantasy content.


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If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Matthew Freedman is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter at @MattFTheOracle.

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