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How to do a Rebuild in Dynasty Football

So you thought Carson Wentz was the future when you started up your dynasty football league. You “bought low” on Kyle Pitts. You’re still waiting for Michael Thomas to make a big comeback and you figured, if an NFL team is willing to pay the second contract on a running back, they must still have something left.

Still, when it comes to the playoffs in fantasy football, it’s any given Sunday. You just need to be able to dominate for three weeks in order to win a championship once you’ve made it to the bracket.

Survey your league. If you see yourself in the top-six teams entering the year, it might still be time to push some chips in. If not… well, time is of the essence.

There’s no prize for just missing the playoffs. But there is a huge prize for missing them more than anyone else. Getting the top, or even just a top-3 pick in the rookie draft can set up the core of your next championship-winning dynasty team.

There is nothing worse in dynasty football than finishing middle of the pack. So if you’re shooting for the bottom, keep this in mind as you embark on a dynasty rebuild.

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Keys to a Dynasty Football Rebuild

Focus on positions that can pay out in the long term

The first thing to remember is that this is dynasty football. Rebuilding your squad can’t just be about next year, or even just the following year.

Building the team you need to compete consistently could take some time. That means, in the early going, you need to focus on players who can return a decade of value and keep your team on the rise rather than hold declining assets.

First and foremost, that means quarterbacks. In Superflex, that’s even more of a no-brainer as these are typically the highest-value assets you can collect.

But you may want to avoid immediate impact players. Remember, the goal is still to secure a top pick in the rookie draft. Grabbing discounts on players that may not start immediately i.e. Michael Penix Jr. is the smart bet.

While wide receivers used to take some time to develop, the elite type of wide receiver you should be looking for typically pays out immediately. Tight ends, however, are still slower to deliver on their full value. They can be a good target to remain non-competitive in the short term and have a rising asset once you’re ready to go for it.

Maximize value, but consider opportunity cost

We all want to make sure that we’re squeezing every drop of value when shipping out assets. But the reality is there are only so many other teams in your league. You need a willing partner for a deal and that means managers who are pushing their chips in for expiring assets.

So while it’s tough to move someone like George Kittle for just a 2nd round pick, understand the points he delivers you for the season can be poison.

That additional help can be the difference between selecting Jahmyr Gibbs, the 18th-ranked player on KeepTradeCut, and Quentin Johnston, ranked 170th. Ultimately, there’s no number of Kittles, Keenan Allens, or Derrick Henrys you could offer on top of Johnston to get a player like Gibbs.

These types of high-value assets aren’t just potential bricks for your dynasty rebuild. They’re also valuable trade pieces that can be unloaded for multiple firsts. That may kick the rebuild can down the road another year, but it continues to help you bunch up assets.

Dynasty football teams should be looked at in three-year windows. Predicting the efficacy of players or what the league looks like any further out and you may as well try giving predictions from a crystal ball. Consider how you can continue to tank to stack a higher concentration of high-value players within that tight window.

Look for boom or bust and take the upside

Of course, to sell a high value asset for multiple firsts, you need a willing partner. Not everyone is keen on mortgaging their entire future, so these types of deals are pretty rare. Still, as has been emphasized here time and again, your goal is to collect the highest-value players you can.

Depth and quantity typically trump quality as fantasy football is an unpredictable game. This helps to build the floor of your team. That’s essential as improving team quality beyond being “likely to make the playoffs” has diminishing returns in terms of championship odds.

But depth and quantity are easier to acquire. You can figure that out in later drafts with later first-round and second-round picks, as well as through smart buy-lows from teams who are starting their own rebuilds and need to tank.

It’s critical in these early stages to get game-changers who improve the ceiling of your team. That means you want to take the boom and bust options so that, if they end up not helping your team immediately, you can tank again immediately.

Consider that managers who opted to take Anthony Richardson as the highest upside option last year likely had a miserable season after his season-ending injury early on. However, they may have been able to pick high again and have Richardson returning after having flashed significant potential in his limited game action.

Buy first-round picks from contenders

Similarly, take the upside on projected late first-round picks. Remember, fantasy football is an unpredictable game. Your team can look poised for victory one second, and then lose Nick Chubb and Aaron Rodgers in a matter of weeks.

Managers who are projected to be bad know they’re going to be bad. They’ve likely positioned themselves as such and are not looking to move on from their first-rounder. After all, they’re likely in the middle of their own dynasty football rebuild.

Contenders are more likely to be blind to the possibility they can be bad. They’re more willing to overpay if they think they can get the piece that puts them over the top.

Often, managers also assume that the trade that makes them stronger further devalues their first-round pick. They’ll think they’re for sure picking at the end of the first round and that they won’t be risking losing much.

Take advantage of this overconfidence and potentially haunt your leaguemates’ nightmares in the following rookie draft. Even if that pick doesn’t end up being a high one, it’s still solid ammunition to collect another future first from another manager who’s sure they’re on the verge of a championship.

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