Deep down, we all think we can do better than professional general managers. I never would have dumped $63 million on Byron Maxwell, taken JaMarcus Russell No. 1 overall or traded a 29-year-old Randy Moss to the Patriots.
Of course, I’ll never get to be general manager, so I have to prove it in a fantasy world. The best place to do so is in a Dynasty league. This format mirrors real football in that owners have players forever and rosters are only supplemented through a yearly rookie draft or trades. We constantly have to balance between staying young enough for the future and winning now.
Some tips for succeeding in Dynasty leagues:
WIDE ON WIDE RECEIVER
Even before the NFL changed skewed its rules toward the pass, wideouts were the kings of Dynasty. Running backs have an extremely short shelf life, quarterback is the deepest position and tight ends typically don’t score enough raw points. If we land an elite wide receiver early in his career, we can have a stud for a literal decade. That’s why young, big, gifted wideouts such as Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Amari Cooper, Martavis Bryant and Dorial Green-Beckham are far more valuable in Dynasty than standard 2016 leagues.
TALENT OVER OPPORTUNITY
Real-life general managers often make personnel decisions based on need. That’s a surefire way to run into problems down the road. Dynasty players have to take a similar long-view, understanding that having good players is more important than how many fantasy points they can get us in the short term. An example from last year was Ronnie Hillman, who was producing at a solid level but is not a difference-making talent. Resisting the urge to give up a struggling but high-ceiling asset like Melvin Gordon for a guy like Hillman is crucial.
Standard fantasy leaguers can significantly downgrade or even ignore players in bad situations such as Cleveland, St. Louis, Tennessee or San Francisco. Dynasty leaguers should not. Again, short-term prospects are not nearly as important as talent – especially in a league where environment outlooks can change so quickly. Demaryius Thomas went from a Tim Tebow plodding offense to one of the best offenses ever under Peyton Manning. Rex Ryan left the Jets and allowed the pass game to spread its wings. The Jaguars’ pass game turned into a fantasy monster via Blake Bortles.
NBA PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
1. Jeff Green, F, Grizzlies – Marc Gasol’s broken foot means a lot more time for Green at the power forward spot.
2. E’Twaun Moore, G, Bulls – Derrick Rose is the primary beneficiary of Jimmy Butler’s knee injury, but Moore will log huge minutes.
3. Evan Fournier, SF, Magic – The trade rumors surrounding Tobias Harris continue to mount. Fournier as a starter is appetizing.
In true Marshawn Lynch fashion, he coyly announced his retirement on Twitter during the Super Bowl. Fantasy players and the Seahawks have been expecting this. Look for 2015 UDFA Thomas Rawls to enter camp as the No. 1 back and a borderline first-round fantasy pick. Rawls was wildly impressive when Lynch was sidelined last season, averaging 5.64 YPC on his 147 carries. Athletic freak Christine Michael is shaping up as Rawls’ primary backup on early downs.