I am pleased to welcome y’all byke to the new iteration of the BDGE startup bible. For those of you who purchased last year’s guide, some of this may look familiar but unlike most shitty Hollywood sequels, you won’t regret spending your time reading this scripture to blast your dynasty game to Mars. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or born again dynasty virgin, there will be something new for you to sink your teeth into.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike. You can find me on twitter @MikeMeUpP roasting myself or other frauds. My history with BDGE and Nick runs way back to before we got the upgrade from standard to high def. Back when the main youtube channel had less subscribers than Nick’s OnlyFans has today. Back before the one and only FBGawd himself emerged from his bunk bed to dominate the TopShot streets. Back when yours truly was nothing more than just another fan of the Godfather and spreading his gospel. Every year as I sit down to write the bible (literally two yeast), I take a brief moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and if I wasn’t an emotionless psychopath, I would probably shed a single tear. I don’t take this task lightly as I know this is the most important piece of writing I do all year and still feel humbled and grateful that Nick allows me to do it. If all goes well, I’ll be byke again next szn but if I know Nick as well as I think I do, I’ll be fired by then so better make the most of my shot now.
You’ll notice this year’s edition will feature some passages from last year. No point reinventing the wheel. As a wise man once said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The New Testament will focus more on tailoring my strategy to suit the trends I’m witnessing in the current szn. With that in mind, I’ve included a couple of passages from last year’s bible as a brief introduction into what the game formats “dynasty” and “superflex” are and why you should care. Because you should.
Let’s hit off the basics first because I’m sure for some of you, this is your first foray into dynasty fantasy football. If you’re still a redraft virgin, I’m happy to be the one to pop your cherry because once you try dynasty, I promise you’ll never go back.
In redraft, you pick your favorite players for the season and lose them after the season and start fresh. However, in dynasty, a player stays on your team forever after you draft them unless you trade or cut them. Much like when clapping cheeks without protection, your mistakes stick with you forever. This is the aspect that makes the game so much more interesting though. It introduces a bunch of new variables into the valuation of a player.
- Age: Younger players can provide you more years of production than older ones so make sure you put on your best R Kelly impression. Age is a huge factor in driving value and incoming rookies are always some of the most valuable assets you can get your hands on.
- Draft: When a league kicks off, there’s a startup draft and each year thereafter, there’s only a draft for incoming rookies. Both bring their share of joys and it’s always the most exciting time of the year. If I had to choose between draft day and Christmas, sorry Jesus but you’re taking a back seat to Jonathan Taylor
- Trading: Remember back in elementary school when you used to think holding hands was the nuts? That’s redraft. Trading in dynasty is like hitting a god damn walk-off homer while getting to fully enjoy every single base. This is undoubtedly the best part of dynasty and the piece which will get you hooked.
When it comes down to it, dynasty is more fun and rewarding than redraft in every single way for me. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a great group of people to build a long-lasting league with. You really only start seeing the benefits of the dynasty you build by the third year or so. Or if you fucked it up, you’ll really feel the pain.
Jumping into dynasty is a great first step but if you really want to fully enjoy it all, make sure you double down by playing Superflex. Even those of you who play in redraft leagues should know what this is but in case you’ve been living in fantasy purgatory, allow me to illuminate you. Superflex is when you add a flex spot that can be used to play a QB, RB, WR or TE. Typically, you’ll always start a QB in the spot because starting a QB2 typically nets you more points than an RB3/WR3. In 2020, the average RB 3/4 and WR 3/4 scored anywhere from 8-15 PPG while a QB2 scored between 15-20 PPG.
Since everyone will need to start 2 QBs, they will draft and own at least 2 if not 3 to cover bye weeks and in case of injury. Nothing fucks your day up like losing a starting QB so make you wear rubber. What does this mean for you? Well, if you made it past grade school algebra, you’ll know the problem. There are only 32 starting QBs in the NFL so if everyone owns at least 3 QBs, some are going to be rostering backups. When it comes to fantasy, there’s even less than 32 that you would feel comfortable starting because there’s always a Trubisky grenade out there somewhere. Superflex to QB value is what Coronavirus is to toilet paper. Resource scarcity folks, that’s it. QBs in Superflex are like DMs with Zendaya. No one has enough and everyone wants one. Typically, the cheapest place to get them is in the startup cause it’s almost impossible to acquire a QB without giving one up in exchange afterward although that’s shifted a bit with how high they’re going in startups but we’ll get to that later. This very dynamic is why I encourage all of you to play this format.
In traditional single QB leagues, QBs have less value than hot pockets. Seriously, who the f eats that shit. Gaffigan said it best. Take it out of the wrapper and drop it directly into the toilet. A lot of SF advocates will try and argue SF is more realistic because it mimics the NFL more closely by making QBs as valuable as they are in real life. I think that’s a pretty stupid argument because in the NFL, no teams are starting 2 QBs although it seems like the Packers are heading that way after this draft. The reason why I only play in SF leagues now is because of the following:
Hyper trade activity: This is accomplished by adding 15-20 additional trade assets in the form of QBs through positional scarcity. If you lose one to injury or retirement (damn you Luck) in a single QB, you can easily acquire a replacement for a bag of chips and soda pop. In SF, you need to give up other valuable assets to replenish QB given the limited quantity. In other words, it makes for some thirsty ass hoes. Trading activity will skyrocket and if you’re not down for that, then why are you even playing fantasy son?
Increases Drafting Strategy Variance: This is probably the most important point and why you absolutely need to convert. Single QB drafts are so vanilla they got Robert Van Winkle jealous. Everybody is going off the same ranks with a similar playbook so you might as well just auto-draft the first 3-4 rounds. In Superflex, each draft is vastly different from the next depending on how much your league mates value QBs because of scarcity value. Sometimes, only 3-4 QBs go in the first 3 rounds and other times, dudes are seriously considering drafting Tom Brady by the 4th. No disrespect to the gawd but ya hate to see it. The variance this creates is a gambler’s wet dream so as the degenerates which we all are, this premise should evoke excitement.
My brain ain’t that big so more often than not, I try to keep shit simple. Many folks out there have fancy models and roster construction tips based on loads of digits in a spreadsheet but I just go by these simple heuristics. Those of you who were here last year will recognize some of these as they were a part of The Five Commandments. I’ve tailored those to this year based on experiences I’ve had so far in my own startups and added a couple more. If you follow these basic concepts, I guarantee you will exit your startup drafts in a much better place than your opponents. Each commandment has its own nuances but they all come back to one simple overarching theme as laid out by my idol and absolute fucking legend below:
Most people in a startup view their future through rose-colored lenses where anything is possible. Everyone believes their team can win and are willing to chase the studs to do so. In times past, it was Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley that got the juices flowing but this year, it’s been all about the quarterbacks. Folks think landing Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen will open the gates to the promised land and are willing to mortgage their future to do so. Although it’s great to have these guys on your squad from a sex appeal perspective, I’ve always found that having depth and high upside young talent is the key to building long-lasting and dominant dynasties. I’ve won many championships since starting 3 years ago and only one of my 25+ dynasty teams had Mahomes on it. Dynasty is a game involving high degrees of luck and randomness. Whether it’s due to unforeseen circumstances like COVID or natural parts of the sport like injuries, there is just too much variance outside of our control. When operating in this type of environment, spreading out your risk across multiple assets is a more optimal approach than putting all your eggs into one basket. Trading byke is how you can accomplish spreading out that risk. I usually try to trade out of the 1st and 2nd rounds of a startup entirely to accumulate as many picks in the 3rd to 8th rounds as possible. Why is this range so important? Your typical SF league starts 2QBs, 2RBs, 3WRs, TE, and 1 flex or 9 total starters for 12 teams which gets you to 108 players. However, there are really only about 6 TEs and 18 QBs I feel comfortable slotting into my lineup on a weekly basis so that brings the total player pool down to 96 which is where the cutoff is for the 8th round. In other words, this is where the cutoff of true difference-making starters end and accumulating as many of them as possible is the key to your team surviving the variance that hits all of us throughout the course of a full NFL season. More importantly, rounds 3-6 are where core assets to build a team around typically get drafted. Young ascending players who have yet to break out into the truly elite tier but are on the cusp of doing so. Getting in early on these players at value is the key to accruing massive value over time. In years past, this is where guys like Calvin Ridley, DK Metcalf, and AJ Brown were drafted. This year, we have other potential breakout stars like D’Andre Swift, Brandon Aiyuk, Travis Etienne, and Chase Claypool. One thing I’ve noticed this year which is a bit different from the past is there is also an abundance of veteran value in these rounds. Particularly at wide receivers which means you can trade back heavily into these rounds and still build a top contending roster by landing guys like Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson, and Austin Ekeler at an incredible discount. Once again, we always have to think back to the overall mantra of “be water” and this year more than most, you can trade byke and still retain your optionality to win now or do a productive struggle /rebuild which I’ll get to in a later rendition.
When trading out of the 1st round, I’m usually looking to target 3 picks within this range or 2 picks plus future rookie 1st. If you can land a 2nd/4th/future 1st round pick, that is the dream scenario. Typically though, this can only be achieved when trading the 1.01-1.04 where that elite tier of QBs is going. Even then, it’s a tough sell but trades like 2nd/3rd, 3rd/5th/6th, or 3rd/5th/future 1st are more common with the latter being my go-to in startup drafts this szn. Sometimes you’ll have to toss back a later pick in the 9th+ rounds but would try to keep those to double-digit rounds if possible. The future gains from completing a trade like this is something most folks don’t realize. Think compounded interest from your local bank on steroids. Stacks on stacks on stacks. Check out my Twitter thread from the last szn which really demonstrates “The Power of Trading Back”. After netting out all the trades I made which all originated from the initial trade out of the 1st, the end result was turning 2 picks into 6 weekly starters for my squad plus future rookie picks. In deeper leagues, this move will set you up for years to come.
When it’s all said and done, trading byke ultimately requires you to exercise discipline, willpower, and delayed gratification so put on your fucking monk suit and do what needs to be done. Everyone loves to get their guys but “your guy” might be different from “their guy” and even though you’re missing out on some at the top, studs always fall without fail. You’ll quickly realize once the draft gets to the 3-6th rounds there will be no shortage of studs available and guess what? Your opponents will realize it too but it’ll be too late for them. They’re going to be scrambling to trade back in with you while you settle your roots down as Iron Bank.
Rookie picks are almost always undervalued but never more so than during startup drafts. I’ve already explained the rose-colored lens effect above but it’s the main driver allowing those of us in the know to accumulate rookie picks on the cheap. Everyone has “their guys” who they think are future HOFers and typically willing to pay the price to move up and get them. They also convince themselves (erroneously) by trading up to get “their guys”, it will result in their future rookie picks being “late 1sts” which brings me to the first corollary of The New Testament:
Fade the Cocky Corollary: Never, ever trade away your future rookie 1sts at “late 1st” value. Why? It’s way too cocky but more importantly, it’s just giving away hidden value for free. The hidden value I’m referring to is the potential upside from shit hitting the fan and your team not performing as well as you would’ve thought. As I have already said, this is a game of incredibly high variance. We can barely predict 1 week out so confidently betting 1 year out is for fools. By trading your future rookie 1st as a “late 1st”, you’re essentially taking on all of the risk (injury, players busting, bad luck, etc.) and passing on the upside to your trade partner free of charge. We out here trying to run a dominant corporation, not a charity folks. Even if your 1st turns out to be late, it’s still completely ignoring the poor process that led you there. Just don’t do it. On the flip side, if you can sell your trade partners on their team being “elite” and convince them to trade away their 1st as a “late 1st”, you should take it every single time. In my experience, a little flattery goes a long way and acquiring rookie 1sts at the “late 1st” discount is one of the easiest free profits in existence. Anyway, back to the second commandment.
You need to take advantage of the mentality of your league mates and acquire picks while the trade market is hot. Ideally, you want 1st round picks but 2nd and 3rd rounders are still valuable to accumulate. People shrug them off because they only view them as “dart throws” but I see flexible draft capital which you can use to move up and down in rookie drafts. You can rarely use a player to move up a few spots in the 1st round of rookie drafts but you can always use a 2nd round pick. A player has a name attached to it and only those who like the player are willing to deal but a pick has no name and endless possibility which means everyone will want it. That is the power of flexibility.
Not to mention we land gems in the 2nd and 3rd of every single year (i.e. Titty Higgins, Gibson da Gawd, etc). In every league, you have that one dude who sells his future in the startup only to realize he wasn’t the wizard he thought and comes crawling back with bowl in hand to buy his own 1st back from you. Do not be that guy. He is the one who sends the following message to the group chat in November:
“All players on the block for future picks and youth, looking to blow it up for next year.”
Music to my god damn ears. You, being the actual wizard holding his future 1st will then have the chance to acquire the studs he paid a ransom to trade up for at half the price while laughing your way to Vegas and the fucking Mirage.
Also, keep in mind, the more picks you have, the more influence and control you’ll have in rookie drafts which give you the power to fully capitalize on rookie fever. In my experience, getting 4 to 5 1st round picks in a future class accompanied by a couple of 2nd rounders will allow you to completely dictate the flow of the draft. Why? It’s simple and comes back to the fantasy football hivemind approach of “get your guy”. When someone has a single pick in the 1st round, they only have one chance to “get their guy” and trading out of the draft would leave them on the sidelines. As a result, most folks will hold onto those picks tightly which in turn makes you the only player in town for others to get a piece of the action. However, the other extreme of owning every single pick is also not optimal. Ultimately, you need others who have anchors in the draft itself in order to trade up and down to capture value. If you’re the only player in town, then you severely limit the field of potential trade partners to do business with.
Chances are if you accumulated those picks early on in the szn or during the startup, a couple of those teams flamed out and you’ll be sitting on a couple of early 1sts which are the holy grail. You’ll be able to move up or down to any point in the draft while still accumulating more rookie 1sts in future years to run it back all over again. You can see the results in a Twitter thread of mine covering a rookie draft I completed where I deployed this strategy in the startup draft the year before. One thing you’ll notice is I did not utilize all of my picks to draft rookies. Another concept that often goes overlooked. People always throw the “50% of 1st round picks bust” in your face when pushing the “rookie picks are overvalued” narrative. Only true if you end up using all your picks on rookies. Until you use the pick, those 1sts are liquid gold filled with endless possibilities. I rarely use all of my 1sts in a single draft. After collecting them, I’ll look to trade out for veterans as well as exercise more delayed gratification by trading back to accumulate 1sts in future szns. The easiest way to do this is to trade out of the earlier picks into later picks + future 1st. Something like the 1.03 for the 1.10 + future 1st happens regularly. This is how you go from dominating just one rookie draft into the everlasting Iron Bank.
The last piece of advice I want to cover on this topic is to pick a year and zominate. What I mean by that is set a target year whether it’s 1 or 2 years out and try and target picks in that class as a priority in order to control that class. Typically, I like to choose 2 years out but this year is better than most to go down this path because that would be the 2023 class. One that is littered with projected studs at the RB position. Similar to 2020 which yielded the likes of Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, Cam Akers, CEH, and J.K. Dobbins, 2023 has the potential to be a landscape-changing crop of talent and you really need the stud RBs to flip your team from rebuilder into a contender. The second reason is that most people value picks 2 years out less than 1 year out because of the time value of money or in our case, the time value of production. Getting a player earlier means they start contributing to your team more which has value. However, if you’re doing a trade-back strategy accompanied by a productive struggle, you really don’t care much about the time lag. So you can take advantage of price discrepancy to land picks in a loaded class at a discount. The only caveat here is you have to make sure you’re joining leagues that’ll survive the test of time. Most startups fold in less than 2 years so choose your leagues and league-mates wisely to ensure your Iron Bank isn’t made of aluminum foil.
Typically from rounds 1-3, I prioritize youth even if it means passing on some value. It all goes back to the mantra of flexibility. Picking aging vets too early traps you into a win-now strategy forcing you to draft for need instead of value. Investing a pick in the top rounds into someone Deandre Hopkins or Travis Kelce severely limits your flexibility. Should you pivot to a productive struggle strategy at a later time, you’ll most likely be taking a heavy discount on selling those players. Another reason is I play to win the game and upside is the name of the game. Over the long term, the teams that accrue the most value usually win out. How do we do that? By getting in on young ascending assets before they blow up which naturally comes with some risk but not as much as you’d think. There’s a lot of signals you can read from an analytical lens that will help you dramatically reduce your bust risk. If I’m drafting a player in the early rounds, I want them to have the potential to rise in value next year and older players (age 26+ for RBs and 28+ for WRs rarely do. Why? Well the only L father time has ever taken was from god himself (aka Tom Brady). I approach my fantasy portfolio much like I do my real-life investment assets. Take on calculated risk to capture the most upside possible.
Having said that, folks are taking the youth movement a bit overboard this year which again presents those of us in the know with more opportunity. There is no better example of this than how the public is disrespecting Michael Thomas who is regularly available in the 4th / 5th rounds. Remember when I said you could implement a heavy trade byke strategy this year and still put together a contending roster? Well, this is why. I’m all for staying flexible early but once rounds 4 to 8 start hitting the board, I’ll gobble up that veteran value all day. Even if you’re implementing a productive struggle, it can still be profitable to draft some of these older WRs because you’ll be able to flip them for a haul in szn to contending teams. The bet I am making when drafting these players is they will drastically outperform their younger counterparts which isn’t even a stretch given elite guys perform for longer periods of time. When the time comes and people remember how much of a gawd MT is, you’ll then be able to flip him for one of those younger WRs who got taken ahead of him plus a piece. This brings me to the second corollary.
Age Cliff Corollary: Buy low on players after they hit the value age cliff but before they hit the production age cliff. People often talk about the “age cliff” in dynasty as one term when in reality, we should be splitting it into its two separate components. The value age cliff is the age a player’s value declines in the eyes of the dynasty market. The production age cliff is when players see a significant decline in their production due to father time finally taking its toll. These two rarely align and it’s because of the “better be 1 year early than a year late” mentality most of us play with. You don’t want to be left holding the bag before shit goes south so it’s better to get out early. Julio Jones is a prime example of this. His value took a nosedive after his age 28 season but his production barely felt anything as he continued to put up top 8 PPG finishes at his position now into his 30s and we still haven’t seen his production cliff hit. The key to profiting is taking advantage of this gap and acquiring elite production for cheap. MT is someone who has hit the value age cliff but is nowhere near to hitting his production age cliff yet. So push your chips in and profit comfortably. Conversely, now is a good time to get out on guys like Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs while they’re still at the value peak and look to grab them at a discount a year or two down the road. Something like Diggs for Thomas + 1st is easily attainable in today’s market and is something I’m more than comfortable pulling the trigger on.
Generally speaking, people spend way too much time on player evaluation and not nearly enough time on game theory. The end result? Those of us who focus on the right processes and applications will outplay those who have superior “knowledge” of football itself. Success in fantasy football is all about Economics 101. Supply and demand. Some like to wait for the market to provide those dynamics. Me? I like to take things into my own control. In prior years, the best way to do this was through QBs but given the QB craze reaching all-time highs, that strategy is becoming much more costly to do. The days of landing Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott in the 3rd round and Justin Herbert in the 7th are long gone. Rookie quarterbacks used to be great value in startup drafts but all that has changed this year with Lawrence locked in as a top 10 pick and Lance and Fields both sneaking into the late 1st / early 2nd round. The only real value remaining there is Zach Wilson but I’d wager his price will continue to creep up as well. However as one lead fades away, another opportunity arises. Running backs are by far and away the most valuable resources in dynasty in terms of contributing to team wins. Particularly young stud running backs. The QB craze has in turn pushed workhorse and bell cow running backs down the draft board and you’ll be able to capitalize as a result. In 2020, you would’ve had to sell your soul to land the likes of Jonathan Taylor and Saquon Barkley in the same team but this is entirely within reach this year when picking from the back part of the draft. Even if you miss out on them, there is still an abundance of young elite talent in the league available at bargain prices with the influx of the 2020 – 2021 talent. D’Andre Swift has been a staple target of mine in the 3rd round of startups with Antonio Gibson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, J.K. Dobbins, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams bringing up the rear. If you implement the trade-back strategy, you should be able to land 3+ of these guys on your team. As a result, you’ll be able to control pricing on one of the most sought-after resources in dynasty. I have numerous teams which were built almost entirely on the backs of the 2020 class last year. We’ll have even more of those opportunities down the line with what the 2023 class has to offer. Let’s not forget about one of my favorite resources to control in dynasty: tight ends. As I mentioned above, there are only about 5-6 TEs in any given year you feel comfortable slotting into your lineup as weekly startups. If you can lock up 3 or more of them on one team, then you will control that market and set pricing as you see fit. Even in non-TE premium formats, monopolizing the TE position is still a viable strategy as your league-mates will soon learn the pain of trying to string together a starting TE in dynasty. It isn’t like redraft where you can stream off the wire. Trust me, there’s nothing more demoralizing than submitting a lineup Thursday night only to be on the receiving end of a Hunter Henry or Mike Gesicki patented goose egg come Sunday.
It’s always confusing for me when people draft to fill a starting roster in June / July. It’s almost as if they don’t realize there are another 2-3 months to trade to fill those needs. During a startup, I don’t even see starting lineup requirements or players filling starter roles. I simply view picks and players as currency and investments. Investments I hope will increase in value between now and the start of the season at a faster rate than any of my competitors. If they do, I win. It’s that simple. This year, I am seeing people draft for need more than ever, especially at QB. I’ve been in multiple drafts where folks are drafting guys like Carson Wentz over Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs. Do not do this. What’s more likely? Adams and Diggs repeating as top 5 WRs or Carson Wentz holding his job over the next 2 years? I would bet the former 10 times out of 10. Do not fall for the trap of reaching for non-elite QBs. Sit back and capture the value. If you’re short on QBs then someone else is also short on the position you chose to go after.
I’m a trade addict and you should be too. It’s why I play dynasty and not redraft. I love playing the markets but it’s a volume game. Don’t be afraid of leaving the draft thin at certain positions as long as you’ve done your best to accumulate the most value, filling the need will come via trades.
You hear the phrase all the time but mostly applied to players themselves. The more opportunity a player sees, the better their chances are of producing. This shouldn’t only be applied to players but should be applied to dynasty managers as well. In the context of startup drafts and managing your dynasty teams, volume comes in the form of trade offers. If you haven’t gathered already, I am a volume trader when it comes to dynasty. The reason why I have such a tight pulse on the market is that I am sending trades all the time but specifically in the startup. Everyone says they want to get trades done but very few are willing to put in the grind to see it through. Most of your league just hops in the group chat from time to time announcing their pick is OTB and wait for offers to come in. Those with more initiative maybe even send out a couple themselves. That is child’s play. In any given startup league, I am always at the top of the leaderboard for transactions which is only possible based on the volume of offers I send out. I send no less than 250 offers throughout the course of a startup draft. I’m in a startup right now which hasn’t even made it to the 3rd round and I’m already at 168 offers. I subscribe to the Steve Jobs mantra. People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Everyone wants a deal but no one knows what a deal looks like. I like to start the negotiations before my pick is OTC to get the juices flowing. It all starts before the draft begins. I will send an offer for my 1st round pick to nearly every single member of the league. Do I expect someone to accept my offers right away? No, but I do this as an information-gathering exercise. Sometimes you’ll get a response in the comments saying they aren’t willing to trade up. Other times, you’ll get a counter back or slide into the DMs informing you they are willing but just not at your initial price. Either way, I’m gaining valuable data on potential future trade partners. Data I collect and track over time via the Seventh Commandment below. The only time I don’t send one is if I’ve played with them before and know they don’t trade back.
I also rarely send just one offer. People like options. Everyone values things differently so it’s important to provide a variety of constructs for them to think through. I’ve had a tonne of success offering and countering offers with multiple options where they eventually accept the one that suits their needs the best. I’m flexible and open to getting the value I want anyway I can while others aren’t. That’s an edge you can exploit as well. Make sure you’re the Derrick Henry of your leagues. Make sure you’re always leading your league in attempts to cause more attempts leading to more tuddies and that’s the name of the game.
Instead of wasting time studying late-round darts who won’t even make the roster, spend that time studying your competition. Knowing your enemy is way half the battle and more important than trying to nail down player evaluations. I keep notebooks (aka spreadsheets) tracking the tendencies of my league mates. Over time, I’ll build a full profile on them as dynasty players. Do they frequently trade up in drafts to get their guys or are they stingy? Which positions do they target most? Which ADPs or trade calculators do they reference in our trade negotiations? Understanding these factors will help you secure an edge and realize way more value in trading than watching your 99th hour of film will. I promise you. For more details on how to perfect this art form, check out this episode of Market Watch Mondays.
I wrote this up last year as a corollary and not a Commandment given that I wasn’t sure if it would apply annually but it looks like we’re definitely back in business for 2021. When you take a WR within the first 3-4 rounds of your draft, just know the reason behind it is primarily for sex appeal and value storage. We all love young productive talents like DK Metcalf, AJ Brown and Justin Jefferson marinating into our WR slots, but when you get into the gritty of the numbers, truly, they aren’t making a huge difference in your wins column. It doesn’t make sense to take these guys with a premium pick when you can land ascending stars like Brandon Aiyuk and Chase Claypool at a 3-4 round discount accompanied by the league-winning upside of Michael Thomas. You just can’t really sink early capital into a WR unless you’re planning to punt year 1 via a productive struggle approach.
In typical dynasty fashion, folks are reactionary to a level unparalleled. QBs are being drafted at a bonkers rate in startup drafts right now occupying 8-10 spots of the 1st round of an average dynasty startup at this moment. This is insane to me for a couple of reasons. First, it seems like people are projecting a repeat of 2020 which I’m betting against, heavily. From 2011 to 2020, there was an average of 3 teams/year who scored 50+ tuddies. In 2020, that figure shot up to 9. Data is courtesy of the great JJ Zachariason from NumberFire which you can see in the graphic below. In fact, 4 of the top 10 scoring seasons of the last decade came last year.
The biggest beneficiaries of this trend? Quarterbacks. 8 out of the 9 signal-callers finished in the top 12 of QB scoring but is this sustainable? Before the szn kicked off last year, I said it would be a scoring fiesta for the ages because of the shortened offszn and COVID (check the receipts). The last time we had a comparable situation was the NFL hold out which also resulted in fireworks. We shouldn’t be expecting a repeat this year given the pandemic is at a much different place with most people getting vaccinations (shoutout to Karen Beasley) and we have a regularly scheduled offszn with little-to-no opt-outs. We should project 2021 to resemble a typical season, meaning that the follow-up to the bonanza that was 2020 will be hit with regression at the QB position harder than fictional Zendaya hits the headboards in Nick’s fantasized dreams. Everyone reaching in the top 3 rounds for QBs is going to be in for a rude awakening when they see bellcow and workhorse running backs retaking their rightful throne atop the fantasy landscape so make sure you capitalize now. There’s never been a better time to go mid-late round QB while securing your skilled positions early to put together a championship run.
It’s time to shut this bad boy down before the length challenges that of Noah’s locks. A lot of people try to fit their draft into a perfectly shaped box but veterans know it’s anything but. It’s why I don’t go into any drafts with ZeroRB, RobustRB, or ModifiedRB in mind. I just go in with these overarching principles in mind and let the draft fall to me. Don’t chase, just let it come to you. If you remember nothing else after processing this biblical scripture, simply retain and live this image: