I know many people who would rather just quit their league than go through the pain-staking agony of time and research needed to rebuild their dynasty team. So many different factors could go into the causes of having to rebuild your squad. Whether it’s an injury, a lack of depth, a bad start-up draft, taking over an orphan team or even personal strategy. Here I will dive into some of the dos and don’ts for those unlucky owners who have to re-build their fantasy teams and how I went about rebuilding my own team.
First and foremost, if you are only one or two players away from competing then don’t rebuild. I know sometimes it seems like the fantasy gods are after you with injuries, but trust me they will eventually bite other teams too. It would be smarter to just hang in there and wait for next year instead of blowing it all up.
Owning devy players who are about to mature is great too, but the problem with that is you have no idea where these players could be drafted to. Look at Damien Harris this year. Per some experts, he was a solid, three-down running back who ends up being 4th on the depth chart in New England. He may eventually pay off but it’s not an immediate return on value.
Sometimes it’s easier to rebuild a carburetor than it is to rebuild your fantasy team, but if you have decided you need a fresh start, one of the first things you need to do is ensure you have your team’s first-round pick for the next draft. If you don’t own it, then sell whatever you need to in order to acquire it. That’s kind of the whole point of tanking your team. You will need one or two dynamic, can’t-miss studs to be the new foundation of your squad. When you own your own first-round pick then losing every game, as long as you are following the league’s lineup rules, will benefit you because that will make your pick the next years 1.01.
I ended up having a pretty good year in one of my dynasty leagues in 2017. I made the playoffs, won a playoff game and thought I had an okay team to build off of next year - then the 2018 NFL Draft happened. I had owned Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman and Chris Thompson. Well, their teams drafted Saquon Barkley and Derrius Guice which, at the time, effectively killed my guys' fantasy value. I also owned some older receivers (Mohammed Sanu, Rishard Matthews, Julian Edelman) who helped me win a playoff game but wouldn’t help me long term. I also did not own my first.
So, the rebuild was on! I had a couple of solid young pieces (Deshaun Watson, JuJu Smith-Schuster) and some solid vets (Derek Carr, Chris Carson, Kyle Rudolph) so I began to make moves. I traded all of those pieces for rookie draft picks, young upside players, and devy picks. I also traded away everyone who was 28 years old or older. This essentially put me on a 3-year plan. After all was said and done, I now own Sam Darnold, Drew Lock, Miles Sanders, Rashaad Penny, Alexander Mattison, Darrell Henderson, Zay Jones, Marques Valdes-Scantling, James Washington, Noah Fant, and David Njoku, in addition to three first-round picks in 2020 including two probable top 5 picks, multiple devy picks/players and the rights to CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Hurts and Trey Sermon when they come out. So yes, it has sucked to pay dues for all this time and not compete, but I have a young team with solid pieces which I can continue to build on in the future.
If you take over an orphan team then rebuilding may be the route you want to go in order to make that team your own. There are many reasons why someone would leave a dynasty league, but a majority of the time it’s because their teams suck. I absolutely love the challenge of flipping a team, to take on a lemon and turn it into profit. The great thing about dynasty is that you are a legit GM. Unlike redrafts when you are one-and-done, dynasties allow you to watch your “child” grow, and there is no greater satisfaction than to make a garbage team competitive and hopefully profitable! Take a flyer on as many rookies as you can. Even if only two or three of them hit, more than likely they were late-round picks or waiver wire pickups so they were essentially free anyways!
There are many ways to rebuild your team and ultimately it is all personal preference. Make sure whatever strategy you go with to stick with it! You basically have to go to a mirror in your house, stare at it and repeatedly say “I’m not competing for at least two years.” You need to trust the process. Don’t keep flip-flopping your strategy. Stay the course, eventually it will all pay-off. Keep up with where players ADPs are and watch for opportunities that present themselves. Soon enough you will go from zero to hero!