Transitioning from Redraft to Dynasty: What to Know

If you’ve read a lot of articles about fantasy football, you might have some idea of what a dynasty league is, but playing in one can be a different story altogether. 

If you’re considering a transition from a redraft league to a dynasty league, you aren’t alone. It’s a transition a lot of players consider when they’re more experienced with fantasy football and want a different approach to playing and a new challenge. 

As is true with any league, if you think you’d like to transition to dynasty, you can either start your own league and become the commissioner, or you can join an existing league. 

A lot of platforms for fantasy sports don’t support dynasty leagues, so if you’re going to start your own league, be aware that, as commissioner, you’ll probably need to do quite a bit outside of the app. 

Dynasty fantasy football is a long-term commitment, and you want to be especially careful about choosing your league as a result. If you don’t enjoy the people you’re playing with, it has more of an impact on a dynasty than a redraft league. You also need to make sure you can count on everyone in your league. If you’re starting a league, you want managers who are solid and dependable and who you’ll enjoy playing with over the years. 

Along with those things, the following are some other considerations as you transition from redraft to dynasty. 

How Do Dynasty Leagues Work?

In comparison to a redraft league, which is the traditional league format, there’s not really a reset in dynasty football. After your first season in one of these leagues, you keep all of the players that you got in your startup draft. They carry over into the next year. 

Some people like the dynasty format because they feel it most closely replicates managing a real NFL team. The transactions and decisions you make in a dynasty affect you for years to come, and you might like the higher stakes of this. 

The goal of a dynasty league is the same broadly as any other type of league, with the differences lying primarily in the management. 

The only time all players are going to be available to be drafted at the same time in a dynasty league is the startup draft, whereas in redraft, every season, you start fresh with an entirely empty roster. 

You can make trades and use a free agency if you want to change your roster, but your draft at startup is really what sets the tone for you going forward in a dynasty league. 

The Draft

Dynasty leagues do still have rookie drafts every year, which is when you’ll choose from players who are new that season. The rookie draft is a good way to build out your team for the future. 

Rookie drafts will often go in order of where a player finished in the league the past season, and the worst team will usually get the first pick overall. The winner from the league for the past season will pick last. 

A rookie draft strategy is going to depend a lot on the shorter-term outlook for your team. If your roster’s already strong and you’re likely to be competitive in an upcoming season, you might give up high draft picks during the rookie draft so that you can instead focus on proven talent. 

Starting a New League

As mentioned, if you want to start a new league and you want to play dynasty fantasy football, the most important thing you can have to start with are players who are committed. The fantasy players are making a year-over-year commitment, and you want them to understand that reality. 

The players in a dynasty league need to have a deep NFL interest because your league’s going to function better if you have people who understand fantasy and also want to learn more in-depth things about NFL talent. 

It’s essentially a year-round commitment, so players who only follow football during the season are likely not well-suited to a dynasty league. 

If you’re managing a dynasty team, you have to be flexible, and you need to allow draft picks to be traded. 

How you set your league up has important implications. Some dynasty leagues, for example, make you pay a fee upfront, and that’s meant to provide compensation to your league if you abandon your team before a certain period of time. It’s hard to find replacement owners in a dynasty league, especially if the team that was abandoned isn’t great. 

Taking Over An Existing Team

If you’re considering taking over a team that exists rather than starting your own league, the pros are the fact that the league already functions, so you don’t have to worry about making setup decisions, and there may be incentives for you to take over a team, like free league dues for a period. 

You can also give yourself a chance to do some shopping to find a strong team you want to take. 

The downsides of taking over an existing team include what was mentioned above—the teams are often not very good. Most teams are abandoned because they’re bad, and the owner doesn’t want to keep playing without being competitive. 

You also don’t have the chance to start your team like you would in a startup draft. You’re building a team relying only on rookie drafts and trades. 

Dynasty vs. Keeper League

Finally, a keeper league is another option if you want to get more in-depth and play a longer-term strategy but still maintain some of the elements of a redraft league. 

In a keeper league, you keep a certain number of your players from your roster to carry into the next season. Most leagues let you keep three players, but it can vary depending on the rules of your league. 

If you’re going to keep a player in a keeper league, you have to give up a draft pick from the upcoming season.

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