• Chris Miles

Dynasty Roster Construction: Do The Number of Teams Matter?

Twitter: @ChrisMiles1017

As players become more experienced in dynasty they tend to break out and try different formats. One way to do this is to add teams to your league. Most players start with ten or twelve teams but then later progress into joining more difficult fourteen and sixteen teams. Today we will be talking about my recommendations on roster construction based upon how many teams are in your league. Let’s dive in.

- General Theory

The majority of this article will be based upon Superflex, full PPR, one starting TE settings: with a win-now/soon mindset. In Superflex, QBs become very important to get and should be drafted early, the same goes for RBs. There are only about twenty RBs that I am confident will hold good value over the next few years so getting two of these guys is crucial. Wide receiver is very deep these days in dynasty, and you can get older, still productive WRs late in drafts. TE is a bit more dependent on league size. I always prefer to get an elite guy early but in larger leagues, it is less important. Lastly, rookie picks. A random rookie first in a ten-team league is more valuable than in a sixteen-team league because the ten-team first is guaranteed to be top ten. The same logic follows with seconds and thirds. A ten-team league 2.01 and 2.10 picks are overall pick eleven and twenty, while a sixteen team 2.01 and 2.16 picks are seventeen overall and 32 overall. So, collecting future 2nds and 3rds is much better in lower team leagues. Now let us use all of these rules when dissecting by league sizes.

- 10/12 Team Leagues

I treat ten and twelve team leagues almost identically so the following principles should be applied to both. In ten team leagues, studs rule. Good depth is a lot less important in these smaller leagues because more teams will have more “tier two” players. Because of this, you will need to collect more studs to overcome your opponents. Let us say in dynasty there are 100 players that you believe will be safe and have value over the next 2-3 years. That means in a ten-team league each owner will have about ten of these players as opposed to in a sixteen-team league you will only have about six of these players. This means you have more solid players and assets to make moves within a ten-teamer. Let’s look at how I would handle a draft in a ten-team league, I’ll be using Rotoviz.com’s ADP data from January 1st to March 21st and assuming a draft slot of 1.05.

RB early is a must in team leagues as well as grabbing an elite TE so you can see in this draft the first four picks were QB, so I selected CMC 1.05 to start my RB core. Then in the 2nd, I grab Kelce to get that much-needed positional advantage at TE and follow that up with another stud RB pick while everyone else is spamming QBs and selecting the top tier WRs. Next, I secure my QB1. Having elite QBs matters less in a ten-team league because there are only twenty starters and about 26 very usable guys you can draft. But you still need to get at least a pair of solid guys so you cannot wait too long. Next, I grab my 3rd RB before I ignore the position, and follow that up with my 1st WR. I grab Keenan here because he is such a high floor guy, still under 30, and tied to a great young QB. Now I can just start stacking WRs, I do end up grabbing my 3rd QB here though because I really like Jones's upside and feel I can get a lot more quality WRs later. Next, I grab Kupp and Deebo. Both WR1 on their respective teams and then I just start mixing between high upside RBs that just are not at the top of their depth chart and highly targeted older WRs. I feel this draft makes me a contender right from year one but also have a younger group of starters, so I’ll be able to stay competitive while adding youth through the rookie draft. My biggest piece of advice in these drafts would be to make trades that give you extra picks in the 5th/6th round range. These rounds in my opinion have the best values and players I just love to draft. A typical trade I like to make is something like my 4th and 8th for their 5th and 6th. People overestimate moving up into the 4th and you can take advantage of these by scooping up multiple premium picks.

- 14/sixteen-team Leagues

In these larger leagues, you need to get as many usable starters as possible, depth is key. It does you no good to trade up for a stud if losing them due to injury costs you your games. The previously used example of 100 good players only allowing owners to have about six good players per team. Let us say two of those six are elite and the other four are just average. If you can trade those two elite players for maybe two average players and then a high upside depth guy each. You now have eight good players overall and added two guys to your bench that may one day become a contributor. This is how you get an edge in these deeper leagues, just having more startable guys available to you than your opponents. In sixteen-team leagues QBs become the most valuable, there are only 32 teams in the NFL, and in a sixteen-team league, you could potentially have 32 starting QBs each week so making sure you can secure three guys is crucial. As for TE in a large league getting a stud is less important. The change from ten to sixteen starting TEs in your league means that you will be facing bad TEs more often and can get by with a guy that is around TE8. Now let us look at how I would handle a sixteen-team draft, assuming pick 1.08.

Here we try to hit RB hard early, but we also should remember that one QB early is a MUST. So, I start with JT, Rodgers, and CEH. Getting a set of young workhorses is money in these leagues. If you can trust your RBs and QBs everything else will fall into place. Next, I was not feeling great about the QB choices because there will still a good number of guys left that I felt confident in so I took my WR one that I know I can depend on. Next, we grab our 2nd QB and first TE because we do not want to be at the end of a TE run. Then after that, we start mixing between WR and grabbing RB wherever we see one that we like. Luckily, we also steal a starting QB late and get to leave the draft with three QBs. These larger drafts are way harder to manage. My biggest piece of advice in this is to trade out of the first, second, and third rounds. Just try to sell studs and accumulate as much depth as possible.

My overall remarks would be the following:

  1. Always trade back out of the first if possible, in all formats. The first two rounds and even bleeding into the third are all pretty much the same for me so if you can manage to move your first to pick up a 2nd or 3rd and extra assets, do it.

  2. Always draft young, high-volume RBs. RBs do not typically last past 26-27 so I typically avoid guys that are not on rookie deals anymore. If you can get two to three RBs that are in good offenses and still in their first two seasons you have won your draft.

  3. In smaller leagues, TE early is better. In larger leagues QB early is better.

  4. WR is incredibly deep. Do not draft one in the first three rounds.