Facebook Pixel

    How To Win Your Dynasty Fantasy Football League in 2024

    It's time for you to win now in your dynasty fantasy football league. What steps do you need to take for a championship run in 2024?

    If you’re part of the dynasty fantasy football community, you know how focused managers are on building for the future. It’s what separates dynasty from redraft. But what about now? Someone is going to win this year. Why not you? Today, we’re going to focus on the steps you need to take to turn your playoff-contending roster into a championship team.

    How To Win This Year in Dynasty Fantasy Football Leagues

    I am all about trying to win now. But we must be realistic about our dynasty rosters. Just because we may want to win now doesn’t mean we can. There is a ton of imbalance in dynasty leagues. If this isn’t your year, don’t try and force it.

    For the purposes of today’s discussion, this can be your year. You’ve already decided to push your chips in on winning in 2024.

    Allow me to accompany you on the journey through a dynasty season and go step by step, discussing what actions you need to take and what moves you need to make to put yourself in the best position to win this year.

    The Rookie Draft

    There are only two ways to add key pieces to your roster (not counting the waiver wire, which essentially has a minimal impact on dynasty rosters). The first way is the rookie draft. We will start there. How you approach the rookie draft when chasing a championship is different than if rebuilding is on the table.

    As with any draft pick in fantasy football, you can do two things with it — use it or trade it. The answer to what you should do depends on the rookie class, where you pick, and the other managers in your league. Both options can help you win this year. You just need to figure out what is best for your team in your league.

    Using Your Rookie Draft Picks

    The great part about this option is it’s always on the table. One of the biggest issues in dynasty is how contingent your success is on what other managers choose to do.

    In redraft leagues, it’s possible to win purely based on a strong draft and good waiver moves. You don’t have to trade. In dynasty, it’s just about impossible to be competitive year after year if you are unable to make trades.

    The rookie draft is the one aspect of each season you mostly have complete control over. Of course, you can only make your picks and can’t control what other managers do. But when it’s your pick, you get to choose whichever available player you want and no one can stop you.

    If that’s the path you end up going with, whether by choice or by force, it’s fine. Every year, there are several impact rookies. Those rookies often perform the best over the second half of the season, just when you need them.

    The key is going to be drafting players you believe will matter as rookies. It doesn’t benefit you to take developmental prospects that may need a year or two before they become impactful fantasy assets.

    The prevailing strategy when starting a new dynasty league is to build around wide receivers. These players have longer shelf lives and will be productive players longer than running backs.

    The idea is you stack up on wide receivers early in your dynasty tenure. Then, once those wide receivers have reached the apex of their fantasy value, you add the running backs.

    If this is your year to chase a title, ideally, your wide receivers are in a great spot. It’s time to add running backs.

    Under normal conditions, you wouldn’t need to concern yourself with the safety that comes with wide receivers’ long-term utility. You want the instant production associated with running backs.

    MORE: Fantasy News Tracker

    The most difficult part of executing this strategy in rookie drafts is there are a finite number of players expected to be productive right away. In 2024, there is only one running back that’s even worth a first-round rookie draft pick — Jonathon Brooks. There will likely be more than one running back who matters in fantasy this season, but Brooks is the only one we can feel confident in.

    If you don’t draft in a spot where you can take that impact RB, don’t force it. Just because running backs are historically better immediately doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the case in this particular year. The 2024 class looks a whole lot stronger at wide receiver, both short and long-term.

    It’s fine to take wide receivers. Just be sure to focus on players with a better path to immediate production.

    Trading Your Rookie Draft Picks

    Every dynasty league is different. In my experience, my fellow fantasy managers often overvalue the potential that is rookie draft picks.

    Now, I don’t watch Family Guy. But I have seen a great clip from the show that encapsulates my feelings on rookie draft picks. You should watch it. It’s only a minute long.

    Peter and Lois were going to buy a boat. But the salesman offers them a mystery box, instead. Peter exclaims, “A boat’s a boat, but the mystery box could be anything. It could even be a boat!”

    In many dynasty leagues, the potential of a player is valued greater than reality. Chris Olave is nice. But that rookie pick? Well, that could be anything! It could even be Chris Olave!

    Rookie draft picks have potential. They represent an unknown player that you hope will contribute to your team. Your goal with every rookie pick is to end up with a productive player. The trick is realizing you don’t have to draft a rookie with your rookie draft picks.

    Train your brain into viewing trading rookie picks the same as if you drafted a veteran in your rookie draft instead of a rookie. You could use your rookie first-round pick to draft incoming prospect Washington WR Rome Odunze, or you could use it to “draft” Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith.

    MORE: Dynasty Fantasy Football Rules

    Odunze may very well be valued ahead of Smith in dynasty by 2025 or 2026. But Smith is far more likely to help you win in 2024. This is how you need to think about your rookie draft when trying to win now.

    The easiest trade partners to find are the rebuilding teams that still have useful veterans. Odds are even the worst teams in your league have something to offer.

    We are at a very interesting point in the NFL landscape. There were a lot of really good players to enter the league from 2013-2017. Those guys are getting old … but many of them aren’t quite done just yet. In 2024, a bunch of the top running backs and wide receivers likely have no more than 1-3 years left as top options at their respective positions.

    Guys like Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill, Houston Texans WR Stefon Diggs, Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans, and Chicago Bears WR Keenan Allen are all going to be done in 2-3 years (some sooner than others).

    Meanwhile, San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey, Texans RB Joe Mixon, and Baltimore Ravens RB Derrick Henry are also nearing the end.

    What use does a rebuilding team have for a 30-year-old wide receiver? That team is legitimately better off with Odunze or Malik Nabers over Evans or Allen. You are not.

    You don’t need to exclusively target players that are age 29+. Go after anyone in the second half of their career. Think wide receivers in their late 20s. These are players who still have several useful seasons ahead of them. At the same time, they’re old enough that they’re not part of a rebuilding team’s plans.

    Some fantasy managers have this obsession with getting younger. A 27-year-old wide receiver is not old, but there may be a manager who can’t pass up the opportunity to turn him into a 22-year-old wide receiver. See if you can capitalize on something like that.

    Get yourself a couple of players without having to give up anyone that could have contributed to your championship run this season.

    In-Season Free Agency

    Once the season starts, the waiver wire becomes a key component of your success. What dynasty managers are looking for on the waiver wire varies based on that team’s approach to the season.

    While the rebuilding teams are taking stabs at breakout young players, feel free to spend your FAAB on any player providing immediate value.

    Admittedly, it’s difficult to supplement your roster too much through the waiver wire. Given the size of dynasty rosters, it’s rare for any seriously impactful player to emerge, but there will be some players who can make a difference, at least for a stretch. There always are.

    MORE: Dynasty Fantasy Football Platforms

    Every season, there are hot waiver pickups that everyone knows are one-season wonders. Dynasty managers building for the future aren’t necessarily going to prioritize these guys. You should. Focus on adding as many players as you can that can contribute immediately.

    With that said, by no means should you ignore rising prospects. There may not always be useful win-now players. But you want anyone who can provide value. It’s rare to see guys emerge out of nowhere, but it happens, even for rookies. Anyone popping up that seems to be useful, put in a claim.

    If that means grabbing a player who likely won’t contribute this season for the express purpose of trading for a win-now player, you should do that. This leads into the final section …

    Trading

    Once you really get into a dynasty league (think three or four years in), the haves and have-nots are usually clearly defined each season. You probably won’t be entering seasons with 6-8 serious championship contenders. Everyone will know who the true contenders are.

    There will be 3-4 teams most likely to win it all. After that, you will have 3-4 playoff contenders. These are teams likely to make the playoffs, but who will need to get hot at the right time to advance further?  Finally, there will be your rebuilding teams. These are the 3-4 teams that know they can’t compete. As a result, they won’t even try. They enter the season already looking to build for the following year.

    MORE: Dynasty Startup Draft Strategies

    When you are one of the teams that can win it all and you’ve committed to going for it, you need to do everything in your power to gain an edge. Sometimes, that results in arms races between two or three superpowers. For better or worse, you can’t lose the arms race.

    This is both the gift and curse of dynasty leagues. You can make trades to build a super team. But so can everyone else. It’s also by design. For the long-term health of your dynasty league, you want the top teams to be compelled to mortgage the future to win now. That’s how parity can occur.

    Of course, the goal of every dynasty manager is to ultimately build a team that can dominate for a decade. It’s one of those things that’s like a dog chasing a car. You want him to chase it, but you never want him to actually catch it.

    If any team is capable of dominating for a decade, your league will probably fold. Part of the gambit is accepting that sometimes you have to make moves that all but guarantee you won’t be able to compete 2-3 years from now to win the current season’s championship. That’s good for the long-term health of your dynasty league.

    Ideally, you can win without giving away too many future assets. But more often than not, you have to make a decision. Then or now. If the answer is now, and you truly believe this is your best chance to win, you can’t get frugal with future assets. That’s the best way to always come in third or fourth.

    The nature of dynasty leagues is such that no one can be competitive every season. If your team loses a key player to injury late in the season, you need to replace that player. As Mike “The Situation” puts it, you didn’t come this far just to come this far.

    At some point, there will be diminishing returns. You don’t need to upgrade your worst starting wide receiver from, say, 12 points per game to 13. Going all-in on winning now doesn’t mean completely depleting all future value for minimal gain. Focus on making moves that will have a meaningful impact on your odds of winning.

    Related Articles