There are a plethora of websites out there offering the latest and greatest options for hosting your fantasy football league. In this article, we’re going to examine the pros and cons of some of them to help you figure out which dynasty fantasy platform is right for you.
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Popular Dynasty Fantasy Football Platforms
Sleeper Fantasy Football
Sleeper is an elite fantasy platform that is newer to the market and easily ranks among the fastest-growing companies in the fantasy industry.
The only “knock” on Sleeper is the lack of Devy content. However, this is a theme with nearly every other site, so they’re not alone. It’s something I wish we would see more sites dive into a bit more, but given the landscape and size of the NCAA, I understand the hesitation as it is a very small demographic.
Sleeper, in my opinion, has the best user experience from both a functionality and interface viewpoint. Also, their roots as a notifications-based app have not gone away, as Sleeper gives the best game-day notifications of any app, a key when it comes to user experience.
Last year, Sleeper launched their squads portion of the app, which adds a player prop contest into your leagues. From a pure dynasty standpoint, the transition from the regular season to the offseason is seamless. The trading experience has been overhauled and simplified to make seeing where a draft pick will be that you are trading for/away is straightforward.
Sleeper is as good as it gets for those looking to get a dynasty league off the ground, so make sure to try them out if you’re going down that path this fall!
MFL is one of the oldest and most functional dynasty fantasy platforms around. Because of this, MFL is almost entirely text-based in terms of menus and options. There is a significant learning curve for new users, and that turns some people away from the site. With that said, once you become more comfortable with the site, there is little you cannot do with enough time and creativity.
MFL has the most options and customizations on the market by a mile. It’s a double-edged sword, as new commissioners can be overwhelmed. For managers, this is not a problem, as once you learn to navigate the site, you’ll never see those behind-the-scenes pages.
MFL also charges league hosting fees and doesn’t offer its own official app at all. Instead, they allow others to build apps that integrate the backend data directly.
With that said, the “official” app is something I would avoid as, in my experience, it didn’t make anything easier from setting lineups or waivers. While it feels dated, MFL is a reliable site to build complex dynasty leagues. For what it is, it does it very well.
If you enjoy college football, Fantrax is for you. Not only do they host college football fantasy leagues, but they are the home for most “Campus to Canton” and Devy leagues, thanks to having collegiate players in their database.
Most C2C leagues will host their campus portion on Fantrax, and the NFL portion will be on Sleeper or MFL. Then, once players are drafted, they will be added manually onto those teams by the league commissioner. The extra step is a bit more work, but you end up getting the best bits from each site this way rather than renaming players as placeholders.
Fantrax has free leagues but offer a premium option ($129.95 per year), opening up other settings and features, which could be worth it based on what extra functionality you want to be unlocked. From enhanced draft pick trading to a bevy of custom options, there’s good value in the premium option if you’re diving head first into year-round fantasy football. Since this is not a requirement to play on the site, I don’t criticize the paywall nearly as much as other sites.
The site is straightforward to maneuver and has all of the options you would look for in a dynasty fantasy platform if you want to have a roster of college players.
FleaFlicker Fantasy Football
In many respects, FleaFlicker is a simplified version of MFL. It’s often referred to as MFL-lite for this reason. It’s a middle-of-the-road dynasty fantasy platform for hosting your league. FleaFlicker offers a lot of the functionality you’re looking for while being more user-friendly with an upgraded UI.
The menus appear cleaner and more streamlined compared to MFL. Overall, the site flows better without losing the customization tools. You can trade future picks, add taxi squads, and starting lineups are easy enough to set. It just does what it’s supposed to, and they deserve credit for this. To some degree, this is a great gateway. It wets your appetite and can encourage further traveling down the dynasty path.
FleaFlicker does have a free app that works well enough, although some options are only available through the website. It’s also free to host, but they offer a premium service if you want to unlock all of the details, like expanded states and analysis through the site.
My only knock is the drafting experience, as you cannot take a screenshot of the board or see every team simultaneously. Also, there are no customization options when trying to hold a mock draft which is imperative for determining ADP and your personal draft strategy for startup and rookie drafts.
Despite the minor flaws, FleaFlicker is a platform that does not get quite the same love from the dynasty community but is one of the underrated gems of the industry.
ESPN Fantasy Football
ESPN was viewed as the first stop for fantasy football for a long, long time. Yet, for dynasty managers specifically, ESPN likely is not an option, as they do not offer dynasty leagues on their site. Yes, you can make it “work,” but that will require spreadsheets and is like trying to use a Band-Aid to fix a flat tire.
ESPN, of course, caters to a massive audience, and that plays into things. They want the greatest number of users to benefit from where they allocate their resources, and while the dynasty market is on the rise, it’s still dwarfed by redrafters.
Courtesy of Mike Clay, the site does have some dynasty rankings and long-term content, but in terms of a dynasty destination, this isn’t the first place to look. Their redraft platform is strong and more than viable, but if you’re looking to progress out of the annual league format, choosing a different platform is likely your best bet.
CBS Fantasy Football
CBS has one of the most expensive league-hosting fees on the market at $179.99 per year (discounted to $149.99 during specific promotional windows). That is a complete dealbreaker for me. Especially when sites such as Sleeper exist and are free to use and offer far more in terms of customization and features.
With that said, you can play in leagues for free on CBS, but there are no customization options unlocked in this tier. Also, keepers are locked behind the $150 paywall for those who play in multi-year leagues.
I cannot recommend CBS as a dynasty fantasy platform when there are better options that are also free. CBS is flashy and has many features that dynasty leagues need, but I don’t feel it’s worth the price. If your league-mates don’t mind splitting the cost and like the bells and whistles, there’s nothing wrong with how CBS is set up … but if you’re trying to stretch your dollar, you can do better.
What Matters to You When Looking for a Dynasty Fantasy Platform?
This is a somewhat individual choice, as the needs of you and your particular league could differ from mine. Do you prioritize customization or the UI? Does the site have a dedicated, full-blown app, so you don’t need to be tied to your computer? Do you want to add more Devy or Campus to Canton into your rotation of leagues?
Based on what you prefer, the right choice for you might become apparent rather quickly. After all, this is a multi-year commitment, and trying to move platforms after the wrong choice can be a headache. While I would not call any site perfect, odds are there is the right one for you.
My recommendation would be to start with Sleeper. It’s free to use, and you can run unlimited mock drafts to get a feel for the design. You can also base your mocks around your league’s settings without needing to set it up manually. The chat functionality makes it easy to begin trade talks or just have conversations with other managers in your league. At the very least, it’s a strong (and free) starting point that can teach you what you deem important.
When joining or starting a dynasty league, it’s a multi-year commitment, and what you need in the hosting site is something managers must decide before starting. Otherwise, frustration builds, and the enjoyment falls. That’s how leagues disband and orphan teams are formed.
There is no one-size-fits-all site, but once you know what you require, it makes it easier to narrow down the options on which dynasty site is the right one for your needs.
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