Orphan Takeover Strategy: How to Rebuild
Orphan Takeover Strategy: How to Rebuild
Dynasty leagues have quickly become a thing in the fantasy football world. The format itself has existed for some time. However, there appears to be a recent spike in the number of fantasy players looking for their next fake sports fix. This article briefly defines the format and explores the rapid rise in the number of owners in the industry. It will also provide you with potential strategies to implement if you find yourself taking over an orphan team in a dynasty league that already exists.
A dynasty football league is a format in which you keep a majority of players year over year as opposed to redraft leagues in which you select an entirely new roster every season. The roster sizes are typically much larger. They range from 25 to 30 players, depending on your league format. New leagues traditionally have a startup draft. These drafts select from the entire player pool of eligible NFL players (rookies included).
This will be the only time a full draft is held. Going forward your league would only conduct a rookie draft. Draft positions in rookie drafts are determined based on your prior year’s finish. This is similar to a redraft league format that renews every year with the same owners.
A Booming Business
One of the more popular sites to play dynasty fantasy football is MFL or My Fantasy League. The spike in the number of drafts held there has grown exponentially since 2009. A look back at the last 10 years we have, you can see the enormous growth in the format.
The data included all scoring formats (PPR and non-PPR) across all drafts on MFL. We see that the numbers tripled. They increased from 7, 407 (2009) teams drafted all the way up to 22,577 (2017) teams drafted. The dip in the number of drafts in 2018 can be attributed to more sites being available for league commissioners to host their leagues. Sites such as Sleeper and CBS have come into the fold to compete with MFL for hosting fantasy football teams.
A look at the 3-D column chart further enforces the amount of growth the format has enjoyed.
What is an Orphan?
An orphan is a roster that has been abandoned by an owner in an existing dynasty league. Turnover tends to be high in dynasty leagues. Owners depart for various reasons, but a lot of times it is simply because their team is awful and they do not want to put in the effort to bring it back to fantasy relevance.
Orphan leagues can be found by doing a quick Google search. If you cannot join a dynasty league with friends, this is an option for you to get in on the fun and experience what dynasty fantasy football is all about. No matter the road you travel joining a dynasty league, research is necessary to be successful.
First and foremost, you will need to know your leagues scoring format. Points-per-reception (PPR) and non-PPR change what a players value is substantially. The number of points awarded per passing touchdown also heavily sway the value of a player. Once your scoring format is determined, head over to FFS to check out our staff dynasty rankings. Here is a sample of our consensus dynasty rankings.
You also will want to have the waiver and transaction processes of your league down pat. Knowing when you can perform transactions is vital in the building of a competitive dynasty team. Familiarizing yourself with all of these settings will have your league mates enjoy having you on board also.
Plenty of owners abandon their team at the end of the fantasy season. This leaves league commissioners scrambling for replacements. Fortunately, there are resources for new owners to be found that did not exist a few years back. This also increases your chances of being able to adopt an orphan of your choice. It is likely that most teams that are orphaned are left behind because they are just not that good.
Next, you will want to evaluate your roster closely. Let us talk about some strategies for the different scenarios you may face if you are not able to pick an existing roster full of good fantasy options.
A Championship Contender
This type of team does not come along very often. You are fortunate if you are able to adopt one of this nature. The strategy for these types of squads is pretty straight forward. You have the ability to seek out value from owners who are looking to contend. After you determine where you have depth at a certain position, you are in a spot to upgrade another position and make your run to fantasy glory.
You may also have an abundance of draft picks you can trade for value if you are not particularly deep at one position. Owners looking to rebuild would be good targets. Having a lot of picks may get a desperate owner to sell lower on a player than they normally would thus helping speed up their rebuilding process.
An Average Team
This would consist of a team finishing just outside of the playoffs the past few years. A deeper evaluation is needed here to determine if you are wanting to try and contend or just blow the whole team up and rebuild from scratch. First, figure out if you have any studs at all on the roster. If you find at least one or two on your team, then you have some hope. A few savvy moves and you are right in contention. Moreover, if you have an above average player for each spot, you may want to hang on and avoid the dreaded tank.
The prior owner may have just not been able to determine the value of players or just could not formulate legitimate trades. Test the waters with your new league mates to see how open each one is to trading. In fact, you may find that the prior owner did not like to trade at all and thus toiled in mediocrity for years. Trading is an integral part of dynasty fantasy football. Furthermore, at FFS we have tools for your every fantasy valuation need. There is a how to link on the site as well to coach you through your data gathering process.
A Full Rebuild
Finally, we have the worst case scenario. This is the adopting situation most orphan owners find themselves in. First, you have no studs. Second, you have no picks. Third, we have you covered. The comprehensive tools you need to rebuild your team from scratch all exist at FFS. For example, we have our rookie prospect data tool. As a result, you can compare Saquon Barkley to Ronald Jones. It is not hard to see why Barkley was highly touted coming out of Penn State last year. Meanwhile, Ronald Jones barely saw the field.
Furthermore, you can use the same tool to compare the times and measurements from the scouting combine of the two young running backs.
When rebuilding, finding youth for your roster is critical. Hitting on your young picks in consecutive years will expedite the process for you. Another great tool you can use while building your squad is the prospect indicator tool from our own Miguel Chapeton.
Looking at the names on the top of this list, one can see it is extremely helpful in identifying players that can help you long term.
If you are new to dynasty, welcome aboard. You will not be jumping off of this train any time soon. Taking on an orphan dynasty team is a challenge and should not be approached lightly. With the tools we provide and a commitment to excellence, you can be on your way to a championship in no time. More importantly, bragging rights! In addition, I would also like to thank Mike “Dynasty” Collins for helping me formulate this article.