Fantasy baseball is easily one of the greatest things ever created, and dynasty leagues bring that greatness to an entirely new level. There is something extremely gratifying about being able to build your own team of baseball players and put a beatdown on other teams, all from the comfort of your own couch. Of course, in order to get to the beatdown step, there’s a lot of in-between work that must be done. And that’s why I’m writing this series.
One of my closest friends has played in an 18-team dynasty league since its inaugural season in 2012. I have played in a dynasty league with him and a bunch of other friends from high school, but that’s only ten teams and has not been around as long (we started in 2014). For years he has asked me for advice on his other team and told me about how fun and challenging it is to be in an 18-team dynasty league. Once I started getting the hang of the 10-team league (I have been to the finals three years out of four and came in third the other season. Still looking for that first ring, though.) I asked him to get me a spot in the 18-team league. This is a league that had been together since 2012 with very little turnover (if I’m not mistaken, 15 of the original owners still manage teams, which is very impressive for a league of that size) and he was not the commissioner, so the best he could do was tell me “I’ll let you know.”
So I waited. Keep in mind that I asked to get a spot in that league the summer of 2015. I waited a long time. And this past week, I finally got a text from him that there was an opening. I didn’t even both looking at the team, I just told him I was in. I was so pumped to finally get a shot at competing in this league with a bunch of other people just as addicted to fantasy baseball as myself regardless of how good (or bad) my team was.
I should have looked at the team first. But I’ll get back to that in a bit.
This series is going to chronicle my rebuild of this disastrous roster step-by-step. I can’t say for sure how many parts it is going to be, but I can tell you that this is going to go on for quite a few months and possibly longer. I’ll give you all updates periodically whenever I feel that I have taken a new step in the process.
The first step for me was getting into the league and introducing myself. As soon as I was officially added, I sent an email out to the entire league introducing myself and saying how excited I was to be a part of the league. I also took a glance at my team and told the rest of the league that my team was open for business and that I was looking to essentially clean house. The problem is that my team has virtually no talent, so acquiring anything valuable is going to be a tall order. Again, I’ll get to more on that later.
Creating a dynasty in a league where you inherit someone else’s old team is a lot easier to get started on because you come in with an objective perspective and no real attachment to any of the team’s players. In leagues where you’ve been a member for a long time but it’s simply time to tear it down, it’s harder to catalyze that process. Once the process is started, though, a lot of the rest is similar. Read on, young neophyte, for the process of creating a dynasty is about to begin.
For background, this is an 18-team dynasty league with 25-man rosters plus two DL slots and one NA slot. The scoring is H2H points and is fairly standard. Without further ado, I present the absolutely terrible team I was handed (I’m sorry if your eyes bleed):
Yes, it’s an 18-team league so the roster is going to be a bit thinner than usual, but wow. And I mean WOW. This team is bad. My team’s highest-scoring player last season was 33-year-old Ryan Zimmerman. Considering that this team is nowhere near contending, that does not bode well for my future. This team actually does not have any future to speak of because it is so god-awful.
Your initial look at your team is the time to decide what direction you want to take it in. With the roster I have above, it’s pretty clear that it’s time for a full roster overhaul and rebuild. I’ll write more about the strategy I want to employ to do this in upcoming parts.
The thing is, not every roster you inherit is going to be a complete stinker like this one. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be handed a studly roster just because the teams that win are the ones with active, dedicated managers, but it’s possible that you get a team somewhere in the middle. If you’re on the fence about doing a rebuild, I say you should do it anyway. Maybe not an entire rebuild like my roster above needs, but perhaps a facelift of sorts. Rebuilding is more fun than just managing a team to mediocrity anyway.
So now that I’ve decided the team is in need of a rebuild, it’s time to kick the process into gear. How am I going to do that? Time to evaluate the talent.