Top Six Dynasty Fantasy Football Start Up Strategies

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Top Six Dynasty Fantasy Football Start Up Strategies

Fantasy Football

Top Six Dynasty Fantasy Football Start Up Strategies


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dynasty fantasy football is in high gear as this is the most popular time of year to begin a startup draft. The NFL season is right around the corner and more casual fantasy players are just beginning to return. Because of this, I wanted to break down my favorite strategies going into a startup draft.

Finding a great league, accumulating as many assets as possible, and learning how to value certain positions are keys to success. The more time and research managers are willing to put in before and during the draft are vital as well. With that, here are my top six dynasty fantasy football startup draft tips. 


No. 1 – Find a Strong Commissioner

Nothing can be more frustrating than joining a league just to see it fold in the first two years. Smart fantasy managers who set themselves up for the long term are left holding the bag. A league’s survival is ultimately dependent on its commissioner, though, and finding a competent leader is imperative. 

Unclear bylaws, lack of rule enforcement, inactivity, and an inconsistent schedule can all tank a dynasty league quickly. A strong commissioner is vital in all of these areas. If all of these standards are upheld, then the vast majority of players will stay from year to year. 

Even if league members do depart, a competent manager should have no problem filling these teams quickly. There is a large market for dynasty orphans, and I have had no issue finding managers running double-digit leagues for years. 

Check out the commissioner ahead of time. Fantasy managers should either be familiar with them already, or know someone who is. If they do happen to be a first-time commissioner, at least make sure they are organized and have strong integrity. 

No. 2 – Draft the Best Player Available

In every dynasty fantasy football startup draft, fantasy managers are faced with a tough question. Do they take the best player on their draft board, or fill a positional need? My first piece of advice is to take the best player available every time. 

Each decision this far away from the start of the season should center around building value. Players are only scoring points for fantasy teams 17 weeks out of the year. The remainder of the time they are moving up and down in value without any football actually being played.

Thus, a trade can always be made later to fill a roster need. Building the most capital through the draft as possible puts managers in the best position for long-term success. Treat fantasy teams like a bank account, focus on accumulating value, and trade in August to fill those last starting positions. 


No. 3 – Draft Late Round Running Backs

Wide Receivers are a fantasy manager’s favorite asset. They are more consistent from year to year, have longer careers, and are less at risk of injury. While this makes them much safer than running backs in dynasty fantasy football leagues, the position has become very saturated. Second round players in this year’s draft are barely cracking the top 50 in most wide receiver dynasty rankings.

Talented players have a hard time making an impact in fantasy football with so many great players. As a result, in the later rounds of startup drafts, managers should target running backs instead of wide receivers. Second and third string backs are just an injury or opportunity away from making a big fantasy football impact. If a starter goes down, a backup running back can step in and be a starter right away in lineups. These players are very valuable as injuries begin to pile up later on and into the fantasy playoffs. 


No. 4 – Wait on Tight End

The tight end position is extremely frustrating for fantasy managers with so few players able to make a consistent contribution. Most are touchdown dependent despite analysts talking themselves into different young prospects every year. Kyle Pitts, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, Hayden Hurst, O.J. Howard and Evan Engram were the last six tight ends selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. While some of these players have had bright spots, they have largely disappointed compared to the lofty expectations they had entering the NFL.

All of these factors combined make the tight end position challenging to evaluate from year to year. Add in injuries and volatile target volume, and there aren’t many options that fantasy players would feel comfortable starting on a weekly basis. The position simply isn’t a regular part of most teams’ passing attacks, and many fill in as a pass catcher only when needed.

Therefore, in startup dynasty fantasy football drafts, I tend to wait until the double-digit rounds of drafts and select multiple tight ends. Players such as Trey McBride, Gerald Everett, and Tyler Higbee are in an excellent position to put together productive seasons and are often forgotten about. Compared to tight ends selected ahead of them, they offer just as much upside at a cheaper cost. 


No. 5 – Don’t Follow the ADP

Every fantasy football platform has a preloaded ADP list designed to let fantasy managers know who is available to draft in a dynasty startup. While these are great for a general overview, fantasy managers shouldn’t treat them as rankings. Oftentimes these ADP lists are outdated, and they don’t reflect the most accurate or current information. Oftentimes, the average draft position is followed too closely, which causes some outstanding values to fall in drafts.


No. 6 – There Are No Wasted Picks

In a 30 round dynasty fantasy football draft, it is easy to treat the last few picks as an afterthought. However, every pick matters, and fantasy managers must treat every selection with the utmost importance. Even in the deepest drafts, there are big waiver wire pickups each season. The goal should be to nab these players at the end of drafts, instead of trying to outbid the rest of the league. 

This goes back to disregarding the platform’s ADP lists as well. As fantasy managers get further into startup drafts, these rankings mean less and less. Most fantasy players aren’t as familiar with deeper ranked prospects, so the average draft position starts to get further and further from reality. 

Don’t be afraid to make a stand, and reach for players further down in ADP. A fantasy player’s own knowledge and research is often far more accurate than consensus. If you do happen to be a more casual player, use a trusted analyst’s or site’s fantasy football rankings. 


For more fantasy football content, check out the links below!

The Top Seven 2023 Fantasy Football Dynasty Startup Draft Steals

2023 Fantasy Football Top 10 Value Players

Top Five Rookies to Target in Fantasy Football


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