The best part of the challenge of a non-redraft league in Fantasy Football is the challenge of climbing to the top and trying to sustain success. When you don’t get to hit the reset button each year can you make the right moves to improve your team or to keep it improving and moving towards championship contention. While there is nothing I enjoy more than winning in Fantasy Football, trying to build from my 11/12 place finish the first year is the most fun I’ve had in any league.
Last year was a 7th place finish, just one spot out of the playoffs, and this year looks to have promise, but what is the best way to get out of the cellar. For me it was to think like baseball and not football. The teams that are trying to bounce back in baseball tear and down and focus on youth and assets. Set a period of realistic time and move anything that has value that will fall short of that window. So for my team I identified older players that had very short windows and pushed to turn them in to more long term assets. As the quote goes ‘It’s better to move a player one year early than one year too late.’
Year one I was able to trade LeGarette Blount for Jimmy Graham. In the offseason I picked up Marshawn Lynch and was able to trade him and Graham for Golden Tate and Kenyan Drake. This offseason again I picked up Adrian Peterson and flipped him and Tate for a 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick for next year. That was how I was able to keep moving assets to finally get something useful. Even with Tate having a great season I also identified him as a short term piece and took advantage of buyer needing help this season.
That was also an example of how I gathered assets to look to move. Lynch, AP, Tyreek Hill, Ty Montgomery (who I moved for a pick this offseason), Jimmy Garoppolo (traded this offseason for a pick) are a few of the players I’ve been able to pick up, and most of them have been moved. Being active on the Waiver Wire is key for success in any league but you need to do whatever you can to find good pieces, especially anything you move for young players or draft picks.
Roster construction comes in to play as well. Of course you should never give up what could a usable or tradable piece, but when it comes to it you should definitely target younger players. My approach was always a shotgun one. The more young pieces I can acquire the more likely I would find one that would be a longterm piece. Someone last year was not smart enough to hold on to Patrick Mahommes and a selling team grabbed him prepared to wait him out and now that team looks way smarter. Backups, handcuffs, rookies who may be out for a bit just be aggressive in gathering possible future talent.
You can ride out a productive player, especially if you feel like you have a chance to go the distance, but that is a philosophy choice for each person to make. I decided that I’m more likely to lean towards moving a player sooner rather than got caught wasting an asset. Tate is a prime example beause he is having a great season, but he is approaching 30 and free agency. It definitely was a bit of an easier decision because I think I’m in playoff contention and not championship contention. The first year a team had Frank Gore how was having a top 20 season and yet rode him out and then ended up not rostering him in the offseason, what a waste.
The challenge is being able to think more than just this year. In my Dynasty League a lot of people made reasonable moves in the offseason, but then once we start playing games they go back in to win now mode. As a bit of a seller, though I did recently make a huge move, it made it easier to attack the market and really set my own price. Other sellers have found it tough to make moves now because of how aggressive I was early. Always be thinking about assets and more than just this year.