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Dispersal Drafts in Dynasty Leagues

Dispersal drafts are uncommon for many fantasy owners, but they can be fun and bring more excitement to your league.

What is a Dispersal Draft?

A standard definition for a dispersal draft is when a bunch of orphan teams need replacing; the league puts all those players and picks from the teams into a draft so new owners can draft them and make up a new team.

In a dynasty, there can be many forms of a dispersal league that you can do in your league. It could be based on numerous owners leaving and those new owners drafting based on the combined players. You could lose owners, but instead of replacing them, you could condense your league and have a draft among all the other owners with the players from the no longer existing teams. That term is more for real-life sports but can work in a dynasty. 

Why you Should do Dispersal Drafts

So why on earth would you want to do these in your dynasty leagues? While the easiest answer, it can bring some excitement to the league. Usually, these drafts occur at the end of the season once you know that owners will be leaving the league, and you have orphan teams now. Early in the year, dynasty football is slow, so something like this can keep owners more engaged when watching these drafts go down. If more owners are tuning into the league, they may want to make trades and other transactions.   

While this is more work for the commissioner, it can excite the league’s offseason. I’ve started doing some dispersal draft rules in some of my leagues this off-season. It’s a little different than the normal dispersal draft. What I plan on doing is that when we have at least one orphan team within my league, another owner may be allowed to ask for a dispersal draft so that that team and the orphan team will end up having a draft. This could be a great way to keep things interesting with your owners so they can do a soft reboot of their dynasty team. Sometimes, we lose dynasty owners because they don’t like the team they built and would instead start over with a new league rather than try to fix their team. 

This could also help the league be more competitive. Sometimes having multiple orphan teams that have shit rosters can be a hard sell to bring in a new owner. Selling to new owners so that they can draft players from an available pool rather than taking a single team may get more attraction. There also seems to be one excellent team and one terrible team. This could help create more balance in the league. I’ve been in leagues where we get a new owner for the same orphan team every few years since the team was so beat up.   

Strategies/Rules for Dispersal Drafts

The easiest way to set up this draft is to do it on an Excel worksheet and add all the available players from those teams. For the draft order, I would follow the same way you did the start-up or any draft. You could pick out of a hat, or they have many sites that do draft orders now. It would also be a snake draft to be fair for the new owners. If you allowed an existing owner to enter their team into the draft, they would automatically get the last pick. It’s only fair that you don’t have owners consistently throwing their team in so they can get a better team by having a better pick in the dispersal draft. 

RoundsTeam 1Team 2Team 3QBsRBsWRsTEsDraft Picks
1Kirk CousinsAustin EkelerJustin JeffersonTravis KeleceTeam1 (1.02)
2WIll LevisTyler AllgeierAmari CooperDarren WallerTeam 2 (1.06
3Aaron RodgersJonathan TaylorJameson WillaimsCokTeam 3 (1.11)
Sample Example of a Dispersal Draft

For draft picks, as a Commish, I would only allow the current year picks in the draft. As we are in 2024, only the 2024 picks would be put into the draft. I wouldn’t add all the possible picks because it can be harder to keep track of the future draft picks for payment. The way I handle future draft pick payments is that if you have your original draft picks, you don’t have to pay up until the current season. So, mixing them all in would get more challenging to keep track of. Unless everyone agrees to pay up for the years, then it wouldn’t be much of an issue.  

The strategies for dispersal drafts are not easy to come up with since they would be league-based. You can approach it just as you would a start-up draft to some extent. You have to decide whether to play the long game or try to win the draft with veteran players to win in that current year. I always say that getting your draft picks back, especially in the first round, is very important. Holding on to those to see how your team is doing can go a long way.

Like in a start-up, find the strategy you want to take or the best available players at value. Understand who won the league and how you can compete with them. Make sure you understand the roster and scoring settings before starting the draft. A dispersal draft can be a lot of fun for a dynasty league. It can help bring in new owners and continue to make the league competitive for the long haul. 

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