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So, You Want to Take Over a Rebuild?

Taking over rebuilds is a part of dynasty, James Smith goes over how to rebuild a dynasty roster in the first of a three-part series.

So, you want to take over a rebuild?  Are you sure about that?  You are either a little full of yourself, have a penchant for punishment, or maybe a little bit of both.  Whatever the case, you have found yourself in the right spot.

Dynasty rebuilds can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of playing fantasy football.  To take something that has been left for dead and discarded, but somehow find a way to turn that huge steaming pile ofโ€ฆโ€ฆ..parts into something magnificent?  There is nothing quite like it. 

Courtesy of iaea.org

If you are anything like me, you may even actively seek out the worst rebuilds possible to show yourself, your friends, and the dynasty community at large that you’ve got what it takes. This article is part one of a three-part series to peel back the curtain and show you how a successful rebuild is done. As always, there is more than one way to get to where you’re going, but if you follow this outline, you will put yourself in a great position to succeed.

The Three P’s

Taking over a rebuild is unlike anything else in fantasy football.  It requires a special level of commitment to the cause, skill, knowledge, and even a little bit of luck.  But not the kind of luck that you wish for, the kind of luck that you make. We will get to that later, though.

The fundamentals of this process involve the three Ps. Patience, Persistence, and Potential. All three are vastly important to whether you are successful, and all three must be executed concurrently. In this article, we will cover the utter essence of Patience and just how important it is in a rebuild.  Patience in trade negotiations, patience in draft accumulation, and the patience needed to lose, at least for a period.

Be an Active Trader

Trading is the most important first step you can take in turning your rebuild around.  A truly effective rebuild starts with a goal in mind, and that goal is usually to run your league as quickly as possible. To help expedite that goal, one must truly master the art of trading and negotiations. To make the effects of trading felt, you have got to trade with purpose and patience.  Trading just because you are worried about your inherited roster construction or “I’m bored, let’s deal” is a fast way to stay stuck in purgatory.

Taking an honest assessment of your assets (players and picks), which with a rebuild likely will not be much, is the first process to trading. Ideally, you should identify older vets (27 and older) and IDP (if your league uses it) that you can flip for future assets. Having the patience to shop players leaguewide and to wait for the best possible offer is a must.  You cannot afford to give anything away and need to capitalize on every asset at your disposal. Trading with a “friend” or someone you know often lends itself to a built-in discount; avoid this and shop your players leaguewide; your returns will be better 90% of the time.

Get Those Draft Picks

Accumulating as many picks as possible is by far and away the best way to turn your team around. Some owners make the mistake of only targeting first and second-round picks. It would help if you always looked to sneak in a third, fourth, and any later round picks into any deal you are making.  In these initial stages, the name of the game is gathering as many throws at the dartboard as you can.

Another mistake that owners make is not focusing enough on future picks.  I am talking picks in drafts two to three years out.  These picks come at a heavy discount versus current picks of the same round, and competing teams are often arrogant and think they will be good forever.  I will give you a little hint; they won’t be. 

In dynasty football, things can change very quickly for any given team.  Injuries happen, scheme changes happen, and new players cycle in yearly.  By trading for future picks at a discount now, you are setting yourself up for success later. This approach takes a lot of patience to accumulate draft picks years out and to sit on them.  And for the love of all Fantasy Football Gods, sit on your picks when you are working through a rebuild.

You’re Going to Lose!

When you are just starting with your rebuild, the last aspect of patience is having the patience to not be good for at least a while.  Breaking your roster down by shipping off studs accomplishes two things.  First, it will likely enhance your supply of current, and future draft picks. Next, you will likely have a roster filled with young and unproven talent.  Both are great things.  If you have an eye for scouting young talent, you may be able to land a few building blocks on the cheap. 

Furthermore, bottoming out in the short term helps almost to guarantee top-end picks in your upcoming drafts. That is what we call a win-win. This is the kind of “create your own luck” I mentioned earlier. If you’ve walked into a rebuild, you must take control of the situation.  Have the fortitude that the previous owner may not have had and be okay with taking a few steps back in year one to set your foundation. 

Patience, Patience, Patience

Courtesy of khadijateri.blogspot.com

Dynasty rebuilds are not for the faint of heart.  I mean, anyone can luck out and fall right into a playoff-caliber team. We see it happen all the time.  It takes someone with a true talent to turn a scrapheap into a contender. So, if you’re reading this, pat yourself on the back for having the will to do it.

Just remember that at the core of a successful rebuild is patience.  Patience to find the right deals, patience to wait on picks for a few years, and patience to not be good for a few as well. You want to dominate your league as soon as possible. I get it. I do.  But ask yourself, do you want to beat down on your competition for a year? Or do you want to stomp them out for a decade?  After all, that is the goal of building a dynasty.

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