Building a Dynasty: Part 1

By Brian Luzier (@TheFFBoss)

Since January DFW has held nine mock drafts to help our readers establish an ADP baseline. This info is valuable in a plethora of ways, some of which have been touched on, and some which haven’t yet. Today I will be explaining to you how I would use this data in a startup draft to build a powerhouse dynasty capable of running your league for years.

This is the first of four articles in which I will break down how I would draft a team using the ADP data DFW has provided. I will spend three articles breaking draft slots down into three tiers, top (picks 1-4), middle (5-8), and bottom (9-12), and one article focusing on deeper sleepers I like in general. I will select players who are picked either within the pick range, or slightly after, nearly assuring you of being able to mimic my draft if you choose to. Obviously not all drafts are the same, and especially when it comes to later picks, player values can vary dramatically depending on who’s in the room, but using ADP to plan your build is a proven way of building a strong team. I’ve touched on how I think trading in a startup is a necessity before, but for this article I’ll assume no trading is allowed. I’ll go ten rounds deep into the draft to show you how to build the nucleus of a team. After round 10 I think drafting ANYONE is fair game, I’ll have more on this later.

Other assumptions I’m working with:

  • 12 Team PPR
  • 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 WRT FLEX, 1 K, 1 DEF
  • 25 PYADS/PT, 10 RuYDS/PT, 10 ReYDS/PT
  • No return bonuses
  • No yardage or big play bonuses

Leading off I’ll show you the team I’d want drafting from the top of the draft, enjoy!

Round 1, Picks 1-4

Calvin Johnson (4), WR, DET – When building a dynasty I want consistency and longevity. Although QBs provide this, there are many to choose from, and much depth. Calvin has been Mr. Consistency in terms of fantasy production with minimal reliance on TDs this past yr. He’ll be great for a long time, and that’s all I can ask for out of my top pick in a draft.

Round 2, Picks 21-24

Matt Forte (24), RB, CHI – In this pick range you get to choose which direction your team is headed. Do I go with Cobb and have a strong and young receiving core leaving a huge vacancy in my RB position? Or should I take a consistent and high upside RB to assure me top flight production in at least one RB slot? I’m a big Forte fan and expect the passes to start flowing his way in a new and improved Bears O. I’ll take the best RB left and hope the rest of my roster fills in smoothly.

Round 3, Picks 25-28

Victor Cruz (27), WR, NYG – It’s close between Cruz and Nicks in my mind, but Nicks’ injuries have me feeling very frustrated. I know Cruz isn’t the model of consistency but he’s proven he wasn’t a one year wonder, and that he’s capable of being the WR1 on a solid offense. Even if he moves on from the Giants I still expect good production.

Round 4, Picks 45-48

Darren Sproles (46), RB, NOS – This is another close call for me, as it is very close between him and Bowe in my mind. The scarcity at the RB position in general, and my already solid receiving core make me lean towards Sproles, however. I’m sure your familiar with the pros and cons of Sproles, but his durability and longevity aren’t much of a concern for me. He’ll put up solid receptions and yards every game, and with the possibility of Ivory being traded, he could be on the field for a few extra snaps each game. That can’t hurt.

Round 5, Picks 49-52

Dwayne Bowe (55), WR, KCC – Oh, how convenient! In my imaginary world Bowe is still here. With an ADP of 55 it’s reasonable to expect him here, and he makes for an AWESOME WR3. In addition to being privy to an upgraded passing attack this year (I’m a huge Smith believer), its expected the Cheifs take an O Lineman at the top of this draft who will help give Smith and Bowe some extra time to connect. Throw in the fact Bowe has already produced at a very high level and I’m ecstatic having him to round out my WR corps.

Round 6, Picks 69-72

Peyton Manning (78), QB, DEN – In reality it’d be hard to pass on another man crush of mine, Kenny Britt, but having Manning be available this late is absolute theft for a “win-now-and-later” team. Taking a QB we can count on to perform in the top 5 of his position for the next 2 years (at least) with the only drawback being needing to reach on a developmental QB or two later in the draft is a no brainer. I was skeptical of how he would play last year and avoided him- this year I’m paying the price. With his new toy (Welker) Peyton may be the greatest QB to have ever played, with one of the best receiving corps. we’ve ever seen.

Round 7, Picks 73-76

Steven Jackson (85), RB, ATL – While age is not on his side,he could very easily produce RB1 numbers this year in a much more explosive and dangerous offense. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but seriously, if Turner could remain fantasy relevant this long, imagine the TDs Jackson could put up, and that is the stat he’s historically been lacking. Another 2 year rental for my squad, but it gives me depth and a surefire PPG advantage out of my flex spot over other teams in the league.

Round 8, Picks 93-96

Dennis Pitta (104), TE, BAL – While my love for Pitta has been expressed before, he is a solid receiving option to pencil into your lineup. Even if you don’t see his numbers increasing (seriously, check out the link above, they’re going to increase) getting a low end TE1 in the 8th is good value. The fact I think he’ll end up as a top 5 TE is just gravy.

Round 9, Picks 97-100

Michael Floyd (103), WR, ARI – Why would I draft someone with a higher ADP (Pitta) before someone with a lower ADP (Floyd)? Two reasons really- 1) I can, and 2) I NEED Pitta on this squad, I don’t NEED Floyd. I anticipate having a “5 Reasons” article on Floyd sometime too, because there is so much to like including the fact that he plays next to Larrry Fitzgerald who is not only a great receiver, but also a great teacher. With the Cardinals poised to improve this season, I expect Floyd to be one of the main beneficiaries.

Round 10, Picks 117-120

Robert Turbin (120), RB, SEA – While there are many sexy receivers in this range I’m quite high on, I need a developmental RB who will be able to take over the reigns of the offense in 2 or 3 years. Out of the remaining RBs, Turbin is the person I’m most comfortable with. Although I don’t expect any production in the immediate future, when Beastmode is ready to hang up the cleats I have no doubt Turbin can handle the load. This is the first pick in which I exclusively have an eye towards the future, and I believe it helps to balance the older backs I currently have ahead of him on my roster.

I touched on this towards the beginning of the article, but I am hoping to build a team which can get to the playoffs for the next couple of years, while not sacrificing future competitiveness. Part of this strategy is being able to take older and undervalued players, and trust in your own ability to scout young’uns and make moves for players you believe in before everyone else does. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts if a player jumps off the screen at you. Everyone has at least one player they “knew” would hit it big before everyone else, but so long as you don’t have the cojones to act on your instincts you will always be in line with the mainstream.

That will do it for today folks, I hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to take a look at DFW’s ADP data and let me know where you think I went wrong. I switched up my Twitter handle to @TheFFBoss so be sure to hit me up,it’s still me, promise.

Be easy.