By Jeff Melbostad (@Jeff_DFW)

So you’re interested in fantasy football and moreover interested in dynasty.  The first thing you need to do is understand the basic concept of dynasty.  There are countless variations of fantasy leagues.  Probably no two people you know have the exact same league setup as you.  Maybe their QB scoring is different or perhaps they require 10 starting players rather than 9.  While dynasty is yet another variation in the rules it is a much grander differentiation.  It’s a much rarer beast than the traditional redraft leagues most fantasy footballers are so accustomed to.  Nearly everyone has participated in a redraft league at some point but far fewer delve into the dynasty realm though it’s definitely a growing contingent.  If you think you’re ready for the challenge then this is the place to start.

A dynasty league is essentially a fantasy football league where you keep all of your players from year to year.  There is one draft to start things off and from there on out you only draft rookies that enter the NFL each year.  So what does that really mean?  Here’s a breakdown of some key points:

  • You keep your players for as long as the league exists.
  • The only ways to modify your team are via trade, drafting rookies, or scouring the waiver wire.
  • Much more emphasis is placed on trading as a result.  Do not let your team stagnate.
  • Much more emphasis is placed on youth.  A player who will contribute to your team for 6 years is worth more than a player who will contribute for 2.
  • Much more emphasis is placed on talent.  Situations change all the time in the NFL.  The one thing that remains constant is talent.  Dynasty leaguers tend to favor talent over situation since the cream will eventually rise to the top.
  • A dynasty league is forever.  There will be ups and downs for your team just like for real NFL teams.  Stick with it through good and bad.
  • The rookie draft replaces your regular draft.  Fewer players and fewer rounds but no less fun.  Scouting the rookies becomes your main offseason task.
  • There is no offseason.  You can trade players year round and should be scouting rookies and watching free agency at all times.  A lot happens in the NFL offseason that can affect your team both positively and negatively.
  • Offseason activity is essential.

So that covers the main points of what dynasty leagues are about.  Now let’s cover some pros and cons of dynasty.


  • You get to enjoy fantasy football year round.  Could there be anything better?
  • You have a much greater sense of team and ownership. Your players are “yours” for the long haul.
  • Building a dynasty means dominating your opponents for a number of years not just a number of games.
  • All the work you put in during a season of fantasy football is not null and void when that season is over. You’re building something that lasts.
  • Less of a luck factor.  Player performance is measured over the span of years making it easier to predict and easier to tolerate ups and downs.
  • Generally deeper rosters to accommodate incoming rookie classes and young potential players who have yet to blossom.


  • Requires significantly more time and effort than redraft.
  • Ending up with a bad team potentially means being bad for a few years. (see our REBUILD MODE article for more)
  • Year round commitment. Must be active during the offseason.
  • Long-term commitment.  Nothing kills a dynasty league faster than dropouts.

After looking at the pros and cons you should get a good sense as to whether dynasty is right for you.  Dynasty leagues are generally for the more hardcore fantasy footballer.  One who wants to put in more time, effort, and research to beat their competitors year in and year out.  All people can enjoy dynasty there’s no question about that but make sure you are ready to commit before taking the plunge.

So now that you understand the concept of dynasty it’s time to have at it.  We here at DFW will help you along the way.  Whether it’s dynasty or redraft be sure to stay tuned to the site for articles, rankings, and insight that will put you over the top.  Feel free to contact us at any time via twitter, facebook, and email if you’re new to the concept and need clarification or advice.  Also, be sure to join the forums.  You’ll get help from not only us here at DFW but from many other members who know their stuff there as well.