Dynasty League

Fantasy Football Definition of "Dynasty Leagues"

A "dynasty league" is a specific type of keeper league where owners keep all of their players from the previous season. Every summer, a rookie draft occurs where rookie fantasy football players are added to these teams, but there is otherwise no player movement between veteran NFL players in a dynasty fantasy league (besides the occasional trade). Dynasty leagues try to emulate most closely the system by which NFL GM's operate.

Keeper League or Dynasty League?

A standard keeper league is more like a redraft. In a keeper league, you get to keep some, but not all, of the players who were on your roster last year. In the keeper league, you can usually keep between 1 and 10 players who were on your roster last year. However many players you keep, you give up a corresponding number of draft picks at the top of your draft. So if you want to keep 7 players, you typically give up draft picks in the first 7 rounds of the keeper draft.

Why a "Dynasty League"?

They call it a dynasty league becomes it's the fantasy football league with the most continuity, and therefore the one in which you are most likely to win multiple championships. Dynasty teams keep the same fantasy football studs year in and year out, so if you can build a solid nucleus of players, you can dominate your league multiple years in a row. You can build a dynasty.

The problem with dynasty leagues, though, is that's easier said than done. Because of the violence of the game, there is a lot of turnover among elite players in the NFL, and therefore a lot of turnover among elite fantasy football players. The average length of a career in the NFL is 3 years. This takes into account the many players who catch on with a team and then are out of the league due to injury or lack of skills, but it also represents a stark reality in the NFL. The Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings are a rarity.

Dynasty League Running Backs

This is especially true of running backs, the fantasy football players which traditionally rule in fantasy football. Most NFL running backs, even if they are special athletes by NFL standards, are only truly elite fantasy football runners for about 5 years. It may take a couple of years to win the job outright, while a player who is 29-30 is considered over-the-hill for an NFL running back. That's because RBs get hit more from a running start more often than any other position in the NFL, so these players' bodies wear out the quickest. Emmitt Smith was quoted saying that being a starting running back in the NFL was like being in 25 car wrecks a week.

With that in mind, it's rare for a team in a dynasty league to get a stable of running backs who dominate year-after-year. Those that do truly are fantasy dynasties. For instance, if you drafted Ladainian Tomlinson in his rookie year and kept him on your fantasy league roster his entire career, it's likely you've added several fantasy football dynasty league titles throughout the 2000's. And if you didn't, you probably hate Ladainian Tomlinson by now.

That's the allure of the dynasty league. Like the NFL, players stay on one team for a much longer time. This allows you to create rivalries and hatreds and love affairs with certain teams and players, because you frankly get tired of seeing that player in the opposing team's lineup and hearing about that player in the sports media. So a dynasty league mirrors the NFL closest of any fantasy football league.

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