Dynasty League: Orphan Rebuild Journal

This initial post got gigantic so im going to break it up into some more manageable sized posts

Let myself tell you a little about…myself.

Hi, my name is Jeff and i am a Fantasy Football degenerate. I started playing FF about 10 years ago. I played redraft for a few years before i discovered Dynasty leagues, which i play exclusively in now. I cant get enough.

I have found that the aspect of Dynasty FF that i love the most is rebuilding teams that have been run into the ground by previous owners. I am an orphan rehabilitator. Sort of like that tv show Fixer Upper, but about fantasy football teams and with way less shiplap. I take over old run down teams, and i try to make them better. I am in 10 Dynasty leagues, nine of which i took over as orphans and are in various stages of being rehabbed. (I dont talk about the Startup Draft That Shall Not Be Named)

I won my first Dynasty championship last year (2017) with a team i took over in 2013. It was my first foray into Dynasty FF, and i inherited this clusterfuck of a roster:

Sam Bradford/Kirk Cousins/Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ahmad Bradshaw/Jackie Battle/Donald Brown/Peyton Hillis/Felix Jones/Evan Royster

Jeremy Maclin/Andre Roberts/Jerome Simpson/Josh Morgan/Devin Aromshodu/Robert Meachem/Ken Walter

Robert Housler/Jacob Tamme/Dante Rosario

Three of these players hadnt even been on NFL rosters the season before. I cut 2/3 the roster and started the long climb up the mountain. The first year i won 3 games. The second i was in playoff contention until the final week of the regular season. The third season i made the playoffs and if memory serves won a game. And then the fourth season i won the championship.

Now i dont brag about this too much, because the league wasnt exactly stocked with Great Whites, if you catch my drift. I went into it knowing nothing about Dynasty. But i read incessantly. I asked questions. I learned. I made plenty of mistakes, and i learned from those too. And in the end it payed off.

Dynasty leagues arent for everyone. Its usually a year round commitment. But i have a decent amount of free time, and what am i going to do with it? yardwork? I think not.

So i thought i’d create a little Orphan Rebuild Journal, so anyone interested could watch me try to replicate my success in other leagues. Im sure i’ll make mistakes this time too, but maybe it will help someone out there with their own rebuild.

"And you call yourselves professionals! I have never seen a worse group of 25 players!!"

Ahem. Team #1. Took it over a couple of weeks ago. We are currently finishing up the last few rounds of the rookie/free agent draft.

First order of business: Renaming the franchise. I like to name teams after the bad guys in sci-fi tv shows. I have teams named things like Samaritan (the evil AI from Person of Interest) Hawkins Power and Light (from Stranger Things) and Neolution (the sinister cult from Orphan Black).

So after weighing a couple of options, i chose International Global Authority, which is the human collaborator organization from the severely underrated tv show Colony.

OK, now on to the football.

League specifications:

12 teams
25 man rosters
Start QB/RB/WR/TE/Flex/Flex/Flex/DST/K
0.5 PPR with a whole bunch of 1 and 2 point bonuses for meeting certain threshholds in carries, receptions, yards per carry, yards per reception, etc
Team History: This league is going into its 4th season and this team was 6-7 in 2017, 3-10 in 2016 and 5-8 in 2015.

This was the roster when i took over this team:

  • Ben Roethlisberger/Andy Dalton/Case Keenum

  • Dalvin Cook/Tarik Cohen/Elijah McGuire/Danny Woodhead/Ty Montgomery/Doug Martin/Wayne Gallman

  • Devin Funchess/Tyreek Hill/Randall Cobb/Allen Hurns/Tyler Boyd/Quincy Enunwa/ Brandon Coleman/Geronimo Allison/Jeremy Maclin/John Brown/Ryan Grant/JJ Nelson

  • David Njoku/Jason Witten

  • Lions/Steelers

  • 2018 picks: 1.04, 2.04, 3.04, 4.04, 5.04

  • 2019 picks: All my picks plus a 1st and 2nd from a bottom feeder team

When i begin a rebuild i have three priorities (in no particular order):

  1. Acquire young talent
  2. Acquire draft picks
  3. Get rid of dead weight.

One of the things you can count on when you take over an orphan is immediately getting bombarded with trade offers. This league did not disappoint. Typically, most of the trades are lowball offers designed to feel the new guy out, and maybe steal a player or pick from a Dynasty newb. But thats not me. So predraft i made these trades:

  1. 1.04 for Zach Ertz, 2018 pick 2.02 and 2018 pick 3.02 - in my opinion Ertz was pretty equal in value to the 1.04, so getting one of the 3 or 4 elite TE’s in the league plus and early second and an early third was a no brainer.

  2. Geronimo Allison for 2018 pick 4.01 - Ive never thought Allison was anything more than a JAG, and the Packers drafted 3 WR this year.

  3. Ty Montgomery for 2018 pick 3.05 and CJ Prosise - There is going to be a big ol’ RBBC in Green Bay this year. Didnt care about Prosise, but i took him anyway. Ended up deciding to cut him later on.

  4. Andy Dalton for 2018 pick 3.10 - Its a start 1 QB league, Dalton isnt getting any younger, and given the distribution of QBs in the league i felt pretty confident i could get at least one of the top 3 QBs in the draft.

Now on to the cuts. Goodbye and thanks for your years of service. Please pick up a complimentary swag bag on your way out.

  • Danny Woodhead
  • Wayne Gallman
  • Brandon Coleman
  • Jeremy Maclin
  • John Brown
  • Ryan Grant
  • JJ Nelson
  • Jason Witten
  • Lions DST
  • Steelers DST

OK the dirty work is done. Now its time for the fun part…the draft!

The Draft:

This years rookie draft is loaded with RB at the top. Having traded away my first rounder, i’ll miss out on them. Im ok with that because its common strategy in rebuilds to acquire RBs last. The thought behind that is that RBs have the shortest careers, so if i draft say Nick Chubb this year, by the time this team is ready to compete in three or four or maybe even five years, Chubb may already be in decline. So i’ll load up on WRs and let the chips fall where they may.

But lets see if i can still win this draft.

  • 1.04 Traded for Zach Ertz, 2.02 and 3.02

  • 2.02 Anthony Miller- WR Memphis - this is my second round binky, and he is getting more and more expensive. Athleticism, route running, plays with a chip on his shoulder. Huge hands and wildly successful in college. Will likely be the WR2 in Chicago immediately and with Allen Robinson on the other side, Miller should see lots of teams second best CB.

  • Also thought about: No one. Im smasing the draft button anytime i am OTC in the second round and Miller is available

  • 2.04 - Trey Burton TE Bears - TE3 wasnt exactly a need, but i love Burtons upside. I guess im a Bears fan now.

  • Also thought about: Lamar Jackson. Maybe the next Mike Vick?

  • 3.02 - Josh Rosen - QB UCLA - Got my QB of the future.

  • Also thought about: No one really. Jackson and Mayfield were off the board and i really wanted one of those top 3 QBs.

  • 3.04 - Antonio Callaway - WR Florida - First round talent, UDFA head. Rumors are that he is making Corey Coleman expendable. If the Browns can somehow coax some maturity out of him, he will be a steal in he third round.

  • Also thought about: Again no one seriously. Too much talent to not draft in the third.

  • 3.05 - J’Mon Moore - WR Missouri - One of those WR Green Bay drafted to take Geronimo Allisons job. Rumors are he is the leader for the WR3 spot as of now.

  • Also thought about: For a minute i considered taking Sam Darnold, and then trading Roethlisberger for a futre 3rd or something. But then sanity returned and i chose Moore.

  • 3.10 and 4.01 - Ito Smith RB Southern Miss and Jaylen Samuels RB NC State - Back to back picks i made with the same purpose. There are no RBs left at this juncture of the draft who has any easy path to playing time this season. So i’ll take a couple of guys who’s stud in front of them (Tevin Coleman and Leveon Bell respectively) are almost assuredly leaving town next year.

  • Also thought about: Other RBs that are trapped behind young stud RBs. Chase Edmonds (David Johnson) John Kelly (Todd Gurley)Mark Walton (Joe Mixon)

  • 4.03 - Daesean Hamilton WR Penn St - Character, work ethic, route running. Underrated as an athlete, 4.5 40 time and 72% SPARQ rating. Word is he is pushing to be the Broncos slot WR this year. New Broncos QB Case Keenum made a star out of Adam Thielen peppering him with targets out of the slot. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryus Thomas are both getting long in the tooth and could be moving on after this season, which could open an expanded role for him (and Courtland Sutton too).

  • Also thought about: Deon Cain - I just cant see past his tiny little baby hands (8 3/4 inches!) and his focus issues in college. Lots of drops and I read someplace he had something like 10 false start penalties called on him while he was at Clemson.

  • 5.02 - Josh Allen - QB Wyoming - This is the second draft ive done where ive picked up the #7 overall pick in the 5th round. QB wasnt a huge need for me, as BigBen will almost assuredly be a top 10ish QB this fantasy season. But he is aging rapidly and he doesnt strike me as the kind of guy who is going to do Brady-esque things to stick around the league. So when the end comes for him it will likely be swift and terrible. Rosen is a rookie, and is likely going to start the season backing up Sam Bradford. So who knows. And Case Keenum is still a 30 year old one year wonder, until proven otherwise. So getting another shot at a franchise QB in the 5th is too much value to pass up.

  • Also thought about: Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews is still on the board. gave him some serious consideration. Mason Rudolph still on the board, thought about taking him maybe to make moving Roethlisberger a little easier as a package, but if i was going to take a QB here it didnt make sense to pass up Allen who is universally seen as the better prospect.

  • 6.02 - Mark Andrews - TE Oklahoma - TE still not a major need, but getting Andrews in the 6th seems like a steal. Ive seen him go as high as mid third in some drafts. Very prolific career catching passes from Baker Mayfield in college. Poor mans Evan Engram, useless as an inline/blocking TE. Purely a pass catching big slot receiver with good hands and decent athleticism for a guy 6’5" and 255 lbs. Could be used simultaneously with first round pick Haden Hurst. If John Brown is healthy, if Willie Snead wasnt just a creation of the Saints offense, if Micheal Crabtree is motivated, the Ravens suddenly could cause a lot of defenses matchup problems.

OK thats it. Draft over.

Here is my new roster:

  • Ben Roethlisberger/ Josh Rosen/ Case Keenum/Josh Allen

  • Dalvin Cook/Tarik Cohen/Doug Martin/Elijah McGuire/Ito Smith/Jaylen Samuels

  • Tyreek Hill/Devin Funchess/Randall Cobb/Allen Hurns/Tyler Boyd/Quincy Enunwa/Anthony Miller/Daesean Hamilton/Antonio Callaway/J’Mon Moore

  • Zach Ertz/ Trey Burton/David Njoku/Mark Andrews

So thats it, up to the minute. Next, making my last two picks and working the waiver wire for the rest of the summer. I will continue to try to move Keenum, Hurns, Enunwa, Cobb and Martin. Maybe Roethisberger if i can get a decent return for him. This wont be a fast process, but i’ll try to keep up with whatever happens as it happens.

Its never too early to start thinking about Free Agency

Here is a list of some guys who are still Free Agents in this league. Probably no one im going to make any effort to get immediately, but some names i want to keep track of:


  • Sam Bradford - likely to start the season as the starter in Ariz
  • Mason Rudolph - better than Landry Jones
  • Kyle Lauletta - almost a lock to be the #2 QB in NY, and Eli is 490 years old
  • Danny Etling - the next Jimmy G? Probably not


  • Javorius Allen - top 24 PPR back last season. I believe it was smoke and mirrors, but worth a watch
  • Josh Adams - was a 2nd/3rd round rookie draft talent, landing spot killed his value


  • Kevin White - if he can stay healthy, who knows?
  • Curtis Samuel - not high on him, but he Panthers did spend a 2nd on him last year
  • Chad Williams - probably lost his path to PT when the Cards drafted Christian Kirk
  • Carlos Henderson - probably lost his path to PT when the Broncos drafted Hamilton and Sutton
    * Justin Watson - SPARQ freak. Probably the next Jeff Janis
  • Jaleel Scott - long armed jump ball specialist. Ravens WR room is crowded, but not that talented.
    * Daurice Fountain - small school guy with big school measurables. Colts WR depth chart wide open
  • Braxton Berios - Julian Edelman replacement?
  • Cedrick Wilson - Cowboys depth chart wide open
    * Trey Quinn - Hyper productive in college, Edelman-esque slot WR. Getting rave reviews in OTAs/minicamp
  • Richie James - TD scoing machine in college, but tiny. Poor mans Tarik Cohen


  • Mark Andrews - cant block a lick, but some upside as a big slot WR, a la Evan Engram
  • Chris Herndon - getting run as the TE1 for the Jets. Unfortunately its still the Jets.

I havent updated this in a while as there hasnt been a lot going on. Now the season is almost here so things should start heating up.

Just a couple of minor moves the last couple of weeks. First i cut Elijah McGuire for the Bears defense. I hated letting McGuire go since i am already weak at RB. I thought maybe i would be able to cut him now and reclaim him in a few weeks. but another team swooped in and claimed him. Oh well.

Second i cut Tyler Boyd for Cordarelle Patterson. This is a swing for the fences. Boyd has a nice floor as the WR3 in Cincy, but his ceiling is capped by AJ Green. Ive got more than enough WR3’s on this team. Patterson is just that guy who is making my gut go all funny this offseason. Last year it was Tarik Cohen and i drafted him all over the place in the 5th round and later in rookie drafts. This year its Patterson. I think he has double digit TD upside, and im getting him all over the place mostly for free. His downside is that he probably wont be a consistent scorer, and will be a feast or famine type player. But if the Patriots give him 6-8 targets a game, plus another 2 or 3 touches on runs plus his KO return duties…man it just makes me all tingly thinking of the possibilities.

Fantastic move. Im a genius!!!

Genius? Not so much.

Oh well, its a long season. Surprisingly this team is 2-0 and in second place overall. But i think its all been smoke and mirrors, capitalizing on a couple of blowup games each week, rather than more even team scoring. Those blowup games wont happen every week and i dont think this team has the depth to win when they dont. I’ll probably look back at the end of the season and be a little pissed that these two victories pushed me down the draft board a few spots.

…and right on cue, my team got blasted in week 3. Now the BYE weeks start and my lack of depth should be exposed. I’ll win a matchup or two based on huge games by Big Ben or Tyreek Hill, but as constituted this team will never be a consistent winner.


Dropped Allen Hurns, Added Jakeem Grant. Hurns is a JAG in a run first offense. With almost no competition for targets through 3 games, Hurns has garnered 9 total. Grant has been surprisingly productive as the WR4/5 in Miami, and as of now actually leads the team in targets. The guy has always been electric, and if they are manufacturing touches for him I’ll take a chance. Add in a random return TD or two and maybe he starts getting some attention as sort of a Tyreek Lite. He might turn back into a pumpkin when Devante Parker gets healthy, but Im adding him in all leagues where i can.

Semi-Pro Tip: In Dynasty it isnt always about finding the next Tyreek Hill. It can be about finding the guy who is perceived as the next Tyreek Hill. If Grant has a couple of big games back to back, maybe i can trade him for a future 2nd or 3rd. And thats creating value for me. I churn the bottom of my rosters relentlessly. Nine out of 10 of the guys who come out of nowhere and have a big week fall right back into obscurity the next week. But every now and then, a guys blows up out of nowhere and sticks around. You create an advantage for yourself by doing the research. I’d bet 80% of FF players just assume that Kenny Stills or maybe Albert Wilson or Danny Amendola lead the Dolphins in targets. And they’d be wrong. And thats why Grant is just sitting on so may waiver wires. Its like free money.