Fantasy Files: The Layers of Dynasty Fantasy Football

The Layers of Dynasty Fantasy Football

Depending on the size of your fantasy roster, you have to decide how to distribute your players. I have a theory on layers and I’ll show them off for my particular fantasy team.

Here’s the idea. You have to keep your team going in waves. You have the older players who are starters but probably have just a year, two, or three left. You have the young studs who may give you a decade. After that, you have to distribute your players understanding that some guys on your roster are not ready to contribute yet and some may never do so. It’s a matter of layering your talent. The way you layer your talent depends on the type of league, the scoring system, how many players you can keep, and your knowledge of upcoming rookie classes.

Layer One: Your Starters

Who’s starting for your team? You have to know this, whether it’s September 14 (NFL opening Sunday) or February 1. If you have gaps in the starting lineup, this is where you need to update things first. There is nothing you need more than to win every week’s matchup.

Layer Two: Backups

You’re not winning in weeks 1-13 without some assistance. Whether it’s bye weeks or injuries, you’re going to have to prevail without your strongest lineup. Backups can take two forms. They can be literal backups, like Graham Harrell behind Aaron Rodgers (probably not my best example), or it can be a guy like Sam Bradford behind your Tom Brady.

Layer Three: Future Guys

We all like to speculate that every guy we pick up who’s the fourth-string running back for the Jaguars is going to be the next Arian Foster. It’s not always going to be the case, but do your homework (Matt Waldman’s RSP is a good start) and you’ll have a better shot than most to get those diamonds in the rough.

Layer Four: Spackle

I’m sure that guys like Anquan Boldin and Larry Foote love being compared to a building product used to fill holes. We all have holes to fill, and Hines Ward and Derrick Mason were fantasy assets until their final year. There are times when you have to ride out a veteran instead of selling low for practically nothing.

Here’s my current Z34 roster and each player’s designation:

Cam Newton (starter)
Matt Schaub (backup)
Jake Locker (future)

Starters: Ray Rice, DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte
Backups: Michael Bush, Jacquizz Rodgers, Joique Bell, Kendall Hunter
Future: Zac Stacy, Chris Thompson, Kerwynn Williams, Lance Dunbar
Spackle: Montario Hardesty, Bilal Powell, Peyton Hillis

Starters: Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Michael Crabtree
Backups: Denarius Moore, Sidney Rice, Ryan Broyles, Vincent Brown
Future: Stedman Bailey, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Devon Wylie
Spackle: Andrew Hawkins

Starter: Tony Gonzalez
Backups: Fred Davis (on the verge of being spackle), Heath Miller
Future: Taylor Thompson, Julius Thomas

Starter, Future, Badass: Greg the Leg

Starters: Charles Johnson, Mario Williams
Backups: Bruce Irvin, Willie Young
Future: Bruce Irvin

Starters: Colin McCarthy, Donald Butler, Zach Brown
Backups: Donald Harris, Justin Houston, Nick Roach, Mark Herzlich
Future: James-Michael Johnson, Kiko Alonso

Starters: Cortland Finnegan, Mark Barron, Charles Tillman
Backup: Casey Hayward
Future: D.J. Swearinger, Earl Wolff

In the case of this roster, spackle probably = cut when I need to get to 53 players.

One Response to Fantasy Files: The Layers of Dynasty Fantasy Football

  1. smashingsilver May 17, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    This is a great concept. Every year I essentially do this, with slightly different terminology (love the “spackle” designation), but hadn’t quite thought of using it to feel needs. I do it to ascertain trade opportunities, either to buy or sell.

    I think this is much easier to do in big roster dynasty (see Zealots); there’s not much room for spackle or even future players in some leagues, if you want to stay competitive. Still useful, just requires better organization. Now, time to update my own roster classifications…good article, Zach!

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