Dynasty Fantasy Football: Free Agency Time

One of the key days in any dynasty league is roster cut-down day. You get two of those. One is right before the season, when like actual NFL teams you have to say goodbye to those edge of the roster guys who aren’t going to help you win. The second one is one of the reasons why dynasty leagues are so all-encompasing. It’s free agency.

Our Zealots leagues are changing a bit from previous years. We added PPR (RBs are .5 PPR). My team was a disaster, finishing 4-9 in what was supposed to be a non-rebuilding year (a bit of bad luck with my .561 all-play record). I thought I had all the RBs, then Zac Stacy lost his job. Cam Newton was a disappointing fantasy option most of the year and I scrambled to pick up guys like Shaun “of the dead” Hill and Colt McCoy to spot start. My disastrous WR corps from 2013 became another disastrous WR corps plus Mike Evans.

I had to make two sets of cuts, from 53 to 48 (straight waivers) and then 48 to 40 (8 RFAs). This decision seemed harder in previous seasons. There’s supposed to be a bit of strategy to this game, but we can’t hoard the “zbucks” we use as currency as much as before so there’s no reason to toss out a “name” player who’s run out of “value”.

My RFAs:

Jake Locker (tears)
Lance Dunbar (thought he was a FA steal two years ago)
Bilal Powell (very slight hope he gets a bigger role this year)
Brice Butler (leaving me with “only” 14 WRs)
Brandon Marshall (the LB, not sure how he fits in with that Denver 3-4)
Dee Ford (LBs are notorious for coming on after not contributing in year one)
EJ Gaines (rookie CB rule)
Mark Barron (I shudder that I took him in the third round of a rookie draft)

Now, there are quality pieces that you get in free agency. I picked up Victor Cruz after his abbreviated rookie year, got Joique Bell the summer the Lions picked him up, and took CJ Anderson when Cecil and Sig wouldn’t shut up about him. Last summer’s best acquisition had to be Charles Johnson, thank you obsessive RotoViz dudes. Let’s check the roster one more time.

QB
Cam Newton
Johnny Manziel

I hit big on Cam with a second-round rookie pick in 2011. I did the opposite with a similar pick for Manziel last year (could have taken Donte Moncrief or Jeremy Hill there). I’m going to need a backup QB. Due to our 53-man rosters, there might not be much in free agency.

RB
C.J. Anderson
Joe Banyard
Joique Bell
Dan Herron
Kendall Hunter
Henry Josey
DeMarco Murray
Jacquizz Rodgers
Zac Stacy
James Wilder Jr.

Looks like I have four potential starters, and Herron’s going to have serious competition in Indy, if he isn’t completely relegated to backup status. Joique’s getting up there in age. I may consider a DeMarco deal if I can get a haul like last year’s Matt Forte for Mike Evans trade.

WR
Stedman Bailey
Michael Crabtree
Victor Cruz
Harry Douglas
Mike Evans
Taylor Gabriel
Justin Hunter
Allen Hurns
Jeff Janis
Charles Johnson
Denarius Moore
Paul Richardson
Albert Wilson
Kendall Wright

Whatever happened to my pretties at WR? It would be lovely if Cruz makes a full recovery and Crabtree goes to a team that’s discovered the forward pass. Evans is a stud, and hopefully will make more of those non-TD catches in 2015. Hell, I traded a 2016 6th round pick for Harry Douglas on the lark that he’ll get five or so games as the Falcons’ WR2. That’s how desperate I am.

Oh, BTW, the Forte/Evans trade wasn’t completely one for one. I had the 1.09, traded down to 2.02 as part of the deal. Who went 1.09? Beckham. Let me think about that for the next 12 years.

TE
Josh Hill
Heath Miller
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins
Julius Thomas

If Thomas leaves Denver, his value will make a Manziel-esque nose dive. I can’t quit Heath, and ASJ should be better in year two. I’m hoping that a forward-thinking NFL team makes Josh Hill their Delanie Walker when he’s a free agent.

K
Cody Parkey

That was a nice pickup. I had to say goodbye to Greg the Leg. We get .1 points for every yard past 30 on field goals, so I thought Zuerlein would be a value for years, but Jeff Fisher.

DL
Sen’Derrick Marks
Charles Johnson
Mario Williams

Williams has been the rare second-round DL pick who worked, seeing as he’s been on my team for nine years. Marks and Johnson rotate and I can find guys on waivers to fill out the roster.

LB
Kiko Alonso
Donald Butler
David Harris
Justin Houston
C.J. Mosley
Paul Worrilow

Getting Worrilow as a throw-in to my Hakeem Nicks for the pick that turned into Paul Richardson trade paid off nicely. Alonso/Houston/Mosley/Worrilow makes me feel good about one position group.

DB

All of my DBs are either waiver cuts or free agents. It’s probably the least valuable spot in an IDP league, and the spot where “stars” tend to put up no “stats”, so getting guys off waivers/free agency isn’t that difficult.

A dynasty free agency draft gives you an opportunity to scour the bottom of NFL rosters on the offensive side and to find those emerging stars on the defensive side. It’s fun and that’s why the big boys (and gals) play.

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