2020 Dynasty League Start-Up Targets and Strategy

Dynasty Fantasy Football: Actionable Intelligence
by Alan Seslowsky

There has been a surge in the popularity of Dynasty league fantasy football; a format where you draft players and own them for life. After the startup draft, many times with veteran players only, there are subsequent rookie-only drafts each season to repopulate the player pool. There are many ways to build a dynasty, which is the appeal of the format. Even when your team is not competing for a championship, many dynasty players find satisfaction in rebuilding efforts, which represent an engaging, year-round process. Below are a few strategy tips, player outlooks, and other actionable thoughts from a dynasty perspective:

WRs Are Building Blocks

Drafting young BUT proven WRs with your first few picks is a strategy that many experienced players prefer. The idea is that the careers of the WRs last much longer than those of the RBs. Established WRs can usually be counted on for five years of production. WRs also take longer to develop, so drafting them once already established in startups as the core of your team is efficient. 

Juju Smith-Schuster is a Polarizing Early Pick 

In 2019 JJSS was a locked in first-round dynasty startup pick. He largely disappointed finishing as the WR65 in PPR leagues. He has some of the key boxes checked to remain an early dynasty pick.

  1. Displayed WR1 Upside in 2018
  2. Young Ascending Player (23 years old)

The uncertainty with him can be explained by the magnitude of the downside displayed last year when the Steeler’s QB play was poor. Contributing his depressed ADP, then-rookie WR Dionte Johnson was able to thrive in spurts with the same conditions in 2019. Johnson has presumably earned a larger target share in 2020. 

The market is assuming Ben Roethlisberger is coming back healthy and continues to draft Juju as a mid to late 2nd round startup player. 

Mike Evans‘ ADP is Falling

Evans has never failed to reach 1000 yards receiving in his six NFL seasons. Coming off a volatile 2019, along with the exaggerated narrative that Tampa Bay’s new QB Tom Brady can’t throw the ball downfield well, is dropping the 26-year-old WRs dynasty ADP. Last year Evans was routinely going in the late first round of startups. He can safely be drafted in round three in “one QB” leagues, even later in Superflex. 

How Secure of an Investment is Leonard Fournette?

By June 1, 2020 The Jaguars need to make a decision on Fournette’s 5th-year option. Coming off a career year catching the football, there is market uncertainty about the workhorse runner as evident by his 3rd round dynasty ADP. Contract status can move ADP, and is observable with players like Austin Ekeler who has moved ahead of Fournette in recent dynasty startups.  Combine that with a player that RosterWatch Senior Bowl scouts loved, RB Ryquell Armstead, getting drafted last year; that only adds to some of the variables around Leonard Fournette. RosterWatch believes Jacksonville’s front office and coaching staff may be on the hot seat and could “run ’em until the wheels fall off,” giving Fournette secure short term value. 

Josh Jacobs– The Catches Are Coming

Coming out of college Josh Jacobs was touted as a plus pass-catching RB. Fantasy players were surprised by his lack of involvement in the passing game during his rookie season. RosterWatch’s Byron Lambert asked Vegas’ GM, Mike Mayock, about this and was told that there is a plan for Josh Jacobs that includes “phase two”; where he will be integrated into a bigger part of the passing game.  RosterWatch is confident Jacobs is a viable RB1 after the elite RB options are off the board in startup drafts. 

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