What is a Dynasty League in Fantasy Football?


By this point most people are familiar with the concept of fantasy football, and fantasy sports in general. If you are still new to this, read this article that goes over the basics of fantasy football.

Different Types of Fantasy Football

Most people are familiar with a traditional league, what we call a redraft league. In this instance, every year you and the rest of the league get together, either in person or online, and draft your roster for the upcoming season. There is no reason to think about future years, since your roster will be deleted by the beginning of the next season.

Then, different types of fantasy sports began to emerge, such as keeper leagues, in which you are able to choose a predetermined amount of players from your roster to keep the following season. There are many different ways fantasy football leagues choose to do this, but in some way these keepers count as a draft pick from the next year.

Another new type of fantasy football league is called a vampire football league, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that one team (the vampire) does not draft a team and instead makes their team better by taking players from other teams throughout the year.Sign up here

Of course daily fantasy football has recently exploded onto the scene, with companies such as FanDuel and Draftkings having contests for just about every game played. In this version, you draft a new team weekly, using different sets of games to choose your players from, such as morning games only or the entire NFL week.

If you want what is possibly the closest thing to actually running an NFL team, however, you may want to consider joining a dynasty league. In this type of fantasy league, you keep your entire roster, not just a couple of players like in a keeper league, from the previous season. The only players you would be drafting the following year would be the rookies just entering the NFL.

How do I Start a Dynasty League?

This is definitely the type of league you will do best by joining at the beginning of the league. Unlike in a traditional redraft league, moves can affect you team for years to come. So if you are taking over for another person, you may spend the first year or two fixing the team before you can become relevant in that league.

As far as the set up of a league, you can use any rules or settings that you use in your redraft league. Number of teams in the league, point settings, etc are all up to you and how you like to play fantasy football.

Since you will have teams trading future draft picks, you may want to have rules set up so that a team cannot trade too far into the future, especially since the rookie draft you will have every year will be much smaller than you are accustomed to. For example, if your rookie draft is only 2 rounds, and a team trades away their first round pick for the following 3 years, it will be tough for them to compete after those 3 years.

Speaking of Trades

If you have played fantasy football for any number of years, you will know that there are not that many trades made between teams throughout the year. That is not the case in dynasty leagues, In a redraft league, you are just focused on that season and hopefully the playoffs.

In a dynasty league, trading for a player that is on a team that realistically doesn’t have a chance to win that season would be easier, if you have something that will make their team better the next year. For example, if you are out of the playoff hunt and have an aging veteran that may have a year or two left, you would be inclined to trade him to a playoff team for a young rookie with lots of potential, or a future draft pick.

Rookie Draft

As mentioned earlier, with your entire roster already set for the following season, you will only need to fill in pieces from the rookies entering the NFL. Typically, only 2 or possibly 3 rounds, this allows for the teams that didn’t finish well the year before to improve their teams, similar to the way it is done in the NFL.

Instead of a snake draft, which typical redraft leagues use, teams draft order is set from the previous years standings in reverse order, and is the same order for every round. So although it is still more difficult to make a turn around in a dynasty league, it is still possible if you draft well.


Waivers will be essential for turning around a team as well. The waiver system will be turned off during the offseason, so you do not have to worry about somebody scooping up that player that came out of retirement during the offseason. All players not on a roster will be available during the rookie draft, so everybody will have an opportunity to get the players that they want.

League Commitment

Obviously if you want to do a dynasty league you will want the members if the league to stay from year to year. It will be tough to find people to take over teams that they did not draft, especially since the teams that are abandoned will typically be the ones that are not winning.

Make sure that you pick people to truly commit to the league, and will stay with the league for years to come.


If you play fantasy football, a dynasty league can be one of the most fun and intriguing ways to play. If you make a great draft pick, or waiver wire pickup, and ended up with Lamar Jackson in a late round like I did last year, you will definitely not get him again in the same round in a redraft league, forcing you to either draft him much sooner or not getting him again.

In a dynasty league you do not have to worry about that. Your roster is yours, and the only way you lose a player is if you drop him or trade him. Granted, if you drafted poorly or made bad decisions, you may not have a contending team for awhile, but that is the way it is in the NFL so you would need to rebuild like NFL teams do from time to time.

Are you in a dynasty league? How do you like it? Any tips you can give to someone just starting in one of these leagues? Let me know in the comments below!


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