This is a very multi-layered question. The most important part of any dynasty league is leadership. Do you know the commissioner and is he trustworthy? The internet is full of stories of dynasty teams not getting paid at the end of the year, rules getting changed after drafts without votes, and lopsided trades that take advantage of someone else’s naivety or stupidity. Dynasty leagues fail because of the leadership more than any other reason. Keep in mind, just because someone is a great owner in another dynasty league, it doesn’t mean they will be a good commissioner. I hate collecting money, so I take my league’s money that I commish to leaguesafe.com. Less hassles, but full disclosure. We all makes mistakes, heck, I once joined an existing league that replaced five owners, out of 14 owners, within four months. By the way, constant owner replacement is a huge red flag. Turns out the commissioner has won the league three years in a row. Not only was his team stacked, but he owned almost half of the picks in the first two rounds.
Is there a strong set of rules? The rule book doesn’t need to be pages thick, but does it cover how waivers work, league scoring, tie breakers, what are owners’ responsibilities, and how to handle disputes? Make sure you read these rules before you join and not after them. If you are uncomfortable with anything, ask questions before you agree to join. There are plenty of leagues to try, so never feel pressured to join a particular league. It’s good to try to get outside your comfort zone a little, but don’t make your first dynasty league a 32 teamer with salary cap and full IDP unless you played in a similar format in a re-draft league. If you have only done a yahoo ten team league, try a 12 team myfantasyleague.com league with points per reception. Make sure you get comfortable with the league software (site) that the league uses. Many hosting sites have mobile apps that make drafting, trading, and setting your lineup easy, but please make sure you know what you are doing.
Do you know anyone that you are playing against? I have the most fun in leagues that I know in “real life” aka met in person. Many people enjoy trading and I’m old-fashioned that I like to do my negotiations over the phone. If I’m given the choice of exchanging seven or eight trade proposals or having a ten minute phone conversation, I’d rather pick up the phone.
There are a few strategies for drafting in an inaugural draft. You can go “old is gold” which means take older talented players who only have a year or two of possible high point production. These type of players could be available later in your drafts due to their age. Your strategy is to win the league year one or two and re-build after that. The other side is to only draft younger players. The problem with this strategy is that many times teams go through changes in coaching staffs, upgrade their players, or the player you draft suffers injuries that they never get all the way back. I prefer to set tiers before my drafts and use youth as a tie-breaker.
Hopefully, this is a good start for you. Good luck! Enjoy your 4th of July.
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