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It only happens once in a dynasty league: that initial draft when every player is within reach and the path to success is wide open.
It's an exhilarating time but also an unsettling one. Obviously, you want to win, but a dynasty league presents you with an opportunity to ... well, build a dynasty. Not just win, but win over and over and over again.
To do that, you can't just focus on drafting good players. They need to be good and stick around for a while. And for those closer to being phased out, the next wave has to be ready to go. Wave after wave — that's the goal.
But of course, everyone's approach to that goal is a little different. Let's look at who took part in the draft and some of the different ways they tackled it.
1 - Ray Butler, Prospects 365 (@Prospects365)
2 - Kory Schulte, Baseline Times (@BaselineKory)
3 - Andrew McClintock, Fantasy Front Office (@FantasyAid1)
4 - Scott White, CBS Sports (@CBSScottWhite)
5 - Joe Gerberry, WaitingForNextYear.com (@THEGerbsWFNY)
6 - Matt Williams, Fake Teams/Turn Two Podcast (@MattWi77iams)
7 - Phil Ponebshek, Patton & Company
8 - R.J. White, CBS Sports (@rjwhite1)
9 - Donkey Teeth, Razzball (@DonkeyTeeth87)
10 - Heath Cummings, CBS Sports (@heathcummingssr)
11 - Daniel Preciado, Fantasy Front Office (@DanJPreciado)
12 - Tom Ogonowski, Future Studskis (@ProspectFiend).
The format is 5x5 Rotisserie. There are no dedicated minor-league spots, but a large seven-man bench allowed for plenty of opportunity to draft minor-leaguers. While it was only a mock, we approached it as if we could keep as many players as we wanted heading into next year.
A quick glance at the first round tells you this wasn't a straightforward draft. Ronald Acuna went third overall. Vladimir Guerrero went eighth. The typical first-rounders are all so young that there's no need to get too crazy right out of the gate, but those two are special cases.
The most extreme approaches came from the last two in the draft order. Daniel Preciado of Fantasy Front Office focused on building a long-term nucleus that would hopefully carry him to long-term glory. Early picks like Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Trevor Bauer and Giancarlo Stanton are young enough to still have a role when some of the prospects begin to break through, but of course 2019 is a lost cause.
Tom Ogonowski of Future Studskis, meanwhile, didn't draft a single prospect, playing this one more like a straight redraft league in the hopes of snagging an easy victory. And he got some great bargains like Max Scherzer in Round 3, Khris Davis in Round 6, Jose Abreu in Round 8 and A.J. Pollock in Round 11. Hey, no one's saying he can't trade off a piece or two for future assets next year.
Most owners seemed to take the approach I did, carefully balancing the present with the future. I mostly stuck to myYu Darvish in Round 16 will start me down a competitive path.for the first 11 rounds or so, departing only a couple times and only by a couple spots. And while I'm pleased with , I'm hopeful immediate values like J.D. Martinez in Round 3, Startling Marte in Round 6 and