Mark Brown / Stringer

It's been a while since we did a Dynasty mailbag, but we received some familiar questions. When to trade an aging star (the answer is usually "last year"), favorite buy lows (I love second year players who have lost a little luster), and how to set up a league are all amongst the most common questions we get about Dynasty, and for good reason. 

One question we don't get enough is how to go about a rebuild, and I think that's because not enough people want to deal with that pain. So before we get started, I'd just like to encourage a few of you to give it a try this offseason. It's far more fun than struggling around .500 year after year hoping for a playoff miracle. If you do, I've got a nugget or two below on how I like to do it.

Trade Derrick Henry?

For anyone who has ever read a Dynasty mailbag in the past, you can say it with me: It depends on your current standing in the league. If you have one of the two or three best teams in the league (be honest) it is win-now time, and you should hold tight to Henry as one of your most valuable pieces. If you are anyone else, it's time to move. In fact, it may be past time.

The truth is that Derrick Henry is likely of no help to a bad team. So at least a third of your league (depending on how honest people are with themselves) is out of the market. The other truth is that Henry's Dynasty value will only decrease from here. Even if he makes it a third consecutive year as a superstar, we'll then be talking about a 28-year-old running back. Those are almost impossible to deal.

The next question is what to trade for, and the answer is pretty much whatever you can get. In terms of picks, I would be targeting a pair of first-round picks. But I'll also say I was unable to get that much when I dealt him in a league this year, so I settled for a first and a second. 

In terms of players, I would target a young quarterback and a young wide receiver. Those are the players you start your rebuild with because they have the longest peaks. You start adding running backs when the rest of your roster is ready to compete. Something like Joe Burrow plus Jaylen Waddle or Brandon Aiyuk is pretty fair in a full PPR league.

Buy-low running backs

As far as top-end guys, the easy answer for me is Josh Jacobs. He's a 23-year-old back who has topped 1,300 total yards in each of his first two seasons, yet the Raiders acquisition of Kenyan Drake has people scrambling to get rid of Jacobs. I still view him as a high-end No. 2 running back closer to J.K. Dobbins and Nick Chubb than Chris Carson or Myles Gaskin

In the mid-range I'm aiming for Devin Singletary. I still view it as a toss up whether he or Zack Moss is the better long-term running back, but Moss is valued much higher by the community despite the fact that Singletary has been better on a per carry, per reception, and per game basis. You can acquire Singletary for a late second-round rookie pick or a No. 4 wide receiver. 

A little lower I'd like to acquire Darrynton Evans and DeeJay Dallas. They're both in competition to back up an aging running back and they both have more upside than they showed as rookies. As a rule, any running back who underperformed as a rookie is someone I'd look to scoop up for pennies on the dollar. Evans and Dallas may even be on the waiver wire in some leagues.

Tua Tagovailoa upside

Speaking of buy-lows, Tagovailoa is one of my favorites in Dynasty. And Chris Towers just wrote about his upside in the Dolphins 2021 Fantasy preview. He has elite pedigree and with the additions of Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller there's a possibility he has elite weapons as well. If everything goes right, Tagovailoa could throw for 5,000 yards and be a top-five Fantasy quarterback as early as 2021. And you can acquire him for mid-range QB2 cost. 

Valuing Laviska Shenault

There are few players I'm more conflicted on. I loved Shenault coming out of Colorado and he's been all the buzz at Jacksonville's offseason workouts. Still, the acquisition of Travis Etienne makes me nervous. Shenault is built like a running back and projects as a player who could very much succeed in a role like Deebo Samuel. But Jacksonville has talked of Etienne as if he'll play that role, leaving room for James Robinson to stay involved in the running game.

If Shenault is used strictly as a receiver, I'm not sure he can carve out enough of a role to be a Fantasy starter with D.J. Chark and Marvin Jones also vying for targets.

All of that is to say I value Shenault as a No. 3 receiver in Dynasty, in the same range as Michaell Pittman, Samuel, and Marquise Brown. He'd rank even higher for me in a rebuilding situation.


We always hear you guys talk about dynasty leagues and I am Interested in starting a new dynasty league with 10-12 teams. What would you say is the optimal set up? I keep stumbling on active lineups, total roster spots, how many "keepers" you have each year, etc.

What would you guys suggest?

Love the show! Thank you all!

Andrew from Champa Bay

I've answered this question before, but it's been a while. And since this is totally a personal preference question, while I'm in a wide variety of leagues with all kinds of crazy set-ups, I'll try to answer as if this was my only league. First things first, I would make it a true Dynasty league, where you can keep as many as you want each year. 

As for the startup, I prefer a salary cap draft, because it gives each team the ability to have any player they want. This is more important to me in Dynasty than redraft, because conceivably you'll have these players for the rest of their careers. Set a $1,000 budget and start the bidding. It will be wild. Even moreso if you can get everyone in one location for the draft. Then each season have a salary cap draft for rookies only. The worst team gets the most money, the champion gets the least, you can determine how much total to give out but the difference between first and worst should be significant.

My favorite lineup settings would be one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, two regular flexes (RB-WR-TE) and one Superflex (QB-RB-WR-TE). I prefer to play without kickers and defenses, but that's up to you. I do prefer IDP to team defense if you want to go that route. if you're not starting a kicker or defense I would want at least 22 roster spots. If you go full IDP, then I'd go up to 40.

Scoring is even more subjective, but my current preference is half point per reception and half point per rushing or receiving first down with all touchdowns being worth six points. I also like tight end premium, which means they get a full point for a reception and a first down.

The last thing I would say is that no matter how many playoff spots you have, dedicate at least one of them to the highest-scoring team. My favorite way to do it is first place is the best record, second place is the most remaining points, and so on. 

Finally, make sure you set it up as decimal scoring. No one likes ties.