Let’s be realistic, when you’re rebuilding a dynasty league roster, you’re going to be near or at the bottom of the standings – and that’s the point. There’s not much to be gained by trying to sneak up an extra 10 points in the standings or eek out another 2-3 wins. In fact, it may be to your advantage not to do so. By making that statement, I’m not saying that you should specifically tank in a way which will upset other league owners – that’s a good way to get kicked out of a league. But by knowing the constitution and settings of your league, you can take even further advantage of ways to accumulate talent.
There are two main aspects of your league rules you are looking for: rules on waiver priorities during the season and rules on determining draft order for after the season.
We’ll start with waiver priority. I’ve seen many different ways for this to be set up in long-term leagues, and first I’ll go into the league which I’m using as an example. In this particular league, waiver priority is determined by record and does not reset – that way the worst team always has the best shot at a newly minted free agent. Now, as the team with the worst record in the league (3-18 at season’s end), this is a great thing for me – and I took advantage of it. From the time of the trading deadline to the end of the season, I constantly had the #1 priority, so I used it any time a player was released by a competing team that I felt to be an upgrade over what I had. The important thing to remember when dealing with this is not to fall in love with your sleeper prospects – in fact, I had to drop a few in order to make these moves. Here are the waiver claims I made in the last two months of the season: