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How Long Does A Dynasty Last?

The goal of most owners in a dynasty league is to build, well, a dynasty. What is more fun than building a dominant roster and watching it roll through the league year after year. I’m no different, in a recent post I laid out my three-year long rebuilding results, and I am thoroughly enjoying my first foray into the money in several years. But how persistent is it reasonable to expect my creation to be? Will my studs still be studs in five years? Since I focused on young players, I feel optimistic, but I took a look at what my roster might have looked like had I started to rebuild in 2008.

Below is a table that shows the top players at each position, for fantasy purposes, from 2008 through 2015. As you can see, that’s a lot of turnover in the top spot at each position. Only a few players were able to repeat as the best player at their position more than twice over the eight year span. It’s not likely that Robinson Cano, Buster Posey, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, or Mike Trout were available during their peak years.

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Obviously it’s not reasonable to get all the very best players on your roster so I looked at the top-five at each position. I began in 2008 and included a second snapshot beginning in 2012. The numbers indicate the given player’s fantasy rank at the position they held during the time of the snapshot.

To summarize, even if you were able to accumulate a large number of top players in 2008, your run at the top of your fantasy league likely ended within three to four years. If you were able to pull off the same feat in 2012 it’s likely that you’re still competitive. The moral is this, despite your best laid plans, the fantasy universe is ever changing. Don’t rest on your laurels if you construct a dominant team. A team from 2012 with a starting outfield of Josh Hamilton, Adam Jones, Matt Holliday, Jason Heyward, and Jay Bruce would have looked awesome. Now? Not so much. Jones and Heyward as still decent, but Bruce and Holliday are more role players, and Josh Hamilton would have been dropped last year. Important players such as Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Joe Mauer no longer qualify at their more valuable former positions. Even from the more recent 2008 pool, catcher, third base, and shortstop are nearly completely wiped out. After the top three outfielders, that position is fairly brutal. Only first base and second base remain reasonably intact, not that you’re terribly excited if Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, or Brandon Phillips is your primary option.

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As you can see, youth plays a fairly significant role in how long a player can be expected to be an elite fantasy option. Of course, those players are coveted by owners and generally unavailable for trading. That’s why it’s so important to stay up on the minor leagues, both so you can identify these players, but perhaps more importantly, to serve as trading chips so that you can get these elite players from other owners as opportunity provides. And as a site the focuses entirely on that kind of league, you’ve come to the right place.

The Author

Jesse MacPherson

Jesse MacPherson

3 Comments

  1. May 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm — Reply

    I enjoyed this so much that I tweeted it out, because as B Real once said “that’s how we show the love”.

  2. Jake
    May 19, 2016 at 9:24 pm — Reply

    Very cool article about rebuilding. This looks like rebuilding in a deeper dynasty.

    Im wondering what your thoughts would be about rebuilding in a shallower dynasty. I’m in a 10 team NL only dynasty league. We each get 5 minor leaguers, but there is no bench.

    How would you go about acquiring the top keepers? Its hard to make 2 for 1’s when there is no bench, so improving someones depth isnt as big a deal.

    Thanks very much.

    • July 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm — Reply

      Thanks. In a shallow league it’s very difficult to acquire top players as there’s no need for depth. I’d say if you’re rebuilding, try to trade major leaguers for the absolute top minor leaguers. That’s the one area where you can help a team without costing them anything “now”.

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