Dynasty Baseball Draft Strategies

by Josh Stevens
Dynasty Baseball Draft Strategies

Almost all of my articles are about who to target in an existing Dynasty league. I advise you to trade for guys like Trevor Story or Max Meyer. However, not everyone has the luxury of already being in a long-running Dynasty league. For the people who are just starting a league and drafting for the first time, we have you covered with our Dynasty Baseball Draft Strategies.

In Fantasy Football, there are multiple strategies to go into a draft with. You could go RB heavy, employ a "zero RB" strategy, or simply pick the best player available. This strategy is usually determined by the spot you are drafting in. Players with a high pick will likely take a top running back, while players with a lower pick may want to fill out a more balanced lineup.

Unlike football, the draft order in Dynasty drafts does not matter, as there are so many picks that draft order should not dictate a draft strategy.

Let's get to the three draft strategies that are most common in Dynasty Baseball startup leagues.

Dynasty Baseball Draft Strategies

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Prospect Heavy

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Dynasty Baseball Leagues are a big commitment. When you are drafting for the first time, you may be drafting for a league that can last over a decade.

As a result, drafting a lot of current players may not be the move for you. A lot of current players may only be at the top of their game for the next couple of years. In a league spanning 15 years, drafting players who will be on the decline by their fourth year could set up a rough stretch for you in the later portion of your league.

Instead, drafting highly touted prospects in place of MLB veterans could be the right move for you. Instead of picking up a current reliable starter like Chris Bassitt, who likely only has a couple of years left as a viable starter in fantasy baseball, draft an up-and-coming pitcher in the minor leagues.

The results won't come right away and you may spend a couple of years in the basement of the standings. While a last-place fantasy punishment may be in store, it'll be worth it when the tantalizing prospects you drafted are making waves in the majors. Suddenly, you now have a young, competitive team poised to be a force in the future.

You could even go "all in" on the prospect-heavy strategy. Usually, every team will have a few superstars no matter what draft they had, but trades are always present in Fantasy Baseball. While trading an All-Star for a couple of high-level prospects will lose you a few matchups in the current season, it may have a big payoff down the road.

However, don't get too cute with this strategy. While teams like the Astros reaped the benefits of a long rebuild, it doesn't work for everyone. Many prospects don't pan out, so relying so heavily on them could provide a huge setback.

Current Player Heavy

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The second of our Dynasty Baseball Draft Strategies is the exact opposite of the strategy above.  While some teams think rebuilding from the ground up is a good strategy, others love to be in win-now mode. You don't even have to be David Dombrowski to employ this strategy.

There will be plenty of decisions to make between young players and established players throughout the draft. While young players will stay on your team for longer, picking the established players can place you among the Championship favorites right away.  For example, while Justin Verlander isn't a smart investment pick, he is someone who will make an immediate impact on your squad.

There is almost no better feeling than winning a championship, whether it is in real life or in Fantasy Baseball. Many managers decide that being "all in" to win a title or two is worth the downfall. (See: 2018 Red Sox, 2021 Rams).

While contending for a championship right away is enticing, this plan does have its drawbacks. After a few years, the players at the top of the MLB won't be as dominant as before. While MLB superstars stay in their peak longer than NFL stars, this statement still holds true.

If no championships are won (or even just one at the beginning), the future of your dynasty squad will have been compromised for a limited reward.

Balanced

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The most difficult of the three, this draft strategy can also be the most rewarding. In the MLB, the Dodgers have somehow kept an incredible balance of talent on the 25-man roster and a promising farm system.  This can be emulated in your Dynasty Baseball draft. While the draft board has to fall your way, picking a mix of talented superstars and prospects is the route that many fantasy managers try to take.

This route is the safest, as managers are not cornholed into a certain type of player. However, this strategy requires you to get impact guys at both levels in order to pay off.  While selecting a lot of players at either the MLB or MiLB level allows for a few misses, as there are plenty of other guys to make up for the bad pick, using a balanced strategy takes away the margin of error.

However, this strategy provides the most reward when it works. Drafting current players who make an immediate impact puts you in a prime position for a title right away. Drafting the right prospects sets up a bright future.

This strategy depends entirely on how the board falls. If talented players continue to be available at your spot, pick them no matter what level of pro ball they are at. The person who perfects this strategy is usually a top player in the league, while the person who fails at this strategy is usually stuck in purgatory.

What Strategy should you choose?

This is entirely up to you, as there are pros and cons to each one.

I usually go for a balanced draft in Dynasty leagues. However, if I had to focus on one, it would be the Current Player Heavy strategy. This does make my farm system a little weaker. However, this allows me to swing some trades on underrated prospects who can pan out. Who are these prospects? Check out some of our other Dynasty Baseball articles to find out.


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