1. Unlike redraft formats, it's not exclusively about winning now. Ideally, a fantasy championship every year in your dynasty league is what we want but assuming you are competing against half way competent owners you're not going to have that opportunity generally speaking. Thus, building for the future yet being competitive now is the sensitive balance we must juggle on a constant basis when building and considering our dynasty squads. A good dynasty outlook could fit the analogy of wanting to win the sprint now but also compete in the marathon later. In other words, be competitive now but also be ready to compete in future years. A nice blend of veteran production and youthful upside/brink of prime production is what is needed in order to have success in the figurative sprint and marathon.
2. In conjunction with point number one, we can use a formula to go along with gut intuition with each player to quantify results for our rankings/predictions. Hypothetically, we can consider a six year outlook (from now) and break that six year block into two blocks of three years. While future production is very important, we put a bigger emphasis on predicted current production given the increased risk of inaccurate predictions for our second three year block due to unforeseen changes in scenery, serious injury, or critical changes on the team that could impact player production. Thus, we will put a weight of 60% on the first three years of predicted production and the remaining 40% on the second three year block.
3. While a good part of our fantasy football success (or non-success) comes from proper understanding of scoring formats, scoring requirements, adjustments on the fly during fantasy drafts, etc., a good part of it is also strictly luck. While we all have opinions on various players, we put a big emphasis on "pedigree" players. Pedigree players are any players who have been drafted within the first three rounds in the NFL draft over the previous three years. Why you ask? Well, NFL scouts get paid a lot of money to evaluate talent and typically have a great eye for said talent transferring to the NFL level. Thus, we trust their judgment generally speaking. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules such as players like Marques Colston or Willie Parker but typically players drafted that high are drafted that high for a reason and we take this under consideration. This is an important guideline for our dynasty rankings as we view the pedigree players synonymous with talent (to be discussed in point number four).
4. The only real constant we have in this hobby is player talent. Of course, there are different opinions and perceptions on player talent but talent is talent. Given the natural volatility from year to year in the NFL with player movement, we feel that talent will trump situation. In other words, we don't necessarily rank a player higher than another strictly because of a favorable situation because given our dynasty consideration, we realize that could change relatively quickly therefore talent is the only real consideration. This point concurs with our pedigree discussion in that we stand a better chance of landing a productive player if he's got the raw talent. The shorter term outlooks will focus more on player situations but here we must consider talent more important.
5. To extend a bit on point number four, another important consideration is a player's contract situation. We have seen that players in a contract year typically play harder and better than before they get paid. Reasons for this vary, but it is a natural human reaction to become complacent after achieving an important life goal. We are also sensitive to good players perhaps on bad teams in the last year of their contract. Like the talent and pedigree discussion, we will have players on the radar that are good bets to explore better options via free agency after their contract is up.
6. Regardless of the fantasy format you play in, injuries and injury risk (perceived or otherwise) is important but especially for our dynasty considerations. Much like a typical redraft format, we'll take into consideration and downgrade accordingly those players who are injured frequently and/or have sustained a serious injury that could question their ability to return to their previous level of performance. This guideline with our rankings should be a given but we feel it's important to emphasize its increased importance since you're typically "married" to these players when you draft them.
The biggest considerations that go into our QB rankings are things such as historical player production, surrounding skill players, offensive line cohesion, outlook on the team's defense, etc. You can expect QBs to play longer and realize a longer tenure with the same team than RBs, thus we put a bigger emphasis on long-term personnel and the intra-division climate.
Many will argue that TEs are the least important position when constructing dynasty squads. While that may or may not be true, we know you can find good value at this position later in drafts than arguably any other position. That is, the disparity between most players is so small and insignificant on a week to week basis that it is generally advisable to wait on this position provided you are only required to start one TE minimum. Gates or Witten are probably the only TEs we'd consider in the 3rd or 4th round of an inaugural dynasty draft depending on the available WR talent at the time.
Generally speaking, this position is as statistically volatile as RBs from year to year, however they typically provide the greatest longevity in terms of league tenure. In PPR dynasty leagues, WRs could prove to be invaluable if you're lucky enough to scoop up a future stud entering his prime; you could easily realize 10 years of top-end production. Adequately separating the pretenders from the contenders is the toughest thing to do with this position.