Don’t shoot the messenger, but I’m here to tell you that you’re not as good at dynasty fantasy football are you think you are. After the fantasy playoffs, most owners think they are doing the right thing by taking a little break before the NFL Combine, but that is a huge mistake and a terrible habit to develop. If that sounds like you, then you are not taking advantage of this “dynasty dead zone” period to make your team(s) better heading into the next season–although you are taking the time to read this article, so I will cut you a little bit of slack!

Dynasty fantasy football is one of the most popular fantasy formats and currently on a huge up-swing in popularity. It seems as if new dynasty leagues are starting up more frequently than ever before. RotoHeat’s Facebook group has about doubled in almost two years, and it seems as though the community is more active than ever.

One of the most appealing aspects to dynasty fantasy leagues is the “24/7/365” mentality of being able to manage your team even in the off-season. Rather than redrafting your team every year, you are able to re-tool it and make it better. However, just about all of my dynasty leagues have no action at all this time of the year. What happened to the “all-day, everyday” aspect? After all, I can’t add, drop or trade anyone right now! It’s like this bizarre month or two where we own our team, yet at the same time cannot do anything with it. Even with dynasty’s recent rise in popularity, a lot of owners (highly experienced ones, too) seem to fail to take advantage of the dynasty dead zone period. I named this period of the dynasty fantasy football season as the “dead zone” because there is seemingly nothing to do because rosters and transactions are completely locked.

A-HA, BUT THAT’S WHERE YOU’RE WRONG! There is plenty to do during this time of the season, and the best owners take advantage and work while others take a break from the action. This time is one of the most important times of the dynasty fantasy season that many owners fail to take advantage of, and I will be your guiding light to help you get a leg up on your opponents heading into the next season.

1. Self-Evaluation

The Dynasty Dead Zone: What To Do When Your Leagues are Locked and No Transactions Can Be Made

First and foremost, self-evaluation is the most important thing to do during the dynasty dead zone period.

These are the questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. How did your team finish? Why did you finish in this spot?
  2. Who let you down on your squad, or who was a big surprise?
  3. What trades did you do? Which trades do you regret?
  4. What would you have done differently in hindsight?

Thinking and answering these questions are the first step to making sure you get off on the right foot in the following season. Obviously you cannot go back and undo any errors, however, you can certainly evaluate and learn from these mistakes so you make sure you do not repeat these same mistakes again. Most importantly, be honest with yourself and accept mistakes or missed opportunities. You will only get better if you understand what you did poorly and make adjustments to do better in the future. It sounds simple, but a lot of people do not do this. Instead, they just go through the motions and wait for next season, and this is a HUGE mistake!

On top of reviewing your own squad, it is equally as important to review the other teams in your league during this time in the dynasty dead zone period. Self-evaluation includes comparing yourself with the other owners’ teams in your league. How well do you stack up against theirs? How does your team compare to the best team in the league? Yes, this is something to do throughout the year, but it is valuable to do it now so you can plan your moves two or three steps ahead of time. Also, keep next year’s rookie draft order on hand and take a look at the teams drafting ahead or just after you. Try to see what needs they have, and maybe you’ll be able discuss a potential trade once the time is right.

2. Pre-Trade Negotiations

The Dynasty Dead Zone: What To Do When Your Leagues are Locked and No Transactions Can Be Made

As previously mentioned, during this time of the fantasy season most fantasy sites are on complete lock down. It’s like the sites not only don’t want you doing trades, they don’t even want you thinking about them! However, just because the sites don’t let you do trades, doesn’t mean that you can’t start up trade negotiations a little early. Why wait until next month or so when you can get trade ideas started now? Maybe you like a player and want to feel out another owner… GO FOR IT!

You don’t have to agree to make any specific trade now, but it is good to get a head start on the trade negotiations. In fact, I’d argue it is best to hold off to agreeing to do a trade until you can actually pull the trigger. That’s because you never know what injuries or changes will happen between now and next month. However, that does not mean you can start the trade talks a little early to get a head start on some negotiations. You may be surprised with an owner’s initial response when asked if a player is potentially available. Worst case scenario, you’ll find out from an owner if a player is untouchable, but that will help you plan your next move ahead of time. Why wait until a month from now to know that one of your potential options are impossible to acquire?

Also, do not be afraid to message and have a conversation with the owners in your league. In fact, this is the best time to reach out to owners you do not talk to as much as others. Have you ever felt like when an owner messages you out of the blue you’re worried about secrets motives they may be hiding? During the dynasty dead zone period, no one will think you have any hidden motives or agendas because everything is locked down! This is the best time to get to know the other managers in your league, and this will make trade negotiations throughout the season way smoother since having previously built up a rapport already.

3. Rookie Review

The Dynasty Dead Zone: What To Do When Your Leagues are Locked and No Transactions Can Be Made

I would argue the absolute best time of the year to evaluate rookies is during this dynasty dead zone period. It is essential to get an opinion on the new potential stars of the league before bias comes into play with where they are drafted. You don’t want to evaluate players after they land on a new NFL team, because then you will be biased in thinking they will be better than they really are. Sure, draft spots may change your opinion on a specific player slightly, but it is best having a raw, unbiased opinion out of the gate so you will help yourself have a better understanding of who these players will be and why that team drafted them in the first place.

If you’ve never watched rookie film before, do not feel intimidated. The more you practice doing it, the better you’ll get at doing it. You’ll quickly develop skills at knowing what positives to keep an eye out for and what negatives you’ll see the players do that may hurt their chances of panning out in the NFL. Most single-game tape for a specific player is only about 5-10 minutes long, so it’s easy setting time aside to watch a player or two daily. We are compiling film at for you to view for free! If you haven’t reviewed film before, there is no better time than to start right now!

Thank you for reading The Dynasty Dead Zone: What To Do When Your Leagues Are Locked and No Transactions Can Be Made

Thank you for reading “The Dynasty Dead Zone: What To Do When Your Leagues Are Locked and No Transactions Can Be Made.” Now, get out there and make your team even better this instance. What are you waiting for – let’s do it!

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