• Alexander Knopow (@FantasyFiends)

32 Teams: A Fantasy Empire, Part 1

This offseason has been unique, to say the least. My passion for Fantasy Football grew to an unprecedented level. It grew so much, I made it a goal of mine to find a unique league: A 32-team, Individual Defensive Player (IDP) dynasty league. At first, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but it sounded like a challenge. Each team represents an NFL franchise. Naturally, I joined the NFC East as the New York Giants. As my first ever IDP league, it has become one of my favorite leagues I am a part of.

The starting roster consists of seven offensive and seven IDP players: One running back (RB), two wide receivers (WR), one Tight end (TE), two Flex, SuperFlex (SF), one Defensive lineman (DL), one Linebacker (LB), one Defensive Back (DB) and five IDP flex spots. A SuperFlex spot allows for a QB to be placed in that slot.

Although it is a free league, I could immediately tell that it was going to be competitive. Full of different fantasy analysts, this league is not going to be a breeze. The draft, itself, was a test of patience and strategy. With an eight hour timer per pick, the draft took roughly two and a half weeks.

As the draft began, I knew right away I needed to get as many young players as I could get. My draft spot was 22. I was not a fan of being in the middle of a huge league like this. My first pick at the 1.22 was A.J. Brown, WR TEN. A young, WR1 on the Titans, I believe he has the age and skill to be worthy of a top pick here. I knew that was not going to be good enough to win this league, so after the pick was in, it was time to buckle down and start trading.

My first trade was for the 32nd overall pick. Being such a large league with a required starting tight end, I chose Travis Kelce, TE KC. George Kittle, TE SF, would’ve been the pick, but he was gone at pick #29 already. I gave up my third, fifth, and eighth rounder for the 32nd overall pick plus two late-round picks. Having a quality tight end gives me a huge advantage especially in a PPR format. The tight end position is very thin. Kelce gives me the opportunity to score more points at the position almost every week.

The next major trade I made also came mid-draft. At the cost of my 2021 first round, 2020 second and fourth-round pick, I traded for Lamar Jackson, QB BAL, and a 2020 10th rounder. With limited starting quarterbacks and tight ends, trading for top assets at those positions gives me a significant advantage in the superflex spot.

My total of three first-round picks helped boost my offensive unit to one of the strongest in the league. Brown, Jackson, and Kelce make up a formidable base to bring me a strong season. I was lucky to be able to attain these players before we got through the second round. These trades weren’t easy to pull off. I had to be conscientious of the draft capital I was giving up in this league. Giving up too many consecutive picks could be costly. I had to remember that the IDP slots can award the same, if not, more points than their offensive counterparts.

In Part 2, I will be reviewing more of the draft process and strategies that I had to come up with mid-draft. As of now, I have the highest projected point total in the entire league at 180.79. Projections don’t mean anything, but it does feel validating to see how much upside my starting roster has. Below will be my drafted team with their draft spots on it. My drafted bench and current bench aren’t the exact same but they are very similar.

You may have noticed Josh Jacobs, RB LV, in at running back. I managed to get Jacobs in a trade after the draft. Watch out for the next parts of this crazy series to find out how I pulled off acquiring ⅛ of the first round in a 32-team league!

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