If you have nothing, it has no value. That’s math. Or at least that’s what they want you to think. Because, when it comes to dynasty fantasy football leagues, the mathematics aren’t so simple. 

As we’re about to find out throughout NFL minicamp, training camp, and the offseason (I’ve done a write-up on the upcoming 2024 offseason schedule), NFL teams actually place a lot of value on empty roster spots. Cutting someone from the 53-man team can be addition by subtraction. And the same concept can actually be applied to the bench in our fantasy football dynasty leagues.

And I’m not just talking about making room to draft a guy off your rookie dynasty rankings or adding a player off the waiver wire either. That spot can be crucial to your trading negotiations as well. It can offer a sneaky way to get an advantage on the old trade calculator. Here are three ways you can use that last bench spot to your advantage in dynasty fantasy football!




Dynasty Fantasy Football Advice: The Odd-Numbered Trade

The number one mistake I see fantasy gamers make when it comes to trades is NOT including the replacement value via the waiver wire in odd-numbered trades (by odd-numbered I mean either trades that are 2-for-1, 2-for-3 etc. or ones that have picks returning instead of players). You really have to start thinking about these trades in terms of your END team. 

Let’s assume two teams in a league with 20 roster spots are making a 2-for-1 trade and both teams have 20 players on the roster. Because of the roster limits, there are actually two additional transactions that need to take place. If you are getting the singular player, the value to your END team boils down to subtracting Payer A and Player B then gaining player C AND player D off the waiver wire. 

This value cannot be understated, especially in shallower leagues. Sometimes I’ll even just take a guy from the end of my roster and flip them for a 3rd or 4th round pick because there is a guy on waivers I want. Just be careful about offering too many trades where you just turn around and drop the guy you are offering the very next day. Folks catch on to that and can get annoyed.

And don’t forget the flip side of these trades. When you trade one guy for two or even trade a pick for a player, YOU need to drop someone to make room for your new player. And some folks don’t realize that until it’s too late. That value you are dropping to the wire might not even make the deal worth it. And that also brings me to the next sneaky move…




Dynasty Fantasy Football Advice: The 2-for-1 To 2-for-2 Conversion

The person on the plus side of the odd-numbered trade needs to drop a player to complete the transaction. We know this. That player would typically just end up in the waiver pool with all the other free agents, free for any other team to add them. 

Well, what if that’s a player you might want? I mean, you have an extra roster spot now, right? I think you get what I am saying. In shallow leagues, take a look at the very bottom of your league-mates' rosters. You have all the time in the world because YOU are proposing the trade. 

If their team is fairly loaded or it’s a shallow league, odds are they have something of value there. Now you approach them with your 2-for-1 deal where they are getting the two players for your one at a great value.

  • You: So, we have a deal?
  • Them: Yup, send it over.
  • You: Okay cool, doing that now. Say, who do you plan to drop to make space?
  • Them: Hmm probably one of Trey Palmer, Joshua Palmer, or Rashod Bateman, I guess?
  • You: Rather than dropping them, I’ll just take them off your hands since I have a spot now. That cool?

This is a real conversation that I had before they realized their worst player was actually Andrei Iosivas and not those three guys. But I still managed to get Bateman by throwing in a 4th round pick that I had planned to just waive in the rookie draft anyway – because I didn’t have anyone I wanted to drop. 

So, it does actually work. You just have to be careful since it could backfire if they decide they DON’T want to drop anyone to do the deal.




Dynasty Fantasy Football Advice: The Kicker/DST Drop

Anyone that knows my content knows that I typically play to win in dynasty. And that’s because the goal is to win and you get money if you win and I’m good at this. So, I often have great DSTs (sometimes multiple) because I’m a top team and I leave no room for error. 

But sometimes you do have to blow it up or maybe you picked up an orphan team over at MyFFPC.com, so you might not be competing now (if you are a first-time player over there, you can use promo code COOP and they will give you $25 when you deposit $35 or more). In those instances, you really don’t care about winning this year. In fact, it might be in your favor to lose.

Most of my leagues require you to start a full lineup (as they should). But they DON’T require me to roster a kicker and defense during the entire offseason. And it’s still May. There is so much room for speculation. So what I do in that instance is I drop my kicker and/or DST for an additional speculative add. And I use those extra spots to juggle players all through the various camps and practices of the summer. 

Who cares if I lose a good kicker or DST? I’ll just add whoever right before the season starts. But that extra roster spot could be my ticket to finding this year’s Puka Nacua and that is INFINITELY more valuable than any kicker or DST could ever be. Sorry, Linda™