A dynasty league is a type of fantasy football where teams keep most of their players from year to year. This differs greatly from how a standard league operates, where everyone drafts a completely new team at the beginning of each season.
To begin a dynasty league, an initial draft and creation of ground rules are necessary. Not all leagues are the same, with some driven by a complete sense of ownership meaning you retain every player on your roster, while others are closer to a keeper league in which only a core group of players are kept.
There are numerous ways to deal with free agency in dynasty leagues, but the most common and similar to that of a real franchise is to assign each team a certain amount of dollars for the season and participate in a blind bidding system. This means that every week an owner can bid any amount of money on a player they would like to pick up, and whoever bids the most wins. The catch is that once you run out of money, you are unable to pick up any more players for the season.
At the beginning of every season, dynasty leagues will hold a miniature draft to add rookies and free agents on to their rosters. This draft can be together or separate for each grouping of players.
The mindset of owners in a dynasty league is what sets the type of play apart. Each franchise must think about their future just as much as their present, since one wrong decision now can make for years of misery.
Trades are much more common in dynasty leagues and teams will often trade draft picks if they want to acquire talent now rather than later. Age and health are also more important factors in dynasty leagues, since retirement and injuries can be huge blows to a roster.