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Building a Legacy: Slow Burn

by Gary Zamarripa

As March sneaks in and spring is peeking around the corner, we turn our attention to some of the fun activities the nice weather affords us. One of my favorite things has always been camping, leaving your daily stresses behind and sitting around a campfire soaking in the outdoors. No cellular service, no internet, no problems. In this latest edition of “Building a Legacy,” we will reflect on the idea of taking it slow.

One of the most important things when camping is building the fire. It will provide warmth, the source to cook your meals and quite frankly, a bit of entertainment. It’s relaxing to sit in front of a fire and just watch the flames dance.

I learned how to make a fire at a young age. Not the pouring lighter fluid over a bunch of wood until it burns type of fire. I mean getting all the essential pieces and starting it with a single match. Granted, both methods work just fine; however, building it from scratch gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Building a fire the slow way can also tie back into how we achieve success in life.  This metaphor has all the essentials of building a fire, related to things in life that help you move forward. Let’s jump in and find out if this makes any sense.

A Slow Build

The most important part of making a fire (besides the match) is gathering kindling. Without the small sticks, twigs and pine needles, we are not going to go far. This is our drive, determination and resolve. If we do not have those things, all of our talent and aptitude will be wasted.

The next step is to surround the kindling with larger sticks and branches. The kindling burns hot and fast, and it is used to catch fire to the slightly larger branches. This is our network of people and contacts in life. Our network is not about who can help us with opportunities. Although it would be nice to be friends with the hiring manager of the company where you dream of working. Our network is about support and encouragement along our journey from friends, family and colleagues.

After our larger sticks and branches begin burning, we are adding smaller logs to the mix. This is our talent, education and experience. What value can we bring to the organization to build them up? This isn’t a one-way street. The organization and the person both need to benefit.

Next up are the big logs, the ones that once they start burning will burn for hours. This is our hard work and effort to make each project or endeavor the very best it can be.

Finally, we need the all-important match. None of this goes anywhere without the spark of flame provided by it. In this case, the match is an opportunity. So we’ve put in the work, built our support structure, learned, experienced and worked hard. We just need the opportunity to shine.

The wildcard here is patience. All of these moving pieces do not happen overnight. It’s a slow process, and we learn and grow through the years and develop ourselves over time.

Dynasty Roster Build

Rather than doing positional rankings that can drastically change after free agency and the draft, I’ll go over basic strategies for building your dynasty rosters.

As mentioned in our fire metaphor, patience is a big part of how I build my dynasty rosters these days. Over the years, I’ve tried different things and more than one can be successful. Here are a few used in my own dynasty fantasy football leagues.

Young Guns

This refers to drafting a super young team. The “no one over 28 years old” manager. This strategy relies on finding guys that are rookies or have been in the league only a couple of years. When this works, you have a team full of young studs with their entire careers ahead of them.

This play is based all on potential. The downside is if the players don’t pan out for one reason or another. Even the most astute talent evaluators are wrong about “sure thing” prospects, and you could be left with nothing for your valuable early-round pick.

Veteran Players

Drafting established veteran talent and supplementing youth through the rookie draft is one of the most mainstream dynasty concepts. This strategy does not shy away from drafting older veterans in start-up drafts. Not to mean only drafting all end-of-career guys either. The preferred targets are the young, proven studs like D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown. This just means players like Julio Jones or Tom Brady provide value at a cheaper cost.

At this point, you use rookie picks to build for the future. The key here is to hold and acquire as many picks as possible. This gives you a win-now team with the possibility of sustaining the team over time.

All Out, Win Now

This strategy does whatever it takes to acquire as many top players as possible without regard for rookie picks or bench depth. This means trading multiple early-round picks to acquire a certain player. The strategy makes sense because you might have lots of top players at each position. The downside here is mostly injury. When a player goes down, there is no one of consequence to fill in for him. All bench depth and picks were surrendered to obtain those players.

A recent example of this strategy backfiring is 2018 Todd Gurley. Gurley was the consensus No. 1-overall pick in dynasty leagues. He had just turned 24 and was coming off a 1800+ rushing/receiving yard and 21 touchdown season.

If a manager went all-in on a proven, young stud running back after the 2018 season, your team would probably be ruined. Gurley had knee issues during the playoffs of that season and hasn’t played at that level since.

A little empathy goes a long way. Try to make someone smile every day with an act of kindness. Find me on Twitter @GaryZam01 to chat about football, music or really anything.

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