Throughout my years of playing dynasty, I’ve tried to find the best strategy for taxi squads. Through a lot of trial and error, I think I have found the best solution. I’ll describe the top three strategies I’ve explored, and finally give you my preferred option.
what is a taxi gang?
a taxi squad is the dynasty version of an nfl practice squad. taxi squads give you time for rookies to develop without taking up space on your active roster. Taxi squads are generally reserved for rookies, with a maximum time in the taxi squad of two to three years.
however, players placed on your taxi squad cannot contribute to your starting roster unless you choose to promote them to the active roster. once a rookie has been promoted to the active roster, he cannot return to the taxi team.
Once you’ve promoted a rookie, you’ll need to remove a player from your roster to make room for the incoming rookie.
These are the basics of the taxi squad, so let’s dive deeper and discuss the best strategy.
The first strategy to consider when approaching your taxi squad is to load up on tight ends. this option is best used when you have no picks in a rookie draft. most rookie drafts will only see a handful of tight ends, allowing talented players to go undrafted.
Tight ends will rarely be relevant to fantasy in their rookie season, making them a perfect candidate for the taxi squad. however, truly elite tight ends typically break in their second year. if it hasn’t happened by then, they probably aren’t a top tight end. examples include:
- george kittle
- rob gronkowski
- kyle pitts
- mark andrews
- travis kelce
- darren waller (single case)
I like to include as many athletic tight ends as possible and put them in my taxi squad. let those players develop on your roster for 2-3 years and pray to tony gonzalez that one of them breaks out. I don’t normally use this strategy because I tend to clear the tight end position, but if you don’t have any better options, it’s a decent solution.
last round flyers:
These are the players you pick in the fourth round or out of waivers after the rookie draft. It usually ends up being a player who had some hype leading up to the NFL draft and ended up plummeting when he was drafted later than expected (or not at all). this strategy generally applies to quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. this is the strategy i used when i started dynasty leagues, because it made the most sense to me.
nfl teams put players on the practice squad who will need time to develop and don’t need immediate input. however, for dynasty, this strategy doesn’t make sense and I’ve moved away from it. for example, the draft community was excited about tyler johnson (wr, tampa bay) as a prospect in 2020. many thought he would go earlier than the nfl draft, but he finished in the fifth round. then the community was able to paint the narrative that he is on a roster trying to win a championship with mike evans and chris godwin in front of him. That meant Tom Brady wouldn’t use him as a rookie, but after that, he’d get a chance at him.
2022 is Johnson’s third season, and his best year statistically was 36 receptions, 360 yards, and 0 touchdowns. according to keeptradecut, johnson is currently the wr111 behind jauan jennings. If he had kept Johnson for 3 years, he would have wasted a spot on the WR111 roster when he could have been on someone else’s roster.
That brings us to the final taxi squad strategy and my personal favourite. I put my highly selected rookie quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends on the cab squad. the reason for this is that you shouldn’t draft a rookie (other than a running back) with the expectation that he’ll immediately produce for your team. this strategy applies to rebuilders, pretenders, and contenders.
you don’t need production in your active list. you should put your best rookies (qb/wr/te) on the taxi squad to allow yourself more roster space to beat the waiver wire and take your chances with the flyers. these flyers give you the chance to trade players for profit or keep them if you find a diamond in the rough. if you had a highly recruited rookie on your active roster, you’re burning a spot that could be used for another flyer.
If you recruit a rookie (qb/wr/te) and you think that’s the last piece of your roster to be a contender, you’re not a contender. he needs to have a realistic perspective on his team and understand that the rookie he just drafted probably won’t break records in his first season. put them in your taxi squad and if they start to come out, great, move them to your active roster and bet on the championship.
Your team is in the top four of the league. You have no need to move a rookie into your starting lineup since your roster is good enough to win without them. put that rookie in your taxi squad to allow more room for veteran players to fill in for injuries and bye weeks.
The last reason I like to use this strategy is that it adds safety in the event of an injury. If my top rookie gets injured in the middle of the season, it doesn’t matter because they can sit on my cab crew until next season when they’re fully recovered.
If you don’t put your highly recruited rookies in your taxi squad, you’re doing your dynasty roster a disservice.
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