Looking to up your commitment by starting a Dynasty league this year? You're in for a treat. The thrill of building for the long haul can't be matched by a redraft league, where you have the luxury of starting over the following year. No, every move you make in a Dynasty league has stakes.

And never are those stakes higher than in the initial draft, your one and only chance to set the foundation for your team. Whatever happens to it, for as long as the league exists, will trace back to that one event. So get it right or pay the price.

Normally in these drafts, you'll find someone who sells out hard for prospects, content to go on autopilot for a couple years and wait to see if those seeds sprout into something. His complete dismissal of present value can drive up the value of prospects as a whole, making it so established 20-somethings become a market inefficiency. But they form a sturdier foundation than a bunch of hypotheticals, if you ask me, so I'm happy to scoop them up and then pick through the prospect leftovers. There are a lot of quality prospects, after all.

Too firm of a plan can blind you from a better one, though. Turns out the prospect costs were quite reasonable, with nobody overly eager to draft them at the expense of young-ish studs. It allowed me to grab some of the very best (Jordan Walker, Anthony Volpe and Francisco Alvarez in Rounds 6, 7 and 9) even after forming a sturdy nucleus of established players (Juan Soto, Ozzie Albies, Pete Alonso, Shane Bieber and Corey Seager).

Juan Soto
NYY • RF • #22
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The Soto pick is of course what Dynasty dreams are made of (and for a Dynasty points league like this one, he'd be my top overall choice), but the Albies pick was probably my favorite. It was a slight reach for the best Dynasty target at a weak position -- one made even weaker if you downgrade the 30-somethings (in this case, Jose Altuve and Marcus Semien). And it came immediately after I missed out on the last cornerstone third baseman, Austin Riley.

I had to secure myself at one of those two positions. With Walker destined for the outfield, I basically punted at third base, unless one of Volpe or Marcelo Mayer winds up there. Second base could have turned out just as bad.

Naturally, the 30-somethings slipped as we loaded up on longer-term pieces. Freddie Freeman and Mike Trout went in Round 3, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in Round 6, etc. They'll be impactful in the short-term, but once it's over, you'll have nothing to show for them. It doesn't mean they're never worth taking -- I myself capitalized on Jose Abreu in Round 16, Chris Sale in Round 17 and Kenley Jansen in Round 24 -- but I wanted no-brainer value for them. That's hard to define, of course, and depends somewhat on how your build is going. My top 150 dynasty rankings should help, though.

One last note: pitchers on the mend from Tommy John surgery tend to slip through the cracks in these drafts, with Walker Buehler (Round 11) and Shane Baz (Round 15) being the most notable examples for 2023. Drafting them of course means committing a roster spot to them all season, but you'll be thanking yourself come next year. 

Here's who all took part in this draft:

1) Chris Towers, CBS Sports (@CTowersCBS)  
2) Scott White, CBS Sports (@CBSScottWhite
3) Garrett Atkins, Fake Teams (@13atkins13)  
4) Nick Fox, NBC Sports (@CT_FOX)
5) Jake Holland, formerly The Toss Up podcast (@jakebaseball17)
6) Jesse Severe, Dynasty Sports Life (@dynsportslife)
7) Tim Kanak, Fantasy Aceball (@fantasyaceball)
8) Jake Wiener, Prospects1500 (@GatorSosa)
9) Fred Zamorski, lucky reader who got to join in
10) Rhys White, Prospects Live (@RhysBWhite)
11) R.J. White, CBS Sports (@rjwhite1)
12) Daniel Preciado, Six Man Rotation (@DanJPreciado)