With Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell on their team, you knew they were going to be a dominating force for years to come.
Bob Rice and David Rutley are not just long-term Fantasy Football teammates; they are family. The two brothers-in-law started participating in Scout’s Dynasty Football World Championship in 2013, the year of the tournament’s inception, and have been raking in cash ever since.
They call themselves “RSquared” because each of their last names begins with the letter R. Both Rutley and Rice live in Needham, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. David is a management consultant, and Bob is a financial advisor. They did not have much in common until David married Bob’s sister fifteen years ago.
“Since then, we’ve been family,” said Rice.
Every year, the two brothers-in-law head out to Cape Cod and draft a Fantasy Football team. The tradition continues to live on but how did Rutley and Rice get into Fantasy Football in the first place?
“I started in a rotisserie league in about 1995,” said Rice. “The Internet wasn’t around back then so you had to literally open the [paper] and look at the stats every day to see how your team did. It’s a six-person league; we use a spreadsheet, and it’s a really unique kind of rotisserie-based league,” said Rice.
Rutley started a few years later in 1998 or 1999.
As someone who followed FFToolbox.com and many of their writers, Rutley came across an advertisement for the Dynasty Football World Championships in 2013.
Scout’s Dynasty Fantasy Football World Championships format is relatively straightforward. For an annual investment of just $299, Fantasy owners have a shot to win thousands of dollars in prizes. With $2,400 in prizes awarded back to each league, the investment is surely worth the fun and excitement. Owners will compete in their 12-team league through a 13-week regular season. The team with the best record and the team with the most points will be rewarded with $250 at that time. Then, the top four teams (best record, most points, next best record, next best points) will advance to both the league playoffs and the Championship Round where large cash prizes are awarded. Teams compete in a points shootout over the final three weeks with their average weekly score from Weeks 1-13 added. Following the three-week points shootout, one skilled Dynasty owner wins the Dynasty Football World Championship and a grand prize of $10,000! A $2,000 DYNASTY KING bonus is awarded for the most points over a three-year period.
“I was drawn to the DFWC because it was a higher-stakes Dynasty format,” said Rutley. “I thought that was what was different and really interesting than a lot of the other leagues that are already out there.”
The two brothers-in-law didn’t sign up for the DFWC together. It was a bit more spontaneous than that. When Rutley had the No. 4 pick in the startup draft, he gave Rice a call to get some insight.
“I got to my first pick and immediately called Bob,” said Rutley. “He gave me his advice and offered to jump in with me, and I was like ‘yeah, let’s do it.’”
Although they ultimately traded out of that No. 4 pick and ended up with Arian Foster with the No. 5 pick, Rice and Rutley hit the jackpot on two Pittsburgh Steelers later in the draft. I don’t think anyone knew how much value they were truly getting when they drafted RB Le’Veon Bell with the No. 45 pick and WR Antonio Brown with the No. 63 pick. The same year that Trent Richardson went third, C.J. Spiller went seventh, and Ray Rice went tenth, “RSquared” was able to form a great core squad. Now, they arguably own the top running back and wide receiver in all of Fantasy Football!
“I think picking Bell and Brown were the best moves we’ve made over the past three years,” said Rice. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”
Neither Rutley nor Rice are professional Fantasy Football players. They love the game of football and watch more than their wives probably like, but they don’t have any crazy algorithms or in-depth cheat sheets when preparing for a draft. While they’ll often target certain players, they try to stay away from a hardcore, set strategy when drafting.
“It just boxes you in, and you end up getting upset when it doesn’t pan out the way you want it to,” said Rutley. “We try to stay pretty flexible and don’t overthink what we’re trying to do, whether that be in the draft or in free agency… Our strategy is win now and win for the next three years. There’s a three-year prize, and you should go after it.”
Though “RSquared” didn’t hit on every single pick, they were also able to scoop up Tom Brady at quarterback and scored on TE Antonio Gates very late in the draft. Their core group of players led them to a strong first year in the Dynasty Football World Championship and a few years later to the first Dynasty Kings award!
Check out the team they drafted in 2013, their inaugural year:
- 1.05 RB Arian Foster
- 2.06 WR Brandon Marshall
- 3.07 RB DeMarco Murray
- 4.09 RB Le’Veon Bell
- 5.12 QB Tom Brady
- 6.03 WR Antonio Brown
- 6.08 WR Marques Colston
- 8.09 WR Miles Austin
- 9.04 RB Rashard Mendenhall
- 10.09 WR Lance Moore
- 11.04 TE Jermichael Finley
- 12.09 QB Sam Bradford
- 13.04 TE Brandon Myers
- 14.09 RB Ryan Williams
- 15.04 WR A.J. Jenkins
- 16.09 WR Terrance Williams
- 17.01 RB Jonathan Dwyer
- 17.04 TE Antonio Gates
- 18.09 QB Geno Smith
- 20.01 D/ST Chicago Bears
As you can see, many of their later picks are not even Fantasy relevant anymore, but they knew they could rectify the situation because once you draft your team, the work is not over. You still get to make trades and add players through blind bidding. And of course, there is the rookie draft every season.
“I’m a bit more player-based whereas Dave is more trade/opportunistic-based,” said Rice. “Dave has been phenomenal at trading players and draft picks for depth. He’s made some great moves and really connected with the people in our league.”
Rutley and Rice are not big on acquiring draft picks. Instead, they are of the mindset to trade those picks for proven veterans. And when you think about it, it makes sense. Why trade a guy like Anquan Boldin, who has shown that he can be quite good, for a rookie who may be a total bust? With great risks come great rewards.
During the first year, “RSquared” pulled off eleven trades overall—six before the draft started and five following the draft. The five involving players were as follows:
10/03/13: Swapped Brandon Myers and a 2014 Round 1 Pick for Reggie Wayne and a 2014 Round 3 Pick
11/13/13: Swapped a 2014 Round 4 Pick for Anquan Boldin
11/23/13: Swapped Rashard Mendenhall for Shaun Suisham
11/27/13: Swapped Shaun Suisham and a 2014 Round 3 Pick for Steve Smith
11/29/13: Swapped Terrance Williams and a 2014 Round 2 Pick for Vernon Davis
Though their first six picks in the startup draft were golden, Rutley and Rice are the first to admit that they struck out on most of their other picks outside of San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates. Nonetheless, through free agency and trading, they were able to acquire a very solid team. They finished the inaugural season tied with the best record in their individual league (won the tiebreaker) and scored the most Fantasy points overall. In their individual league playoffs, they finished in second place and in the Championship Round, they finished tenth out of 144 teams. So after Year 1, they turned $299 into $900. Not bad for their first snap. However, the best was yet to come.
After losing the first head-to-head matchup of the following season, “RSquared” won twelve straight to finish with a 12-1 record, securing the best record, the most points, and the league title. They made some tremendous blind bidding moves, acquiring Tony Romo, LeGarrette Blount, Alfred Blue to back up Arian Foster and many more. Since their team was already very stable, they barely needed to make any trades in their second season of the DFWC. Amazingly, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and DeMarco Murray were the top three non-quarterbacks in Fantasy Football that year. Meanwhile, Arian Foster averaged the ninth-most FPPG in the 13 games he was healthy enough to suit up. Let’s take a look at their starting lineup.
- QB Tom Brady
- RB Le’Veon Bell
- RB DeMarco Murray
- WR Antonio Brown
- WR Brandon Marshall
- WR Steve Smith
- FLEX Arian Foster
- FLEX Anquan Boldin
- TE Antonio Gates
- PK Cody Parkey
- D/ST St. Louis Rams
Rutley and Rice made just two small trades that season, one for Roddy White and another where they swapped Mark Sanchez for a 2015 Round 3 Pick. White went on to average 15.3 FPPG that season so giving up the Vikings D/ST, and two 2015 Picks turned out to be a solid move despite White’s lack of relevance the following season.
“RSquared” headed into 2014’s Championship Round in second place and moved into first with just one week remaining in the playoffs. In that final week, Jason Jenks and Henry Muto’s “Iguanas” overtook them. Still, a second place outing netted them an extra $1,500! Although they didn’t win the $10,000 Championship prize, Rutley and Rice knew that if they had a great third season, they could become Scout’s first ever Dynasty Kings.
On May 11 of 2015, Rutley and Rice completed their best trade to date. They swapped Cole Beasley and four future draft picks for Larry Fitzgerald, Keenan Allen, and two future draft picks. Had they not completed this trade, we could be looking at different Dynasty Kings. Although Allen got hurt this past season, he averaged the sixth-most FPPG at WR while healthy, and Fitzgerald finished the season with the seventh-most points at his position.
“This is a place where we zig where everyone else zags,” said Rutley. “In Dynasty leagues, people are so focused on youth that they really start overvaluing those players to the extent where they miss out on a lot of value in other places. We acquire veterans that are in the last three years of their career who are still performing at a high level, and we get them for almost nothing. A fourth or fifth-round pick is essentially nothing. So to be able to get an Anquan Boldin for someone who is not going to even make our roster, it’s a huge differentiator that is going to give us more points. So while other people kind of devalue those veterans, we place a higher premium on them.”
And to further underscore their tendency to acquire veterans, “RSquared” selected Pittsburgh Steelers backup RB DeAngelo Williams in the 2015 Rookie Draft. Having Le’Veon Bell’s handcuff proved to be a pivotal move for Rutley and Rice, as the late-round gem surprised the Fantasy world, finishing the season with the fourth-most points at his position!
“A lot of people say let me acquire a lot of long-term assets and I’m going to dominate the future, but that’s not promised to anyone,” said Rutley.
Another critical point in the duo’s success was that they paid just a few blind bidding dollars for Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin. This was obviously their best pickup of the season and one that was much needed after losing Arian Foster, Le’Veon Bell, Keenan Allen and Tony Romo to various injuries for the season. Baldwin finished with the tenth-most FPPG at his position, and most of those points came after “RSquared” added him to the squad. However, Baldwin wasn’t the only nice pickup of Year 3. Rutley and Rice also added Bilal Powell and Tim Hightower, whom each had a few outstanding games towards the end of the season.
When all was said and done, “RSquared” finished yet again with the best record in their league (10-3) and the most Fantasy points. However, they fell just short of the overall championship again, ending the season in seventh place.
Though they were unable to win the $10,000 grand prize, there was still a $2,000 Dynasty Kings prize to be awarded to the team that accumulated the most Fantasy points over the previous three years.
Amazingly, the race for Dynasty King was just about as close as it could get. Rice and Rutley were able to pull out the victory by just 6.8 Fantasy points! Though “RSquared” has never won the Dynasty Football World Championships, they have won plenty of money over the past three years. Every single season, they finished within the top ten teams and turned their initial $299 investment into $8,650!
“It was just a big yes!” said Rutley after finding out they would be crowned Scout’s first Dynasty Kings. “One of the things we’ve always been very interested in is the fact that there is this three-year rolling prize. It really does differentiate Scout Fantasy from all the other Dynasty leagues in the industry. And that’s the true test of Dynasty ability, not just winning one year, it’s how do you build that sustained excellence over the course of several years. So to be able to beat everyone else who competed since Year 1 was awesome. It definitely felt great and like all the hard work was validated. It was just awesome, very exciting.”
At the end of their third season in the DFWC, the team looked like this:
QB: Tom Brady, Tony Romo, and A.J. McCarron
RB: Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster, Danny Woodhead, DeAngelo Williams, Tim Hightower, DeMarco Murray, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris and Bryce Brown
WR: Antonio Brown, Brandon Marshall, Keenan Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin, and Anquan Boldin
TE: Antonio Gates and Zach Ertz
K: Mike Nugent
DEF: Houston Texans
However, that was their team before they pulled off their biggest trade to date. Just one day before I interviewed Rice and Rutley, “RSquared” acquired Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson for a first, third and fifth round pick in 2016. If that type of trade doesn’t show you their philosophy, I don’t know what does!
Being a Fantasy Football owner is no easy task. An entirely new dynamic is added to the equation when two people partner up and own a team. There can be resentment; one owner may want to trade a guy the other owner likes, there can be blame when one owner makes a costly mistake and so on. However, the fact that Rutley and Rice are “brothers” most definitely helps in this type of situation. Rice and Rutley have developed a chemistry and respect for one another that is not much different from a coach and his staff. Their trust is unbreakable, and their collective focus on the task at hand allows them to coexist as two tremendous Fantasy owners. However, agreeing on every decision would be impossible.
“When deciding who to start, it’s usually more of a conversation,” said Rice. “A good example last season was at the wide receiver position where we had to pick two guys between Doug Baldwin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin. It was one of the last weeks of the season when Baldwin had just started to peak so what we did is picked one guy to decide on. We picked Baldwin together, who ended up going bananas and having three touchdowns. Then we discussed the matchups for Boldin and Fitzgerald and decided to go with Boldin, who caught like one pass for eight yards. But it was more of a conversation in that situation because it was a time where neither of us felt really strongly about playing one or the other. We’ve also had a lot of situations at tight end where we’ve flipped a coin when we had no clue which one to start.”
“It’s pretty funny that we flip coins,” added Rutley. “We’re pretty successful, and we flip coins. But we flip coins when we’ve narrowed it down to two guys, both of them seem like good starts and neither one of us have a strong opinion about either player.”
Then there are the times when one owner is very passionate about starting a certain player while the other owner would rather start someone else. This past Thanksgiving, Rice was adamant about starting Tony Romo against the Detroit Lions despite Rutley’s instinct to start Tom Brady against the Jets. But because Rice was so passionate about Romo, Rutley agreed to plug him into their roster.
“Of course, Romo threw for like 10 yards and got hurt, and we had to spend the rest of our Thanksgiving dinner together,” said Rice. “When that happens, it’s not like Dave was upset with me; I felt guilty and was more disappointed because I let down my brother and teammate.”
Co-managing a Fantasy Football team provides its ups and downs, but Rice and Rutley have managed to make the correct decision most of the time. And for the most part, it’s by communicating their opinions to each other in a calm and collected manner. Then again, flipping a coin can work too.
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As players from the inaugural season, Rice and Rutley had plenty to say about the changes in the DFWC.
“The enhancements to the website, the way the blind bidding works, those are the biggest material changes and they are great,” said Rutley. “I think Scout has done a good job creating something that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.”
“And Scott [Atkins, General Manager of Scout Fantasy] has done a really great job at keeping the integrity of the league where it should be,” added Rice.
Rutley and Rice built a team three years ago that scored more points than any of the other 144 original Dynasty teams. However, it will be much harder to repeat the task as there are now more than 500 teams in the DFWC.
If you want in on a startup Dynasty team, you still have plenty of time to sign up! The 2016 Schedule will be released soon. These are slow drafts with a 12-hour clock. For an annual investment of just $299, Fantasy owners have a shot to win thousands of dollars in prizes. With $2,400 in prizes awarded back to each league, the investment is surely worth the fun and excitement. And at the end of the season, one skilled Fantasy owner will win $10,000 and be crowned the fourth annual Dynasty Football World Champion!
Right now, there are many “orphan” teams available. This means someone from last year’s Dynasty Football World Championship quit their league and their team is now available to a new owner. All you have to do is be the first to claim it and put down your $100 deposit.
“In competition, typically you are playing against someone,” said Rice. “The big difference in Dynasty leagues is that you have this group of men and women who you are going to be hanging out with for years to come. So you really have to temper your reactions to be more present… Treat it more like a big family as opposed to a bunch of competitors.”
There is a difference between redraft and Dynasty leagues, but one of the reasons Dynasty leagues are so great is because of the difficult long-term task of building a championship caliber team. It makes victory that much sweeter. Rutley says that if you are going to jump into the pool of Dynasty Football, it is critical to invest time in understanding the length of players’ careers, the success rate of rookies and educating yourself on all things Dynasty. One way to do that is by looking at Scout’s Dynasty Fantasy Football section!
“Don’t be afraid of jumping from your home league to the DFWC,” said Rutley. “It’s also just a bunch of guys and gals that used to play in home leagues too. I don’t think there is any extra level of sophistication, so if someone is interested, I think you should jump in and do it… You’ve got all these guys playing Daily Fantasy Sports now, but Dynasty is the polar opposite because of the commitment. So lastly, I would just say be ready for that required commitment.”