What is a taxi squad in fantasy football?

As a crucial element of dynasty leagues, taxi squads add a layer of fantasy football that standard re-draft leagues do not have
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For die-hard fantasy football players, dynasty leagues offer a deeper option with elements that traditional re-draft leagues do not have. One of those extra factors is the concept of a taxi squad.

A taxi squad sounds confusing but is a relatively simple concept to comprehend. Dynasty managers mimic the role of a real-life NFL general manager in a fantasy football setting and a taxi squad is similar to the notion of owning a player's draft rights.

While taxi squads are not a part of an official fantasy roster, they are a part of the team. Consider them modified versions of an NFL practice squad or the IR slot. Neither are active members of a team's roster but are connected to the organization and not considered free agents.

In most cases, the players put on a taxi squad will not pan out. However, in others, they can be a potential league winner.

What is a taxi squad?

Rules with taxi squads can vary per league, but their general concept is to allow managers to stash young talent for potential future gain. These spots are similar to IR positions in that they do not count toward the roster limit but can be used on any player, not just those injured.

Imagine being a dynasty fantasy manager in 2000 evaluating Tom Brady as a rookie. He surely would not have been considered in the fantasy draft but what if you put him on your taxi squad?

Players held in a manager's taxi squad are not a part of their official team, much like practice squad members in the NFL. Some leagues allow managers to promote taxi squad players to their full roster in season but others prohibit that action, only allowing users to make that move in the offseason.

While taxi squads are traditionally used on rookies, they do not have to be. They do not have to be used on active NFL players either, as a manager could use a spot to hold onto a suspended player or free agent if they believe that move will pay off in future seasons.

Taxi squad player example

A total of 257 rookies were selected in the 2024 NFL Draft but once fantasy drafts roll around in the fall, no more than 50 will be picked by fantasy managers. However, while some may not warrant a roster spot, their talent could be worth investing in for a potential payoff down the line.

Consider Patriots rookie quarterback Joe Milton. In the short-term, he does not have much of a path to fantasy relevance in 2024, considering he is listed as the fourth-string quarterback behind two veterans and the no. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Drake Maye.

However, Milton is a former five-star prospect with elite size ranked above players like Will Levis, Zach Wilson and Michael Penix Jr. The chances of Milton succeeding in the NFL are slim but if his talent prevails, less-gifted players have carved out decent careers in the league.

Overall, taxi squad players do not typically affect the fantasy game. Smart managers consistently utilize this position but will find themselves exchanging the players in their spots more than activating them to their roster.

Playing the taxi squad game is often a dart throw but without any risk, the potential reward makes it an exciting segment of dynasty league football.