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Starting a keeper league, want some input.

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Starting a keeper league, want some input.

Postby MadScott » Mon May 30, 2005 7:31 pm

One of the leagues that I'm in is switching over to a keeper style this season. We really haven't set the parameters as far as # of keepers, if only certain rounds qualify for keepers, x amount of keepers per position, etc... Just wanted to see what parameters that those of you with leagues like this have set.

Also, since this is going to be my first keeper league, any suggestions on how to draft? I guess some of it is rule dependent but do you find yourself taking more fliers on guys than in a redraft?
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Postby GMoney » Mon May 30, 2005 9:54 pm

Ok first thing first.

My keeper league keeps any 3 players they like PLUS 1 rookie/2nd year player as an additional keeper.

Some leagues like to penalise you by missing the round that the guy you kept was drated the year before, etc. These rules arent very good in my mind.

My keeper league also gives owner the OPTION of keeping ANOTHER rookie/2nd year player, however if they choose to do so they will forfeight their 3rd round selection in the next years draft.

This has turned out to be a GREAT option. About half of the teams choose this option and it worked out well for some and terrible for others.

For example this option was exercised on the following players: KWII, Onterrio Smith, Michael Clayton, Tatum Bell, and Antonio Gates. As you can see some of these werent worth the pick but some were/should be.

Players who were drafted in the 3rd round of our draft are: Isaac Bruce, Drew Bennett, Todd Heap, Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Smith, Moose Muhammad, and Stephen Davis.

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Now. as far as drafting strategy goes. I dont think the list changes all that much. Generally your 1st 3 rounds will be kept so you still want elite players over young players. Really old guys get knocked down a bit, and really young guys move up a bit... but overall the lists look pretty similar.

Priest moves down for example, and kevin jones, and stephen jackson move up.... but priest is still a 1st round selection.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Tue May 31, 2005 10:56 am

MS - If starting a 1st yr keeper, I would absolutely have some kind of incentive based criteria in place for your keepers. The most common way is to make the owners use the pick of the rd their keeper was originally drafted as incentive. For instance - If you drafted Portis in the 7th rd in 2003, then you would have to gibve up your 7th rd pick for 2004 if you want to keep him. It makes strategy in determining your keepers much more interesting than just keeping your best 3 players.
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Postby Kensat30 » Tue May 31, 2005 11:06 am

Keeper leagues that keep 5 or less are really no different than redraft. You start off the draft with the same type of players that you normally would in a redraft, guys to win in the present year. The main difference is that you then maybe jump on a couple backups with upside early so you have additional choices for your keepers. Guys that gambled on Mcgahee and Steven Jackson last year for instance were rewarded this year.

Maybe this year that means drafting Shelton in the 7th round, or Ricky Williams in the 8th round, something like that once you have your starters in place.
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Overall I think keeper leagues help the guys that finish below the pack improve the next year and at the same time reward the teams that finish above the pack. Winning teams usually have a strong core of keepers that will give them a slight advantage for a couples of years or more. The worst teams should get the earliest picks, giving them the advantage of the best of the unkept players and rookies.

Keeper leagues are better for advanced players IMO because new players can be totally screwed year after year if their keepers are bad and they can't identify the "gimme" players in early first round in the following draft.
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If you want to further balance the league you can do optional keepers where you lose 1 pick in the draft for each player you keep. So the worst teams without adequate keepers can simply go back into the draft each year and have a couple picks before everyone else and draft the best of the non-keepers. Keep 5 players and you don't get to pick until the 6th round, keep 3 players and your first pick is in the 4th round, etc.

This setup adds strategy due to the fact that some teams will have keeper worthy players that they elect to drop for a chance at an earlier pick. It makes for really interesting drafts if the keeper declaration is immediately prior to the draft... In one of my keepers league setup like this we had a year where something like 3 teams choose to keep no players on the chance that they would land a coveted player before anyone else drafted.
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I would NOT recommend putting incentives on keepers, where if you keep a guy in the 10th round then that team forfeits their 8th-10th round pick the following year. If you want an advantage for teams that draft well, just increase the amount of keepers in your league.

There is no point in handicapping some teams just because they kept their early round studs while another team lucked out into 3 late round or waiver wire studs. Teams that grab more keeper worthy players later in the draft have more choices at who they want to keep anyways. Late round keepers give you flexibility and having your choice of keepers is a built in advantage.

If you really want a league that rewards speculation on players, make the league keep so many players that you keep your entire starting lineup or even your entire roster. The more players you keep, the more you reward owners on their speculation. Sometimes team will forfeit even a chance of winning in the present year so that they can compete 2 or 3 years down the road.

I would recommend high limit keeper leagues for only the most advanced players. Beginners or casual owners who see that their roster is poor for a 2 or 3 year period may want to quit the league rather than trying to rebuild their team through trades and the limited drafts.
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Postby Plindsey88 » Tue May 31, 2005 2:18 pm

One of my local money leagues allows everyone to keep up to three veterans and two rookies, although you do not have to keep any players, or you can keep just a couple, or even just your rookies....

We do a seperate 2 round rookie draft every year to be sure each team has the opportunity to have at least 2 rookies on his squad....

Keepable players are only players drafted after the second round... This keeps the studs in the draft every year...

For each player you keep you give up picks according to the following chart:

1 veteran - give up your 3rd pick of the draft...
2 veterans - give up your 3rd and 4th...
3 veterans - give up your 3rd, 4th, and 5th...
1 rookie - give up your 6th...
2 rookies - give up your 6th and 7th...


This adds a whole lot of strategy to deciding who you should keep every year....
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Postby MadScott » Tue May 31, 2005 3:33 pm

Guys, this is all rock solid stuff so far.

Plindsey, I'm a bit confused by your chart. If I understand correctly, for instance if I was to keep 2 veterans, I would still have a first and second round pick but no 3rd and 4th rounder though correct? Everyone would still draft in the first 2 rounds regardless right?

Kensat, I really like the middle idea that you had there where the # of keepers is optional and the more you keep, the further down the draft you go. Seems like it would greatly help balance things out.

Question for you all, is it necessary or advisable to have a rookie only draft? This league is going to be a 10 teamer, so how many rounds would be a good number if it is advisable?
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Postby Flockers » Tue May 31, 2005 3:49 pm

Make sure everyone in the league is going to be committed and no one will flake out... :-o
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Postby Plindsey88 » Tue May 31, 2005 3:54 pm

MadScott wrote:Plindsey, I'm a bit confused by your chart. If I understand correctly, for instance if I was to keep 2 veterans, I would still have a first and second round pick but no 3rd and 4th rounder though correct? Everyone would still draft in the first 2 rounds regardless right?




Yes, everyone gets to make their first and second picks because players drafted in those two rounds are not keepable.... But if you were to keep 2 veterans, then you lose your 3rd and 4th picks, which are not necessarily always picks in the 3rd and 4th rounds, as we also allow people to trade draft picks.... So sometimes a guy will have 2 picks in the first round (because of trades he made) and two picks in the second round.... In that case, if he kept two veterans, then he would get to make his two picks in the first, but lose his two picks in the second (because they were his 3rd and 4th picks)....


Does that make sense?
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Postby MadScott » Tue May 31, 2005 4:25 pm

I got you now Plindsey. But you guys can keep a vet drafted in any round correct?
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Postby Plindsey88 » Tue May 31, 2005 5:27 pm

MadScott wrote:I got you now Plindsey. But you guys can keep a vet drafted in any round correct?



You cannot keep anyone drafted in the first two rounds.... This keeps the uber-studs from being kept by a single team their entire career.... It also adds strategy for the guys who pick late in the second, because you can pass on a guy in the second round, and hope to pick him up in the early third which will make him keepable... For example, last year Daunte Culpepper dropped into the early third round because the guys that picked late in the second passed on him hoping to pick him up early in the third... The guy with 2.10 and 3.01 picked him up with his 3.01 pick, which means he gets to keep him this year....

The guys which are not keepable for the '05 draft are:

LT2, Priest, SA, Ahman, Deuce, Portis, Edge, Jamal, Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Dom Davis, Fred Taylor, Rudi Johnson, Kevan Barlow, Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison, Peyton Manning, Michael Bennett, Brian Westbrook, Stephen Davis...

Any other vets you want to keep costs you your 3rd pick for one, your 3rd and 4th for two, or your 3rd, 4th, and 5th for three...

Rookies cost you your 6th pick for one or your 6th and 7th for two....


This adds a lot of elements of strategy to the game.... For example, one guy has Steve Smith and Reggie Wayne... Now, he might think twice about giving up his 3rd pick to keep either of these guys because his 3rd is 3.01, and odds are, neither of these guys is really worth that.... But, his 4th pick is 4.10, and both of those guys are worth WAY more then 4.10 in our league.... So, he's going to end up giving up 3.01 and 4.10 to keep Steve Smith and Reggie Wayne.... Which is a good move on his part....

Additionally, he's going to end up keeping Larry Fitzgerald, which costs him his 6th round pick (6.10)....

So his keepers are:

Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, and Larry Fitz.... His draft picks are 1.01, 2.10, 5.01, 7.01, 8.10, 9.01, etc....

So, chances are he'll end up with something like:

LT2, LaMont Jordan, Wayne, Smith, Fitz, and have the 5.01 to grab the best available QB... (C-Pepp, McNabb, Bulger, Green, Delhomme, and Vick are being kept)

So, automatically this guy goes from finishing last place last year to being a real contender this year.....
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