Some input from a bush league Commissioner here. We are a pretty low intensity league about having a good time and a nice fall distraction rather than obsession. Feedback from our league is that we do a pretty good job straddling that line.
TL;DR - we have 2 keepers and do a serpentine draft using reverse order of the prior years standings with a slight twist.
# Roster size is 18 players. With a roster size of 18, it is expected that 1 or 2 young players will be included on each team's roster during the season to develop into keepers.
# Each team can keep from 0 to 2 players out of their final 18 man roster at the end of the previous season.
# Players drafted in rounds 1 - 3 cannot be keepers.
- Example : You draft D. McFadded, RB OAK in round 5 in 2008. You decide to keep him. In 2009, he becomes your 3rd round draft pick (you give up a 3rd rounder). In 2010, because his draft status was round 3 in the previous year, he is no longer eligible for keeper status and is returned to the draft pool.
# Players can be kept a maximum of 3 times.
- For example, you can draft a player in 2008, and then keep them for the next 3 years: 2009, 2010, 2011. In 2012, this player must go back into the draft pool of players.
- Please see this spreadsheet which tracks all keepers each season: [REDACTED]
# For each player you keep, you must give up a draft pick 2 rounds higher than the player's draft position the year before.
- If you keep an undrafted players (UDP) from the previous year, you must give up your 16th round pick.
- Players that were drafted and then cut still maintain their draft status.
- If you do not have a draft pick for the correct round to give up to keep a player, you must give up the next higher draft pick.
# Draft position is based on the order in which you finish. Note: The better your team does during the consolation bracket, the better your draft pick. Consolation bracket winner gets 1st pick next year. This rule encourages teams to try to keep winning. I don't like leagues where teams try to lose the last few weeks. (see Draft Order)
# Keeper Status follows the traded player.
- When trading players, the players draft status (position) and keeper status (years he can be kept) is traded with the player.