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First Keeper


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Ive been running fantasy leagues for years now but this year im starting out first keeper league. Just kind of curious of what everyone suggests on how many players to keep and for how many years? Ive heard everywhere from 2-4. Some people didnt want 4 though because they said it will take all the fun out of the draft being that everyone pretty much starts drafting in the 5th round. Just wanted some more opinions thanks!!

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I do one where the first 3 rounds of the draft are in opposite order of finish from the previous year (not serpentine) and you can keep up to 3 players. We declare our players all at once, directly before the draft so that nobody knows who's keeping who. Keep 1 lose your first round pick, 2 first 2, 3 first 3. Then we draw for draft positions after that and serpentine.

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There are thousands of options.


Number of keepers - fixed number or variable

Length of time - restricted or unlimited

Cost to keep - no cost or draft pick forfeiture, and if forfeiture, what cost.. same round as previous year, x number of rounds higher, first keeper is first round pick, etc.

Positional limits - keep any players or limit how many per position


You could easily do a league that is 2-4 keepers, keepers cost a pick 2 rounds higher than they were drafted, no limit on how long a player can be kept (other than draft pick restrictions of course), no limit to the number of players per position.


Or you could do a fixed set of 3 keepers, can't be kept more than 3 years, no cost to keep and no more than one player per position.


Like I said, thousands of options.



IMO, regarding draft order, with a small number of keepers, a serpentine draft is still called for, though I have run leagues before when we were at 6 keepers (of a 20 man roster) where we had the first 3 rounds NFL style in reverse order of standings from the previous year (though we lotteried the top 3 picks to the bottom 3 teams to help prevent any potential tanking) and then serpentine from there on out.


The greater the number of keepers, the more an NFL style draft is called for as you are preserving more of the team from the previous season, which in theory means the stronger teams are staying strong, whereas with a low number of keepers (like 1 or 2), you are preserving very little of the team from the previous season so the previous season's results should have minimal impact on the current season (I go so far as to say that with just 1 or 2 keepers, the draft order should be random and not based on the previous year's finish)


Hope this helps.

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i'm in a league that actually has 8 keepers.

it definitely reduces the significance of the draft (only 1st round picks are of a lot of value....you can get the rookie RBs, WRs and maybe QBs).

but it makes the rest of the year enjoyable because people are always looking to make trades for this year or for the future. if a guy's team is showing poorly by mid-season, he's looking to pick up high draft picks and/or young players for his veterans.


i like it because you always have one eye on this season and one eye on the future.

Edited by rebdog
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I'm going on 6 years in a local keeper league. We allow 0-3 keepers a year, and each keeper has a max life of 3 years. Before each draft, anyone who doesn't keep 3 enters a 'prelim' draft to get all owners to 3 keepers before we start our regular draft. It allows for rebuilding quickly if you keep no one, and it still keeps things interesting as far as young big prospects in the early rounds (especially young RB's).

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I'm in a league that has 2 keepers, that can only be held 1 year. Last year I kept M. Lynch and Tony Romo, so I cannot hold them this year.

I'm most likely holding Fitzgerald and Chris Johnson this year, which means those 2 players can't be held by me or any other team next year.


It makes it more interesting and it also sets up more trade options. People out of the playoff with bad keeper options (next year) might trade you a stud that he kept last year for a very good potential keeper (you get the stud for the playoffs - they get a strong keeper).


1 Year I think works best because someone like LT or Emmitt Smith will not be taken off the market for 4 years, he'd be available every other year basically.

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