Keeper League Rant

Excuse me for a moment while I rant here…

Of all the topics I see newcomers asking about in this forum, it seems to me that round-based keeper leagues, where your keepers get assigned a round value for being kept, seems to be the most common of questions here. “Should I keep X player for a Y round value pick?”

A few decades ago, I was in a simple keeper league: You kept 2 players, period. There was little question about who to keep, as you knew who your two best players were. Since then, somebody came up with the bright idea that assigning draft round values to players based on a strict criteria would make things somehow more fair. I would compare this to the IRS code, where they dazzle you with volumes of fairness rules, while the rich continue to pay little and the middle class shoulders the biggest part of the burden. In the immortal words of “God Bless the Child”:

“Them that’s got shall have
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news”

You can dress up a keeper league any way you like, but assigning round values to your keepers doesn’t make things any more fair. All it does is dazzle people with values they don’t understand, while the wolves with talent walk away with all the best players every year. I am amazed these leagues continue to exist, even though most of the players don’t seem to understand them.

Rule of life, and fantasy football: When you have garbage, throw it away! I don’t care if it’s costing you a 27th round pick! If it won’t help you win a league, which is your purpose here, why keep it? I will happily dig for diamonds in the rocks of the 20th round, rather than keep losers.

By the way, don’t be afraid to go against ECR or ADP. As I’m sure most of your mothers once said, “If everyone else jumped off a building, would you do it too?” Most importantly, DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE WRONG! It is our mistakes that teach us. Thomas Edison said it best:

“I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed 3,000 different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently likely to be true. Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory.”

Mind you, I am not suggesting you need 3000 fantasy leagues to succeed. I am suggesting you need to allow for being wrong sometimes, especially when nobody can see it coming. Nobody predicted Kurt Warner could win a Super Bowl in his first season as a starter, but he did. Back to Thomas Edison:

" Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Honestly, I am certain most of you know what you need to do. Asking advice is not a bad thing, and I would never suggest otherwise. It is always good to have input. Even I ask for it when I am borderline on a decision. But ultimately, any decision must be your own. Take all advice and weigh it, but use your best judgement. When your best judgement isn’t good enough, re-evaluate how you make decisions, and then go back for more! This is how we get better as people…and as simple fantasy football players.

End rant.

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And if that doesn’t work, there’s always Axe Elf.

Addendum: Ignore the lawn gnome.

I did extensive research before starting my first keeper league and found enough option to make anyone’s head hurt. I came up with a simple basic format with some flexibility:

Managers can keep 3 players at a cost of the round they are picked and get a bonus keeper for an undrafted player costing your last pick.

These players can be kept for 3 years at the same cost, same as most all NFL contracts. Simple for all to understand and do.

Depending on your league you can adjust this.

If your managers are worried about losing the integrity of the draft, eliminate the top 2 rounds from keepers or 3 or 1. It can work for everyone.

You can adjust the number of keepers but would advise against “kinda keepers” of 1 and 2. I’ve converted a number of leagues and all were happy and into it.