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Tagged: keeper league rules RSS

  • Matt 8:20 am on June 2, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: fantasy football keeper league, , keeper league rules,   

    Keeper league resources 

    Getting a fantasy football keeper league started is no trivial matter. For the most part, you’re going to have to live with the decisions you make before the first season for as long as the league lasts – which, if you do things right, could be an epically long time. The last thing you want is to be hearing the same old gripes from your league’s peanut gallery twenty years from now. Here’s a collection of resources from around the Web to help you get started the right way.

    • KFFL: What is a keeper league and why play? – Very detailed overview, covers the difference between keeper and dynasty leagues.
    • Here’s a nice collection of keeper league rules used by various leagues.
    • Our suggested ruleset for a standard keeper league. This is the setup that Brandon and I use in the league I commish. It’s a conservative, fair setup which rewards smart keeper decisions while still preventing any one team from achieving permanent crushing dominance. We allow each owner to keep up to three players from the previous season, as long as they were drafted after round 3.
    • Great Lakes Fantasy Football’s Guru Dynasty League – At the opposite end of the spectrum from the conservative keeper setup we prefer are dynasty leagues like this one, where you can keep your entire roster if you so choose.
    • Another dynasty option is going with an auction-based format like this one.
    • Looking for a fantasy football website that has built-in support for keeper leagues and will carry your data over from year to year? This is a good option if you’re willing to give up some flexibility in exchange for low maintenance. Sites that offer keeper support: CBS Sportsline, FleaFlicker, FanBall, FanStar, FantasyBowl, Homegrown Sports. I’ve tried the first two; the rest look OK to me. There are a lot more out there, but some of them look a little sketchy so I didn’t include them.
    • The Fantasy Football Times has a detailed article on starting a keeper league.
    • And then there’s Football Jabber’s obscenely detailed, twenty-step process for creating a dynasty league. And here I thought we were the geeks.
      • Mikes 8:53 pm on August 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        question for you guys. If i have 3 potential keepers in a 2 keeper league do i have the right to trade the rights to one of my keepers to someone else in my league for some changes in draft positions. My league is argueing about this right now what are your thoughts?

        • Matt 9:58 pm on August 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

          My feeling on this is that your jurisdiction over the players on your roster from last year applies only to the players you select as your keepers. The rest of your former players are no longer yours in any sense.

          I think the fairest way to handle it is to declare these trades illegal this season and then decide now how you want to handle it next year.

    • Jason 10:34 am on June 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Anyone have any suiggestions on expanding your keeper league. We have a pretty successful one going on (10 teams) and have a bunch of guys who want to join. We’re thinking of expanding the league to 12 teams but aren’t sure how to do the draft.

      Some background if it helps:
      As it stands, teams are allowed to keep two players, and they must forfeit the pick that the player was originally drafted. Each successive year you keep him, the cpmpensation moves up one round (so I drafted Joe Addai in the 7th round his rookie year, the first time I kept him, it cost me a 7th pick, keep him again and it costs a 6th).

      Also, we have the draft order ste up so that the teams that missed the playoffs go into a lottery for the top pick and then the rest of the order is filled out by W-L record.

      Any thought on how to add two teams and give them quality players without screwing over the current owners?

    • Matt 10:58 am on June 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      That’s an interesting problem. I’d probably just have them draft normally, without trying to do anything fancy with the keepers. They’ll be at a disadvantage, obviously, but only for one season, and since you just do two keepers, it’s not like they won’t have a shot.

      If you feel like it’s still too unbalanced because of situations like yours (getting to take Addai in the 5th round this season is friggin stellar), maybe you can say that they can keep 3 or 4 players in 2009.

    • Lee 5:48 pm on June 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Jason we did this with a Dynasty League last year. One team made it to the playoffs and one ended up at the bottom so it’s possible…I’m thinking that the basics could be used for a Keeper as well, just adjust it to your keeper league. Possibly have the expansion draft before Keepers need to be declared so they have a chance to keep someone…don’t worry, you get a chance to protect your studs and you can tweek it to fit what you want to do.
      Hope you don’t mind if I drop the link here Matt Feel free to delete if you wish). It’s not as “Geeky” and lengthy as the Dynasty League stuff…lol.

    • Lee 5:49 pm on June 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Looking at it you would want to adjust how many players you can protect to your league size. This is with a 26 man roster.

    • steve 12:55 pm on February 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      One year we went from 10 to 12 teams in a keeper league and gave the two new teams an extra pick at the end of rounds 2,4 and 6 in leiu of their 14,15, and 16 picks the team tat picked first after the second round went 2nd after rounds 4 and 6.
      They ended up 3rd and 5th in a twelve team league. I would say that’s pretty fair.

    • Blake Billings 7:22 pm on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Will those websites you listed be good for a dynasty league also?

      • Matt 11:33 am on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Some actually are specifically for dynasty leagues (like the 4th one down).

    • College Football 8:30 am on September 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for this!

    • chris franzen 7:04 pm on November 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This is my first year as commissioner of a Keeper League. We are using the +2 format (if player is drafted in 3rd round and you keep him you give up your 1st round pick, etc). For players picked up off the waiver wire and kept we are saying they are 13th round picks (15th round is our last round +2).

      I have a moral dilemma: What do you guys think about “stashing” or “hoarding” IR players to be kept for next season? People have dropped Bowe because of his suspension and Ronnie Brown because he’s on IR. At what point should I say that they can’t be picked up and kept for next year? Or should I say all’s fair in love and fantasy football if the person that picks them up has the room to stash them on their bench? Please reply here or to [email protected]

    • shane 8:54 pm on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Do you have any rules for a Basketball version of Dynasty? I have an auction format league which has been around for about 10 years, solid keeper system, and we are evaluating moving towards a dynasty format. We have instituted things like a luxury tax. Any thoughts?

    • Chris 10:52 am on May 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Regarding the original question of adding teams to a keeper league, why not do it like a real league might handle an expansion? That is, you could either award the new teams “extra” (early) draft picks to make up for them not having any “keepers,” or let them draft at the top of each round. Another option might be to let existing teams keep only one player this year instead of two, then resume with two keepers next year.

      In another scenario (more complicated, but perhaps more interesting), all players are initially left unprotected. Then, when a player from an existing team is drafted (regardless of whetehr that would have been the existing league member’s keeper), they immediately get to “protect” a player, i.e., elect a keeper, still at the original draft round per your rules. Once that team has been touched, nobody else may select a player from that team until all teams have had a player picked. The exception is teams picking their own players from the previous year. In other words, if Team A had Drew Brees and Chris Johnson and Brees was picked by Team C, Team A could still pick Johnson. This would not count as keeping/protecting a player, but by the same token, if Team A had not had a player picked and chose one of its own players, Team A’s roster would still be exposed.

      At the end of round 1, if any existing teams have not had a player selected (unlikely), they could elect a keeper at that point. The 2nd round would proceed in the same manner, at which point all exisitng teams will have gotten their two keepers and the new teams will have at least had a fair shot at the top talents.

    • Joey 6:37 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Guys I am starting a keeper league (12 Teams) and I had drawn the 7th overall pick and have now traded my 3rd, 4th and 5th Rd Picks and have aquired the 3rd Overall pick as well. Looking for suggestions on who I should take at 3 and 7 if the draft goes this way….

      1. Aaron Rodgers
      2. Adrian Peterson
      4. Chris Johnson
      5. Drew Brees
      6. Ray Rice

      I have a feeling that is how it will go based on our scoring system and my knowledge of the guys I am playing with. QB’s are at most value but only by about a 100 total end of the year point total and WR are about 50 Less than RB. What are your suggestions?

      • Friday 6:34 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I would draft a Gore, Mendenhall, Charles, Fitz, Austin, DeSean Jackson with your first two picks then on the way back I would focus on McCoy, Moreno, Romo, White, Williams, Stewart…. just my opinion Gl

    • Friday 6:31 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey guys, I am in quite a little dilema and I was hoping for some advice if you could….. I am in a 10 person keeper league. I have to chose two keepers and my choices I have are, Fitzy, Austin, Schaub, Rice and Mendanhall. I am def keeping Rice but I am not sure who to keep after that. Also, with me havingthe 8th pick if I keep to backs should I go WR and QB or should I keep Schaub and RIce and draft a wideout and RB for my first two picks. Now mind you the people drafting after me already have QB;s… help I need it

    • Scott 6:40 pm on July 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m starting a fantasy keeper league with 3 keepers. II just found your web site, but most of the links are gone. Was wondering if you had copies of any of the rules from above, like Here’s a nice collection of keeper league rules used by various leagues. anything would help thanks

  • Brandon 9:52 am on August 23, 2007 Permalink
    Tags: keeper league rules, keeper leagues,   

    Rules for a fantasy football keeper league 

    Update 9/2013: We originally posted these keeper league rules back in 2007. Because this post has been consistently popular every year, I thought I’d provide an update on how things have gone for our league over the past half-decade as we’ve followed these rules. It’s all good news – we haven’t seen the need to change anything about the rules, and it’s been easily the most successful and active fantasy league I’ve ever been a part of. The rules reward those teams who plan well for the future, but not to the point where you wind up with one or two unstoppable dynasties. Decisions made years ago can reward or haunt your team, which is pretty cool, even if it hasn’t worked out well for me personally – I invested in Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis two years ago and stubbornly clung to them again last year… needless to say, I’ve a had a rough run. 

    So maybe you’ve been playing fantasy football for a few years and you’ve got a good group of guys who consistently manage the teams in your leagues. You may have tried to spice things up by adding a flex position or yardage bonuses, but you still want something more. If you haven’t considered it before, maybe now is the time you begin thinking about starting a keeper fantasy football league. In short, a keeper league is a league where between seasons, each manager decides to “keep” a certain amount of players (generally up to 3) from his previous team who will carry over to his next year’s team. We held our first “real” keeper draft last night*, so I figured it might be useful to share our league’s rules with you, so that if you’re interested in starting a similar league you would have something to base it on… (More …)

    • Joel 11:59 am on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Really informative for my buddy who joined a keeper last year and are totally dismissing rules 2 and 4. Thank you.

      • Fluxx 4:22 pm on August 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Just because he says these are the rules doesn’t make them “official”. You can modify these rules to your liking.

        • Matt 10:15 am on August 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Yep. This is how we do it, and it works for us, but there are a million other ways to make a keeper league fun and competitive.

    • sean donnellan 11:37 am on August 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i am having some trouble in my league. we are attempting to set up rules for an auction draft keeper league. right now we have salaries @ or below $10 are allowed to be kept for the next season and up to 3 total. however there is no limit. i am looking for additional input as to rules for auciton/keeper leagues?

      • Matt 11:49 am on August 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry Sean, can’t help ya on this one. I’m not a big fan of auction leagues and haven’t played in them enough to give good advice on the topic.

    • tom 8:42 pm on August 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      My friends have invited me to a keeper league. They said 5 months ago that a member left the league and I could join and take over his team and keepers. With that information I said sure I would love to join the league.

      Since that discusion 2 other teams have left and we need to fill all vacancies. The issue is, when asked for my keepers I requested to see what teams were open. i liked the keepers from another team and said, if this is an open team I will take over this team, and the keepers.

      Now members are all upset saying I am switching teams, when in my view, 5 months ago, there was 1 team going to open and wanted to know if I was interested. I was interested in playing fantasy football.

      I feel if there are 3 teams open before draft day, and I am the 1st to step up and purchase a team, I should be able to choose from any of the open rosters/teams. They are feeling otherwise. Now remind you they said who ever joins next can choose from the other 2 teams, but I cannot choose my team because I commited to saying I would join the league 5 months ago, without knowing before hand the team or the players.

      How would you answer or handle this in your league? Am I out of line?

      • Bill 12:20 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        if this were to happen in my league I would get three people and then randomly assign the teams to them. Just because you were first should not give such a big setup in my opinion. Another option is to take the best players on these teams and then do a minidraft between the new owners

    • tom 8:43 pm on August 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      oh i forgot to mention I had inside news that should the other 2 spots remain void, the keepers would fall into a pool up for grabs. I think they are hoping to go 2 teams shy and grab key players from the teams….but thats just my guess

      • Brandon 8:58 pm on August 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Tom, in the keeper league that Matt and I are in there have been two situations where someone dropped out and we had to fill the spot. However, in our league we handle that with a sort of “rookie hazing”, where we put all the players from the abandoned team back into the free agent pool and the new guy starts the season with no keepers and has to earn them in his first year. Not sure you guys are up for that kind of thing, depending on the money involved and how fair you think it is, but that is how we do it in our league.

    • tom 9:10 pm on August 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      that seems fair as well, thank you

    • CGomez 9:28 am on September 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      We made up some keeper rules quite a long time ago… 2001 in fact. I won’t say they are perfect, but it is impressive how much they’ve held up.

      Basically, the first few years of the league are a little rocky and then it smooths out. You’ll see what I mean.

      Draft a league as normal, play the season as normal. Our trade deadline is week 10 (before week 10’s games start). 15 and 16 are the playoffs for top four teams in a ten team league (we did expand from 8 to 10 at one point).

      The trading deadline is also the signing deadline. You submit to the league your list of contracts. We call them “years” but they are really “drafts”. If you sign a player for three years you hold them out of three “drafts”.

      Each team distributes ten years any way they want. You want to put all ten on one player, fine. You want to go 4,3,2,1… fine. You want to hold 10 players through the next draft, fine.

      You can never extend a “contract”, so when you have a keeper player who has dropped to 0 “drafts” or “years” remaining, they are going to go back in the draft pool the next year.

      But you CAN trade any player (including players under contract). So what happens is at the trading deadline there is a flurry of activity to move these top tier keepers around. Some get moved. Some don’t (perhaps you have a gangbusters team and want to win this year). The trading deadline is positioned (we believe) so that its a gamble either way and that makes for more exciting decisions to be made.

      You are also free to cut a player at any time, even a contracted one, and those years are simply voided and returned to you. So you aren’t hamstrung to a player who suddenly ages before your eyes. This rule sounds much worse than it is. It actually works well.

      You CAN cut a player, free up his contract time, and then pick him back up off waivers, but that has NEVER happened because if the player was any good, he’s lost to you forever. There have been cut “keepers” who are picked up as a flyer by another owner. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

      You can also trade picks in our league. We limit trading of picks to no more than two drafts in the future because we might have an owner drop out, a new one take his team, and see his future mortgaged. But no one’s ever left the league.

      So, after year one, how do you resign in future years? Well, at the draft, everyone’s contract number drops by one, so if you signed four players to 4,3,2,1 years, you would have them now signed to 3,2,1,0 (one player is leaving your team after this season), and you’d have four years available at the trading/signing deadline (more if you cut a keeper prior to the trading/signing deadline).

      Basically, you can count your number of kept players and that’s how many years you’ll have. You always sign back up to ten years each season.

      What happens is the league has been ebbing and flowing between locking up superstars for five years at a clip to this season where everyone kept 4-6 players, meaning there is going to be a flurry of trades and lots of key players back in the draft next season.

      I’ve probably forgotten to post our corner case rules, but there really are not many. What makes the league fun is it is flexible and there is much more player movement than you might think. Over the ten years a fantasy stud like Peyton Manning is on his fourth team (I had him for four years and trading him in his prime was a bonanza).

      The point of the simple rules is that you don’t have to remember much, track much… who are the contracts and how many “years” are left?

      • Tommy 11:07 am on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        How does the draft work in the following years? Where do the keepers count?

        If someone keeps 4 players do they count as your last 4 rounds of the draft? The first four rounds? Do they get bumped up from previous years like in Brandon’s league?

        • KB 3:50 pm on July 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          I have the same question at Tommy here…like the “contract” idea but stuck as to what happens for the draft the following year.

      • ALEX 7:20 am on June 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        question if you trade a player with say 2 years onder “contract” does that mean the team who picks him up picks up his years? and if so must he have the available years to rtain the contract? or does his contract void and automatically become a free agent next year. me and my work leadue are seriously talking about adapting this style of a keeper league. but how does this work in you league. thank you ahead of time.

        • CGomez 12:40 am on July 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

          No. Think of it like terminating the contracts. They just go away. Now, if the new team wants to sign that player at the trading deadline they can do so. Maybe I should build a little graphic showing the timeline of how such a league works. Don’t get me wrong, there are flaws… we have kicked around what they might be, but they are pretty simple rules so that we have some keepers but still a meaningful draft.

          • ALEX 5:53 am on July 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

            that would be much appreciated

          • Adam 4:45 am on August 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

            Hey CGomez –

            Adopting your “contract” strategy with my buddies in a 12 team keeper. I too, am interested in how you do the subsequent drafts.. What’s the inflation for the contracted guys. (e.g. if you sign Rodgers to 4 years, where do you lose your pick the next year? same round?)

            • CGomez 5:37 pm on August 23, 2011 Permalink

              In our league, the “lost picks” are at the end. The reason for this is so you can trade draft picks. If having a keeper meant you lost a 1st round pick, you couldn’t make deals with picks. We have a rule that you can trade picks up to two upcoming drafts so as not to totally screw a replacement owner if someone takes over a team. So basically on a 14 man fantasy team, you have three keepers going into the draft. You’ll draft for the first 11 rounds (really, until your team is complete… maybe you traded your first round pick).

              So if you have chosen to sign four players to 4 years, 3 years, 2 years, and 1 year at the 2010 trading deadline (for us that is Week 10), this is what happens at the 2011 draft.

              1) Your roster has four players already.
              2) You pick as normal (we go in reverse order of regular season finish with the exception the playoff champion goes last)
              3) After the draft, reduce all “years” on contracts by one. If you have any zeroes, this is their “contract year”. There are NO extensions or resigning, you MUST let the player go into the next draft.
              3a) Instead of letting the player go, trade the player during the season.
              3b) You are free to trade players you have more contract “years” left on. When you do so, the contract is voided (the receiving team doesn’t honor it and you get the years back).
              4) At the trading deadline, you sign new contracts. Let’s say you made no trades. The team mentioned above would have three players going to 3,2,1 years so 4 years available to get back to 10. You may only sign players that are on your roster for Week 10. You may continue to play the free agent pool the rest of the season, but you can not sign someone you pick up in Week 11, for example.
              5) Season ends, champion crowned.
              6) Maybe you signed two players at two years each. Now you have under contract someone with 3,2,1,2,2 years.
              7) Conduct the 2012 draft holding out all the contracted players. Reduce remaining contracts to 2,1,0,1,1 and start over again.

              We try to allow trades only from the draft (or very shortly before) to week 10. This is meant to encourage an open market so everyone has access to all other owners.

              Let’s say it is Week 5 and I have players signed with 3,3,1 years left (so I will be signing 3 more years at the Week 10 trading deadline). I trade my 3 year remaining QB for next year’s 1st round pick and an RB with 2 years remaining. The years just get voided, they go away. So NOW, I really have 3 & 1 year signed, and will be signing 6 years at the deadline. I also have someone’s 1st round pick for next year and will be picking twice in the first round.

              (Note: This is rare. Usually trades are made on players who are expiring. This is 90+% of trades. If you had a poor performing player who you signed to a 5 year deal and now he sucks, well no one else is going to want him either. SOMETIMES you see trades for a guy with time left, but these are rare moments of desperation.)

              1st round picks often go for Tier 2 players. Once you get into this a few years down, you’re going to notice the studs never truly come free. They often go stud-for-stud in contract year deals OR there is some blockbuster involving picks of a crappy team. SOMETIMES it all works out that Michael Turner slips out and into the draft but it is rare and really there is always a MASSIVE drop off in talent from pick 1 to 2 or even pick 7 to 8 in the first round.

              I’m not going to pretend the system is perfect. It’s served us for ten years now. I’ve kicked around reducing the number of years to 8, and in a 12 team league I think you should consider dropping to 6 or 7 or NO ONE will be in the draft. You want a balance of draftable players and keepers, shrewd deals and owners going for it all past week 10 with a team of expiring studs.

              There are a few other rules to think through, such as whether you want an IR and how you might deal with that. We have something we are doing and it’s been okay. I think you will find you are spending more time evaluating rookies and watching for breakout free agents (think NYG Steve Smith or Arian Foster)

    • steve 2:14 pm on December 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Question: If a star player who is on the IR is dropped by another team and somebody else picks the guy up near the end of the season, is the player regarded as a free agent pickup (12th rd pick), or does it go by where that player was drafted by the original team?

      • Brandon 10:38 am on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Depends on how you laid out the rules to begin the year, but the way we play is that all players retain their draft position throughout the entire year. This prevents any disagreement over situations like this.

    • Peddler 9:22 pm on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I am working on adjusting our league to a keeper league such as the one laid out above (a player drafted in the 10th round one year moves up in year #2, etc.). At the end of the year we will have play-offs and all teams will be involved. For example: The top 4 will playoff for the Championship. The next 4 will playoff for spots 5-9, and the bottom 4 will playoff for the “Toilet Bowl.” or something like that – so all teams will play/be matched up for all 16 weeks.

      My question is this: In year #2 I would like to set up the draft in reverse order of finish, but I also don’t want teams tanking late in the year to move up in the draft…any suggestions?

    • Keith 2:05 pm on December 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Award the winner of the toilet bowl the #1 pick. Something to play for and incentive not to tank games.

    • Peddler 4:08 pm on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Keith – that is a good option, but what if you TRULY have an aweful team and you finish last in the season and don’t have the horses to win the toiler bowl and you are penalized by not ‘winning’ the first pick…any other creative ideas? Thanks!

    • bigdaddyhognuts 11:38 am on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If your team is that bad maybe you shouldn’t be playing fantasy sports.

    • cary 12:33 am on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      hey. So I followed your advice and rules. We started our keeper league last season. This is year 2 and I feel I have everything in place EXCEPT what site should I use. I have guys all over the country and a live draft works best for us. I have never been part of a keeper league. Do sites have options on who is not available and what round? Who do you guys use? Thanks and good luck this season.

      • Brandon 10:15 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        In previous years we’ve actually used Google Docs to do the draft. You set up the draft board and can put the keepers on the board before the draft starts so you know which teams and players are already set. With the draft board visible to all managers, each one can report their pick to the commish, who actually edits the table.

        The one positive/negative to a draft like this is that every manager needs their own cheatsheets and can’t rely on Yahoo’s list to recommend the next best available player.

        Once you’ve done the draft, you can enter their status in Yahoo as a keeper so that you can remember next year.

        Just one way to do it!

    • Ford 6:06 pm on July 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Used the Same Rules as above with slight modifications. Instead of only giving up 2 rounds during the 3rd year you have to give up 3 rounds, and 4 rounds for the final year(we limit it to 4 seasons of being on your roster) (so if you had jamaal charles last year free agent, then a 14th this year, 11th, next year and 7th final year; just makes it a more active league)
      Also to respond to another question about the toilet bowl award what we do is a random draft of the bottom 3 teams, so they are guaranteed a first, second, or third overall pick. and then 4 through 10 are drawn for random order as well. We are thinking of adding a consolation bracket prize of choosing which number pick you would like to draft from the next year to try to get everyone involved.

      My only question is about semantics. What is more logical to do? Give my team their draft order or require them to tell me what keepers they are going to retain for this season? Which is more logical and why? Thanks alot.

      • Brandon 10:40 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I recommend telling the league the draft order first, since this might have a slight impact on their keepers. Just my opinion though.

    • Will 6:21 am on July 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have a question about rule 4. If you keep a player drafted in round 4, you lose your 2nd pick the next season. Now does this make that player ineligible as a keeper for the following season? I’m going into my 2nd year as commissioner and my keeper rules r still fuzzy I’m realizing and would appreciate any advice thx

      • Brandon 10:11 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, that player would now be ineligible for the next season.

    • ted 3:42 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      In your opinion, if you were to use these keeper rules AND select new draft positions, when would you announce your keepers.

      Fairness, to me, says after you’ve been given your draft position

      • Brandon 10:10 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I agree with this. Your draft position may affect which players you end up keeping. In the end though, it might not make all that much of a difference beyond the first couple rounds.

    • Chad 2:02 pm on August 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      I run a keeper league with each team keeping 2 players. Eah team has the option of only keeping one and drafting another player (non rookie) at the begining of the draft. Shold they player that is only keeping one be moved to the end of round one in the draft?
      Just curious on your thoughts.


      • Brandon 10:35 am on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I think your draft order should be set independent of how many keepers each team has. Whether a manager wants to keep 0, 1 or 2 players is up to them…they just have to deal with the consequences.

    • Andrew 4:59 pm on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I am running a keeper league where we have the option to keep 0-3 keepers. I have set the year 2 draft order in reverse 10-1………First 3 rounds are dedicated to keepers, and everyone submits there keepers before the draft. If someone keeps 1 keeper in Round 2 they can select out of the FAs without any consequences……….
      My question is……… If the player who has the first pick overall (4th round) benefit from any of this, if someone who decides to keep only 1 keeper technically gets to choose a FA in the 2nd round before anyone else?………….. Is there a way to beat this system? Placing keepers at the end of the draft was an option but doesn’t seem like fun or realistic

      • Brandon 9:04 am on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        How about changing the rules to those recommended by us? Where the keepers get assigned to a draft round based on the previous year’s draft. This allows managers to keep players who aren’t top 3 round talent and not get penalized for it.

        For example, in our league I’m considering keeping Steelers receiver Mike Wallace. If I had to use a top three round pick on him though, I definitely would not do this. However, as he’ll be a 13th round pick for me, it’s a bargain!

    • Ryan 1:06 am on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We just started using a tiered keeper league. Everyone gets to keep 3 players, but only 1 from each tier. So 1st tier we voted on is rounds 1-3, tier 2 is 4-8 and tier 3 is 9-15 and freeagents. This prevents owners from keeping the 3 best players on their team, and rewards players for good players late in drafts. Each player can be kept for 3 years but here is the catch. Each year your keepers each move up a whole tier. So your tier 2 player is now a tier 1 in year 2, and you have two tier 1s so only 1 of those players can be kept. This keeps the draft pool large so each draft is still a lot of fun. Comments on this are welcome

      • Brandon 6:29 am on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Was just wondering a few details on these league settings. Say you have 3 third-tier quality players going into the year and no 1 or 2 tier players. You would need one player to go in each tier, right? Do you pick the round? Is it automatically the last round in the tier? So 3rd, 8th, etc? Just curious.

      • JNito829 10:28 pm on July 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Ryan: How do you mange traded players and do you also do off-season trades? Do they still keep the tier value they were drafted in? if i trade calvin johnson who will be a tier one player next year, does the gaining team get him as a tier 1 player (since technically it will be his 2nd year)?

    • Ryan 8:20 pm on August 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You must keep one player from each tier. So you’d keep a player drafted in the first 3 rounds, one player from rounds 4-8, and one player from 9-undrafted. Im confused on what you are asking when you ask which round we pick… The round that the player was drafted in dictates which tier he is. Like for example, last year a player in my league drafted Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd round, Calvin Johnson in 4th round, and Ray Rice in the 10th round (yeah we drafted early and he was just a backup)… So those are his 3 keepers to start this year. Next year he cannot keep all 3.. Rodgers would still be a tier 1 player, Calvin Johnson would now become a Tier 1 player, and Ray Rice would become a Tier 2 player. He would have to drop either Rodgers or Johnson, and he could keep Rice, and then pick a new Tier 3 player that he will get in this years draft. Did that answer your question

    • king ELLIOT 11:21 pm on August 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey i have a question. we’re in year one of our lkeeper league and have just held our draft.

      the most important quesion is this…if a player is drafted and then dropped and then picked up again is he eligible to be kept? what is the same scenario happens but he is picked up by a different owner..can he be kept by that owner?

      also BIG QUESTION..is there any cutoff for when players can be considered eligible to be kept? like similiar to a trading deadline? for example..what if im clearly not going to win the league.. towards the end of the year i can drop guys that appear as though they are going to have minimal or no value next year and fill my roster spots with guys that have potential huge offseason upsides…like say a player is in his final year of his contract..i could be hopeful that he will be signed by a new team and go from the #2 running back on his old squad to the bona fide number one on a potential new squad? or if a guy has a #1 in front of him who has announced retirement or will most likely or possibly be signing with another team..this players value will now skyrocket…

      i was thinking about making the roster keeper cutoff date be the same date as our tradedeadline to prevent this from happening…also the individual would have to be on your team at the time of the trade deadline as well as at the end of the season…thoughts??

      thanks alot site is great.

      • Brandon 9:24 am on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The player retains his original draft position when it comes to keeping him the next year, even if he’s dropped. So someone drafted with the 8th pick, then dropped, would count as a 6th rounder for another team the following year.

        In terms of roster cut-offs, we’ve never really done that. I actually have tried to use the technique you mentioned before, even when my team was still in the running! It’s tough to start locking down rosters, because what if a team absolutely needs a fill-in at a position due to injuries or something. You could lock down rosters once a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs I guess. However, all teams have the same opportunity to pick up these players. Even a team in first place probably has a roster spot available to drop some dead weight and aim for a keeper for the next season.

    • king ELLIOT 11:44 pm on August 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      also..any rhyme or reason to the free agent pickups being a 12th round loss as a keeper for the next year? without any knowledge of what other people do we decided on round 10….(its a 15 round league.)

      also i figured id give you a little twist that i through into my league….we added a 16th round to our league that was for rookies only…this being our first year everyone was eligible to draft a rookie to be in their “farm system” similiar to a top baseball porspect being drafted and kept in the minors tilll hes ready or there is room for him.. from year to year you may only have one player in the “minor leagues” this playr may not be picked up by anyone else and you are not allowed to play him at all for the entire year. even though the following year he will not be a rookie…you may keep your previous prospect pick in your “farm system” for 3 “keeps” a total of 4 years until you feel he is ready.. he does not count against your three keeperes you are allowed.at the beginning of each season you may choose to keep your prospect where he is virtually “untouchable” by you or anyone else for the whole year. you may bring him onto your roster…and he will not count as a keep, or you can release him into the draft pool and you are then eligable to pick a new rookie to put into your farm system during that years draft. obviously in rounds 1-15 if anyone wanted to draft a rookie they were welcome to and they are treated just as they normally would be…regular players.

      just thought id tell you about that, a lil somethin i made up and it gives a little spice to the league…(i picked dexter mccluster)…since im writing abotu it can i have your opinion…when your rookie is eventually (if ever) brought onto your team..what round pick should you lose for him? if any ? thanks man

      • Brandon 9:28 am on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like a cool twist. Could be a pain to keep track of and make sure teams aren’t starting their “rookies” during the season, but as long as you can, should work. As for what round to lose for them, it’s really up to the guys in your league I guess. Maybe they could count for the pick right before any of your undrafted keepers go. So if you had 11th and 12th taken up with guys undrafted the previous year, your rookie would be the 10th pick. Or you could just make him the 15th pick if people wanted. Up to you guys 🙂

    • terence 4:29 pm on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      love it. quick question though… lets say I draft Javid Best in the 4th round and place a keeper tag on him.. next year I give up a 2nd rounder for him. Does that make him a 2nd round player and therefor ineligible to be kept for a second off season (where I would have to give up a 1st rounder)?

      • Brandon 4:40 pm on September 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Correct, you could only keep Best one time before he goes into the free agent pool in the second season. Then you could draft him in the first round if you really want him still 🙂

    • Brian 4:38 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      So I am the commissioner of a keeper league for the first time this year. I feel as though everyone has a good grasp on all the rules, the keeper players value for next year and the limits as far as number of seasons etc. However, I am trying to be as transparent as possible we are playing for a large chunk of cash and the owners are all close and very active owners. Vincent Jackson was drafted in the 10th round and then dropped. I picked him up from the free agent wire. We drafted 18 rounds, will he be three from the last round next year (15th) or an (8th). I was the first to p/u a bug FA like this and I want to send out a message clarifying before anyone else follows suit thinking incorrectly. I’m stoked either way!

      • Brandon 4:44 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Brian, rule #4 covers this scenario. Even if a player is dropped, he still retains his initial draft round, so the following year he’d be an 8th round pick. Hope this helps!

    • craig 12:04 am on August 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Love the rules, but I have a quick question: how are traded players handled if they’re kept?

    • Pat 2:29 am on August 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the rules guys. We are using these rules for our keeper league. Although, we have come up with a problem. Going into our second year and now the keepers are coming into play. How do you handle the rounds of the players they are trading if people are trading away their keepers before the new draft begins. To be more specific…lets say Team A wants to trade Addai who will be a 6th rounder this year for Team B’s Dez Bryant who is a 12th rounder. Do the rounds change hands as well or Just the players? Thanks for your help.

    • Greg 4:03 am on December 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Good rules; almost exactly what we use. For Rule #4, we assign each player a “Virtual Draft Round” (VDR). The VDR is initialized to the round in which the player is drafted straight from the player pool. Each year a player is kept, prior to the draft, the VDR decreases in number (effectively increasing the player’s value), as the player is “virtually” drafted by virtue of the owner being penalized with the loss of a draft pick in the affected round. If a player is not kept and is released back to the player pool, his VDR will be reestablished upon his being re-drafted.

      For example, if Jamaal Charles is newly drafted from the player pool in the 6th round of 2010, his initial VDR becomes 6. His 2010 owner elects to keep him, so his VDR for 2011 (computed pre-draft) becomes 4, meaning the owner sacrifices 2011’s 4th round pick. In 2012, his VDR is 2, so he can be retained for that last year (in 2013 his VDR would be 0 and he would no longer be eligible as a keeper). Or he could be released, in which case his VDR would be cleared and reinitialized with a new value upon his being drafted again.

      Once a player’s VDR is established, it is retained over the course of the season, regardless of roster or free agent status. It is only reset if the player is released to (or remains in) the player pool immediately prior to the next year’s draft. So, in the case of Charles, since he was on IR for most of the 2011 season, his owner, vying for a playoff spot, could trade him to a team that is out of playoff contention in the hopes of getting a top back (e.g., MJD) to help carry him into the playoffs. The former owner of MJD would then have rid himself of a player who, with a current VDR of 1, is ineligible to keep in 2012, while acquiring another (Charles) who has second-round value for that year.

      We also have rules for collision (what happens if an owner wants to keep multiple players with the same VDR) and limits (a player can only be kept a maximum of 5 years). We track current and next season’s VDRs and limits in Google Docs and keep them posted on the league web site so owners can determine values for keeping and trading.

      • JNito829 11:08 pm on July 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Like the Idea for our first year as Keeper. Do you allow off-season trades, where teams can trade up until next years draft? what’s your opinion on this or should we just limit trades and free agents pickup to regular season only

        • Greg 3:32 am on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

          Last year was our first with “kept” players, and since nobody had thought of it before, we didn’t have any rules posted that restricted off-season trades or pickups. So naturally, the day after the league championship game, one crafty owner decided to make an add/drop to put himself in a more favorable keeper position for this year’s draft. As Commissioner, I will put it to the League for a vote on whether that owner should be allowed to retain his current position or must revert to the season-end roster. But you can bet that, either way, we will have new rules defined for this year. =)

    • Josh 6:19 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I run a keeper league and allow the each team to keep one player for one year. The question I have is, Jamaal Charles was kept last year and someone gave up a 3rd round pick for him. He was then dropped after his injury last year, and picked up toward the end of the season by another manager. The manager who picked him up now wants to keep him this year. Is it fair for this manager to keep someone else’s keeper from the year before???

      • Brandon 7:03 am on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Josh, the way we work our league is that a player retains his draft spot from the previous year, even if he was dropped. This means that he would still have been a third round pick from last year and would be un-keepable (since you can’t keep the first three rounds.) We do it that way for the exact reason you’re asking about, so you don’t have a superstar get hurt and dropped early in the year only to have someone try to play him off as their 13th rounder the following season. Good luck this year!

    • Mark 7:12 am on November 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, I like your keeper rules. This is our first year in it. Had a question if I trade my first pick (Calvin Johnson) for a low pick on some else team say for a 7rd pick (Doug Martin) And I want to use Doug Martin as a keeper. Would that be allowed or would I just give up my 4th rd pick for him next year?

      • Matt 6:48 am on November 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Players retain their value regardless of trades, so you’d give up your 5th round pick for Martin (which is two rounds higher than where he was drafted).

    • Mark 12:48 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ok, thanks for the reply.

    • Mike 10:38 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So if u want to keep the person u drafted in the 4th round then you would give up ur first round pick? That’s what it sounds like from the rules but I wanted to make sure. Thanks! Like the rules

    • Mike I 12:55 pm on January 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, after 6 years members of are league are cautiously willing to try a Keeper model next season. We are following your rules but are limiting it to one Keeper player. We are spread all over the country and use Yahoo’s live draft. As commish, I am concerned that I do not botch this draft. The draft order is already set, and team owners must inform me of their keeper (optional 1 or 0) as week before the draft. Are there any tricks or problems in using Yahoo’s customized keeper draft. I assume I can set the draft order and then exchange the keeper player for the particular pick in that round. Thanks for your help.

    • Anthony 3:32 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If i keep someone in the 4th round, he will account for my 2nd round draft pick the following year; Ok so my question is, can he be kept again the following season since he is already labled as a “keeper” (so technically he can be kept 1 more time after that) … or is he not eligable to be kept in that 2nd season becuz he would technically be considered a 2nd round pick already? i think if you keep him again, he should be considered a 1st rounder for the 2nd and 3rd seasons…

      Please advise

      • Brandon 6:34 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        In our leagues players drafted in the top three rounds can’t be kept, so in your following year he would go back to the free agent pool.

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