Fantasy Football: Considering a Keeper League?

Most fantasy football owners have at least one player they would love to have back for the following year. It is always difficult to watch star performers leave a roster at season’s end.

Those in a keeper league do not have this problem. A player of choice will remain on their roster for the following season and possibly longer.

Some leagues actually allow owners to have multiple keepers. In addition, other leagues even have specific rules regarding who can be kept or what particular positions can be retained. Despite this, the general concept of keeping players for a following season remains in place for every such league.

As fantasy football continues to gain interest, so does the keeper league format. Team owners and commissioners are both opting for this league type more frequently. Before doing so, anyone interested should first consider the advantages and disadvantages of playing in a keeper league.

Keeper League Advantages
A primary reason many like keeper leagues is the chance to build a long-term team identity. Having players return annually gives the opportunity for someone to call them “my guys.” On the same token, this also helps to somewhat mirror the pro draft and duplicate the entire NFL experience on a fantasy level.

Knowing that certain positions will already be filled makes draft research easier and leaves less to worry about. For example, if an owner plans to keep a quarterback and running back, he can focus strictly on receivers first. In a full redraft league, researching top picks normally requires looking at players from a few different positions.

Keeper leagues also tend to have quicker drafts since the top spots of each team are already accounted for. Generally this means there should be fewer rounds of drafting than there would be in a non-keeper league. Although draft day is usually exciting, most guys prefer that it does not drag on too long.

Keeper League Disadvantages
One problem with the keeper league format is that draft day loses some importance. Generally the highest ranked players will already belong to teams before the picking even begins. This reduces the possibility and anticipation of adding superstars to a roster via draft.

Another keeper league issue arises when a team owner does not return and has to be replaced. Finding a fill-in can be difficult since a lot of guys would rather start their own team. In this case, a new owner would be left to pick keepers from a roster that was formed by someone else.

An injury to potential keeper players during a season creates an unfortunate predicament for affected team owners. If such a player is out long term, an owner must decide whether to continue wasting that roster spot or opt for release. Getting rid of that player means he is no longer a potential keeper, despite any potential post injury upside that exists.