How to play in a Keeper League

A keeper league allows you to play more like a real life NFL team owner/manager.  When you work hard to build your team, it’s nice to be able to carry over some of your favorite players.  You also get to utilize more strategy as picks can be traded for the following year.

  • Each year, you get to draft 20 players through 20 rounds. 
  • You are allowed to keep 5 veterans and one rookie for the next year.
  • The round the player was drafted is the round they count the following year.
    • For example, if you draft Todd Gurley in the first round and you wish to keep him, then he will count as your first round pick the following year.  But if you trade away your first round pick, you won’t be able to keep him.
    • Another example, if you draft Robert Woods in the 16th round, then you can keep him next year and it will only cost you a 16th round pick.  
  • In 2018, a fresh draft was done.  For 2019, teams will be allowed to keep up to six players.  You don’t have to keep any player if you like, you can start from scratch.  The only issue is that next year, less good players will be available due to those who are kept.

What are picks really worth when trading?  

  • With that being said, a first round pick for next year is more like a 5th or 6th round pick this year.  That’s because our teams will probably keep about 5 players each.  So 12 teams x 5 players = 60 players.  60 kept players / 12 players per round = The first five rounds of great players will be already be taken.
  • Does that mean the first few rounds of picks next year aren’t that valuable?  Yes and no.  For example, Devonta Freeman was taken in the second round this year.  He probably won’t be kept next year as his value might have gone down.  So he might be available next year for the first or second round.  
  • When drafting in a keeper league, a lot of focus is on great players that are still available, players with comeback potential, and strong rookies.  In 2017, a guy drafted Alvin Kamara in the 12th round.  He was able to keep Kamara the following year and it only cost him a 12th.
  • So when drafting, always try to find rookies that have high upside and might have a chance to break the starting roster.

Nick Chubb example

  • If someone offers you a player in exchange for a pick, think about what the player is worth and if it’s worth losing the pick.
  • For example, Nick Chubb was traded for the 13th round pick for 2019.  Nick was drafted in the 12th round in 2018.  So in 2019, he will only cost a 12th round.  What is a 13th round pick worth in 2019?  Probably a player in the 17th or 18th round.  
  • So player A traded Nick Chubb to player B for the 13th round pick for 2019.  Player A has the potential to draft someone like Paul Richardson Jr, Vance McDonald, Mohamed Sanu, and Ted Ginn Jr.  If Player B likes Nick Chubb better than those players, then it’s a good trade.  Especially if Nick’s value goes up before next year’s draft (which is highly likely due to many variables such as when