My Commish Rules

Keepers

Standard Keeper

A Rule About Keepers

So you have found a league full of reliable idiots who come back year after year for the friendly (or cutthroat) banter-filled excitement that is the fantasy football season. But maybe you’ve become stuck in the same old format and want to shake things up a bit. Why not try converting your league into a Keeper League? 

 

The Standard Keeper League is our go-to recommendation for a drastic, yet easily implemented change to spice up your fantasy football league. Sick of parting ways with your roster at the end of every season after becoming emotionally attached to those who propelled you into the playoffs? Not so good at goodbyes? 

 

With the Standard Keeper format you can welcome back that top pick with open arms and hopefully put an end to the shuffle of needing to find new league owners each year.

 

How It Works

Nowadays, Keeper Leagues are fairly common in fantasy football. But for those unfamiliar, in this format, league owners are allowed to keep players from their previous season’s roster on the current year’s roster. This way, league owners can continue to brag about that midseason pick up from last season who turned out to be a stud in the playoffs.  

 

In a Standard Keeper fantasy football league, one player on an owner’s roster at the end of the prior season is available to be deemed “kept” prior to the draft of the upcoming year. Feel free to make rules around which players may be kept and for how long. Can a player drafted in the first round last year be kept this year? Can an owner keep the same player for consecutive years? Our recommended answers to both of these questions usually would be “no”, but we’ll leave that up to you and your leaguemates to decide. 

 

Typically, kept players will automatically be placed on the league owner’s roster by your league site. This makes it really easy because when it comes time to draft, each team will already have one player sitting there smiling on their roster. The draft will then carry on in the typical fashion (in whatever fun order was decided by one of our Draft Order Randomization Rules, which a knowledgeable Commissioner like yourself would already be privy to). 

 

If for some reason your league site doesn’t already do this for you, don’t fret. In this case, during the draft, league owners are required to select their keeper in the first round of this year’s draft. After the first “keeper round” is complete, continue to draft as usual. Easy peasy. 

 

Keeper can even work in auction leagues. In this format, players kept year-to-year typically cost the same to draft as they did in the previous year. Under this format, instead of your keeper taking your first round draft slot, your auction budget for this season’s draft would be automatically reduced by an amount equal to your kept player’s auction cost in the previous year.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Prior to the draft, league owners choose one player from their previous year’s roster to carry forward onto this year’s team. 
  • Be sure to come to agreement on any potential limitations your league may want to institute before final keeper decisions are made. 
  • Come draft day, this selected keeper will already appear on the owner’s roster.
  • On most sites, players who are chosen as “keepers” are automatically selected in the first round. If not, require all league owners to select their keeper with their first round pick. After this hypothetical first round, the draft should continue as normal.

Change Ups

Keeper leagues have become basically ubiquitous in many fantasy football circles at this point. So to mix up the format a bit, try these change ups:

 

Keepers should be announced to the whole league prior to draft day, so that other owners have some time to develop an adequate draft strategy that excludes all kept players. If you like to play guessing games and make it more challenging, have all owner’s secretly select their keepers and only unleash the list a couple minutes before draft time. 

 

Once you’ve got all owners on board with the Standard Keeper rule after a couple seasons, see the Multiple Keepers Rule to up the stakes and allow owners to keep more than just one player.

 

Sometimes in keeper leagues, an owner can effectively lock up a superstar player by continuously keeping them year after year. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, we recommend you institute a cap on the number of years a player can be kept consecutively by one owner or by steadily increasing the “cost” of that keeper. This brings us to our most recommended way to play a Keeper Fantasy Football League, the Rounded Keeper Rule.

Related Rules

Rounded Keepers

Keepers leagues have become a common league practice. In a standard keeper league, you are able to carry over a certain number of players from your previous year’s roster to […]

Read More »

Standard Keeper

So you have found a league full of reliable idiots who come back year after year for the friendly (or cutthroat) banter-filled excitement that is the fantasy football season […]

Read More »

Multiple Keepers

So you have grown tired of your Standard Keeper league and want to up the ante? This format is for your greedy little owners who were not satisfied just keeping […]

Read More »

You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Rounded Keepers

A Rule About Keepers

Keepers leagues have become a common league practice. In a standard keeper league, you are able to carry over a certain number of players from your previous year’s roster to your current year roster before the draft even takes place. In this format, owners are incentivized to keep their most talented players. Oftentimes this results in owners keeping the same top tier player every single year, limiting roster turnover and possibly creating an unfair advantage. 

 

The Rounded Keeper format frees up the elite level first round talent to be drafted by the owners who have finished low in the standings last year and creates more chance for a turnaround season. It also incentivizes educated drafting as a breakout player drafted in the late rounds can be a valuable mid-round steal for many years to come.

 

How It Works

In the Rounded Keeper format (just as in traditional keeper formats) players on an owner’s previous year final roster are able to be automatically selected to an owner’s current year roster, even before the draft. However in the Rounded Keeper format, in order to keep this player on the current year roster, the owner must draft this player in the round they were drafted during last year’s draft plus one round higher.

 

The owner does not incur a draft pick loss for keeping a player, nor do they get an additional draft pick by not keeping a player. Keepers must be indicated prior to the draft day and acting commissioner will take note of which players are kept and in which round.

 

For example – Player A was drafted in the 7th round of last year’s draft and an owner would like to keep this player in the current year. In order to do so, the owner will, prior to the current year’s draft, designate Player A as their keeper. By designating Player A as the the keeper, no other owner is allowed to take the Player A in this year’s draft. Keepers are not formalized in the Fantasy Football Host website/application. In the current year, the draft continues as it normally would – the only exception is that kept players will remain on the draft board until the appropriate owner selects the player with their corresponding round pick. In this example, the owner must take Player A with their 6th round pick (one round higher than Player A’s last year draft position).

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Prior to the draft, the commissioner is responsible for recording which player each owner is planning to keep and which round they will be taken in the current year’s draft. Last year’s draft history is easily accessible in the Commissioner’s dashboard.
  • Players drafted in the first round of the previous year’s draft cannot be kept.
  • Undrafted free agents from the previous year can be kept by an owner but will be standardized to be selected in the 8th round of the current year’s draft.
  • If the player was drafted at the start of the year by any other owner and you have since acquired that player either via waivers or trade, their original draft position applies.
  • Owners can choose not to keep any player and may draft without restriction.

Change Ups

This keeper format is not limited to only snake or linear order drafts. Auction-style drafts can incorporate a modified Rounded Keeper format as well. In an auction draft scenario, owners could choose to keep players on the previous year’s roster for a dollar amount that is “locked-in” at the kept player’s last year auction price plus some standardized inflation rate ($5, $10, or any other standard amount). This round of keepers should take place prior to starting the typically player nomination process so that all owners have a clear picture the funds they have to fill out the remainder of their roster.

 

The number of players kept this way can vary by league preference but typically is maxed out at three players. Leagues could also charge owners additional league fees for keeping more than one player this way.  

 

Related Rules

You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.

Multiple Keepers

A Rule About Keepers

So you have grown tired of your Standard Keeper league and want to up the ante? This format is for your greedy little owners who were not satisfied just keeping one player from year-to-year. The idea behind Multiple Keepers is to really incentivize preparedness and well-educated drafting because of the potential to keep significant contributors to your fantasy team year after year.

 

How It Works

This rule is identical to the Standard Keeper Rule as far as mechanics go, but instead of keeping just one player at year’s end, owners can keep up to however many you choose (we recommend somewhere around three as to limit creeping into Dynasty League territory). Owners will select up to three keepers prior to the draft and those players will automatically be selected in the first rounds of the draft for that owner.

 

To break this down a bit let’s look at a mini-snake draft with three teams. Owner 1 has chosen to keep one player, while Owner 2 has chosen two keepers and Owner 3 has selected three keepers. In Round 1, Owners 1, 2, and 3 will select their first keeper. In Round 2, Owners 2 and 3 will select their keepers while Owner 1 will get to choose from any player available in the draft pool, like a typical draft. In Round 3, Owner 3 will select their third and final keeper and Owner 1 and 2 will be able to select any player available. As Commish, you should be aware of which owner is keeping which players and guide owners through the first three rounds.

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Make sure your league settings are adjusted to account for keeping players from the previous season.
  • Determine a date for owners to select their keepers prior to the draft. Have them submit keeper picks to you or through the league site.
  • When it comes time to draft, most league sites will have a keeper setting that will  automatically take effect and your job should be easy as pie.
  • Coordinate the first three rounds of the draft, as a few pesky league owners may have questions

Change Ups

See the Rounded Keepers Rule for our preferred spin on the keeper league. Instead of owner’s keeping players in the first few rounds, a player’s draft position is more closely tied to where they were selected in the previous year, limiting the chance of an owner keeping a player for their entire career.

Related Rules

You're the Commish.
Make your own rules.