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.
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.