I came into contact with fantasy football in a keeper league with my parents at the age of 8 years old and this is what caused my love to fantasy. As I grew older I stole the team from my parents and grew as a fantasy player. From my experience in this league and another keeper league these are some of things I have realized and learned in how to maximize your roster in a keeper league.
Obviously your keepers are everything in a keeper league and it is important to establish who you believe should be your keepers early so that it allows you freedom with how you manage your team. Everything you do during the season revolves around who you want to keep in both the waiver wire and trades. Once you establish who these players are it makes it easier to make roster decision involving the waiver-wire and trades.
The next step to help your team as a contender is using trade market. At this point in the season the contenders should have separated themselves from the pretenders and the garbage teams of the league. The difference between this and redraft leagues is that contenders can make fair trades in which young unproven players can be traded to other teams in order to get proven production even though it may not last very long. A prime example of this would be a player like Larry Fitzgerald, this type of player can be a great help when making a playoff run as his schedule is not very difficult (LAR, TEN, WAS, NYG) Although he is not a highly coveted player due to his age, at the end of season he can be crucial in a playoff run as he is currently the 4th WR in total points. Also in keeper leagues draft pick trading comes into play. For Rebuilding teams, these are very important and are worth trying to get during the season. Trading any pick to get productive players is always a good idea for contenders if the trade is reasonable. Always remember that no one cares who gets second place in any year, it's always who is the champion, and also that winning one year can end up paying for many years in the future so winning is the most important thing.
The last step that leads to a contender winning is the way they construct the back end of their roster with waivers. The best way to utilize the back end of a contenders roster is to make sure you have handcuffs for your best running backs. This is very important because this is where many of the team's points come from and making surer you have a backup plan is critical. Also it is a good idea to look for players who have the opportunity to come in a produce quickly, this could be players like Corey Davis, Cooper Kupp, DeVante Parker. These are all players that have the talent to explode onto the fantasy scene and if this happens on a contenders team it could just push that team over the edge to win the championship.
Again, obviously your keepers are everything in a keeper league and it is important to establish who you believe should be your keepers early so that it allows you freedom with how you manage your team. Everything you do during the season revolves around who you want to keep in both the waiver wire and trades. Once you establish who these players are it makes it easier to make roster decision involving the waiver-wire and trades.
The best thing about keeper leagues is that your season is not over when your team goes down the drain. You can still make trades to better your team for next year, which makes the league more active. For a team that is a non-contender, first round picks are a premium. First round picks are what usually can take a team from the bottom to the top due to the amount of young talent. These picks can end up being players like Fournette, Cook, Zeke, etc, which obviously can change the fortune for a keeper team. This doesn't mean that other picks are not value because all picks are valuable and can lead to a better team. Also depending on the severity of your team I have seen some owners in leagues with a small amount of keepers trade away all their assets in one year, draft picks included to get the number of keepers the league allows. Or after that year, they have great keepers and a full draft at a top position which gives them as good a shot as any to win. This is most useful for the teams who have the worst keepers in the league, and doing this will give them a better chance to get better faster than it would normally happen. Also for these owners it is best to get rid of older players to contending teams during the season because this is usually when older productive players have more value to the contenders of the league. Players like Larry Fitzgerald and Javorius Allen may be good ads for contenders but are no use to the non contenders of the league. So acquiring picks and younger layers are good to receive for players that aren't needed for the future of the owner's team.
This step is very important, many keeper owners drop players that could be keepers at the beginning of the season that are suspended (Josh Gordon) or that are hurt. As a keeper owner once you realize that you are no longer a contender you should watch the waiver wire to see who is still there. In my 4 player keeper league, down years from Keenan Allen (at the start), Demaryius Thomas, and Mike Evans along with Zeke's suspension. My season was doomed from the start, so around week 9 while i was in 9th place I picked up Josh Gordon, Allen Robinson, and Corey Coleman. These players are high upside players that have shown their talents in the NFL. while other rosters can't afford to take on theses players, I can and it allows me the flexibility to either keep these players if they flash at the end of the season or to trade them during the offseason for picks, or other assets. Also these roster pick ups can help you roster as you can add these hurt or suspended players during the season because it will take away other production players from your team, lower your scores and hopefully upgrade your draft position.
If you have any questions you can contact me on Twitter or Sleeperbot.
Twitter - @ConorButts5
Sleeperbot - CButt44
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