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Fantasy Ethics Question!


Hey everyone! So I am in a 10 Team PPR, 3 Keeper league where the 3 keepers count as Rounds 1-3 picks. This is my 3rd year in the league and my keepers would likely be: K. Allen, A.Rob, B. Cooks.

However, I spoke with ESPN and they said I would be able to take the picks over the keepers and have my first 3 picks which would allow me to draft Mike Evans, Michael Thomas, and Jordan Howard (Who will likely be dropped by the more stacked teams). No one else in my league is aware of this though, should I bring it up before draft day or just be sneaky and better my team for the long term future.



As a commisioner of a few leagues I would answer your question with 2 of my own.

  1. Does your league have a constitution or rule set that implicitly states you do not have to keep all 3 players? If so then you need not say anything because the constitution dictates the rules and everyone should be aware of the rules.

  2. If no constitution (which I highly recommend as it can help with such issues arising in the future), does ESPN list in the rules/scoring scoring settings area that it is not necessary for each owner to use all 3 of their keepers? If it does clearly say this then see my answer above. If it does not clearly state this, and you only found out through inquiring with the site administrator, then I would say you need to share this information with the league for clarity and visibility reasons.

Just my 2 cents. I would reiterate that if your league does not have a constitution that spells out the league structure and rules, you should highly consider drafting one as it would help define situations like this. This is a situation that could easily irk some owners who view it as cheating, or dishonest at the very least. All it takes is a couple owners leaving a league (especially a keepers league) that make it a real mess to sort out the next year. I’ve seen issues like these kill long time keeper and dynasty leagues and it is a real shame.


Hey John!
I appreciate the reply. There is no constitution written up (which I agree would be a great thing to create) and ESPN does not clearly state that all three keepers must be kept, I found out through reviewing the league rules then contacting a site admin. I totally agree that this move may annoy some other owners which is why I wanted to get some more opinions. I view it as a gray area because it is something was never stated by our commissioner and it was something I discovered by being active in the off season and am trying to put myself in the best position possible to compete against the parental “Golden State Warriors” of our fantasy league (who has Lev Bell, David Johnson and Julio Jones).

Regardless, I believe even if I did wait until draft day the commish would put it up to a league vote and I would ultimately get shot down. But then that brings up the debate of changing rules after the fact of something arising which would then be somewhat unfair to myself (again which would be a good reason to write up a constitution).

Thanks Again!


I disagree with John. Rules do not have to be in writing to apply. There’s likely more clarity with written rules, but that doesn’t mean that if there’s nothing written there are no rules. Also, what ESPN allows isn’t particularly relevant. The rules are between you and your leaguemates.

Now I wasn’t there when you guys set up this league, and I don’t have any idea what conversations were had regarding the keeper situation. You tell me this is a a keeper league where you keep three players. To me that means you keep three players, unless there was a specific discussion that you don’t have to. And it doesn’t really matter about what ESPN allows you to do. A keeper league is a keeper league, and if I was in your league and you tried this I would be up in arms.

I think your leaguemates will squash this if you try it and it will hurt your credibility in your league. So ultimately my advice to you is to work with the keepers you have and start gameplanning how to draft your way to a championship.


it might only hurt your credibility if you say nothing. bring it up that you found this out and that it is something you want to do. it can only help you really because you need new keepers.


Oh for sure, there’s nothing wrong with bringing the situation to your leaguemates’ attention and seeing if they agree with it. What I was referring to was just waiting until the draft and taking those players without saying anything.


sorry, i knew thats what you wanted to know i just didnt state it very well. yes, you should bring it up. you have everything to gain from being open about it. and everything to lose by trying to be sneaky. now, i know in some leagues its encouraged to be back stabbing and shady. so maybe im way off and thats your league. but most leagues just want to have fun. not every league is like “The League”. now those guys would bitch and moan, but you also wouldnt get kicked out.