New commish: Want to confirm a keeper league rule

If there are three keepers, each team MUST keep three players, right? They can’t just drop all their keepers and draft whoever is at the top when the league drafts?

If this isn’t the case, how does it work? We draft soon and I was given commish status about 2 days ago and want to make sure it goes well.

That would depend on 1) which site you play on and 2) what keeper rules you put into place previously. If you are on ESPN, all keepers are at the front but ESPN doesn’t require each team to keep the same number of players, in fact no site does. This would need to be something you would come up with as a league normally once the league launched, or switched to keeper format if just re-draft previously. 2) Does the league have rules in place already that says you “can” keep 3 keepers, or “must” keep 3 keepers?

I play in 2 home keeper leagues, 1 is 3 and the other is 4, but you can keep 0-3/4 based on which league and we require 2 rounds earlier than when they were drafted the previous year, or we set a specific round(10 for us) for FA pick ups throughout the year. Traded players keep their draft value/FA status when it comes to keepers the following season. But if you want to do something like this, hopefully you’re not on ESPN. And if there is no rule in place from previous years and it is just a 3 keeper league, I can’t say that everyone should have to as neither of my leagues are a “Must” keep.

So in every keeper I’ve played in you can keep up to the keeper number but definitely don’t have to. Basically we do supplemental rounds, so the teams who don’t keep 3 players draft in those rounds before the real draft. They get to draft from every player in the talent pool, so this year the guy with the first pick in those rounds grabbed Clyde. There are definitely other ways to do it but this has been the most fair style I’ve played in because typically the teams drafting in keeper rounds didn’t have good players and it gives them a good chance to reset.
They also typically still don’t end up better off (if your keepers are kept for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd like my league) because the absolute studs are typically kept.

Like those above me said, you either require everyone to keep players and there’s basically no penalty, it’s just guys off the board before you start the normal draft, OR you put costs on the players. I like the cost method because it sees good players thrown back because they’re expensive (ideas like why keep Julio round 1 when I can have Chark for a 10!?)…keeps it interesting. We haven’t required keepers, but each year we’ve done this every person has realized they have to find value on their team to keep. Teams that kept only 1 guy the first couple of years realized the player pool was greatly depleted in the opening rounds.

I’m a co-commish in a 3 keeper league on yahoo and we go by cost. The site lets you set keepers and then manually adjust the round each team is keeping them in, so it’s a little bit of work but not too bad. Now the downside to this is we have about 12 of written rules in a google doc about this to prevent problems. Things like:

  • Initial cost is the round they were drafted
  • Each year a player is kept, his cost advances one round
  • If they were undrafted, the value starts at round 10
  • A player can only be kept for 5 seasons continuously, this includes if they are traded
  • If you have a 3rd round keeper but traded your 3rd round pick, they cost you the next earliest round you have (a 2, or a 1)…and if you don’t have one you can’t keep them
  • If you have a 1st round keeper, they always cost a 1st round
  • If you have 2 guys that would cost a 1st, you have to figure out a trade to get a 2nd pick or you can’t do it
  • To prevent tanking, the consolation bracket finish is the order of our draft…so win that bracket you get 1st pick, runner up 2nd, etc. then normal reverse order for the championship bracket (NFL style draft, not snake)

When we converted to a keeper league, the first thing our commissioner did was ask for help; I suggest you get a buddy you can count on and write up the basic rules you want to follow. It helps if one of you is a bit shady and tries to find the loopholes in them as well. We sat down and did this 5 years ago and have only had to add 1 rule since, which we just threw out to the league for a vote once an issue came up.

Since this kind of got dropped on your lap, I’d recommend going with the easiest approach for this year and shoring up the rules before the draft next year. Ideally start figuring out the rules you want and put it out to the league to approve before end of year. Good luck!

How do you keep track of the round they were drafted and how long they have been kept and what round you have to take them in now… etc. Is there an automated way to do this? I’m on Yahoo and can’t figure out how to enforce any keeper rules besides “you HAVE to keep three.”

You would have to look at the last years draft order, or keep record of it separately in a spread sheet or something and number of years kept will have to be kept track of outside of yahoo for sure.

That can be tedious work, which is why in both my home keeper leagues, we do still do a 2 round penalty from the previous year to keep them(Move up a round if you don’t have that particular pick or a player already in it. We also did a way with how many years you can keep a player to 1) reward those who are willing to take their shots on players later and stick with them, and 2) it was way easier on the commissioner to just say you can keep anyone from the previous years first 2 rounds. This way everyone knew that 3rd round or later (Free agents for a 10th round) and no one had to figure out how long they’ve had a player and could just look at the last years draft results to determine keeper status for the current year, especially the commissioner. Made everyones lives easier when we did away with only keeping players x amount of years.

Exactly what @MKlossing said…we have a shared google spreadsheet that is set up as:

Page 1 - FAQ/Rules
Page 2 - 5 year tracker; set up as:

  • Player Name, Initial Round, Years Kept
    • ex: Our RB List

Page 3 - 7 - Last 5 years tracking owner, who they kept, and what round it cost. We also color them in green once they’ve paid for the season. Don’t pay, roster moves get locked!

  • e.g. Mike: Zeke R1, Godwin R3, McLaurin R9
  • e.g. Steve: Josh Jacobs R3, Joe Mixon R2, Dak R8

On Yahoo if you go to commissioner > Draft tools you have Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players. Before the draft I went in there and manually placed everyone’s keepers in the rounds they should be in based on our spreadsheet. There’s also an option when starting that which says to import traded draft picks from last season, so that does most of that work for me. Then along the bottom it tracks how many picks each team has (must be equal) and how many keepers (does NOT have to be equal, but good audit if I know what teams didn’t keep 3 guys).

In terms of the amount of time this all takes…initial setup, choosing rules etc. may take 2 hours but do it sitting around with your buddies and it’s not too bad. As far as year to year, we send out an email about a month before the draft reminding everyone they can make off-season trades of picks and players if they want, and tell them the date we need to know everyone’s choices. That usually gets the league buzzing again and we get a couple of trades and people emailing out who is on the trading block from their rosters. Then to enter all the final choices in took maybe an hour but only because I triple-checked it. Hope this helps!

That spreadsheet image alone is worth everything. I don’t think we’re going to do round values, just a basic “you can keep them for three years then they have to be dropped.” We have a “franchise tag” that gets you a fourth year on one player, but that’s about it.

And I seriously can’t find last year’s draft order anywhere in Yahoo. It’s driving me insane.

On the League Home Page there should be a drop down box with the year in it like the image below. Click it and select 2019, then it we reload to the 2019 season.


Then the top bar options, you will see 2019 Season, at the end of the options you will see Draft Results like this: