Redraft Keeper League Rule Question

Hello! Looking for some advice for the league I run. We have a 12 team, 1 keeper, redraft league. You are only allowed to keep a guy once at the round you draft them in (Free Agents are a Round 8 value). The reasoning is we want to reward someone for a good pick, but don’t want guys to be claimed for their entire career.

Anyways, we have had some complications with great players going on IR. The situation was that last year, Dalvin Cook was let go after his injury, another team claimed him and wanted to use him as an 8th round keeper. We all agreed this seemed unfair. We added an IR spot this year to try to stop teams from letting go of elite players.

This year, Leveon Bell was on a guys team all year until his deadline passed. Bell was kept already by this team last year, so he couldn’t keep him again and let him go. Someone else picked him up and wants to keep Bell at his 8th round Free Agent Value. We all agree this is a weird rule.

I’m not sure what rules to make in order to combat this. Is it as simple as if Bell is let go, he is fair game at that 8th round value? Should there be a better rule as to what value a free agent is (Like players who are drafted and let go should be kept at their draft round, not the free agent price?)

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks #footclan

To me it seems like fair game. If FA/Waiver guys are able to be kept as 8th rounders, then, both Cook and Bell should be able to be kept in the 8th round. Whoever dropped them made a mistake and whoever picked them up hit the lottery. Teams should know the rules and not drop top end talent due to season ending injury; it sucks, but they need to play defense for future years.

I personally don’t think any rule needs to be changed because the challenge owners face of deciding to drop a top guy now to pick up a need but knowing that guy will be a steal next year is an interesting dilemma and makes the league unique. An owner might pass up a good waiver guy because he/she doesn’t have anyone to drop other than an injured player; but, they don’t want to drop that player and give someone a great future keeper. That sounds challenging and fun to me.

But, if you are set on changing the rule, I see two ways to do it:
Only FA can be kept as an 8th round value, waiver wire guys are kept based on the round they were drafted.
FA/Waiver guys undrafted or drafted outside the top 5 rounds can be kept as an 8th rounder but guys inside the top 5 rounds are kept based on their drafted round.

Agree with michael_pounders

Is it the same owner that dropped Cook and Bell? If it is the same owner, I would look for another. If it is different owners than I would, as the commish, use your best weapon - communication! Every couple weeks bring up the trade deadline (if there is one) and the keeper rules. Try to instigate some trades. Do you allow draft pick trading?

Alternatively you could institute what you suggested. “Players who are drafted and let go can be kept at their draft round”. Not because it’s needed. But because it’s simple.

Thanks for the input Michael! I agree with your second paragraph - I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, trying to figure out a rule to make it work. However, the rules are fair, well known, and simple, and now that we have an IR spot, there are no excuses. I think you are right - the simple answer is that if a guy like Cook or Bell is let go, he is fair game to stash for next year.

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Thanks for the input fun4Willis! It was different owners. The Cook one was excusable to me because we didn’t have an IR spot. We agreed that with an IR spot, it wouldn’t have happened. The Bell one was this year obviously and he knew that people could pick him up. It’s all of my high school friends, so they are all good spirited about it (I’m by far the most invested). Most of them are fine with whatever I think is best, which kind of makes it harder to decide. I want it to be fair for everyone (they inevitably joke that I’m stacking it for myself haha).

Anyway, when I ask the league for advice on rules, there aren’t many strong opinions. Trading is active and free agents are active as well. And now that we’ve done keepers a few years, people are more aware of it and are strategizing with it in mind. We do not allow draft pick trading.

I would look into draft pick trading. It’s a good fit for your league.

As a team without a ‘keeper’ worthy candidate you could try to draft one or pay for one.

If you don’t allow draft pick trading than expect players to be cut. There is no incentive to trade guys like Cook or Bell.

I’ll bring it up to our league. It’s been brought up before but never really seriously considered. Thanks!

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One other thought…

Is there a trade deadline in your league? You could institute a rule that players picked up from Waivers after the trade deadline cannot be kept. This allows players to be dropped safely without any of your original concerns.

That isn’t a bad idea! I’ll bring that up to them too. It is an intriguing dilemma that there are plenty of different ways to answer.

It’s hard because everyone agrees that keeping Bell because he’s let go for an 8th seems unfair, but the counter like Michael said is that there is strategy to not letting go of assets that others would want to keep.

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We set a rule that keepers must be on your final roster, FA or drafted after a certain round (5th in our league) and that if a player is dropped because they are on season ending IR or inactive lists that they can’t be picked up for the sole purpose of being used as a keeper. We only keep one guy and it’s a different player year to year. If you have a keeper eligible star player that gets hurt and goes to IR then you will need to keep him on your roster the remainder of the season and forfeit one of your roster spots to do so if you want to keep him the following year. (We don’t have IR spot).

We don’t pay a penalty per round for our keepers. They are all treated as a final round pick in the draft so you are really rewarded if you hit on someone.

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That’s not a bad idea either. I’ll have to bring this up too! It’s good to have some options for the guys to decide on so I’m not determining everything for them. Thanks!