Strategy help needed with keeper choices

Hi,

League/draft info

  • 3-keeper league, no draft impact from keeper selection (idea is sort of halfway house between keeper and dynasty)
  • Scoring settings are pretty funky, with the key one that it’s 2pt ppr.
  • 16 teams so deep rosters, and starting lineup is 1QB, 1RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1FLEX (W/R/T)
  • Draft is linear rather than snake, and I’m drafting at the #2 spot each round. Given the draft/keeper settings, this is essentially pick 4.02.

Given the keeper settings, I can expect most of the studs to be off the board. Looking at other teams rosters though there might be a few options worth picking up at #2 (Diggs, Kittle, Cooks, Cooper, Allen, Ertz, Carson, Woods, Lockett are all possible drops), or obviously all the rookies will be available as well (so Jacobs springs to mind)

My stud player (i.e. would have been 1st round pick) was, unfortunately, Kareem Hunt. So I’m coming from behind a bit.

My other notable roster pieces from last year.

  • Kenyan Drake
  • Julian Edelman
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Dede Westbrook
  • Curtis Samuel
  • OJ Howard

I was originally thinking; Edelman, Drake, Howard. Give myself as much flexibility in the draft to take best player available . The Drake injury is making me retihnk things though. 2

So what would people do?

  • Keep/drop Drake?
  • Keep/drop Howard (so gamble on either Kittle, Ertx, Engram, or just go late TE)
  • How would you rank the WR after Edelman? (Landry / Westbrook / Samuel)

Cheers in advance.

Do you have to keep three players? Outside of possibly just Edelman I would just draft in two of the first three keeper rounds as those other pieces would have far more value. I’d rather start with Carson, Cooper, and Edelman than what you have now. I’m in a similar keeper league and most likely Jacobs will be going in the second or third round just in case he pans out you’ll have a guaranteed keeper for three more years.

Unfortunately the keepers aren’t put at the front end of the draft but rather back-loaded into the last three rounds, so there’s no advantage in terms of an additional early round pick for selecting fewer than 3 keepers.

I’m leaning towards 2WR/1TE or 3WR at the moment. Ideally I can get some combination of Diggs, Carson, Jacobs, and Engram in the first two rounds and fill it out from there.

I only joined two years ago, but it’s been running for 6 years now. Still getting to grips with it, but from what I can tell they wanted a dynasty feel to it, but still with the fun of redrafting part of your roster each year (as opposed to just rookies), so made it so there’s no incentive to not keep three each time.

I’m going to suggest for next year that they make the keeper either round/pick-related, or put the keepers in the first three rounds so that you can choose to take less keepers for an early round pick. As things stand, there are a few teams that have a big advantage from their roster (example - one guy has D Johnson, M Gordon, D Hopkins, S Diggs, and G Kittle), and I don’t really see a way to catch-up as with 16 teams I will only be able to get one of the dropped stars, and if I take them then I won’t be able to take a top rookie as they won’t make it back to me

the 2 point PPR immediately says Landry and Edleman as two of your keepers.

Landry will be back in the slot with Beckham taking all that sweet double coverage for Landry to just beat single coverage every snap (cause he is that good) and give you 7-12 catches a game. Same thing with Edelman being Bradys favourite target. They both averaged about 9 targets a game last year.

Those two dudes can PPR you to the playoffs for sure.

After that, I’m in on Curtis Samuel. His camp and preseason has been great, all the beatwriters and coaching staff singing his praises and can likely be the #1 target of Cam Newton.

Howard will be behind Evans and Godwin in targets, and for me, if you can’t get Kelce, punt the TE position.

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Man, that’s a rough spot you’re in.

First off, Edelman is a no-brainer, both given the league scoring and the other options.

Landry I don’t love, because I just don’t think he is going to get the level of targets he needs to be successful in fantasy, but again given the format and the options, I’d keep him. However, I’d probably be looking to sell him before the season starts while getting a premium based on his pro-PPR reputation.

Lastly, it has to be OJ Howard. OJ Howard is primed for a breakout season in what should be an improved offense under Arians and considering the vacated targets due to losing Desean Jackson and Adam Humphries. I don’t think you can keep Drake given his current injury issues and the way he is getting challenged by Ballage, and while I really like both Westbrook and Samuel, there’s no way i can take them over a te going 2 full rounds ahead of both of them, particularly in a 2wr league; it just doesn’t make any sense. Even if you are a proponent of the late te strategy, which I understand even more in a 16 team league, you will be able to flip Howard for Samuel or Westbrook +++, or for some other peice. When selecting keepers, unless it’s a pretty close call, it’s all about maximizing value, and there is a pretty extreme value gap between Howard and either of those wrs.

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It’s weird. My first thought when I contemplated keeping 3WR was Edelman, Westbrook, and Samuel - I completely ignored Landry. I think it’s because I’ve had him so many times in regular leagues (i.e. standard) the past few years where he’s just been a let-down due to the lack of big plays/TDs. You make total sense though - he could be a monster in this format.

I was concerned about his target share given OBJ, Njoku and Duke. With DJ out of town though now I think Landry might be a candidate to get a lot of those line of scrimmage touches

Cheers for the thoughts. I’m really split on Howard - he was so good for me last year before the injury, and he’s been getting some love in pre-season too. The argument for/againt him and Landry seems similar as they’ll boht be competing for targets. Landry with OBJ/Njoku, Howard with Evans/Godwin/Brate

My gut is that, out of the two, Landry will get more targets now with DJ gone to Houston. However, they’ll probably be classic Landry targets where he averages like 4.5yards/catch or something crazy. Howard has much more big play potential, but might also have games where the TE points go to Brate instead.

It’s why I was thinking Dede or Samuel instead, as whilst the value might not be there, I’d probably have to reach for them anyway given the 16-team format or I’ll end up with other options. And they’re two of my favourite later-round flyers as they both have the potential to be WR1 for their team, and solid WR2 overall I think, if the chips fall the right way.

The value thing really does bother me though - feels like a reach to keep them!

So here’s the deal. Landry has been a pretty good ppr wr for several years now, though we saw a pretty substantial step back for him year one in CLE. Now every year he has been the focal point of the offence, at least in terms of the passing game. That will not be the case this year. OBJ will demand a huge portion of targets. That’s going to leave the rest of the pie much smaller to divvy up amongst the remaining players. Now yes, Duke leaving town is a positive for Landry. But it’s pretty clear they want to get Chubb more involved in the passing game, I expect Njoku to be more involved going into his 3rd year, and they’ve expressed wanting to put Hilliard in the Duke role (though admittedly Hilliard will not have the same volume that Duke would have). In summary, Landry was a mid ppr wr2 last year, and his opportunity is very clearly taking a step in the wrong direction. I’m still working on my rankings but currently I view him as a mid to backend wr3.

OJ Howard’s opportunity, on the other hand, is increasing. Whereas Landry has a new target monster coming to town, Howard has a significant number of targets leaving town, and as already mentioned, the offence as a whole should improve with Arians running the show. OJ Howard was the TE5 on a per game basis last year, and we should only expect those numbers to improve. And while Howard won’t lead his team in targets, he doesn’t need to lead his team in targets to be a top tier TE. For years, Gronkowski was the preeminent TE1, and he generally didn’t lead his team in targets. Howard is a big play TE in the mold of Gronk and Kelce, and given the TE landscape you don’t need to be a target monster to be a top end TE. Finally, in terms of Brate, I have zero concerns. We already saw Brate being phased out last year. Howard is one of the premier TE prospects of recent memory, a surefire first round talent; Brate was an undrafted FA that has had a fine career, but whose talent doesn’t hold a candle to Howard’s.

Now in terms of ADP, I don’t have 16-team data, but in 14-team ppr leagues Howard is going at the 4.14. Samuel and Dede are going 7.04 and 7.05 respectively. Even if you thought Samuel and Dede are undervalued by 2 whole rounds, Howard is still the better value. Assuming a relatively active league, you would be able to trade Howard to the Samuel or Dede owner (both of whom you can draft yourself far cheaper than you could draft Howard), for either of those players plus probably a 10th or 11th round kind of player. And there’s a good reason for that. There is far more depth at the wr position than there is at te, where after the top 6 guy (give or take) it is an absolute wasteland. The question isn’t “will Howard outscore Samuel/Dede”, it’s “is (Howard - replacement te) > (Samuel/Dede - replacement wr)”. The answer to that question to me is pretty clearly yes, Howard gives you more of a competitive advantage.