X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football: 6 Keeper Guidelines To Keep In Mind

1 of 13

Fantasy Football: 6 Keeper Guidelines to Keep in Mind

Alshon Jeffery Chicago Bears
Getty Images

Right around now is when I start getting a lot of questions from friends and other fantasy football players about who they should keep for next year. If you play in a keeper league, knowing which players to keep on your team for the upcoming season can make or break your future championship run. Every situation is different, but here are a few guidelines to follow as you evaluate your potential keepers.

6. Injury History

Darren McFadden Oakland Raiders
Getty Images

6. Injury History

Darren McFadden Oakland Raiders
Getty Images

Darren McFadden always has the potential to repeat his 2010 performance of almost 1,700 combined yards and 10 total TDs. But even if the Oakland Raiders hadn’t just signed Maurice Jones-Drew, I wouldn’t keep McFadden. That’s an obvious example, but remember that you want a full season out of your kept player or players. Make sure they don’t have a track record of missing too many games.

5. Team Situation

Tom Brady New England Patriots
Getty Images

5. Team Situation

Tom Brady New England Patriots
Getty Images

Tom Brady was a perennial top-five QB until he wasn’t. I would be lying if I told you that I knew Brady was going to disappoint last year. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I suspected. An elite player can succeed without a lot of talented teammates, but it’s much more difficult. Cam Newton having no solid WRs and Eric Decker catching passes from Geno Smith scare me. Know what circumstances have changed in the offseason before you keep someone.

4. Risk

DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles
Getty Images

4. Risk

DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles
Getty Images

This is a general assessment that can encompass a variety of concerns. One risk I already mentioned is injury. Another is off-field issues like Justin Blackmon’s suspension. Risks can even be murky accusations, like DeSean Jackson’s gang affiliation. I don’t know if and how involved he is in the gang, but I would take this into account when deciding whether to keep him. Find out as much as you can about a player’s on and off-field risks.

3. Value/Opportunity Cost

David Wilson New York Giants
Getty Images

3. Value/Opportunity Cost

David Wilson New York Giants
Getty Images

Know the risks, but also weigh them against the rewards. Some leagues keep a player in the round in which they were drafted last year, or for the auction price paid the previous season. For example, if you drafted David Wilson in the second round last year, that’s a risky keeper for the price. But if somehow you could keep him as your eighth-round pick, a lot changes. Take a chance on a high-risk, high-reward player if the value is there.

2. Position Scarcity

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Getty Images

2. Position Scarcity

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Getty Images

If you had to pick between Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson as your keeper, which player would you keep? That depends. Do you play in a deep 16-team league where bell cow RBs are hard to come by? Is your league PPR? What if your league starts two RBs but three WRs? Your decision should never be based solely on player performance. Know which positions your league values, as well as which players are likely to be kept by other teams.

1. Something is Better than Nothing

Matt Forte Chicago Bears
Getty Images

1. Something is Better than Nothing

Matt Forte Chicago Bears
Getty Images

Let’s say that your league allows you to keep only two players, but you have Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy. Regardless of which two players you keep of those three options, why let the third go to waste? If your league allows it, make an offseason trade for a draft pick or auction dollars. Someone will get that player anyway next year, so why not get something out of him while you can? Your trash could be someone else's treasure.