As we churn on towards draft season, we found several keeper questions in our SCFE mailbag! (You can ask your Fantasy Football questions here, which sends our “So-Called Fantasy Experts” an email!)
These are all submissions from our readers, so please feel free to submit any questions you might have.
Every once in a while it really helps to get someone else’s point of view, so that your own biases are not making all of your decision.
The majority of these questions are for keeper leagues as people have not started their drafts just yet. However, if you have either/or questions about players or strategy in general, please submit them.
Ask the SCFE Staff: Keeper Questions
Each question is offset from the answers below it by using a block-quote box.
“I am in a 2 keeper, .5PPR, 14-Team league. Who should I keep from the following: Todd Gurley (costs a 2nd round pick), Cam Newton (4th round pick), Mike Evans (5th round pick), Josh Gordon (13th round pick), Kevin White (13th round pick), Latavius Murray (12th round pick). I have the 6th pick of draft and was thinking of keeping Evans and Kevin White because I think White could be a solid Flex and a keeper for the future.” — Mike
SCFE’s David Gonos: “Win now. Always be thinking that in keeper leagues with really small keeper limits (like two). Don’t outsmart yourself with the Kevin White thing. I’d go Gurley and either Murray or Gordon (I’d go Gurley/Murray, then focus on WRs in the early rounds). That gives you solid base for now and a great holdover for future.”
I agree with Gonos. Gurley is a must-keep. Although Evans will probably provide more production than Murray or Gordon, the value of giving up a double-digit round pick for the latter two is too good to pass up.
“I’m in a 12-man standard league and we are keeping 3 players. I can only start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 D and no flex. I was going to keep A.J. Green, Brandin Cooks and Allen Robinson but should I try to trade for a top RB so I am keeping starters or just roll with 3 solid WRs?” — Travis
SCFE’s Michael Tomlin: Off the bat, I would say keep all three receivers. Unless someone is going to offer you a sweet deal for one of the top, young backs (Gurley, Bell, Elliott, Miller) for Cooks or Robinson, then you are not going to get good enough value in return, pre-draft.
Think of it this way: Cooks and Robinson are only 22 years old. Green is 28. They all three have plenty of seasons left in their prime, as opposed to trading for Jamaal Charles, Mark Ingram or LeSean McCoy who are going at about the same ADP as your receivers and on the back end of their primes.
Now once the season starts, someone will be WR-needy, and you will be able to get a better haul in return.
A lot of negative talk about Brandin Cooks early in the year but at just 22, he had a really promising season pic.twitter.com/xQqDBIeXET
— Mike Braude (@BraudeM) March 2, 2016
“I’m in a 10-Team, PPR keeper league where you can keep a player in a particular round forever without penalty (which is dumb) so keeping a player in the 13th and hoping he becomes a star is ideal. I have the following options this year: Kelvin Benjamin – Rd 13, Jay Ajayi – Rd 13, Kevin White – Rd 13, Allen Hurns – Rd 13, Dorial Green-Beckham – Rd 13. My gut says Benjamin of course but I am a Bears fan and if Kevin White pans out, I’d love that guy on my team. Got burned by CJ last year so keeping an RB is not high on my list.” — Dave
SCFE’s Gonos: “It’s definitely between Benjamin and White for me, but yeah, I’d go Benjamin. White could certainly blow up, but the odds that he blows up into a top-three WR, as opposed to a top-10 WR (which is what Benjamin is projected to be in the coming years), is pretty tough. So I’d keep Benjamin (bird in hand) and throw White back — then draft him back in Round 5 or 6. Plus, you’ll be rooting for White no matter what, because you’re a Bears fan, but you don’t want to hate him because he only turns into a top-25 WR in the next two years.”
Once again, I agree with Gonos (I promise this is not always the case). The ceilings for both Benjamin and White are roughly the same, but Benjamin has a much higher floor having already had a solid season.
“I am in a 12-Team, PPR, Keeper League. You can also play a QB in the flex spot. I need to pick four from: LeVeon Bell – 2nd round, Brandon Marshall – 3rd round, Matthew Stafford – 5th round, Steve Smith Sr. – 6th round, Ryan Fitzpatrick – 11th round, Carson Palmer – 16th round, or Thomas Rawls – 16th round.” — Seth
SCFE’s Tomlin: In my understanding, you can start 2 QB’s a week. That means Carson Palmer is a MUST keep at the price of a 16th round pick. Along those same lines, I’m guessing since you picked Palmer/Rawls off the waiver wire, they count as the last pick you have remaining. So Rawls for a 15th rounder is also a must keep. His upside at the price is too good to pass up.
I think the next best decision would be Brandon Marshall for a 3rd round pick. Marshall is steadily creeping towards the top of the second round and we seem to forget he was the third leading scorer among receivers in PPR last season.
The last one is a little tough. The suspension hurts Bell’s stock, but he will probably contend for the highest scoring PPR Running Back in points per game. I’m also guessing that the majority of other elite backs will be kept because of their low prices last season (Gurley, Freeman, David Johnson, Lamar Miller, Doug Martin) so I think you go with Bell as well.
“I’m a commissioner of a 12-team, PPR Keeper League. With that being said, this is our 2nd year and I am confused on the drafting order if you decide to keep a player that you drafted from the previous season. Especially, if you decide to keep a player you picked up off of wavier the previous season. During this year’s draft, which round of the draft will you lose? Any information regarding this matter will be greatly appreciated.” — Eddie
SCFE’s Gonos: “Ok, if you’re doing a dynasty league, where MOST of the players on teams last year just move over onto the same teams this year, then do a worst-to-first draft order, like the NFL.
But this sounds like you’re just doing a regular keeper league, with like say two or three players being named keepers from last year.
For the draft order — I would still do a full-blown ping-pong ball lottery, and draw names out of a hat like you did last season. BUT — whoever had the worst team last year, maybe put their name into the hat three times for a chance at the very first pick (you’ll have to draw in that order — “The first pick goes to –” and then “The second pick goes to –” or else you’ll be giving the worst team three chances at the 12th pick instead of the first.
For keepers, I’m a fan of doing limited keeper leagues, where teams can only hold over players chosen after Round 9. That means the guy with the 12th pick in Round 1, now gets the first choice of keeper-eligible players in Round 10! As far as which pick do they lose when they keep a player, I’d just make it their last picks to avoid confusion.
If you don’t like the limited style, then consider doing an inflated keeper system, where a team can hold over ANY player, but they’ll have to give up a pick that’s two rounds higher than when they held that player. Then, every year, that continues to rise by two rounds. So if you want to keep Allen Robinson this year, after you took him in Round 8 last year, you’ll have to give up your Round 6 pick. If you want to keep him again next year, he’ll cost you your Round 4 pick! etc., etc.
Finally, if you don’t want to have too much paperwork, just have everyone lose a pick in the round they drafted their players if they keep them. For free-agent waiver pickups, they just lose their final draft pick.
Hope it all works out for you — I’m curious to see what you choose, and why! I might make this into an article for SCFE, because I’m sure other commissioners are curious, too!”
“I have to choose between these two for a 12-team, 1/2PPR keeper league. Thomas Rawls in the 8th round. Or C.J. Anderson in the 12th? Pretty hard decision if you ask me.” — Kris
SCFE’s Tomlin: I know I would take Anderson. When you think that at this point in time, C.J. Anderson has an ADP of 38.5 and Thomas Rawls has an ADP of 41.5, you are getting a lot more value with Anderson.
I do not like either of them in Round 4, but if I can keep Anderson for what amounts to a pick normally spent on a Defense, then it is too good to pass up.
“Last year I won my 12-team league championship so I now have the last pick in a snake draft. We have pretty standard ESPN scoring rules except we do .3 PPR. We can keep 2 players and here is who I have to consider from, as our keepers move up 1 round from where they were drafted and then you lose that draft pick: Todd Gurley for the 12th pick in the first round, Keenan Allen, Jordan Reed or Kirk Cousins for the last pick of the last round. I am thinking of going Gurley and Allen but in many ways I think Allen last round and Reed in second to last round would be better value. But if I don’t keep Gurley he will probably go #2 or #3 in our draft.” — Greg
SCFE’s Mark Strausberg: “Don’t overthink it. Getting a player like Gurley who most have as a Top-5 pick as a 12th pick is actually extremely good value. Even if it’s not tremendous value, it’s still good value. Furthermore, I like Reed a lot but I think there could easily be 5 TEs who end up with better seasons than him. To me, he and Allen would probably go around the same place in your draft. Choose whichever you feel better about but they are your second keeper. Gurley is your first keeper.”
I think the big factor here is that if you give up Gurley to keep your first round pick, there won’t be much first round talent available after keepers. I agree with Mark.
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