Okay folks, here it is.
My friend and I have invented a new keeper league system. We came up with the idea last year, and have been tweaking and developing it ever since. My league just finished using it for the first year.
It's more complicated than the simple 'keep any 8 players'. We devised a system that gives each managers 'contract-years' (or C-Ys, for short) based on where they finished in the standings. You can then use your C-Ys to sign players to contracts. You may sign players to one year or multi-year contracts, so long as you have enough C-Ys.
So if you have 10 C-Ys, you can sign 10 players to one year contracts, two players to five-year contracts, or any other combination you want.
Once a player's contract is over, they become a restricted free agent. Other managers can then offer that player a contract. The manager whose team that player is on may match any bid that is made (hence the 'restricted' part).
This is a mere sketch. It's easiest to see by following a simulation, which I've posted along with the rules for my league. Please take a look and tell me what you think:
(warning: I'm no web-design guru; I know enough HTML to make a functional site, not much more. Also be forewarned that the overall league website is still heavily under construction, so most of the links to other pages are dead. But that shouldn't matter.)
I think this is a great keeper system - especially for those of you who like to stay active in the off-season. We've had an absolute blast with it in my league.
I'm really curious to see what people here think of this. I'm going to be writing both The Sporting News and Yahoo and try to encourage them to start a keeper league for us fantasy players (and to use my system - it'd be great if it were all automated). I'd love it if other leagues started to use it. It'd be helpful to collect data on how it is working so that I could continue to develop it.
One other note. The final section, "10. Multiple C-Y scenario", is brand new. We are not using this in my league (not yet, anyway), and there may be flaws here that I haven't considered.
I look forward to hearing what people think about this!