My primary league will be moving to a keeper format this year for the first time (I am the commish) and this seems to be the only real problem that I don't have a good answer to.
It makes sense to have a draft based on the order in which you finish the previous year, but what incentive is there to stop teams from tanking at the end of the year in hopes of landing the #1 overall pick once they realize they don't have a shot at making the current playoffs?
Our league is a head to head format using fantasy points, so a tanking team can cause a lot of trouble as teams jockey for playoff positioning at the end of the season.
Anyway, just thought I would ask others who have more experience with setting up keeper leagues.
Are there any other things to keep in mind in moving to keeper format? We're looking at 10 teams with possibly 4 keepers.
If yours is just a straight keeper league, keeping people interested in competing late in the year is certainly a tough challenge. I run a contract/auction league, and we give out cash in a consolation tournament. That's more than enough incentive to compete late in the year. But you have a draft...
I've seen leagues order the draft in a nonsensical manner. For instance, maybe your league has the top-4 make the playoffs. The draft order the following year would be 5,6,7,8,9,10,4,3,2,1. I'm not the biggest fan of that as I believe it will drive the owners of low-ranked teams out of the league creating a revolving-door team that will never be well-managed.
You have to come up with some sort of incentive... Seems to me that the real problem is mostly predicated on the value of the first-round picks. How about a unique first round? Order the first round as I showed above or have a consolation tournament that divies out picks for the first round to the non-playoff teams. After the first round, the draft order could go back to normal with the lowest-ranked team starting.
That might excessively punish the good teams, but you get the idea. Create some incentive that punishes tanking and rewards teams that fought hard to make it to, and narrowly missed, the playoffs. That will keep owners on the up-and-up.
1) Do a playoff for the bottom 4 teams. Winner gets the 1st pick. so on...
2) Last place has some sort of penalty (beer supply at draft).
3) Do it like the NBA - ping pong balls.
In general I would do it straight up year one though. If it is a keeper league then acquiring the best keeprs is the goal for the lower level teams. If this means giving up depth for a few studs then so be it. The market will generally level itself, and the top teams will have to trade well to win..
In my 16-team keeper league, we have 2 playoff brackets. The bottom 8 teams are in the consolation bracket.
The winner of the consolation bracket gets 1st pick, 2nd place of the consolation bracket gets the 2nd pick. The other teams in the consolation bracket are guaranteed at least a top 8 pick.
The teams in the championship playoff bracket are guaranteed that they won't get any better then the 9th pick in next year's draft.
This system does not promote tanking, because if you tank, you won't do good in the consolation bracket. However, it doesn't hurt the worst teams (if they tanked or not) because they are still guaranteed at least the #8 pick.
1) Lottery system for the top pick. While taking last place gives you the best chance at the #1 pick it's not a guarantee.
2) In a 14-team league we have a 6 team championship bracket and a 6 team consolation bracket. That means only two teams are left out of the playoffs and since last place isn't a guarantee of the top pick but 12th place gets you into a playoff that has some worthwhile bragging rights teams don't really have a compelling reason to tank it.
I guess is we had a 13th and 14th place team that were both far out of it they could compete at tanking it but the difference in the lottery chances isn't large enough to make that worthwhile.
One of my leagues is a money league, but the bottom 5 (out of 12) pay a "fine" for finishing in the bottom of the league. Last place pays the most. Definitely an incentive to stay competetive at the end.