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Keeper League Needing a Change

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Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby RustyKuntz » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:00 pm

I'm in a keeper league entering it's 4th year. For the previous 3 years we have simply just kept 5 guys with no price. Obviously, as a result this has led to some teams with the top players keeping the same guys every year. There has been some dissent on this as there has been a desire to mix players up.
I'm familiar with several different ways to do keeper leagues (losing rd, losing round + x rds, bracketed keepers, etc.) but the problem in conceptualizing all of these is that we already have keepers established and so it's hard to just throw them all back one year and we obviously don't want to start over. You can't really "bracket" people that haven't been drafted for 3 years...
Has anyone else attempted to make a switch like that? What ideas does anyone have?
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby RDD15 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:20 pm

First, encourage teams to take a "rebuilding year". With your current format, good owners can revive teams, but they have to work hard to do it and they have to understand that there will be a rough year or two involved standings-wise.

I think cutting your keeper lists down to 3 for one year is another fair way to redistribute some players. The top teams keep a little bit of the edge they have worked for, but the worse teams get a chance to draft more up-and-comers. The problem here is that the 3 keepers per team still have no draft value assigned to them for the future.

Honestly, it is going to be tough to implement something like this mid-stream. Either you need to use your old draft to somehow assign draft pick surrender values to players, or redraft completely if you want to implement some sort of system to keep players from polarizing.

I took over an awful, awful team in a 16 team H2H keeper with 10 major and 7 minor league keepers last year. That team had 3 worthwhile players (Pujols and Carlos Lee in the Majors, and Scherzer in the Minors) and in almost exactly one year at this point, I have been able to rebuild that team into one that might not be able to win it all this year, but will be in the top 1/3 of the league, with a real strong chance to compete for a title in '10. Rebuild jobs in keeper leagues with no limit on how long you can keep a player are possible, but they require some work and patience.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Trojan Pony » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:23 pm

My league uses two rules that may address this dilemma:
1. Only players taken after a certain number of rounds are eligible as keepers. Number of rounds depends on the number of teams in the league, but usually it's 3 or 4 (about 50 players). This prevents the elite players from being kept at all, unless they were drafted and kept before they became "elite".
2. Players may be claimed as a keeper for a maximum of three seasons. After being claimed for three consecutive seasons, by any team, the player must be released to the draft, where it can be drafted by any team. This prevents teams keeping the same stud player(s) for an eternity.

These are pretty simple rules and would avoid having to assign player salaries or anything like that. Obviously, you could include a grandfather clause that any existing keepers will not suddenly be made ineligible by adding these rules.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Eagle Baseball » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:06 pm

no matter what you do you will upset some managers so be prepared for that. if you can get the other managers to agree on a bracket type or lose the round they were drafted just go back a year and find an unbiased provider (ie use Yahoo or CBS or ESPN default ranking from last year) and slot the players into those rankings so come up with a round they would have been drafted. Than assign that round to the players.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:15 pm

A few notes about how my personal keeper league works that may or may not be of use to you...

- Our "unit of currency" is "years of service". Each team gets a salary cap of 20 years of service. Every year you protect a guy, his years of service is increased by 1. Eventually it becomes prohibitive to keep him. Our best players seem to top out around 8 years of service.

- When we started this, we initially "seeded" it with something like, "Guys drafted in the first 3 rounds start at a cost of 4. Guys in the next 4 rounds start with a cost of 3. Guys in the next 5 rounds start with a cost of 2. Everyone else has a cost of 1."

- We have another rule that says the winner only gets to protect 8 years of service. This sort of forces the winner to rebuild and start over, which is nice for the overall league dynamic. And yes, we have had a back to back winner, which is a nice piece of work.

- Any time we make any real substantive change in our keeper league, we tend to do it with a year's advance warning. Otherwise everything we wanted to change was met with, "OMG! That would screw my team, so no!" So for instance this year we're switching from IP to K's and from SB to (SB-CS). But we decided upon this prior to last season as I recall. That gives teams a full season to adapt to the upcoming rule change as they see fit.

- We have a tweak that says that if a player completely clears waivers, his cost resets.

- At some point we added an in-season salary cap (higher than 20) to counterbalance a dynamic where the top few contending teams were amassing ALL the expensive high-quality guys.

Don't know if this helps you; you may or may not have any way to know how long guys have been protected.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Curtis Pride » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:30 pm

Well, first, I'd say it's too late to make any changes for the 2009 season. People who played 2008 based on the expected 2009 rules (and thus built teams to maximize your settings) will be a bit reactionary about any changes. If you say that you are looking to discuss changes for the 2010 season - and have them all settled before the draft - people may be more engaged. Plus it'll give you something to do before the draft.

First thing that I think keeps the league fresh is to put a limit on the # of years a player can be kept. If there's no limit, you're going to have a guy with Pujols, Hanley, Sizemore, etc for the next decade. Kind of boring. We have a limit of 4 years (or 5 years if we acquired them as minor leaguers)

Second, in terms of keeper types, the way we have it is round drafted + 3 each year. I drafted McLouth last year in the 20th round - he costs me a 17th round pick this year. Since it moves up 3 every year, the first 3 rounds (and really like the first 5 rounds) rarely have keepers (aside from guys like Lincecum and Braun who are being kept), so there is always a lot of talent in the draft.

You could reduce the number of keepers which makes it harder for someone to build a dynasty.

I disagree that you want to encourage people to "take a year off" and "rebuild". This results in one team selling off anything of value, and whichever team (or teams) trades away David Price and Matt Wieters for the other teams first 6 draft picks, it throws off the competitive balance of the league and ends up with a ton of people being pissed off.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Trojan Pony » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:06 pm

Curtis, I have a question about using that kind system... Can you keep players taken in rounds 1,2, and 3? Mathematically, +3 rounds would send them into negative rounds, which don't exist (not in my world anyway). Would you sacrifice your 1st round pick to keep any player taken in the top 3 rounds? And therefore only be able to keep a maximum of one such player?
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Curtis Pride » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:38 pm

No players drafted (or previously kept) before the 4th round can be kept in our league set up.
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Trojan Pony » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Hmmm... I kind of like that method... I don't think there's any way to logistically make it work on ESPN however... ?
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Re: Keeper League Needing a Change

Postby Trojan Pony » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:35 am

Curtis: Also, what about players who went undrafted the previous year? Can they be kept? What draft round would you sacrifice to keep them?
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