Yeah. On our site (Yahoo!), you can associate a numeric "cost" with all keepers. The commish has to put these in by hand, because different leagues do all sorts of different wacky things for cost. We do not allow you do associate costs with guys who aren't keepers; I'm beginning to wonder if that is something we should revisit. If you do an offline draft, you could mark every player as a keeper if you wanted, I suppose.
As for when costs clear. We (Yahoo!) have a feature where you can designate certain conditions that clear a player's keeper status (and thus stop displaying a cost). You can choose any or all of:
- If he is traded
- If he is dropped
- If he is dropped and clears waivers
We offer the first, but my league sure doesn't do that, and I can't really imagine why a league would; it seems extremely exploitable. My personal league used to use the option where a players cost resets if he is dropped and clears waivers, but we stopped this year. There was some controversy when a team playing for the current year would say, "Player X, who is valuable but too expensive to protect, isn't going to help me win this year. So I'm dropping him." The rest of the league then gets to play chicken; of course you don't want him at the high cost, but if you don't put in a claim, and nobody else puts in a claim, then his cost is going to reset to 0 in the middle of the night one day, and there is a race to pick up this guy who just suddenly became much more valuable. Rather than deal with that drama anymore, we just decided not to reset their cost midseason at all. The only time we reset a player cost now is if a guy goes unprotected at the end of a season.
And to close the loop on what Yahoo! provides, we never act on or try to enforce the costs in any way. We just display them for informational purposes.