Monday, July 9, 2012

Maximizing the Value of Your Fantasy Football Keepers

  I always think it is funny when I ask guys about who they are going to keep in their fantasy football keeper leagues and they respond with a chuckle and name the two most obvious guys on their roster. It is funny because they chuckle like it is a no brainer and say.... "I am going to keep MJD and Greg Jennings, no doubt about it." But the truth is that if you want to dominate your draft and really succeed in your keeper league you need to select your keepers based off of value and not necessarily the "Big Names".
  Most keepers leagues will keep things fair by carrying over draft values or auction values from the previous year and subtract them from this years budget or draft. This is important because if you drafted MJD in round one last year and Greg Jennings in round two, then this year you will then have to wait until round 3 to begin building your team. But looking at it from a value stand point you need to understand something. If you have two studs that you paid a premium for last year then you may want to look at the value of your other players to see if you can get a step up on the rest of the league.
  One of the main purposes in a keeper league is to gain the most advantage over the other teams by strategically drafting and picking up guys for VALUE to then set yourself up for the following year. So yes by keeping MJD and Greg Jennings you will have two solid fantasy players but in the same sense if Greg Jennings has a current ADP (Average Draft Position) of Late second round then you are really not getting a good deal for him and actually over paying. That is why Value needs to be the focus in selecting your keepers.

So let me explain myself in a real case scenario.

Lets pretend this is your starting roster from last year using the ADP from 2011.
QB- Tony Romo (4th)
RB- Chris Johnson (1st)
RB- Fred Jackson (7th)
WR- Greg Jennings (2nd)
WR- Julio Jones (6th)
WR- Mario Manningham (8th)
TE- Vernon Davis (5th)
K- Ryan Longwell (13th)
D- Jets (11th)

  So looking at this team based off of this years rankings and very little research most of you would pick Chris Johnson and Greg Jennings as your two keepers, Right? Well just wait a minute lets do some research and see if that is truly the best move. This is where the true "VALUE" comes in.
Lets say you have the 4th pick in the draft. Here is what you need to do.. Go through each team in your league and make your BEST educated guess on who they will be keeping and cross them off your positional ranking sheet as unavailable. I use a positional breakdown ranking sheet because that gives you a view all the players being kept from that specific position. So teams with Aaron Rodgers & Arian Foster you can for sure cross them off and then know that the rest of their team may be available for your picking at the 4th spot. Why is this important you ask? Well this is very important because going back to what I said earlier one major thing about keepers leagues is that you are trying to get a step up on the other teams by out smarting them on draft day. So by guesstimating who the other teams in your league are going to keep you can make your keeper selections based off of the value that each player on your team holds now knowing the breakdown in each position. Are you still with me?? I sure hope because here is where the real fun begins. So going back to the team above.

Here are my thoughts... 

A couple options with VALUE based thinking to help you further understand this strategy.

Option #1
You keep...
Julio Jones - you loose a 6th pick and his current ADP= 3rd
Fred Jackson - you loose 7th pick and his current ADP= 3rd
Keeping Chris Johnson you force him onto your squad and are over paying for him with the 4th overall pick. By not keeping him you actually may get a chance to snatch him back up if there are 3 other better players left in the draft and you will have Julio Jones, Fred Jackson, and Chris Johnson on your squad before other players even have 1 RB.

Option #2
You keep...
Chris Johnson - You loose 1st round pick and his current ADP= 1st
Fred Jackson - you loose 7th pick and his current ADP= 3rd
You cant go wrong with grabbing two Top Rb's. This is a perfect way to separate yourself from the league by snagging up two top running backs and still having picks to create the rest of your team early. The value in this selection is getting two top RB's for a 1st and a 7th round pick.

So in summary make sure to take the time when selecting your keepers and make your selection based off of value and not always the big names. Yes there are going to be times where you need to keep the top dog such as Arian Foster and Aaron Rodgers but don't let a great opportunity sneak by. Always review your squad to the fullest and prepare for your keeper league by doing your research and preparing yourself for success. If you have individual keeper questions make sure to message me on twitter @Jakazz22