Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Jun 2009

New Keeper League Team Help

I'm joining a 14 team keeper league that's in it second year already. There's three available teams and I'm trying to decide which one to take over (and I kinda need some help). There are contracts but I can only give out a one year extension to one player per year for players that I kept. It sounds complicated but I'll explain how it effects each team. Scoring is standard except for .5 points per reception and .15 points per completion. 18 man rosters starting 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR, K, D/ST. Here's the teams:

Team #1:
Aaron Rodgers
Lendale White (2 years)
LT
Felix Jones (2 years)
Calvin Johnson
Ted Ginn

+ 4th pick in rookie draft and 4th pick in regular draft (not a snake draft)

Basically my extension power is going to be used to keep Calvin Johnson around most likely. Therefore LT, Rodgers, and Ginn are gone after this year. White and Jones have two years left before I decide if I want to extend one of them for a year or Calvin again. No player can be kept longer than five years but I can give 2 players in each year's draft extensions. Basically, all players not kept will be in the draft again this year and I can extend two of them for multiple years so it's not like Johnson is the only player that I'm keeping. Also, I get the highest pick of the three teams. At the least, I think this team has a good chance to compete this year.

Team #2:
Tony Romo (2 years)
Matt Ryan (2 years)
Marshawn Lynch (2 years)
Carnell Williams
Deion Branch

+ 6th pick in rookie draft and 6th pick in regular draft

If I use the extensions right, I could have Romo for 2 more years, and then Lynch for 3 years and Ryan for 4 years (or Ryan for 3 and Lynch for 4). However, the other two keepers are garbage. It seems like this team is built well for the future but I don't like their prospects for this year, especially in a 1 QB league. I don't have a ton of keeper experience so I'm not sure how to value Ryan. Lynch is much better than any RB on Team #1 or Team #3.

Team #3
Matt Hasselbeck
Darren McFadden (2 years)
Leon Washington (2 years)
Braylon Edwards
Chris Cooley
Bears D

+ 8th pick in rookie draft and 8th pick in regular draft
This team seems worse than the other two. There's some potential but not enough of a sure thing. Plus, they have the lowest draft pick, which is important because it isn't a snake draft.

Basically I think the choice is down to Team #1 and Team #2. I was leaning towards Team #1 but now I am not sure. Calvin is the best keeper but Lynch is a stud as well. I think Team #1 has the clear edge for this year but after that the Romo/Lynch/Ryan combo (multi-year keepers) is better than the Calvin/Lendale White/Felix Jones one right? This is only slightly helped by the fact the Team #1's draft chocies are 2 picks higher, although this could help me get an impact rookie. How much value should I place in down-the-line team prospects? Which team are you guys taking?

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this.

Posted by: thestar5 on 27 Jun 2009

13 replies , Last at 24 Jul 2009, 4:37pm by bingo762

1
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Sat, 06/27/2009 - 6:00pm

One more thing actually. Another team just became available which is pretty strong too.

Team #4:
MJD (2 years)
Ryan Grant
James Hardy
Desean Jackson
Tim Hightower (2 years)

+ 5th pick in rookie draft and 5th pick in regular draft (not snaked)

Very good RB situation. I could also bring back either Brandon Marshall for a 3rd round pick or Cedric Benson for a 10th rounder (and remember most of the top 50 players are kept so these are good trade offs. If I don't bring back either of them I could extend Grant for another year. I think this team has a good chance of competing this year and in the future.

Any and all input is very much appreciated.

5
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by roguerouge :: Tue, 06/30/2009 - 11:57am

Take team one. It's football, not baseball. The injury rate and coaching turnover rate is so high, that you shouldn't weight the future that high. You've got a solid shot with team one, while team four is a super stud and a bunch of high-upside and buy-low guys.

2
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by Yadda3x :: Mon, 06/29/2009 - 2:47am

With such a deep league I'm a little out of my element in terms of quality of players available. I may also get a bit mixed up on your keeper rules. But a little quick math shows that 14 teams x 6 keeps = approximately 84 players before a draft. In terms of dynasty rating anything inside that is worth a serious look and inside 50 overall is quite good.

Team 3 is flat out terrible. Team 2 has some possibility if you could trade away one of those quarterbacks before the draft. With a 14 team league, quality QB's under contract may be at a premium. In dynasty terms, I'd say that Ryan, Rodgers, and Rivers are in the same area at QB's 4,5,6 respectively (high teens to low 20's overall.) I have Romo as the 7th QB, but he's a bit further out at around 30 overall. I think team 2 is a pass given your other options.

Teams one and four have close drafts positions, but obviously one has an advantage as you aren't snaking. Two years ago I picked up a last place team and parlayed it into a dominate team with Adrian Peterson at pick 1 and Andre Johnson at 11. Don't underestimate the power of rookie and redraft players, particularly in non-snaking drafts.

Team one has dynasty stud Calvin Johnson. Aaron Rodgers is a great dynasty QB. LT could be great this year (or not), but clearly his long term use is limited. If your team fails to perform definitely consider him as trade bait to a win this year team if you can shop him. Jones and Lendale are okay in such a deep league. This may be Ginn's breakout year, but I doubt it (I have him too.) This has all of the positions covered already and could be a playoff team this year depending how the rest of your league looks, your draft, and some luck.

Team four has dynasty super-stud MJD for two years. At .5 PPR he's basically a toss up for number one pick. Ryan Grant is not a great PPR running back. In dynasty terms I have him in the low 60's overall. That's the same range as Felix Jones as a dynasty player though Grant should beat him by a wide margin this year and Jones is kind of a boom or bust. But, I don't think you'll win with this team this year anyway. I plugged your numbers and the lack of QB would be real trouble to win. I don't even have Hardy on my radar, he's a deep sleeper. Desean Jackson is really good, but Philly is now loaded at WR possibilities. I would say that having Hightower for 2 years is a liability not a plus. Wells is the talented starter next year, and probably even this year. I don't see Benson doing it, his line is suspect and he's mediocre. Marshall is drama, but he's really good. Though he got a big downgrade at QB. He is not the kind of player I like to bet on in a dynasty format due to the high knucklehead factor (see also Plaxico Burress.) I would definitely take him for a round three pick if you take this team though because that's effectively more like a 9th round pick. Benson as a 16th round pick? Sure, you'd do that but meh.

If it were me, I'd take team one. It's a more complete starting team, doesn't have all the dead weight, and even has a better draft spot. If there were a way you could extend Rodgers (like not keeping Ginn or extending one of those RB) I'd do it. dynasty is about seeing the future and exploiting your league's rules. I plugged your numbers (or what I think they are) and QB's score a lot of points. Picking up rookie or ~15 ranked quarterback can suck the life out of your year.

Hope it helps

3
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Mon, 06/29/2009 - 4:08am

Wow, thanks for giving such a great response. Let me try to clarify a couple things.

I agree with you about Teams 2 and 3. I've narrowed it down to 1 and 4.

There's not quite that many keepers. Some of the contracted players were dropped so there should be about 60 keepers when it's all said and done. On top of that, some of the keepers (like the aformentioned James Hardy and Carnell Williams) aren't very good because they had to be given contracts before last season. Also 5 of the keepers are defenses (no idea why). So the draft not quite as shallow as it appears to be. The best available players are Matt Forte, Greg Jennings, Boldin, Colston, Brandon Jacobs. Steve Smith, Witten, Gates, and Rivers.

As far as the Team #1 keeper situation, I should have explained that better as this is a key difference. Calvin Johnson technically has 0 years left on his contract so I would have to use my contract extension THIS YEAR just to keep him. This means I have to give up my 4th round pick (which isn't an issue). I included him in the keeper list because I am sure he is the player I would use the extension on.

However, after this year Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, LT, and Ginn are all free agents. Therefore, only one of them gets a one year extension and the other three will go back into the draft pool. This also means that after year two the player I extended after year one will be a free agent again, along with Felix Jones and Lendale White. So again I can only keep one of them. Do keep in mind though that I can give two multi-year deals to players from the redraft pool each year. This is how it would break down:

Team #1 Keepers for this year:
Calvin Johnson
LT
Aaron Rodgers
Lendale White
Felix Jones
Ted Ginn

Keepers after year one (presuming I extend Calvin Johnson):
Calvin Johnson
Felix Jones
Lendale White
2 players from '09 draft

Keepers after year two:
Calvin Johnson
1 player from '09 draft
2 players from '10 draft

Keepers after year three:
Calvin Johnson
1 player from '10 draft
2 players from '11 draft

Now team #2 already has MJD signed for two years before using a contract extension, so he really is locked up for two years more than Johnson. This is key because I can use the contract extension on other players. One thing to note is that I can only use the extension on players who are impending free agents or have one year left on their deal. If they have multiple years left I cannot extend their contract. With that said I can use the contract extension for this year to extend Ryan Grant or Desean Jackson or I can use it to bring back Brandon Marshall for a 3rd rounder or Cedric Benson for a 10th rounder. Here are the scenarios:

Team #2 Keepers for this year:
MJD
Ryan Grant
James Hardy
Desean Jackson
Tim Hightower
+ Brandon Marshall if I don't extend Grant or Jackson

Keepers after year one:
MJD
Hightower
Grant or Jackson (or Marshall if he is on the team)
2 players from '09 draft
+ 1 other player from the team if I extended Grant or Jackson originally

Keepers after year two:
MJD
Grant or Jackson or Marshall
1 player from '09 draft
2 players from '10 draft

Keepers after year three:
MJD
1 player from '10 draft
2 players from '11 draft

I know this is probably complicated but hopefully it makes sense. I do think Team #4 looks like it is in better position for the future. As always any input is greatly appreciated.

4
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Mon, 06/29/2009 - 8:45pm

One thing I just realized is that the scoring has one more quirk that I didn't mention. Players get 5 bonus points for 100 yards rushing, 100 yards receiving, and 300 yards passing. I don't think it should help any position too much, but it does seem to give RB's and QB's a bit of an advantage over WR's/TE's. And that is a really high bonus.

I suppose it might be possible to trade some combination LT/Rodgers/Ginn for players who are still good but are signed longer term as well. If I could do this I could improve the keeper situation for Team #1, which is my biggest worry.

Still, having MJD locked up for two years is such a huge advantage... I'm still really not sure who to pick.

6
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by Marcumzilla :: Wed, 07/01/2009 - 6:29pm

If a player gets 100 yards rushing, 100 yards receiving, and 300 yards passing; then I think he deserves a whole lot more than 5 bonus points! :D

From my understanding of things, I'd take team 1 as well. As nice as having MJD would be, I'd also consider the shorter shelf-life of RBs compared to QB and WR. Every year I'm able to nab a new RB keeper at some point. Top notch WRs are harder to find in a year-to-year basis. (QBs are too, but my keeper leagues are either 2QB or more dynstay style, so those don't translate as well.)

7
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Thu, 07/02/2009 - 3:31pm

OK, so after much thought and consideration, I decided to go with Team #1, the team with LT and Calvin Johnson. Thanks for all of the help guys.

I if may one more question though, that would be great. The rookie draft is coming up and I have the #4 overall pick. So who is your guys type four rookies (keeper league and .5 PPR, remember)? I was thinking:

Moreno
Wells
Donald Brown
Crabtree
McCoy

Crabtree is ranked fairly low by ADP in redrafts, but I figure the top receiver has to be pretty high. I think it's a no-brainer to go with Moreno or Wells if they are there, but I doubt they will be. WOuld you go with Crabtree over Brown or McCoy?

Thanks again.

8
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by Dan :: Thu, 07/02/2009 - 4:08pm

How long is the rookie contract for? In all likelihood you're going to be using your extensions on Megatron, not on your rookie, which means that you'll only have your rookie for the length of his rookie contract. If the contracts are short (a year or two, or maybe even three) then I'd go with one of the RBs over Crabtree, since RBs usually get up to speed a lot quicker than WRs. If they're longer then it could go either way, depending on what you think of the players.

9
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Thu, 07/02/2009 - 8:25pm

Rookies are a different beast. Basically I don't have to use the extension on rookies, I can keep rookies as long as I want (well, for up to five years). But if I do it takes up one of my rookie draft picks.

So if I drafted Crabtree 4th and kept Crabtree after this year I would lose my 1st round pick in the rookie draft. There are two rounds, and if I only keep the player I drafted with my 2nd round pick I only lose the 2nd rounder. This process goes on each year for up to five years. I can still use my contract extension on anyone else though (most likely Calvin Johnson, as you said).

If I want to I can use my contract extension on a rookie (If I don't want to lose any rookie draft picks) but in most circumstances this would be pointless.

So basically, deciding whether the rookie I drafted is kept is based on whether I think I could draft a better rookie in the rookie draft with the pick I would have to give up. So it's probably better to get immediate results, but a long term stud would be good too.

10
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Thu, 07/02/2009 - 8:26pm

And obviously this should read "Who are your guys top four rookies?"

11
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by tuluse :: Thu, 07/02/2009 - 11:57pm

I might consider Jeremy Maclin depending on who's available when you draft. I'm pretty down on the running backs this year. I think Wells would be at the top of my list. Brown and McCoy might be good but they are going to have to split time with established players. I think I would give McCoy the edge here because I think there is a good chance Westbrook finally breaks down.

So as a direct response to your question, I would take Crabtree over Brown. I'm not sure about McCoy.

12
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by thestar5 :: Fri, 07/03/2009 - 2:30am

Did you mean Maclin over Crabtree or Maclin over Brown and McCoy? Because I was under the impression that Maclin wasn't going to get too many touches this year because of the Eagles deep receiver corps, certainly not as many as Crabtree.

13
Re: New Keeper League Team Help
by bingo762 :: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 4:37pm

I'd stay away from Maclin. I live in Philly and have watched the Eagles for years. They spread the ball around too much. No Philly WR is trustworthy for fantasy purposes. Plus it's kinda tough for rookies in their system. Jackson was kinda an exception. He got PT because of injuries but go back and look at his game by game numbers. Not that good. If Maclin has over 35 catches and 500 yds. I'll be shocked

Login or register to post comments