Fantasy Keeper Advice
One of the biggest attractions to Fantasy Football owners is the team building stage. Fantasy owners love the fact they can rebuild their team as it can be a lot like what a real general manager in the NFL would accomplish. The allure of drafting superstars and moving players around through free agency or trades gives each owner a sense of pride in that they had the foresight in spotting gems and building a winning championship.
While we all enter a new season with high hope and aspiration, sometimes seasons can be plagued with injuries or bad luck. In that case, steps need to be taken in order to rebuild.
Trading for draft picks or young promising talent is always a smart strategy, yet you need to be smart with who goes and who stays. Fantasy owners have a bad habit of over-thinking keepers. The long NFL off-season can flip-flop coaching staffs, elite personal or have jobs lost through youth movements from the NFL Draft. The following are some easy tips to keep in mind before doing damage to future fantasy rosters:
Have a Plan… But Keep an Open Mind
Did you think the Philadelphia Eagles were going to drop DeSean Jackson last year? After a career year in the new Chip Kelly offense nobody could have predicted that the team would simply let go of one of their best players. The same could be said of Percy Harvin who looked like a vital piece of the Seahawks offense. Trades don’t always make sense in the NFL. Locker room drama or monster player salaries are a bigger part of the game than the average fan thinks about.
When deciding on which players to keep on your fantasy team, try to leave some wiggle room for off-season surprises. I remember, a couple years back, inquiring about Aaron Hernandez a few months before news broke that he was a psychopath. I’m very glad I decided to take the off-season to think it over before trading for a guy that would end up behind bars. Obviously, that was an extreme case and isn’t a regular occurrence. Or is it? Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice ruined some keeper leagues this season with their off-season problems and they were considered to be upstanding role models.
My point is, if you trade away everyone with talent before the off-season you could find yourself having to make deals come August to re-acquire players to keep thanks to off-season surprises. When in doubt, be patent and only move players for great offers.
You Don’t Need an Entire Team of Rookies
The NFL Draft is producing bigger and better talents every year. Yet, to trade away an entire roster full of 26-year-olds -arguably players in-their-prime- for a dozen draft picks won’t result in a quick turnaround. You need a happy balance of youth and talent to rebuild. Most NFL squads run with a veteran crew while teaching rookies along the way. A fantasy team can use this same strategy. If you have a large bench, you should take advantage of the space and stash tomorrow’s stars while running with players that can still get you wins.
Keeping less than 5? Flex Players Only Please
Expect for a couple of QBs (Rodgers, Luck), I don’t see any reason why you should keep a Quarterback, Kicker or Defense. I desperately told people to not keep the Seattle defense in the offseason, but I couldn’t seem to get through to them.
In summary, try to add youth and picks for the future but do your best to try and map out a plan for the future that gives you the best chance to win in the shortest amount of time. Remember why we play the game, it’s to win a championship, not to build the best roster. Keep you eye on the prize.