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Keeper Lists

At this time of year, AL-only and NL-only keeper leagues are finalizing their protects and looking to deal the excess protectables in two- and three-for-ones to teams that do not have a full complement of keepers.  If other leagues are similar to mine, then these teams with an excess of protectable players are meeting resistance in their efforts to trade multiple players to those without a full keeper list.

Assuming the players being offered are within reasonable prices, then the teams without full protect lists are putting themselves at a distinct disadvantage for the season.  The draft is a great place to fill-out your roster, but the pre-draft trading of multiple players for one without the necessity of matching positions is a vital part of setting-up your team for success during the season and not trying to maximize your total number of keepers is a mistake.

The simple fact is the fewer roster spots that need to be filled via the draft, the better your chances of success.  At the draft, every team is looking to add the best players it can to complete its team.  This is a duh statement, but one that teams that enter the draft without maximizing their keepers fail to fully comprehend.

Every team is looking for the best players, and, in keeper leagues, that list is considerably smaller than non-keeper leagues. Not withstanding an enormous gap in knowledge, each team at the draft should be assumed to get its fair share of best available players at the draft.  If there are 48 of them in a 12-team league, you should expect four of those players to land on each team.

If you've got the full complement of protects (14) with 23 total roster spots, you need only fish around for 5 more players.  Does anyone expect a 100% success rate on those five players?  If you entered with 9 protects, then your share of quality players brings your roster total to 13.  You need to fish for 10 more players to fill-out your roster!  

Even if you get five of the top players amongst the next group of draftees, you're still left with 5 roster spots for the likes of back-up catchers and useless back-up infielders of the kind only the Dodgers can love (See Ramon martinez and Wilson Valdez.)

The percentages tell you to maximize the number of players you can protect entering your draft.  Failing to do so puts you one-step behind your competitors in a game that requires as many opportunities for success (luck) as one can get.