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Fantasy Baseball: Keeper League Q & A

Recently, I received an email from a reader with the following keeper league question. I am posting it as the keeper league rules are interesting, and none that I have seen before (I play in two keeper auction leagues, and one non-keeper league).

Here is the keeper question:

Reader: I saw you had a post about keeper questions earlier this month. My league -- for the first time -- is doing keepers this year, and I would love some advice if you have the time.

Here's how our league works. It's a 10 team weekly H2H roto league with the normal 5x5 cats, plus OPS and BB/KK ratio. The keeper system we came up with is this:

You can keep up to 5 players from the previous year, and they are broken down in to tiers based on when they were drafted/picked up. You can declare one keeper per tier. That keeper becomes your draft pick in the first round of that tier.

Tier 1 is for players drafted in Rounds 1-4
Tier 2 is for players in Rounds 5-8
Tier 3 for 9-12
Tier 4 13-16
Tier 5 17-12, and any waiver wire pickups

e.g. My tier 2 keeper becomes my 5th round draft pick.

A player drafted in a given tier can spend one year in that tier, and then if I want to keep then AGAIN, they get automatically bumped up a higher tier. You can also decide to bump someone up a tier prematurely, say if I wanted to keep two players from tier 4, I can make one a tier 3 guy to make room. Lastly, if you make a trade for a player or pick up one that was drafted at the beginning of the season, you have to use his original draft tier if you keep him.

Check out his roster and my response after the jump:

My team (which won last year) is as such:

Draft results:

1. (2) David Wright
2. (19) Prince Fielder
3. (22) CC Sabathia
4. (39) Kevin Youkilis
5. (42) Nate McLouth
6. (59) Álex Ríos
7. (62) Jacoby Ellsbury
8. (79) Jon Lester
9. (82) Ricky Nolasco
10. (99) Hunter Pence
11. (102) Javier Vázquez
12. (119) Brian Fuentes
13. (122) Ryan Dempster
14. (139) Heath Bell
15. (142) Mike Aviles
16. (159) Kelly Johnson
17. (162) Justin Duchscherer
18. (179) Pablo Sandoval
19. (182) Matt Lindstrom
20. (199) Mark Reynolds
21. (202) Hiroki Kuroda

Fake Teams:

Thanks for the email.

I would definitely keep Reynolds and Sandoval moving Reynolds up a tier. They are no brainers for me.
Then I would keep Vasquez for tier 3. Strong K/BB last year.
Ellsbury for tier 2-his SBs are worth it, although I would have to consider Lester there as well.
Tier 1-Fielder. I always take the hitter over the pitcher, and I am not a Wright fan. Fielder's power is too much to even consider CC or Wright.

So you have Reynolds, Sandoval, Vasquez, Ellsbury and Fielder. You have 3 corner guys here, so you may want to consider dealing one for a top outfielder if possible.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Just a reminder to all readers that you can still email me at, or Ian at, or Matt at, if you have any keeper league or offseason trade questions.