Keeper League Roundup

In my last piece on designing the perfect keeper league, I introduced two rules for designing an ideal keeper league. After reading some comments, I’ve decided that there was one thing I missed. So without further ado, I present the updated Keeper League Rules. An ideal keeper league should:

  1. Allow managers to get an advantage if they select players who outperform the consensus expectations

  2. Ensure such an advantage is small enough that it isn’t a deterrent to keeping other managers interested in competing in the future
  3. Leave enough interesting, quality players in the draft/auction such that it’s still an exciting and important event for each season

I also wanted to summarize the five keeper options I presented in my first article, along with all of the great reader ideas and suggestions in the comments. Going with the theme of the first two rules above, I thought it would be best to present these formats as a spectrum. The first league formats below are those which I’d deem conservative keeper rules. Leagues with these rules will allow for the most competitive leagues year after year, and the risks and rewards are both low. One good auction or draft won’t set you up for years of dominance, but it also ensures you won’t suffer years of wasted entry fees due to a few poor choices. Towards the end of the list are the formats I feel are most liberal. The reward for making good choices is very high, so managers are more likely to take some risks. Picking up a few prospects that pan out can give you a tremendous advantage for years to come; but at the same time, your opponents can just as easily put you on the receiving end of a Royals-esque decade with some wise choices of their own.

Of course, my ordering of these formats is simply my own subjective opinion; none of us have tried them all (if you have, please put the mouse down, back away from the monitor, and go spend some time with your family and friends). I hope it serves as a rough guide for those commissioners looking to start up a league; move down the list with your prospective managers, and find the point at which you’re satisfied with the amount of risk and reward that a particular option provides. I also want to throw out a proactive apology to those whose formats I simplified here. There’s nearly limitless combinations of the rules below, so I wanted to try to break them down as simply as possible so that they could be used as building blocks for those who want a more complex league.

Without further ado, the league settings:

  • Keep X players as the first X round picks of next year
    • As I mentioned in the previous piece, I’m not a fan of this idea. And in terms of this piece, it’s listed as the most conservative, least-rewarding league because a team can only really reap benefits from it if their top X picks are all keepers. Even if you have guys you’d like to keep as 2nd through 8th round picks, they become 1st through 7th picks, and are much less valuable.

  • Auction each player, with the previous year’s owner getting the right to match the final offer (and keep the player) or let the winning bidder keep the player at that price.
    • Really not too much benefit here to picking good players. Since we’d expect bidding among the other owners to approach a player’s actual value, in some senses you’re hoping the bidders bid too highly and you can stick them with an overpaid player (which is, in my estimation, the opposite of the point of a keeper league).

  • Keep any number of players at last year’s round or price if it would be your first year keeping them; all players who were previously kept once are put back into the draft.
    • So if you got a steal last year, you’ll keep it once more and then that’s that. There’s some benefit here to making good picks (in fact, in year two of ownership, this actually provides more of a reward than any other system), but the benefit disappears after that one year. I do like how this satisfies Keeper Rule #3 and really ensures drafts/auctions have a ton of top-tier players to keep it interesting.

  • Long-term contract: after owning a player for a year, you can sign him to a long-term contract for $5 extra in each successive season (ex. $6, $11, $16 for a guaranteed 3-year deal). Salary is used even if player is dropped mid-contract.
    • I like that this format helps players benefit from good picks, while also introducing one extra cost: the possibility of getting stuck with a lemon for a lot of salary. For that reason, I can’t call it a terribly rewarding system, because certainly some long-term contract mistakes will be made, nullifying other rewards. But I like that it also sort of mimics arbitration costs and free-agent processes.

  • Keep any player at $5 higher than the price paid in the previous year.
    • Same as above, without the risk. Less risk means more often reaping the rewards of a great decision, so this gets slotted one space further towards the high-reward end of the spectrum.

  • Keep any number of players, with each of {$1, $4, $7, $10, $13, …} added on to one particular player.
    • I really like this idea. There’s obviously a bigger benefit here to keeping a couple guys than the previous $5 flat rate. But at the same time, no one can keep a dynasty together from the year before, because their fifth kept player is going to cost $13 more than the previous season. I also like the fact that this system allows a manager to keep their sentimental favorite player or favorite draft pick for many, many years, if they continue to make that one player their $1 increase.

  • Keep any number of players using draft pick equal to the average of the round in which you drafted him last year and the average round he is taken in according to this year’s worldwide average draft position. (ex. if you picked Lincecum in the 10th last year and he is being picked in the 4th round this year, he can be kept as your 7th round pick this season).
    • Some regression here, to ensure outrageous deals don’t last forever.

  • Track players with a neutral price guide; cost to keep a player is the average of all price guide prices (one per year) during ownership.
    • Likewise with the above system, there’s a regression factor here. But whereas in the above example, only the most recent round or price is averaged against the current concensus, this price guide system averages all years under control. So drafting a player in the 15th round, or for $1, lowers the average for every year going forward. The potential for advantage is equal to the above system in the first year of keeping a player, but greater for every year thereafter.

  • Keep any number of players, two rounds higher than previous year.
    • Not much advantage for top players, but can bring a big advantage for a long time if the right minor leaguer is drafted in the late rounds or picked up as a free agent.

  • Auction each player, with the previous year’s owner getting the right to keep the player for 15% less than the final offer, or let the winning bidder keep the player at the highest bid.
    • I’m tempted to say this is not a high-reward system, because at best a manager will only be getting a 15% discount off of the going rate of a player. For late round pickups that end up becoming stars, this just isn’t a huge advantage to carry year-to-year. However, this system rewards players very strongly if they simply draft players who improve. In other words, a great team in this league will not be one with a ton of insightful late-round pickups; it will be one in which the owner wants to keep virtually all of his players (and will thus do so at a 15% discount). I can see a team in this setting having a pretty unprecedented run of dominance, with little or no checks and balances. The best way to stop it might be to essentially collude with other owners to raise his prices, knowing that you might get stuck with overpaying for a couple players, but in concert you’ll be crippling his team when others do the same.

  • Top finishers can keep 4 players, middle finishers can keep 5 players, lower finishers can keep 6 players, at the same price or round as last year.
    • Where you put this format on the spectrum depends on how many keepers you think a team would have. Obviously the second keeper is not as valuable as the first, so likewise the fifth player kept is not as valuable as the fourth, third, second, or first. Diminishing returns make me think that teams who do well one season aren’t likely to be hurt too badly by not being able to keep their fifth- and sixth-best bargains. Therefore, I’d expect good teams in this league to have quite a bit of momentum on their side from season to season.

  • Keep any number of players, one round higher than previous year.
    • Tons of opportunity for exploiting bargains here, and not just in the later rounds. Lincecum, perhaps a 10th round pick last year, may have established a new true talent level of a fourth-rounder. That gives whoever picked him last season a full five seasons of value for that one pick.

  • Keep as many players as you like, up to $100 or $150 (approximately half of the total team budget) in salary, same price as last year.
    • Most outrageous bargains are going to happen at the lower end of the price scale, so setting a limit of $100 or $150 could easily translate to managers being able to keep 18 players if they like. There may as well be no cap; this is the most liberal system I can think of. Better hope you make some good decisions early on in this league’s life, because I’d imagine it would be very difficult to unseat the good teams in this type of league.

And that’s it. Best of luck in selecting one (or more) of these if you’re starting a league fresh. I’d say my favorite three are the {$1, $4, $7, …} rule, the average draft rule, and the price guide rule, probably in that order. I think they have a great balance of allowing risk to turn into reward, plus they let players keep sentimental favorites for an extended time without too much of a penalty. We’re all looking to win, but being able to keep hometown players or favorites just gives everyone a little more joy when they watch their team on TV or thumb through box scores each day.

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Comments

  1. KY said...

    I think you tried to quote our league (thank you) but misquoted it slightly.  The 4-5-6 system has the top AND bottom finishers with 4 freezes, and the middle finishers with 6.  A major problem we’ve seen with keepers is that, once you know your team will not win, your current players now have 0 value to you; zero.  Except as trading chips for keepers!  A good freeze system must address this or it will always be logical to trade every single player on your roster for whatever keepers you can get.  A trade review board can not stop it because owners will simply make a trade that is just enough to pass the board.  Most leagues seem to get by without this because their owners have not realized that their team players have 0 value, or morally they think selling off the whole team is wrong.  A draft league with playoffs could avoid this problem by having a toilet bowl so the bottom teams have incentive to win at the end of the season too.

  2. Craig Birkemeier said...

    As KY mentioned, I think you need to add a fourth rule to your Keeper League Rules. There needs to be some incentive for the teams at the bottom to stay competitive in order to prevent dump trades.

  3. Aaron said...

    Our league did two things to prevent dump trades that seem to be working for us.
    -put in a minimum and maximum cap, it goes into effect at the end of april different leagues will need different minimums we use 250 as our minimum and 300 as our max.  We use slightly different rules to pick up our players so decide on the min/max for your leauge, but this makes it impossible to either load up on too much top talent or dump all of your top talent.
    -number two is have the teams loose a keeper for failing to hit league minimums in abs and innings(max of loosing 2 keepers).  That way they have to try and keep active healthy players in thier linup to make sure they get to keep their total amount of keepers.

    AA

  4. neoforce said...

    Whats wrong with dump trades?  The entire point of a keeper league is that if your team stinks, you can build for the future. 

    I’m in a pretty stable keeper league, with rules designed to meet the three requirements that Michael put in his article.  And some times the best fun I have is when I’m out of it and trying to make trades for the next year.

    If you have proper rules, and no collusion, then dump trades are part of the joy of keeper leagues.

  5. Matt said...

    I pretty much agree with Neoforce in that the “dump” trade is a key component of keeper leagues, especially “dynasty” ones.

    However, I do think that until a league establishes its identity and gets a good set of rules worked out (which could take several years of tweaking), there is certainly a point to be made about dump trades potentially negatively impacting a league.

    In our 10-team league, we use a cap ($500) to start each year, but there is no in-season cap.  Our cap each year consists of the value of 10 keepers under contract subtracted from the $500, which is then used to bid on a pool of 100 Free Agents.  This year the average per team was ~$240 with a range of $310-$149. Cash can be involved in trades as well and here is the rule as I have amended it for 2009…

    ***********************************************
    The trade deadline is August 15th, and no trades made after July 31st may involve cash.  Trades made thru July 31st may include cash under the following restrictions.  1) Only 1 trade involving cash is allowed between the same two teams; 2) a trade involving cash can only involve one player on the opposite side; and 3) a single trade cannot involve more than $30 in cash and a single team cannot make more than $40 total in cash trades.
    *********************************************** 

    Right now, in our newer league, cash for next year is more valuable than young talent on our Reserve Rosters, but in a few years as the prospects we all have start getting closer to full-time major league jobs, and the league stabilizes in talent distribution, these players will be begin to realize much more value in trades.

    Also, for those that reading the may have missed Michael’s 1st Article, I will rehash what I posted in those comments, regarding incentives for the bottom teams to “play the season out”. 

    Our bottom 3 teams have to pay a higher entry fee the next year, the middle 4 pay the normal fee, and the top 3 teams pay a reduced fee.  Also, the draft order (which is NOT snake format) for the following year mirrors the finish within those bottom two tiers. So it ends up being 8th,9th,10th,4th,5th,6th,7th,3rd,2nd,1st for the order the following year.

  6. Craig Birkemeier said...

    After thinking about it some more, I agree that dump trades are okay, but you still need to have an incentive to keep teams from tanking. If you take the 4-5-6 keepers examples from the article, there’s actually incentive for someone to finish in 9th rather than 8th. What’s stopping them from benching everyone?

  7. Michael Lerra said...

    KY, my apologies, I did misread that.  So yeah, for leagues in which there’s no prize for 8th and 9th place (which is, most of them of course), then yes I can see the incentive to tank.  In the league I’m setting up, we’re looking at doing a weekly prize for the top team.  Nothing much, but hopefully enough to incent the lower teams to at least start their players and make an honest effort each week.

    I kind of think the fourth rule you propose is simply an extension of #2.  But like some of the later comments, I think end of season trades or fire sales can be good for the league.  Much like major league baseball, there can certainly be beneficial trades made between teams that are in it and need a 1-year rental of an established star (actually, kind of like Jason Bay, a 1-year rental that you can keep – and pay – for an extra year) and teams that are out of the hunt for the big money and would rather rebuild with a prospect.

    KY makes a good point about having 3 keepers but 4 spots when you’re out of the playoff hunt, and how it’s worthwhile to trade the remainder of your team to fill that 4th keeper spot.  But if you’re trading a bunch of players you won’t keep, then most likely the receiver of them won’t keep them either.  And he’s trading a keeper for some non-keepers.  So again… I think this is the essence of a good end-of-season trade.  Established players who contribute now to the teams that need it now, in exchange for potential contributors who don’t need production now but could use it later.

  8. KY said...

    4-5-6 was misquoted.  1st and 2nd, 1st last and 2nd last get 4.  middle teams get 6.  teams in between get 5.  So you get more freezes if you finish higher from the bottom.  The losers pay more above is similar.  But in our league that was not enough.  We have rules beyond that to prevent dumping, because;

    It seems that in many league owners do not realize that their entire team is worthless once they are not going to win.  Say you have 3 good freezes, and 4 slots.  Once you are out of it the smartest thing to do is to trade every single player you are not freezing, or whatever the price is, for the single best freeze on the market.  That will maximize your position for next year.

    Now many leagues have trade boards to stop huge dumps.  But then all you would do is reduce the trade to the level your trade board will allow.  And you have to judge all the trades and try to weight if Ryan Braun for $4 next year is worth 3 all star players. 

    Our league spent many years with no dumping problems, but then slowly, the trade got more and more steep and finally each season would end with 2 or 3 fully stacked contenders and 10 teams far far out of it.  Its was a natural progression as people figured it out.

    There’s also the aesthetic argument that while dumping helps prevent dynasties, it doesn’t take much player evaluation skill to perform.  If I am the well deserved owner of Ryan Ludwick for $3 and the guy in 1st has Volquez for $8 and Bruce for $10, Ludwick is going to be the one who fetches the best dump trade, even though the first place team scouted more total value from the draft.  The limited number of freezes makes Ludwick more valuable.  Suddenly the second place team has more guns and wins but wasn’t really the better player evaluator.  But that’s just a preference.

    The progression of dump trades was an interesting part of our league history.

  9. KY said...

    neoforce “If you have proper rules, and no collusion, then dump trades are part of the joy of keeper leagues. ”  What were the “proper rules” that prevented people from dumping entire teams to the contenders?  I’d be interested in learning if there’s a better way then we’ve done it.

  10. keeperleaguegm.com said...

    I have been in several keeper leagues, and by far, the constitution is the most important component of any keeper league.  I posted the league constitution we have used as a template in many of our leagues.  I have included a downloadable doc for those interested here: http://www.keeperleaguegm.com/?page_id=7

    Happy drafting.

    Thanks,
    Mike Caprio
    Keeper League GM

  11. Mark Morrow said...

    I think most of you were missing the point that I believe Aaron was trying to make above.  In established leagues where the competitiveness is very high, rules need to be put in place to keep a balance.  One really bad (dump) trade can be enough for one team to win.  That is not fair.  By instilling rules to reduce the dump you increase the balance and therefore the year to year competitive balance.  Otherwise you would have an endless procession of worst to first to worst seasons.  That is not healthy, or fun for any league.

  12. Mike H said...

    I have been in a 16 team head to head keeper league since the beginning of it in 2002. It deals with contract. If you pick a guy in round 1 he has a 1 year contract. Rd 2, 2 year contract, rd 3, 3 year contract. Rd 4 to the end of the draft are 4 year contracts. Its the greatest league I have ever been in. After the draft we have a farm system draft that consist of 2 rounds were we draft minor league players. When we “promote” someone from our farm team he automatically gets a 5 year contract. It is an incredible league and it truly delivers a full GM experience.

  13. William S said...

    I am currently doing research to start a keeper league amaongst my friends. I have a lot of questions. What’s wrong with setting up the league as close to being a real GM as possible?For example, have your initial draft and sign players for as long as you want (so long as it’s within the amount of time your league will be running). Obviously, you would need to increase each player’s salary to prevent owners from strictly keeping their team intact. Also, you could have a farm system and each year’s draft would involve drafting minor leaguers. Since I am very new at this I do not see any problems with what I just said. However, it’s not very specific. Do you see any problems setting it up as close to real life MLB as possible? (Other than the fact that the real MLB is obviously set up to last indefinitely.)

  14. Craig Birkemeier said...

    William,

    The only problem I could see with that league setup is keeping some managers involved year-to-year. Say, one team becomes like the real-life Pirates. How long until they give up completely?

  15. William S said...

    Thanks Craig. That’s a great point. The only way I could see to prevent that issue from happening is to have some sort of league fees each year and since the Pirates have a vested financial interest in the league they can either try to compete or they can just give up but they’d lose that money. People respond to incentives. Plus I think people know going into a keeper league that it’s gonna require a lot of effort. Also I think the commissioner/founder of the league needs to be selective in choosing members who can join.But you are very right, a league would have to be very lucky in order to avoid a situation like this. I guess I just assumed that everyone was like me and would try regardless. Thanks for your input.

  16. Derek Ambrosino said...

    …You’d be surprised how easily the allegedly dedicated drop out if they become the doormat of a league.

    Anyway, the question of whether to allow full dumps is interesting philosophically. In its essence its a question of whether you want to enforce regulations on the market to prevent stratification of wealth. As a side note, it’s funny how so many people espouse the virtues of the unfettered market in a political/economic sense but change their tune when they are personally involved even in dynamic even is something as mundane and irrelevant as fantasy baseball. But, I digress…

    Here’s the thing with making the free market actually free of regulations – you have to make sure you have the right group of owners, and you have to get the owners to commit to being a part of the league for years at a time (ideally, even pre-paying years in advance). One reason to regulate against dump trades is that it makes it very difficult if a participant wants to leave the league if his team is in the midst of a multi-year rebuilding process. Who wants to take over a team like that, and ostensibly inherit something that he/she did not build and is basically a moneypit for the foreseeable future?

    One of the main issues underlying many of these decisions is whether you want to make things as fair as possible, or as accurate to real-life GM-ing as possible. I mean, it is not fair that one dump trade can swing a league title, but that is in fact something that happens regularly in professional sports. Word to Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett.

  17. Luis said...

    Man, I’d really love to be in one of these “hardcore” leagues.  I can’t seem to find the perfect one.  I’ve been playing for over 10 years, been in several keepers and dynasty but after 2 or 3 years they break up because one or two teams are great while the rest lose interest.

    If anyone ever needs an extra, I’m available!

    Luis
    luisfe [at] gmail.com

  18. Dean said...

    Wow, great input!  I have been co-commissioner in a competitive 14 team points-based league for about a decade.  Our “constitution” has become weekend reading. We came to where we are organically, and this is the first good source of insightful information I found – but I never really looked before.  Here’s why:
    We use a commissioner league which allows a pretty good engine for customized scoring, which we feel rewards the preformace of the MLB player over his real team situation (Quality Start negates a Loss, less points for a short relief Win, points for SAC hits, penalties for Errors, etc.)  With that model we promote our league as more simulation than “arcade”, both in scoring and team ownership.  So what? many leagues do, right.
    Keeper Structure:
    We have 14 teams, generally with very little turn-over. Each year, teams must keep exactly 10 players from their 28 player, +2 IR/ML roster. No player $ or draft pick values placed on keepers. The rest of the players are released as Free Agents into our snake-draft. No cap. No contract limits. That’s right, largely the top 140 players locked-up, without modifiers or penalties. Let that sink in.
    Your Rule #2 takes a big hit.  Rule #3 is crushed.  Owners can thrive in Rule #1 forever.
    Yet it works. The team that won last two years turned-over his roster almost to the player each time. He still has only 1 keeper he had two seasons ago. Teams (like mine) who hold top players for years eventually find diminishing returns after a great run (finished 4th last year, 7th this year). Savvy owners tend to have more of these stars at earlier points in ther careers.  Fantasy Dynasties.  Weaker teams or new owners are at an annual disadvantage, it would seem.
    But we have unlimited trading, including draft picks for the next season, dependent on a finacial commitment to return. (You need the right group of owners to make this work). “Dumping” players typically means adding draft picks for next season, or trading a productive veteran for a couple good young prospects, or combinations thereof. A team that buys to compete this year is doing so at the potential expense of future strength. Often top teams enter the next draft with fewer picks, and end up having to drop decent talent. In the off/pre-season, any player traded MUST be a keeper, to keep it sensible. We have a last-place $ penalty to discourage tanking, and bi-weekly scoring prizes and player and team prizes as well, to keep everyone involved.  The top 3 teams total scoring take about 30%, 20% and 10% of the total pool respectively.
    In season, there is a drought of talent with the top 420 players on rosters (especiall pitchers – you had to scramble to get Tom Gorzalanny or Vin Mazzaro into your starting rotation), and owners must scour the wire to fill holes, or trade.  This sweat lublicatres the trade wheels and active owners can build their stables in the course of a season.  Often teams (usually new owners) jump from the bottom third to the top third in the standings in one year, and others fall at their expense, having bet on the wrong blue-chip stocks, as did I.
    It’s a dynamic system that requires involved owners and a free-trade model, with long-term strategy.
    We are considering reducing the keepers from 10 to 8, or lower, to shorten the cycle of dominance somewhat, or maybe add some measure of “cost” to the keepers.  Suggestions are welcome, as is criticism, which I expect.

  19. DominicanRepublican said...

    I’m also a big fan of that $1, $4, $7,… idea for auction keepers. One thing that I would say is that it doesn’t allow you to keep as much of your roster that you’d like. If you want to be able to keep 7 or 8 guys it shouldn’t cost you $19 and $22 above value. What if, regardless of league, you figure out how many guys you’re keeping and set an average of, say, $5 to that. If you want to keep 7 guys, you spread the costs at something like $1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9. If you want to keep 5 guys, the spread could be $1, $3, $5, $7, $9.

    Thoughts?

  20. Jeremy said...

    This article and the comments are great. Exactly what I’ve been looking for.
    I am in a 10 team mixed head to head draft non-keeper league. This season, by about June, half the teams were so far out of it, they gave up. Doesn’t make it much fun for the rest of us.
    So, I really want to make the league a keeper legue next season and maybe add some in-season incentives to keep managers involved.
    After reading all of the above, I am leaning toward allowing managers to keep up to 5 players using the Avergae Draft Rule or maybe the Draft Penalty rule with a 2 round penalty (player A was drafted in 2011 in round 5, to keep him he’d be your 3rd round pick.)
    My question is how do you handle players that we drafted in the 1st or 2nd round last year? What would the penalty be?

    Also, I want to try to encourage more trading. I think this season there were two trades. Maybe it’s because it’s only a ten team league, so theres a lot of talent available? Obviously I can’t force owners to trade, and I wouldn’t want to, but I’m looking for ideas to make trading more enticing and/or necessary. Perhaps the switch to a keeper league may help.

    And finally, we play on Yahoo. Anybody out there run a keeper league on Yahoo? Does the site handle all the keeper info and pick trading?

    Thanks so much for all this info. It’s been invaluable.

  21. Sam said...

    Michael, our commish is setting up our league based on your article. To be clear, in your example of averaging out price guide values, are you saying that the price a player is actually drafted for in an auction is completely irrelevant? You had said you drafted Papelbon and his value was $4. What if his value was $4 but you drafted him for $1? Are you using $1 as the 2009 price or $4? Thanks for your help!

  22. Royster said...

    Jeremy,

      How about trying this.  A 1st round pick can be kept in subsequent years as a first round pick. A second round pick can also be kept as a 1st round pick, and a third round pick (in the 2 round penalty) would also be a first round pick, however since you only have one 1st round pick you have to choose one of the three and the other two must be returned to the draft pool.  This insures good players in the draft pool each year.

  23. John said...

    I know you mentioned it in your previous article, but in order to protect rule #1 in an auction format, you suggested that the player could purchase his player back from the market value at a 15% discount.  You also cited that the other managers have the ability to collude to prevent a dynasty, albeit at their own expense. 

    One possible way (obviously far from perfect and manipulation) to correct for this is to implement a first price sealed bid auction whereby each manager independently submits his intended bidding price for each player.  Doing a live auction provides managers the information about who pays what for who in a sequential order, which allows managers to leverage each others financial situations in order to force the insightful manager to “overpay” and subject him to the “winner’s curse” (if he so chooses).  By requiring each manager to (hopefully) independently submit their one and only bid beforehand, this increases the inherent risk for overbidding to try to screw a shrewd manager.

    Every manager would have to submit all his bids for every player up for auction at one time, and once every manager had submitted these bids they would be passed along to the shrewd owners who could opt to repurchase their players.  In turn, this would effectively enable those managers to select the best value deals which is another added benefit to those who identify talent better than others.

    In turn, the worse (or under-performing) managers are in danger of their “colluding partner” to fail to appropriately collude which increases the risk that not only will the one manager overpay for a star, but the talented manager’s team’s other players could still be resigned back to the original manager below market value which would leave the manager screwed who counted on his partner(s) to collude.

    This idea of a fragmented, opaque market place has potential, but with any case preventing insider trading/ trying to implement Chinese firewalls would be difficult, but at least this would try and correct for some of this.  The problem with this system is it might be intimidating for poor managers to bid too high for too many players which might allow some managers to get great deals prior to the 15% discount and effectively make it more difficult to prevent dynasties.  Another consideration is that if managers have several players up for this first price sealed bid auction and allowing the managers to pick and choose deals after the fact, the manager could potentially identify a manager who made slightly outrageous valuations of his players, dump all his overpriced stars to the one manager, effectively crippling the remaining components he could add to put together a competitive team.

    I’ll add the caveat that I have never been in a keeper league but my friends and I are considering converting our redraft league into a keeper league and I’ve been just had the ability to read articles and forums but no personal experience.  While this is still just an idea, like all it can be manipulated and beat but with some yearly tinkering I believe this can be an effective way to mitigate the risk of competing managers overbidding to artificially inflate a manager’s cost to keep his superstars.  All comments and criticisms are welcomed.

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