One of the most common questions of the offseason is, "Should I keep Player A or Player B?"
Sometimes the question is easy to answer on its face, but often it requires more investigation. There is a set of questions you should ask yourself that will make the decision easier.
What are my league scoring and lineups?
Why this is helpful: The simplest way to create an advantage over the rest of your league is to understand how your league’s setup emphasizes and deemphasizes the value of a position. Beyond rules that obviously weight positions heavier (superflex giving a bump to quarterbacks or tight end premium boosting tight ends), looking at scoring gaps between elite options and replacement-level starters and the effect of performance bonuses and large/small lineups can skew the value of players at certain positions.
Quarterback: 5 or 6 point passing touchdowns and 300-yard game bonuses increase the value of Patrick Mahomes II and bring running quarterbacks back to the pack a bit. Long touchdown bonuses generally increase the gap between the top options and replacement-level players. And 14- or 16-team leagues could also increase the desirability of keeping a top quarterback. Look at the per-game scoring average for the top quarterbacks compared to wide receiver and running back. Chances are an elite quarterback like Josh Allen or Mahomes is worth a keeper spot.
Running Back: Non-PPR or .5 PPR scoring formats favor running backs over wide receivers. Two starting wide receivers instead of three favor running backs over wide receivers. Reliable running backs are scarcer than ever, so keeping one in 14 or 16 team leagues might be necessary even if you are throwing back a player at another position that you like better.
Wide Receiver: Wide receiver scoring was very level after Davante Adams last year, no matter the scoring format. Even PPR leagues that offer the option to start 4 or 5 wide receivers might not weigh the position enough to break ties in favor of the wideout.
Tight End: Tight end premium formats dictate that all three of Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle will be kept, and maybe T.J. Hockenson too. Even simple PPR makes Kelce worth a mid-first and Waller and Kittle worth second-round picks.
The Big Questions
How many players can each team keep? How many do they have to keep? Do teams forfeit draft picks as a cost for a keeper? Does the price go up if the player can be kept for multiple years? How long can you keep players?
This is really a corollary to “know your scoring and lineups.” These five questions can really boil down to: "Know your league keeper parameters."
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