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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keeper Question: ____ in the 5th or ____ in the 18th?

So it would appear that I am almost always opposed to the experts on websites, blogs, and podcasts in one particular area.  It is a common question about keeper picks that often goes something like this:  "Dear Mr. Fantasy Expert, Should I keep Curtis Granderson in the 5th round or Brett Gardner in the 18th?"  The other variation, for auction drafts might be, "Hi Fantasy Guru, Who should I keep?  Larry Fitzgerald for $24 or Mario Manningham for $1?"

A lot of leagues don't have keeper picks and many of the ones that do have different rules about what you have to give up for the keeper, if anything.  I hope there is something in this post for everyone, but if you don't have a quandary like the one in the first paragraph it probably won't be as helpful for you.  I invite you to keep reading either way.

When faced with the sorts of questions outlined at the top, I find that the experts almost always pick the better player.  Not the better value, the better player.  In the above-mentioned examples Granderson is better than Gardner and Fitzgerald is better than Manningham.  Absolutely.

And, I would go so far as to say that Granderson in the 5th is pretty good value.  Fitzgerald for $24 is pretty good value, too.  But listen, in any draft you will be able to get a very good player in the 5th round or for $24.  Maybe not comparable to your particular keeper option, but good enough to be a reliable starter for you.

However, the 18th round?  Good luck finding anything of value there.  Good for you last year!  You had the foresight to grab a guy who is a viable starter and breakout candidate this year.  You gotta keep that value and go back to the well with your 5th rounder.

And $1 for a solid wide receiver who will start for you just about any week.  A buck?!  Yes, please.  As far as "value" goes it just doesn't get much better than that.

Take your $24 and go fishing again this year...  And don't forget to save $1 for next year's keeper than you nab at the end this year!