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!