While the keeper league off-season is a similar to standard dynasty leagues, there are key differences. When you only have a handful of players you can hold onto each year, those decisions are critical. As in the past, this article will have three sets of recommendations dependent on how many players you keep each year. One for leagues that keep three to four, one for leagues that keep five to six, and one for leagues that keep seven to eight players. Anything beyond that, and you’re basically in a dynasty league and should treat it as such. I should also add that these recommendations are based on a fairly standard full-point PPR league with a single quarterback.
This also might be a good time to read my article about team evaluation – it helps to know where you stand before making your off-season moves.
Before we get to the picks, let’s take a quick, honest look at how we did with last year’s picks. As is always the case, we had some big hits a set of middling picks, and some big misses. I feel pretty good at recommending JuJu Smith-Schuster and Zach Ertz in the three-four keeper range, but made a bad call suggesting Jay Ajayi was worth a keeper spot. (If it’s any consolation, I kept him in one of my own keeper leagues!) For my five-six keeper picks, I didn’t have any huge wins, but I felt ok about David Njoku, Sterling Shepard and Deshaun Watson. Hunter Henry didn’t pan out, but injuries happen! I’m honestly happy with almost every pick I made for seven-eight keeper leagues – Marlon Mack, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Jones, Chris Godwin and Robby Anderson. Sure, I fell on my face with Nelson Agholor, and injuries hurt other guys, but most players on that list I might look to keep again.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with the picks I made last year, but enough of the past – on to the picks!
Three-Four Keeper League Targets
Patrick Mahomes, QB KC
In most cases, I would not recommend using a keeper spot on a quarterback when you only keep three-four players in a single-QB format. But Mahomes isn’t your average QB. Mahomes went wire to wire with spectacular production and he’s the current QB1 in our rankings. I want to own him everywhere, and I would absolutely use a keeper spot on him in this situation. I also know he may be untouchable, but I feel there is at least a reasonable chance his current owner would rather use his keeper spots on running backs and wide receivers. Or, perhaps he worries Mahomes will be Deshaun Watson part tw0. Take advantage of that, and get your QB for the next ten years.
George Kittle, TE SF
Similarly, I’m also going off brand a little with my second pick here in Kittle. I do favor running backs and wide receivers for these spots when you keep so few, but Kittle can set you up at tight end (the hardest position to be set up at) for the next ten years, too. I’d be more than happy to have a team keeping both Mahomes and Kittle in a four-keeper format. Kittle compares favorably to O.J. Howard from a metrics perspective, the only area Howard clearly beats Kittle is height. And Kittle fought through a down season for the 49ers and flourished as the primary offensive target when injuries decimated the 49er wide receivers. Kittle is only getting started, and I have been a fan for quite a while. With only three or four keepers you want studs, and Kittle is certainly a stud at his position.
Aaron Jones, RB GBP
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