What is a keeper league?
A keeper league (sometimes known as a dynasty league) is a draft-style league where instead of drafting a new team every year, you keep players from year to year. At the end of each season you select which players you want to keep on your team, which players you want to delist, and then top up your team with a draft of players of unlisted players.
Why should I start a keeper league?
If you are a fantasy die hard or like the idea of list management, keeper leagues are for you. You can basically emulate how AFL teams run when it comes to signing, drafting and trading players. Like the draft format, your team is completely unique to others in your league. But the big difference is you'll have to dig deeper in terms of researching and tracking players. Most keeper leagues play with squads of between 30 and 40 players each. If you have 10 teams in your league, there could be 400 players assigned to teams – that's over half the players currently listed in the AFL!
How does your thinking differ from other formats when drafting a keeper league team?
When drafting your keeper league team, you must have the future in mind. If you draft players that are over the age of 30, they may retire in the next few years leaving you with big hole in your side. This means drafting younger players, or players in the prime of their career, is more essential than just drafting the best fantasy scorer. Young players like Sam Walsh, Matt Rowell or Caleb Serong become much more valuable than they would in normal draft leagues. You also need to keep an eye on the fantasy potential of first year players (draftees) as they are the ones you will be picking up in future drafts.
What are some basic tips for starting a keeper league?
The most important thing is to instate a reliable, trustworthy and organized commissioner. Your commissioner will manage all league operations and oversee the organization of the draft, trade reviews, list changes, and enforcing the rules – it is a demanding role. The commissioner must be fair, but rule with an iron fist, so make sure you select the right person for the job before you begin.
Another important tip is to choose your league mates wisely. Keeper leagues are a commitment. When you start your league, you intend to run it over a several years. This makes it important to choose league mates that are dedicated and won’t neglect their teams over time and end up quitting. Nothing is worse than starting a league and having someone quit within the first few years, leaving you to find a replacement coach. Quite often the person who quits has neglected their team or hasn’t taken fantasy seriously and made some terrible draft decision, leaving the incoming coach with a bad team. If this happens, it makes it a hard sell for a new coach to take over, so get the appointments right in the beginning.
How do I create a keeper league?
This is the easy part. Simply log into your AFL Fantasy account, create a new draft league and select 'Enable keeper league' in the settings. Once you have done this, your keeper league will be set up and ready to go.
Head to keeperleaguepod.com.au for more keeper league related AFL Fantasy resources.