Positioning Your Dynasty: Making Those Tough Keeper Decisions
In keeper and dynasty formats, the name of the game is keepers. The hard part is figuring out who is worthy of a spot on your squad. When it comes to dynasty, which position is most likely to produce long term? Glad you asked! In trying to answer that question, I looked at the top 10 finishers in total points from the final three seasons. While there were specific players that stood out, there are two positions you may want to look at first when making your keeper Decisions.
So many variables exist in fantasy football, and to sum it up, winning a league of any type is quite a feat. Between injuries, inconsistency, and overall disappointing performances, getting to a title in a single year is tough. Doing it in a dynasty/keeper format is an exponentially tougher task. Hanging onto the right players and building that long term foundation is vital. Here’s how each position shakes out over the past three seasons. Let me know @therealmaday which position you think is most important in dynasty/keeper formats.
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Breaking Down Each Position for Keeper Decisions
Over the last three seasons, Russell Wilson is the only fantasy signal-caller to finish in the top 10 in total points in each of those seasons. A bit surprising when considering the weapons he’s had in the passing game, but DangeRuss gets it done year after year and is a terrific option to build around.
In 2018, 2019, there were a few names that were top-10 finishers. Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, and Aaron Rodgers all joined Wilson. While the first three are excellent options, Rodgers’ days as a keeper seem to be behind him. New kids on the block that belong in the keeper conversation like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray figure to be mainstays in the top 10 for years to come, and should absolutely be considered pillars to build around.
The quarterback position is a place where consistency and stability are hugely important. That said, if you don’t have one of the guys listed at the above, it is possible to hold down the position from year to year with leftover nonkeeper options. If you study the schedule and consider the options that will be available in your draft, you’ll be just fine and can focus your keeper decisions on other positions.
Much like quarterback, it was tough to find multiple backs who were top-10 total point finishers over the past three seasons. Since I’m basing this on PPR scoring every-down backs Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara were the only two to hit the mark.
To further prove my point, over the last two seasons only Ezekiel Elliott (who narrowly missed being a top-10 finisher for the past three) and Saquon Barkley can be added to the list of names above. This year’s rookie class features a few names that could join the ranks, but these guys take a pounding. D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor and new lead dog Clyde Edwards-Hilaire are excellent options who have quite a bit of tread left on the tires and figure to be excellent keeper options beyond 2020.
The shelf life of running backs is short. GMs have figured this out as evidenced by the number of teams going with multiple running back attacks. If you can snag a rare “bell-cow” (man, I hate that term) it becomes a no-brainer keeper. The problem is finding one. If your keeper decisions are limited to a few slots, it’s tough to keep a running back who isn’t listed in this article.
At the wide receiver position, it all depends on your scoring system. Since I’m rolling with PPR for this piece, in standard systems there are a few guys who are top-10 finishers in standard scoring that aren’t in PPR. When talking about the most consistent scorers at the position over the past three seasons, it’s three names: DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, and Julio Jones. Unlike the other positions, we can’t add any names when we sort by two seasons. These three are the pillars to build around in dynasty and keeper formats. It also makes those keeper decisions a little easier knowing the trio has missed a total of three games combined since 2017.
Tight end sports two players, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz, that finished in the top-10 for PPR in each of the last three seasons. Over the past two seasons, George Kittle, Jared Cook, and Austin Hooper have finished the season in the top-10 in total points. I feel this position is one of the biggies in dynasty/keeper formats. Kelce has been the leading scorer at the position in each of the past three seasons, including a 2019 where he bested second place scorer George Kittle by 32 points. If you don’t have the advantage of keeping anyone named Kelce, Ertz, or Kittle, you might be better off testing the waiver wire or drafting from what’s left and focusing your keeper decisions on other skill positions.
Final Take on Tough Keeper Decisions
While there are infinite stats to look at when determining keepers, based on my 20 years experience playing the sport, as well as digging into this article, quarterback and tight end should be your focus. The top producers at each position figure to be more consistent and be bigger difference makers than wide receivers and running backs. In one of my oldest dynasties, I was lucky enough to pair Lamar Jackson and Travis Kelce as two of my five keepers. Long story short, I started Devin Singletary as my RB1 most weeks while rocking a crew of scrubs behind Mike Evans at wide receiver. The point of the story is having Kelce and Jackson led me to a second-place finish at seasons’ end. This proves that if you keep the right core pieces, you can attack your season transactions and draft to field a winning squad.
What’s your process on making these difficult keeper decisions? Got a different angle than Ron? Let us know about it in the comments below.
Also check out Mick Ciallela’s top sleepers for 2020 to gain an edge on your competition.
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