Saturday, July 31, 2010

Offseason Tips for Keeper Leagues

With all of the major signings already having happened this offseason, we are starting to get a good sense of what value players will have next season. This is great time to start making moves for next year. Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:

  • Look to fill holes in your line up. If you've got a few good guards, but don't have any reliable big men, this is a good time to try and trade one of those guards for a forward or center. With your keepers, you'll want to go into the draft having quality players at as many positions as possible. This is particularly true in category-based leagues, but even in points leagues you want to be able to start as many of your studs together as possible. What point is there to having Chris Paul and Deron Williams if you can only start one PG? Look to make these type of offers to teams who have a need at the positions where you have an abundance of talent.
  • If you have more quality players than you're able to keep, try packaging them to get a better player. Every year I see players unable to decide between 2 guys for their final keeper spot. You can avoid this by trading any 2 of your keepers for someone who's an upgrade. Try to target these types of moves toward teams that need depth and, therefore, would be more willing to trade a top player for 2 lesser players.
  • Don't trade your studs unless you get an unbelievable offer. This is the flip side to the previous point. If you need depth, make sure you're getting some great value to trade someone like Durant, Paul, LeBron, etc. With the deeper teams looking to trade multiple players for the top players, try to at the very least take their 2 best players in any trade. I would try also get some draft picks in the deal. You should be very reluctant to make this type of move unless you're just blown away by the offer, as a top 5 player is nearly impossible to replace.
  • Turn you borderline keepers into draft picks. Another way to clear up a keeper dilemma is by trading one of those potential keepers for a decent draft pick. Once again, you want to target teams that need depth, but don't just give the player away for a low pick. You'd ideally want something at least in the middle rounds where you can still get an impact player. Remember, this player is likely a first round pick in your draft so those other teams can either give you a mid-round pick now to guarantee they get that player or it'll cost them a first rounder in the draft. Also, don't be afraid to throw in one of your own picks if it can get you into one of the early rounds. Just be aware what type of player you'd be able to potentially get with the pick you acquire.
  • Look to get younger. Keeper league vets know they can build consistently winning teams by trading for youth. Age is something you should consider in trades and in keeper selection.

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