I have to be honest. I was not feeling very confident heading into my Keeper League draft. I was coming off a season in which I placed 8th, and I didn't have a ton of great bargains to keep for this season. I did have one great value in Colin Kaepernick, and a WR #3 in Antonio Brown that only cost me a dollar. I also decided to keep Daryl Richardson as a RB #3 for a dollar. My keepers are shown below with their cost. The starting budget for each team in the league was $200.
QB - Colin Kaepernick (SF) - $1
RB - Chris Johnson (TEN) - $42
RB - Daryl Richardson (STL) - $1
WR - Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) - $38
WR - Antonio Brown (PIT) - $1
TE - Jimmy Graham (NO) - $13
D/ST - Seattle (SEA) - $1
K - Stephen Gostkowski - $1
The rules allow me to keep up to 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 D/ST, and 1 K. I decided not to keep Stevie Johnson for $16 and gamble that I could either get him for cheaper, or get another stud WR to go along with Larry Fitzgerald. I wanted to spend a lot of money to get a stud RB and a stud WR, and then fill my bench with potential breakout players for cheap.
There is a strategy that I like to use in Keeper Auction Drafts. I like to know the inflation of value in the league before I start the draft. Knowing the amount of money available compared to the value available can help you win your league. The basic principle of this strategy states that studs are worth a certain percentage more than their projected cost, and you should be spending your money early in order to acquire the services of someone like Adrian Peterson, rather than "playing it safe" and saving your money to be able to get Bryce Brown to back up LeSean McCoy.
What ends up happening in most keeper auction drafts is that managers wise enough to spend their money up front get deals on studs to help their already loaded line-up, and other managers will get in bidding wars over Alshon Jeffery and Le'Veon Bell, rather than spending the extra fifteen or twenty bucks to get CJ Spiller at the beginning of the draft. A lot of managers end up having a ton of excess cash at the end, meaning they will never lose out of potential sleepers, but I believe that missing out on a guy who is more of a sure thing is a bigger loss.
It takes a lot of work to figure out what your league's "inflation" is, and it only works for auction style formats, but it could help you score that extra stud, and even though you're paying more than his projected value as set by the internet, you're actually likely to save money if you've done your homework.
Alright, now that I got my sharing of knowledge out of the way, let me share the results on my third Fantasy Football Draft in as many nights. This is my Keeper League draft, a ten team standard scoring league, with 6 points for passing TDs. Please take this time to look above to find out who I have already kept.
1. Matt Forte (RB - CHI) $49 - Forte's projected value was around $40, and I was willing to go up to about $55 to grab this guy (remember inflation of value), meaning I saved about 6 bucks on him. I think Forte will be a huge part of Chicago's new offense, as Trestman loves to utilize the running back. It gives me a legit #1 RB, moving Chris Johnson to my RB #2, which is really where he belongs. It also means that Daryl Richardson is my third running back, so I won't have to rely upon a guy who is entering his first full year as a starter.
2. Dwayne Bowe (WR - KC) $24 - I love Bowe this year, as Andy Reid's teams are usually near the top of the league in passing. Bowe has been a top WR before, and now he's playing with the best QB he's ever had. I expect big things from this guy in 2013.
3. DeMarco Murray (RB - DAL) $15 - Why not? I think Dallas runs the ball a bit more this year, as they should. Murray is a great running back if he stays healthy, and is not a bad choice as my #3 RB. If he stays healthy this year, I could keep him for a huge bargain next year.
4. Chris Givens (WR - STL) $2 - This is Sam Bradford's make or break year, and I feel pretty good ending up with the guy who will probably end up being the most explosive player in that offense. Tavon Austin has been getting a ton of hype, but I think the Rams need to stretch the field a bit more this season, and Givens is the best option for long passes.
5. Eddie Lacy (RB - GB) $1 - This was a surprise for me. I actually nominated Lacy to try and take some money off the board, as I figured a bidding war would take place for a rookie who just inherited the job as a starting NFL RB. I was wrong and ended up with a potential solid fourth or fifth running back for a dollar. I can't lose with this deal.
6. Golden Tate (WR - SEA) $2 - I think Tate ends up being the guy in Seattle this year, as his only real competition for the #1 WR spot is Sidney Rice, a guy who has had one great season, and that was a long time ago, and in Minnesota.
7. Kenbrell Thompkins (WR - NE) $1 - I'm willing to take a gamble on a guy who has Tom Brady throwing him the football, especially a guy who has been used heavily in the pre-season.
That makes my roster as follows:
QB - Colin Kaepernick (SF)
RB 1 - Matt Forte (CHI)
RB 2 - Chris Johnson (TEN)
WR 1 - Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
WR 2 - Dwayne Bowe (KC)
WR 3 - Antonio Brown (PIT)
TE - Jimmy Graham (NO)
D/ST - Seattle (SEA)
K - Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
BE (RB 3) - DeMarco Murray (DAL)
BE (RB 4) - Daryl Richardson (STL)
BE (RB 5) - Eddie Lacy (GB)
BE (WR 4) - Golden Tate (SEA)
BE (WR 5) - Kenbrell Thompkins (NE)
No report card from Yahoo on this one, but I think I did okay. I give myself a solid B. I think I need a breakout year from either Tate or Thompkins to have a real shot at the title, but I certainly feel better about this year than I did before the draft.
The big draft is tonight, as my money league drafts at 9 pm. All of my preparation in mock drafts comes down to one night, and I'm looking to get back to the top in my most important league.