Tools to Support Your Keeper League

As described in the Introduction to Keeper Leagues, many keeper leagues use a unique combination of custom rules. For that reason, it is very difficult to fully support every keeper league. Rather than implementing a single model for how keeper leagues work, Yahoo takes a different approach: we provide tools that will help the majority of keeper leagues, building upon our library of keeper-related tools over time to keep making life easier for the commissioner and the league. Let's take a look at the tools we offer, their intended uses, and how to best use them to improve your league.

The Tools

Because keeper leagues mean different things to different leagues, there is no setting to signify being a keeper league. Simply use the tools that help you and don't use the others.

Invite Friends

If you renew your Yahoo league instead of creating a league from scratch, all teams from last year are retained. The Invite Friends tool helps you keep track of the managers invited back to own their teams and potential managers invited to take over existing or new teams. This franchise model is essential for some of the keeper-related tools; by retaining last year's teams, we can reliably associate things like last year's rosters and traded draft picks. This also makes renewal quicker for returning managers since we'll already know their team settings.

Edit Keeper Settings

Use the Edit Keeper Settings tool to allow teams to select keepers on their own. When you select the Enable Keeper Management Tools checkbox you will be prompted to pick a deadline date for the league to select their keepers. If your league uses a live draft, this date must be prior to the draft. Be careful to give yourself enough time to review and confirm keepers and give your league ample time to prepare for the draft once available players are known. After selecting the keeper deadline, you can add a note to explain your league's custom keeper rules which will appear on the Choose Keepers page described below.

Choose Keepers

Once a keeper deadline is selected, each team may view last year's roster and select players on their Choose Keepers page. Selections will not be publicly viewable until the commissioner approves the declared keepers after the deadline date. Keep in mind that since Yahoo doesn't know exactly what rules your league uses, we can't enforce those rules. Instead we display the commissioner-provided note to remind owners of the rules and allow the commissioner to review and change declared keepers if necessary.

Approve Keeper Players

After the keeper deadline passes the commissioner can use the Confirm Keepers tool to review the keepers submitted by each team, change them if needed to comply with league rules, and approve the league's keeper selections, publishing the results. The commissioner is required to complete this step prior to a live draft, or the draft will fail to run. If the commissioner changes any of the team's keepers, this change will be noted in a transaction to improve league communication and discourage unethical changes by the commissioner.

Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players

Perhaps the most important keeper-related tool is the Custom Draft Order tool. Any keeper league eventually ends up depending on this tool, even if they did not choose to use the previous tools on our site to declare their keepers. It serves purposes:

  1. After setting a custom draft order, the commissioner can set the order of team picks in each round. This is essential for leagues that want to base the draft order on the order of finish from the previous season or some other custom method.
  2. Once the base order is set, decide whether the draft order repeats each round, or "snakes", reversing direction each round. Keeper leagues often use a repeating rather than snaking draft order.
  3. If a renewed league allowed for draft pick trading the previous year, the commissioner can choose to import those traded picks and apply them to the base draft order.
  4. If a league used our keeper management tools to select keepers, the commission can choose where keepers will be placed in the draft. Keepers can be automatically added as the first or last picks for each team or the commissioner can manually apply keepers to any picks.
  5. The commissioner can reassign any individual pick to a different team as needed. This allows for any amount of customization for leagues with rules we can't automatically support. For example, if your league allows trades and trading of draft picks when the Yahoo fantasy game is offseason, the commissioner can reassign those traded picks that Yahoo is unaware of.
  6. The commissioner can then pre-select any player into any pick. Since any player can be slotted into any pick, it allows the commissioner total control over how the selection of keepers impacts a team's draft position.

Assign Auction Keeper Players

While the custom draft order tool lives at the heart of keeper leagues that do a standard draft, it doesn't apply to leagues that do an auction draft, which has no notion of draft order. For auction leagues, there is a separate tool to Assign Auction Keeper Players. This allows the commissioner to add keepers and their costs to teams before the auction begins.

Keeper Costs

While Yahoo does not have a particular idea what it means for a player to have a cost and does nothing to try to enforce or do calculations based on those costs, it can still be very useful for a keeper league to see such costs in-game. The Set Keeper Costs tool allows that to happen. For standard draft leagues, the commissioner can enter any numeric value for all keeper players, and indicate that these values should be visible within the game. This includes places like the full roster view, the trade flow, and so on. For auction leagues, the tool can be used in the same way, or a special option can be chosen to simply use the auction purchase prices as the player costs within the game.

Keeper Player Status

Since leagues may have rules designating when a player loses his cost or keeper status, the Keeper Player Status tool allows a league to automate some of that management problem. It first allows the commissioner to decide whether keeper status should be visible throughout the game. If visible, then it allows the commissioner to designate whether several conditions should remove a player's status as a keeper player, and stop displaying them as a keeper. In particular, a league can be configured to remove keeper status if a player:

  • Is traded
  • Is dropped from a team and claimed off waivers by another team
  • Is dropped from a team and clears waivers, becoming a free agent

Any or all conditions can be selected/unselected.

Allow Draft Pick Trades

Since many keeper leagues are enriched by the ability to trade draft picks, we now allow leagues to be configured to allow the trading of draft picks for the following season. Whether or not this is allowed is configured by a single setting in the League Settings tool. For leagues that allow traded picks, the following items apply:

  • Any trades involving picks must involve an equal number of picks going in each direction
  • Picks can only be traded for the following season
  • Once any picks have been traded, the feature cannot be turned off
  • A new page/tool is available to summarize which picks have been traded

Adding Keepers to Your League

Prior to this season, commissioners needed to track keepers offline and import them when they used the Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players tool. Now, if a commissioner would like to manage the process of declaring keepers within the game, they can do so as follows:

  • Renew the league from the previous season
  • Populate all teams by reinviting managers or inviting new users to own the teams via the Invite Friends Tool
  • Finalize the team list
  • Enable keeper management tools using the Edit Keeper Settings tool
  • Set a Keeper Declaration Deadline leaving enough time to process the submitted keepers before the live draft
  • Once the Keeper Declaration Deadline passes, review all submitted keepers using the Approve Keeper Players tool. Make any changes necessary to adhere to your league's rules.
  • Keepers can then be automatically added as the first or last draft picks or manually added anywhere in the draft when setting up a custom draft order using the Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players

Adding Traded Draft Picks Into Your League

If your league enabled the trading of draft picks in the previous season, when you use the Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players tool, you'll be given the option to add the traded picks into the draft order. You do need to avoid conditions that would make it impossible to safely and cleanly import traded draft picks. Those include:

  • If you shrink the maximum roster size such that one or more traded picks no longer exist, we cannot import picks. For example, if someone has traded a 25th round pick, and you shrink the maximum roster size to 23, then there will not be a 25th round, and we cannot import the picks
  • If you remove a team from the league that had traded picks in the previous season, we cannot import the picks
  • If you create a new league rather than renewing the previous league, we won't have knowledge of the traded picks
  • If you switch to an auction draft format, then the notion of a draft order becomes irrelevant, and there will never be an opportunity to import the picks

Setting Up Your Draft Order

When commissioners customize their draft order in the Edit Draft Order & Assign Keeper Players tool some changes were made to better serve commissioners:

  • When setting up the base draft order, commissioners can now choose to import traded picks from the previous season

  • If keepers were declared, the commissioner can choose several popular options to automatically import those players into appropriate picks. For example, if your league rules would allow for the keepers to always be assigned to the last picks each team holds or the first picks each team holds, that is now easily supported. If instead you need to assign keepers to individual picks throughout the draft, when editing a pick the tool can help you limit the list of players to those protected by the team owning that pick.

Viewing Keeper Information During the Season

There are several things the commissioner can do to help communicate keeper details during the season. For example:

  • The commissioner can use the Keeper Costs tool to enter keeper costs for individual players, can indicate that keepers should be designated as such throughout the league, and can show costs for the keepers where appropriate throughout the league.
  • The commissioner may be able to use the Keeper Player Status tool to match the rules of your league and to automatically maintain the keeper status of players across transactions such as trades and drop/adds.