Aug 12, 2007
When drafting for your keeper league, resist the temptation of loading up on players from any one particular team. In a redraft league, it would be possible to snag Joseph Addai (RB, Ind,) Marvin Harrison (WR, Ind,) & Peyton Manning (QB, Ind,) and it could lead you to a title, but if you are looking to make them the base of your keeper team, you are taking a big risk. First of all, if Manning were to sustain a career ending injury, I would be very skeptical as to Addai & Harrison having anywhere near their expected production at all for a fantasy team, potentially crippling your team for a few years.
A few situations come to mind that owners could find tempting would be in St. Louis with Stephen Jackson (RB, Stl,) Torry Holt (WR, Stl,) & Marc Bulger (QB, Stl,) since it seems that the Rams might be stable on offense for a few years, but if any one of those players went down, there would definitely be a trickle-down effect on the other two. Also, sharp owners know that any offense run by Mike Martz, especially in the second year, as he is with the Lions, will feature lots of yards and points for many players. The problem may not end up being the players, but if Martz is offered another head coaching job after the season ends, the skill players of the Lions could find themselves playing for a poor offensive coordinator. The above-mentioned Colts situation is the third one that an owner could see as a great opportunity.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a great QB-WR hookup for a few years running, or even a QB-RB hookup (I had Marshall Faulk & Kurt Warner in for a couple years and I had no complaints.) When you have only two players, it really makes no difference if they are teammates or not, since each player has risks on any team. My point is mainly that when you have three higher-round keeper picks invested in teammates, you can put yourself in a very bad spot.
If you really like the QB-WR hookup, a great idea for your keeper league is to find a connection that you think is soon to peak and make your move without risking high draft picks. For instance, Andre Johnson (WR, Hou) & Matt Schaub (QB, Hou) may become a great duo at some point in time. If you were normally going to draft Johnson, why not take Schaub as your second or third QB, and see if you can get the next great connection.
Also, if you are looking for the hookup, pay close attention to the ages of the players. If you are looking at Jon Kitna (QB, Det) & Roy Williams (WR, Det,) be aware that Kitna is 34 years old and if you spend a higher draft pick on him, you have no assurances that he will even have a starting job next year. Marvin Harrison is well into his 30s, so you would be much better off going after Reggie Wayne (WR, Ind) to pair with Peyton Manning.
In closing, don’t forget that the offensive powerhouse teams come and go- often without warning. Once a team is established as a power, they are living on borrowed time. Diversify your assets as you plan the long-term future of your keeper team.