Keeper/Dynasty League Q & A

Earlier this week, I asked our followers on Twitter to send over their keeper and dynasty league questions for a Q & A column, and here are my answers to the questions I got. I will do another Q & A in a couple of weeks.

Q: Is Jeremy Maclin worth the 1st pick in the 4th round in a PPR? I will have drafted a WR1 by then so he’d be my #2, and with guys like Mike Wallace, both Mike Williams, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd, Hakeem Nicks, etc. already being kept. Will have 3RB, 1WR, 1QB by this point and can’t see any better WR options being there and too early for a tight end.
-Brian K.

A: If you already have five players kept and only 1 WR, then Maclin would be a fantastic option. Heck, you could argue that he’s a better option than DeSean Jackson, given how Maclin is more of a complete receiver. You get the feeling watching this offense that Jackson, while insanely explosive and dangerous, won’t likely get much better. While Maclin could easily improve and do even better things for fantasy.

Q: A few concerning keepers for 2011: Does James Starks or Ryan Grant have more value for the Green Bay Packers? How do you foresee this backfield playing out in 2011? Does Rashard Jennings or Maurice Jones-Drew have more value for the Jacksonville Jaguars? How do you foresee this backfield playing out in 2011? Will Malcolm Floyd ever be a Number 1 WR? For SD? Elsewhere?
-Hoodoo Voodoo Daddy

Malcom Floyd is a nice player who can help any team, but he's probably not a featured guy.

A: The Starks/Grant question is officially a tough one. The Packers didn’t exactly open up the vault to pay Grant a couple of years ago, so I don’t think his contract is a huge concern. While I think Grant is clearly more of a proven commodity and should be ranked higher (at least now I think that), I do think Starks is a bit more talented. He’s got a little more wiggle, is more explosive, and he looks like a better receiver. He’s just not even close to a proven commodity, and his upright running style could easily lead to more injuries. Maurice Jones-Drew will need four months to recover from his knee surgery, but when he’s back, he’s the guy, no question. Yes, Jennings will play a fair amount and will at times take away some TDs from MJD, but Jones-Drew is the guy. I do like Jennings, but he’s hardly special and doesn’t deserve to get substantial playing time over MJD. Your Malcom Floyd question is a very good one. I love his skill set, but he’s never even cracked 800 yards receiving, and I’m just not sure he’s physical and consistent enough to be truly featured in an offense. That said he could still be a great fit for a team like Baltimore, one looking for a legit deep threat. But I’d consider him only a #3 fantasy WR for the next 2-3 years unless his situation changes.

Q: Keep Philip Rivers in 3rd round for only next year. Or keep Jimmy Graham in 12th for three more years?

A: As you likely know, we loved Graham this past year and ranked him as our #1 keeper TE. However, veteran Jeremy Shockey is still under contract in 2011, and Graham may need another year to develop. He made some great plays last year, but they were more individual plays, so I’m not sure they were truly within the structure of their offense. In a constantly changing NFL, I’d be inclined to go for the title in 2011 with Rivers as the foundation of my team.

Q: I am in a league where you can keep only one player from the previous year and it requires you to give up a draft pick. What are your thoughts on Peyton Hillis for next year?  Can I expect more of the same or was he a flash in the pan?  It seems like the defenses were catching up to him by the time the fantasy playoffs rolled around.
-D. Levin

A: While I’d be surprised if he had another season like the one he had in 2010, Hillis isn’t a flash in the pan. Early in the season, he was a guy who showed very little lateral ability and simply ran the ball North-South inside. But as the season progressed, he showed some movement ability, and he showcased nice versatility as a receiver. He did wear down, but that’s understandable, since he literally was their offense for most of the season. I do think youngster Montario Hardesty is more talented, but the fact is Hardesty can’t stay healthy, and Hillis was basically a tank in 2010. But to be safe, I’d consider Hillis a low-end #2 fantasy RB going forward, and ideally a high-end #3.

Q: I can only keep one of either Jamaal Charles or Ryan Matthews. I’m leaning towards Charles because of his dynamic skills and apparent better durability. Had picked up Matthews with the thought he would be my long term sustaining RB but after this year I am concerned about him being injury prone. Your thoughts?
-Andy P

A: As much as I like Mathews’ upside if everything goes right for him, there’s no way you can view him as a better keeper than Charles. My #1 rule when determining keepers is to keep anyone who exhibits special qualities, and Charles is clearly special. Even though both guys will split time at least in 2011, Charles has obviously shown he can do a lot with less than an ideal workload. The guy ran better than Chris Johnson last year.

Q: Don’t ask me how but I have Michael Vick, Andre Johnson, Michael Turner, and Jamaal Charles in a 12-team IDP league and finished second. We can declare 2 keepers for the next season… So not a true keeper league but basically every gm gets 2 franchise tags… Who do I keep?
-Tyler B

A: For one, Turner needs to be eliminated from contention here. I’m sure he’ll have 1-2 more good years, but he’s clearly slowing down and his margin for error continues to be small. Keeping two of the other three is a tough call, obviously. If I knew I could get a solid option like a Josh Freeman at QB, I might actually be inclined to let Vick go. Keep in mind, he’s over 30 now and took a ton of shots in 2010. Durability is a legit concern, and he did regress a little bit as the season went along this past year. You also have to remember that one more slipup off the field, and he’s done. However, if I was going to be stuck with a shaky option at QB if I let Vick go, I’d probably keep him. I’d then likely let AJ go, since Charles has been so fantastic and is so young.

Q: We will carry over 2 players.  I have Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, and Roddy White. Will be keeping CJ for sure, but who would be the better keeper between Calvin or R White?
-Travis W

A: That’s a tough call. I might roll with Calvin, simply because I like to play things aggressively and I cannot get past how dominant he can be and how special he is. But there’s little question Roddy is a safer option. The tie-breaker is the QB situation, and Roddy’s is better with Matt Ryan. We just can’t expect Matthew Stafford to stay on the field at this point.

Q: I am in a salary based auction keeper league. We can keep two players for a 20% cost increase in salary. We start with a $100 cap and subtract the 2 keeper’s salaries from that.  We can only keep a player for three years max.  I have the following players and salaries: Jermichael Finley $2, James Starks $1, Jonathan Stewart $1, LeGarrette Blount $1, CJ Spiller $1, Mike Williams-TB $1 and Sam Bradford $1. I can only keep 2, which of these would you recommend keeping to start next season?
-D. Lario

Although he's had issues issues with injuries, Jonathan Stewart's keeper league value is likely going to rise this year, if not soar.

Jonathan Stewart's had his injury issues but he's a high-end talent whose keeper league value could be soaring soon.

A: It’s a little risky, but again, when I have keeper decisions I focus on talent and whether or not the players have special abilities because those attributes usually rise to the surface quickly unless injuries come up. I would also place an emphasis on a volume RB, since they are rare in today’s day and age. Blount may be a volume back, but Stewart is definitely more talented. I know his foot/toe issue isn’t going away, but I just can’t get past his incredible potential as the lead back for the Panthers this year, which he will likely be. Then to me it would come down to Finley vs. Williams. I love Williams, and Finley’s officially an injury risk, but Finley’s so scary-good, and potentially so much better than anyone else at the position other than Antonio Gates, that I would probably take a chance with him.

Q: I’m having a tough time picking the QB I want to keep for next season (and perhaps many seasons after that): Ben Roethlisberger, Sam Bradford. What do you guys think? Standard scoring but 6 points per TD pass.
-S. Nelson

A: Not an easy call, but Big Ben is clearly more of a proven commodity, and he continues to stir the Steelers’ offensive drink. Even in 2010, when it didn’t seem like he was going off, Roethlisberger averaged a healthy 21.5 fantasy points per game, good for 7th best in the league. I’d also be a little concerned with the dreaded Sophomore Slump for Bradford. For whatever reason, that seems to be a recurring situation for some young QBs. I do think Bradford is very good, but he’s not yet someone I’d keep over such a proven option like Roethlisberger – unless I was looking more for the long-term.

Q: I’m a long time subscriber and have a trade question for a dynasty league team. Fairly standard scoring and we keep 20 players under salary cap and contract at all times, with 9 starters (QB, 1-2 RB, 2-4 WR, 1-2 TE, 1 K, 1 D/ST).  I am rock solid everywhere but RB, where I basically just have LeSean McCoy and Felix Jones. At WR I have among others Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Jeremy Maclin, and Deion Branch. I have been offered this trade: I give up: Maclin and 1st round rookie draft pick in 2012 in exchange for Ahmad Bradshaw and Pierre Garcon. Thoughts?
-C. Sloan

A: That’s a pretty good deal for you because both your RB and WR corps needs help. Bradshaw was fantastic this past year, and he proved he could handle a large workload and stay on the field, so while he might not last more than 2-3 more years given his lack of ideal size and physical running style, he’s looking good. Garcon had an uneven season, but he should be a fixture here, and Reggie Wayne is clearly slowing down.

Q: I am in a 16-team Dynasty League where we keep 12 in the off-season.  I have Drew Brees and Matt Cassel at QB, but I feel weak at RB with Rashard Mendenhall, Felix Jones, and CJ Spiller. I have the last pick in this year’s draft because I won the league (thanks for the tip on TE Graham; he was huge to end the year).  My question is: should I trade Cassel for Montario Hardesty?  My thought is that I could replace Cassel with my #1 pick – my worry is that Hardesty will be a #2 due to Hillis. I would really appreciate your insight.
-C. Stigler

A: It’s early, but I don’t know how you can view Hardesty as anything but the backup, based on his injury issues and Hillis’ great 2010 season. I assume you’re in a 2-QB league. And if so, I think you need to get more for a guy like Cassel, who is a solid #2 QB in that type of league. I’d want to get a guy who had a little more value for 2011, like maybe a Mike Tolbert.

Category: Fantasy Football, Keeper & Dynasty Blog


38 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tflocco99, said: Hansen answers your keeper questions in his first blog post of 2011. […]

  2. Wes Gaston says:

    Who will be the better dynasty keeper prospect in GB, Jordy Nelson or James Jones? I have an important wager on the line based on Hansen’s answer on this one.

  3. Mike Francesca says:

    My guess is he goes with Nelson.

  4. John Hansen says:

    I like Nelson, we always have. Jones is very good, but I just view Nelson as a better fit for their offense in terms of being consistently targeted each week once Driver is out of the mix. Jones I still think is more of a rotation guy/#3. I’m going with Nelson, who by the way is really stepping up in the playoffs.

  5. Stretch says:


    I have a question regarding Mark Ingram RB knee injury history. Do you feel
    with 3-knee injuries in 2009 & 2010. Plus, a knee surgery in Sept.2010. Will
    this affect his longevity in the NFL?

    I am looking to select him with my 1st overall pick in 2011 Rookie draft.



  6. Eric says:

    Can keep 3 players(no more than 2 at one postition), and give up the round they were picked in. Who to keep….. Gore(4th rounder), Bradshaw(4th rounder), Peyton Manning (1st rounder), Maclin(16th rounder), Vincent Jackson (16th rounder), Mike Williams-TB (9th rounder)……….HELP!

  7. Wes Gaston says:

    John, thanks so much for your response. Jordy Nelson was the RIGHT answer for me!

  8. Jason says:

    I can keep four guys from this list: Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore. It’s a 14-team league.

    Definitely keeping Brady, but trying to decide whether to keep both WRs and only one RB or try to trade one WR and keep two RBs. Seems like it’s between Gore based on past performance and Mathews or Hillis based on upside/long-term.

    What combination of RB/WR would you keep? The league allows me to start 2 RBs and 2WRs OR 1RB and 3WRs.

    In case you’re wondering how I acquired all of these guys, I kept Brady, Andre, and Calvin from the year before. Drafted Mathews, got Hillis from waivers, and traded my first-rounder this year for Gore (before he got hurt).

    Because I traded for Gore, I won’t pick in this year’s draft until around pick #22.

  9. John Hansen says:

    Stretch, are you sure he had that many knee injuries? Obviously, we’ll be covering the rookies extensively soon, especially if there’s no free agency in March. We’ll be more detailed than ever. But for now we’re still gathering information, and the combine will help.

    Eric, Maclin has to be kept for sure given that value. I’d lean to Mike Williams after that but if the RBs are going to be really light, I’d probably keep Gore.

    Jason, I’d definitely be inclined to keep the 2 WRs and Mathews for the long-term. I’m still confident Mathews will be very good. He showed enough last year so now it’s a question of staying healthy and learning to play hurt and also understanding the nuances of the game a little more.

  10. Eric says:

    Thanks for the input, and as always another fantastic year on the site! Tough thing will be to NOT keep Peyton, since this will leave me with 2nd tier qbs, but also tough to let guys like VJax and Mike Williams go back in. I guess it matters a lot where VJax ends up. If somehow he stays in SD he would be tough not to keep!

  11. Burton says:

    John, I can keep up to three players, but only for next 2 years. Here’s my options:
    J.Starks for a 17th Round Pick
    B.Tate for a 14th Rounder
    M.Manningham for a 12th Rounder
    M.Stafford for a 10th Rounder
    M.Ryan for a 7th Rounder
    J.Finley for a 6th Rounder
    A.Bradshaw for a 5th Rounder

  12. Matt says:

    I know it’s early, but how do you see Brandon Lloyd performing next season. He was awesome this year, but is he a keeper for 2011? I don’t want to get into specifics, I hold him in a few cap dynasty leagues where he will be getting the max pay salary increase. Can he even come close to his 2010 numbers, or will he go down with all the changes going on in Denver.

  13. PACMAN George says:

    In a 2 keeper league that is TD heavy. I am keeping Turner. My other option is Gates, Mike Williams or Andre Johnson.

    In my league WR/Te are all WR’s. A TE does not have to be started. I see this one as a tough call with Foster having only 6 less TD’s than Schaub last year and Andre never reaching 10+ TD’s in his career. Who should I keep?

  14. John Hansen says:

    I’d go

    J.Starks for a 17th Round Pick
    J.Finley for a 6th Rounder
    A.Bradshaw for a 5th Rounder

    Value for Starks is really good and the other 2 are proven with upside, which offset their injury issues, plus they have value.

    Matt, It’s rare a WR will break out that late in a career, so I’m not expecting a repeat, especially if Tebow is the guy all year. That said, Lloyd was spectacular in 2010, so he deserves some benefit of the doubt. I think ranking him around 18-20 is somewhat conservative but fair. Lower-end #2.

    Pacman, I go Gates. His TD numbers have been remarkably consistent since 2004. He would have scored probably 15 TDs in 2010 had he not gotten hurt.

  15. PACMAN George says:

    Thanks. I’m keeping Gates.

    My league is a 10 man league that is QB heavy. 6pts all TD’s. 3pts bonus for TD’s over 50 yards. 1pt every 50 yards and 7pts for 300 yard games. INT’s are NOT part of the scoring. Keepers are: Vick, Brady, Brees, Peyton, Rodgers, Romo, and Rivers. Yeah 7 out of 10. Who are your top 5 after that for 2011. Last year 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places had…Rodgers, Vick, Peyton, Brees in that orde. I finished 5th.

  16. John Hansen says:

    Here’s a very early top-25. I didn’t include some situations way up in the air.

    1 Aaron Rodgers
    2 Drew Brees
    3 Michael Vick
    4 Peyton Manning
    5 Philip Rivers
    6 Tom Brady
    7 Tony Romo
    8 Matt Schaub
    9 Ben Roethlisberger
    10 Eli Manning
    11 Matt Ryan
    12 Joe Flacco
    13 Josh Freeman
    14 Jay Cutler
    15 Sam Bradford
    16 Carson Palmer
    17 Matt Cassel
    18 Mark Sanchez
    19 Matthew Stafford
    20 David Garrard
    21 Tim Tebow
    22 Ryan Fitzpatrick
    23 Chad Henne
    24 Matt Hasselbeck
    25 Jason Campbell

  17. PACMAN George says:

    What is your early WR ranking??? And do you think having Gates/Vincent Jackson on the same team would be a mistake? It’s Non_PPR and I’m sure Jackson is a lock to stay in SD. Also your thoughts on the QB/WR combo? Thx

  18. Burton says:

    Stafford sure seemed like the real deal before his injury. I know he re-injured as well. Doesn’t he have time to be fully recovered for next year? He’s still an injury risk, but so are some others.

    Romo, Schaub, Flacco, Palmer also seem to be be resting on successes in the distant past instead of what we are seeing of late. I say all these guys have a down arrow.

  19. Darin says:

    John – I can only carry over 2 “keeper” players from my team this year to next season. My top two picks were Roddy White and Reggie Wayne, but at this point, I’m hesitant to pick Wayne, as he’s clearly slowing down. Would I be better to hold on to any of these players over Wayne: Josh Freeman, Eli Manning, Vincent Jackson, Sydney Rice, or Cedric Benson?


  20. John Hansen says:

    It’s so early, but I will post up some early rankings soon.

    Stafford is great, but at this point his ability to stay on the field has to be severely questioned. But the good news is he’s still very young. Just 23.

    Darin, that’s really tough. I can’t see anyone but Jackson being worthy in only a league that keeps 2. And Jackson obviously has issues. I’d probably suck it up and keep Wayne another year.

  21. PACMAN George says:


    This would take stones. But what are your thoughts of taking Stafford as a QB1 and simply drafting Hill as your QB2. Stafford could easily go for 25+/3800-4000 if he stays healthy

  22. PACMAN George says:

    Your thoughts on the CBA? If there’s no season it will hurt he Fantasy World. And what will you be doing. I gotta like out for the GURU

  23. Stretch says:


    I dropped D.Driver WR from my Dynasty team and added D.Dickerson HOU WR. I noticed that you do not have him listed on your current Keeper/Dynasty Rankings.

    Can you give me a quick analysis or gut feeling if any on D.Dickerson?



  24. John Hansen says:

    Pac, that would take some stones but there’s no reason to believe a Stafford-Hill combo can’t total 4000 yards and 26-28 TD passes. Of course, both guys did get hurt in 2010.

    As for the CBA, here’s what we’re doing: we’re going to be working hard to get as much content – player previews, SOS analysis, the various staple articles – done and in the can as soon as we can with the expectation that we’re going to have to quickly do some serious changes once a deal is made. Basically, it’s going to be a cluster-F if things go into the summer, but we’re prepared for it and will deliver the goods as usual.

    Stretch: You lost me on that one dawg! You know he was a former TE in college, right? I would have certainly kept Driver around for one more year over Dickerson, who looks like a #4 WR at best, and #5 if Jacoby Jones is back.

  25. PACMAN George says:

    Do you think Vincent Jackson re-signing with SD helps or hurts Gates value? I’m in a keeper league that is divided into 2 five divisions. The division winner wins the $ for the week. QB’s being kept in my division are RODGERS, Romo, and Peyton. Do you think it would be best to take a WR1 from GB, Dallas, or Indy (Wayne) or take : Nicks, Maclin, Vincent Jackson or Wallace if available?

    My thing is I know that I will have a lesser QB. Because Brees,Brady,and Rivers will also be kept. QB heavy: 6pts all TD’s, 7pts for 300 yards. With a 3pt bonus for TD’s over 50 yards. Sorry so long

  26. PACMAN George says:

    Someone else post a question. Pacman has bored the GURU

  27. John Hansen says:

    Not sure I understand the question on the WRs, but I don’t think Jackson in SD (if he is) will hurt Gates. Gates’ numbers were off the charts without him, true, but back to his pre-2010 production, it was still tops when Jackson was there.

    Again, not sure on your question, but Nicks is young, proved to be tremendous, and has a good QB. He would be my guy, especially with Steve Smith coming off his knee injury.

  28. PACMAN George says:

    Do you think it would be best to try to block my oppenents points. By taking a WR such as Jennings, Austin, Wayne since QB’s being kept are Romo,Peyton and Rodgers in my division. OR would it be best to take a different route such as : Wallace, Nicks or Vincent Jackson.

  29. PACMAN George says:

    My big thing is do you think Gates is still the better keeper over Andre Johnson with the return of Vincent Jackson. 1pt every 25 yards and 6pts all TD’s.TE/WR are all WR’s. Thx.

  30. John Hansen says:

    I’m not big on “blocking” opponents in any way, shape, or form. I’ll all about getting the most points possible, period. The fact that TEs are WRs devalues Gates. It’s not a PPR, but I would keep Johnson over Gates.

  31. PACMAN George says:

    Would you trade Gates/Turner for Rivers? My keepers then would be Rivers/Andre Johnson. It’s a 2 keeper league but 2 players of the same position cannot be kept. It’s a 10 team league. The thing is that : Peyton, Rodgers, Romo, Brees, Brady, and Vick are already being kept. Am I over shooting for Rivers.

    1pt every 50 yards. 6pts all TD’s. 3pts bonus for 300 yards games. And a 3pt bonus for TD’s over 50 yards. i.e. 57 yards TD = 9pts. Thx

  32. John Hansen says:

    Not a bad deal actually. Turner’s likely to fall off soon, possibly this year.

  33. PACMAN George says:

    I’ll give the trade a try. I think I should be able to land Ray Rice or Mendenahll with my 1st pick. Sounds crazy. But I pick 6th in a 10 man team league and my league is WR crazy. (For some odd reason) And Wallace, Nicks, Roddy White, Greg Jennings, and Reggie Wayne are all available. So if 4 WR’s out of that 5 go I’m a lock for Rice or Mendenhall.

    Your thoughts on Stafford and Ryan this year.

  34. PACMAN George says:

    So what’s better? Rivers, Andre and Mendenhall or Turner, Mendenhall and Andre? I guess that my real question.

  35. PACMAN George says:


    I hope you’re out here. Your thoughts on keeping Matt Schuab over Turner. I’m in a 10 team league. 2 keepers. Two players of the same position cannot be kept. Other QB’s in the league that are going to be kept are: Romo, Brees, Brady, Rivers, Peyton, Vick, and Rodgers. That’s 7 out of ten players keeping a QB. Sound easy but my settings are QB heavy and the top 3 last had Vick, Rodgers and Peyton. (I’m concern about Turner. Maybe it’s just the websites killing me)Should I just stick with him and Andre and just go RB with the 1st pick and have Turner as a RB2 or just let him go?

  36. Riozoomkix says:

    Okay here is my situation:

    I won my 2010 fantasy league and will have the last pick in the 1st round and 1st pick in the second round. We are in a keeper league and able to select 2 keepers:

    QB- Matt Schaub
    RB: Rashard Mendenhall
    WR: Maclin, Andre Johnson, and Dwayne Bowe

    At this point I am torn between Schaub and Mendenhall. Any suggestions and input would be greatly appreciated.

  37. PACMAN George says:

    I’m in a 10 team keeper league. Scoring for QB – 1pt every 50 yards. 6pts all TD’s. Any TD’s over 50 yards are a bonus of 3pt. Same bonus for 300 yard games. RB’s /WR’s 1pt every 25 yards same bonus for TD’s over 50 yards and 100 yard games. (3pts). I can keep TWO. Andre Johnson, Matt Schuab, or Mike Turner.

    Other QB’s being kept are: Peyton, Rivers, Brady, Romo, Vick, Rodgers, and Brees. This is a tough one. Thank you …GURU

  38. Vic says:

    Guru or Camp or Dolan or all 3: I’m in a 14 team – PPR keeper league. My pick is 9th. 6 pts all offensive TDs and basically standard.

    My possible keepers/cost are Ray Rice/1st round pick, Calvin/2nd round, Gates/4th. I can only keep 2.

    We also have a separate keeper for players used 5 times or less last year. I can keep 1 – Stafford or Harvin, either would cost a 7th round pick.

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