There are few things better than conceiving and executing your draft plan with precision. Imagine, in 2016, if you started your squad with David Johnson in the first round, Jordy Nelson in the second, and LeSean McCoy in the third to get your draft rolling, followed by later picks of Michael Thomas and Dak Prescott to form an unstoppable team.

You built a near-perfect franchise, and you rolled over the other scrubs in your league and won a championship. However, not too long after you receive the trophy to commemorate your great achievement, the buzzkill of knowing your team of the century has been disbanded starts to set in.

You, my friend, are the reason "keeper" leagues were created. You want to draft unknown players who turn into stars and keep them as long as you see fit. Or you at least want to draft a superstar a year or two before he’s actually considered a superstar. Not only that, but you want to be able to make the far-reaching decisions of an actual NFL executive, a junior version of Jerry Jones, without the billions and the futuristic stadium. Will your management style be to throw caution to the wind and sacrifice long-term potential for short-term success? Can you handle the task and the ribbing from other owners that come with rebuilding should your gambles fail? Will you build your team through the draft, like Ted Thompson? The answers to these questions are all part of the allure of playing in a keeper or dynasty league.

Once you've decided to adopt a keeper format, the first question asked should be “How many players should be retained from year-to-year?” Will it be a single franchise player, or three, four, or more players? You can get creative with the rules for keeping players, like giving up a certain draft pick for each player retained, or being able to keep players for a set number of years. The only boundary is really your own imagination. After answering the "how manys” and “how longs,” the next layer of strategy you have to consider is how to build your team. Should you take young players exclusively? Or can you draft older veterans and still win two or three years down the road? A blend of youth and experience is usually the ticket.

Let’s get into some more information on keeper and dynasty leagues and get into some tips.

Part I

CHOOSING WHICH PLAYERS TO PROTECT

It’s time to choose which players you want to build your team around, not only for this year, but also for many years to come. Protecting Le’Veon Bell and Andrew Luck is a no-brainer, but how about guys like Tom Brady or Larr...
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