What Is a Keeper League In Fantasy Football?

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What Is a Keeper League In Fantasy Football?

If you’re a fantasy football fan, you may have heard the term “keeper league” thrown around but aren’t sure what it means. A keeper league is an exciting twist on the traditional fantasy football season. With this setup, teams can keep a predetermined number of players from year to year.

Let’s look at how keeper leagues work and why they are becoming increasingly popular among fantasy football fans. 

How Keeper Leagues Work 

In a traditional fantasy football league, each team drafts its roster from scratch at the start of each season. This can lead to the same teams winning each year since some owners are more experienced than others in building their rosters. But with keeper leagues, teams can retain some of their best players from one season to the next. 

Depending on the rules set by your league commissioner, each team may be able to keep anywhere from one to five players going into a new season. This allows teams that had success in previous years to build upon that success and makes it easier for less experienced owners to stay competitive.

Also, because there is no need for an entire draft process at the beginning of every season, keeper leagues can get started quickly without wasting time on unnecessary tasks like scouting and drafting new players each year. 

What To Consider In Keeper Leagues

When deciding which players should be kept for future seasons, owners need to consider which players performed well in previous seasons and which players have the potential for future growth and success.

For example, suppose a young quarterback has had several successful seasons but could improve further over time. In that case, that might make him a good candidate for keeping to ensure long-term success in future years.

It is also important to pay attention to any sleeper picks or up-and-coming stars who could provide great value down the road if given the opportunity. Keeping these players on your roster can help your team stay competitive in future years while providing greater flexibility when making trades or picking up free agents during off-season months. 

Pros & Cons Of Keeper Leagues


Keepers add another level of strategy to the game: Deciding who to keep and let go of can be tough decisions that can make or break your team’s chances of success.

Adds Continuity From Year to Year: In redraft leagues, everyone starts from scratch each season. You can keep your core players in keeper leagues and build on that foundation.

Increases Value of Late-Round Picks: Late-round picks are often considered throwaways in redraft leagues. In keeper leagues, they could be the key to your team’s success down the road.

Makes The Game More Exciting: Just knowing that you have a chance to keep your players from one year to the next creates more interest and excitement than a redraft league.


Create an Uneven Playing Field: If some teams are allowed to keep more players than others, it gives those teams a distinct advantage heading into the new season.

Difficult To Find Replacement Owners: Finding a replacement owner willing to take over their team can be tough if someone decides they don’t want to participate in the keeper league anymore.

Hard To Trade Keeper Players: Since they have extra value, finding a trade partner willing to give you fair value in return can be tough.

Can Make The Game Less Exciting: If you’re not a fan of continuity, a keeper league might not be for you. Redraft leagues offer a fresh start each season, which can appeal more to some fantasy football fans.


Keeper leagues add excitement and strategy to fantasy football by allowing teams to retain some of their best players from one season to another. While also allowing them to spot up-and-coming stars who could provide great value down the line and help them stay competitive in future years.

Whether you are looking for more challenging competition or want an easier way to stay involved with your favorite sport during off-season months. Participating in a keeper league is definitely worth considering if you’re passionate about fantasy football.