The Z Files: Keeper and Dynasty League Dynamics
The Z Files: Keeper and Dynasty League Dynamics

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, many are taking stock of their teams. Those in keeper and dynasty formats are deciding whether to push their chips in or fold. Between James Anderson's Farm Futures and Top 400 Prospect Rankings along with Ian Kahn's newly refreshed Dynasty Rankings, there's a wealth of player-related content available to aid the process. What follows is a general discussion of keeper and dynasty league dynamics, a topic warranting more attention from industry pundits.

Before delving too deep, it's necessary to distinguish keeper from dynasty leagues. There isn't a textbook definition, so everyone has their own distinction. For me, it's about player turnover. In keeper leagues, there's a wealth of available players of all levels in the draft pool while dynasty league drafts consist mostly of prospects and fringe players.

There are three means for players to enter the draft pool:

  1. Expiring contracts
  2. Cost-prohibitive contracts
  3. Limited number of keepers

The combination of these delineate keeper from dynasty. The first two are universal traits of keeper leagues. The number of keepers varies, but the lower the limit, the greater the player turnover.

True dynasty leagues allow players to be retained ad infinitum so there aren't expiring or cost-prohibitive contracts. Additionally, dynasty leagues permit maintaining virtually the entire roster from year to year.

From a game theory perspective, winning a keeper league should entail sacrificing an appreciable portion of future for present help, usually of the non-keeper variety. Dynasty league champions also need to make deals

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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