Most casual fantasy football players are content to compete in redraft leagues, which wipe the slate clean each year.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but some owners are attracted to investing in players beyond the current season. That’s what keeper or dynasty leagues offer.
Both keeper and dynasty are similar. Each involves retaining players for multiple seasons. What separates them is the fact that keeper leagues tend to permit just a few players to be carried over into the next season, and dynasty leagues are the full roster, more or less.
If you’re new to such leagues, here are a few tips to help set you up for long-term success.
Young man’s game
The younger players are going to remain in your system longer than the grizzled veterans, assuming they remain relatively healthy and productive. If you’re trying to pick between 22-year-old Todd Gurley (RB, Rams) and 31-year-old Adrian Peterson (RB, Vikings), the decision should be a no-brainer.
This maxim rings especially true in full dynasties, many of which only hold a rookie draft after the first season.
Eyes on short-term
It’s easy to fall victim to the idea of picking based solely on potential, but that’s a fast track to mediocrity. It didn’t work for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and it doesn’t work in fantasy football.
If you’re hellbent on drafting a bunch of rookies and sophomores, make sure to snag a few players and their positions with track records for success so the first year or two isn’t a waste.
All but the future Hall of Famers - and even most of them - will have a down season or two. It happens.
Dez Bryant (WR, Cowboys) had a down year in 2015 due to injuries to himself and Tony Romo (QB, Cowboys). He may very well fall short of WR1 value in 2016, but he’s too talented to shy away from if you’re playing the long game. And that’s exactly what you’re doing in these leagues.