As a fantasy football team owner in a keeper league, you’ll share many of the same concerns as your counterparts in one-year drafts, but you also need to keep an eye on the future. The fact that you’ll have this same (basic) team next year and that you’ll be facing the same (basic) opponents lends a realism to your league that is hard to match in a one-year setup. So, what factors should you consider when building your keeper team? Of course, you want to stock the roster with players who can help you out in the counting stats, but there are other factors to consider. For instance, look for players who are young and healthy enough to help you for several years. Consider also the player’s real team dynamics and lean toward those players with stable team situations.
Within the framework of those general guidelines, the ten players below represent excellent pick-ups on the defensive side of the ball for your keeper-league team in 2009. Because some positions (like defensive back) tend to dominate fantasy scoring, the list below contains the best options at a variety of positions rather than the potential overall best scorers. Enjoy your draft-day shopping, and good luck with your team!
(All player information taken from ESPN.com.)
Shaping up as another great Ravens LB, Suggs consistently delivers, and he’s only 26.
Williams justifies his status as a former overall Number 1 pick, as he has established himself as one of the toughest DEs in the league. Punishes quarterbacks and paces the Texans.
Lots of sacks, and his strong presence has helped the Giants maintain excellence after Strahan.
Ware is a sack monster and, at 27, figures to pace the Cowboys’ LB corps for several more seasons.
Just coming into his own at 24, Beason is poised to really breakout and could help lead Carolina back to prominence.
Briggs is a tough LB in the fine Chicago tradition, and, at 28, he’ll be the leader of the pack as the Bears’ defense tries to keep pace with the Cutler-led offense.
Always an interception threat, Atogwe has established himself as one of the league’s top safeties.
As a young, speedy safety in New England’s defensive stable, Meriweather is exactly the type of player you need for your keeper-league team.
Another piece in Carolina’s defensive puzzle, Gamble is a strong young cornerback who could help your team for the next several years.
Joining teammate Gamble on this list, Marshall is only 24 and provides solid CB play.
Any of these players will serve you well as you build the defense for your keeper team. Grab them if you can, or use the guidelines above to find the perfect players for your team.