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 for your keeper-league team in 2009. Because some positions (like running 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.)
Rookie quarterbacks who lead their teams to dramatic turnarounds are exactly the sort who make keeper-league owners happy. Grab Ryan if you can and keep an eye on the Falcons.
Two years removed from the shadow of Brett Favre, Rodgers is finally making his mark on the Packers and the NFL. Expect another strong showing from the young quarterback as his team gels around him.
The best running back in the league, the Vikings’ Peterson has only two years’ worth of NFL wear and tear on his body, so he’s likely to anchor your team for several seasons if you’re lucky enough to nab him.
A tough, though diminutive, featured back, Jones-Drew will play a key role in helping the Jaguars compete in the tough AFC South in the coming years.
The marquee receiver in Arizona’s talented young catching corps, Fitzgerald has the physical skills, the mental makeup, and the offensive support to put up big fantasy numbers for years to come.
White has emerged as Ryan’s favorite target, and it should be lots of fun to see them mature together. Falcon Air, anyone?
Lots of baggage here, but the physical gifts remain, and he’s young enough (26) to enjoy several strong seasons as the Ravens featured tight end. Flacco will love this big target.
Shaping up as another great Ravens LB, Suggs consistently delivers, and he’s only 26.
Ware is a sack monster and, at 27, figures to pace the Cowboys’ LB corps for several more seasons.
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.
Any of these players will serve you well as you build your keeper team’s roster. Grab them if you can, or use the guidelines above to find the perfect players for your team.