The following is a list of players, for Keeper leagues, that are well known but most managers are fading due to injury or their current roster position. While these players may not contribute very much to your fantasy team this year they are, in my opinion, worth the late round pick. If you can keep these players on your bench or IR, if available, throughout the whole season they should pay massive dividends for your fantasy team next year. At the very least you can draft them late dump them and try to pick them up again before the season ends.
First some insight into the 12 team Keeper league I’m involved in. Each manager is allowed 2 keepers per year. Keepers can only be players you originally drafted and they are “kept” at the same position at which they are drafted. For instance, I was fortunate enough to have drafted Leveon Bell in the 4th round of our draft 4 years ago so I have been able to “keep” him as a 4th round pick ever since. If you drop a player you originally drafted you can still choose him as your keeper if he makes it back to your roster by season’s end.
James Conner RB Pittsburgh
By far, my favorite player to target late for a Keeper draft, the backup to LeVeon Bell at least has value as a handcuff. But next year may provide a much greater opportunity for Conner. With the likelihood that Pittsburgh and Bell part ways next year, Conner would be the RB to inherit Bell’s lead back role. A Mike Tomlin favorite, James has shown flashes in his short tenure with the Steelers and would be a steal in late rounds, especially for Bell owners. He would be a bell cow for one of the most potent offenses in the NFL with the potential to finish as a top 10 possibly even a top 5 RB next season and you would get him for peanuts.
Derrius Guice RB Washington
The injury to Guice has killed most interest, outside Dynasty leagues, in the promising back. In a Keeper league that is a mistake. Guice, sidelined for the year with an ACL tear, will be the lead back for Washington when the NFL season starts next year. If your Keeper league has 1 or more IR seats per team this is a massive discount as you won’t have to worry about him taking an active bench spot. Though he has the potential to be a workhorse, he will most likely be in a timeshare with Chris Thompson but should be, at least, a top 15 value at his position next season.
Hunter Henry TE San Diego
An afterthought following his season-ending ACL tear, Hunter Henry was poised for a big year with the Chargers. An obvious top 5 TE candidate this year, he should be considered as one going into next year as well. Like Guice, he can be an even better value if you have IR seats. In 14 games last year he had 45 receptions for 579 yards and 4 TDs sharing time with Antonio Gates.
And there you have it, folks, 3 massively discounted Keeper league players for your consideration. It’s never too early to plan for the future and if you’re in a competitive league, it’s imperative that you put yourself in a favorable position as early and as often as possible.