Keeper leagues debuted in Fantasy Hockey 2003. These leagues work in much the same way as single-season leagues, but they last three full seasons. Participants retain three (3) players each season, holding a new draft for the remaining players upon the release of each new season's game. Here's a breakdown of how it works:
Get your team
Individual keeper league teams can be purchased for a one-time cost of $49.95 and last three (3) seasons (2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 for teams purchased this year).
Note: Owners who purchased and played a keeper-league team last season are entering Year Two and do not need to purchase a new team for this season.
Preseason, Year 1
After your team is purchased, you can access your team and choose to create or join a keeper league in the League Directory/League Index. You also have the choice to join a live draft league via the Waiting Room.
Keeper leagues have the same flexibilty offered to single-season leagues, specifically the size of the league (8, 10 or 12 teams), scoring type (rotisserie and head-to-head) and draft method (multi-list, single-list or live draft).
Rank players on your team's clubhouse page in preperation for the upcoming draft.
Draft Day, Year 1
Live Draft: Access your live draft from the Fantasy Hockey frontapge at least 15 minutes before the scheduled draft time. The draft order is randomly determined and the draft lasts until each team has a valid roster of 21 players. The league's initial waiver order is set to the inverse order of the draft.
Single-List Draft: Your team will automatically be drafted until you have a valid roster of 21 players. You will receive an email upon completion of the draft and the league's initial waiver order is set to the inverse order of the draft.
Multi-List Draft: Your team will automatically be drafted until you have a valid roster of 21 players. You will receive an email upon completion of the draft and the league's initial waiver order is set.
Season, Year 1
Keeper leagues' regular season schedule, scoring and prizes work exactly the same as single-season leagues.
Keeper leagues' "League Production" value will be ranked relative to ALL other leagues in the game, not only against other keeper leagues. The same is true for individual team ranks.
For head-to-head leagues, your keeper league's draft order for the subsequent season is set based on the system described in the chart below. This system encourages owners in the consolation bracket to continue managing their team during the fantasy playoffs. The draft order for rotisserie leagues is simply the inverse of the final standings.
8 Team Keeper League example:
FINISH NEW DRAFT POSITION
After the FHL season is complete (at the start of the NHL Playoffs):
Waivers/free agency are opened for the duration of the offseason. The initial waiver order resets with the same rules as during the regular season. During the approx. five-month fantasy offseason, teams can trade players and claim players without restriction. Free agency never locks and the Commissioner's Office remains open for trade reviews. No new players (namely rookies from the draft) will be added to the player pool during the offseason.
Three weeks before Fantasy Hockey launches for Season 2 (exact date TBD):
Team owners will be sent an email notification that three (3) players must be designated as keepers for the next season by an assigned date TBD. This will be done via a web-based service much like "Change Active Roster".
One week before Fantasy Hockey launches:
The three (3) players who were designated as keepers will remain on your team's roster, while the 18 unprotected players will be automatically dropped from your team and moved to waivers. If any team fails to designate keeper players, the three (3) players who ranked highest on the FHL Player Rater will automatically be kept. Three (3) players MUST be kept and if, for example, only two (2) are designated as keeper, the system will keep the highest player remaining on the team's roster. At this time, free agency will lock, and all league transactions will remain frozen until the draft is conducted.
**On the date that Fantasy Hockey launches (the SECOND SEASON begins!)**
Pre-Season, Year 2
Your league will automatically appear on the game's League Directory/League Index page, where you and the other members can begin the process of voting on a proposed time and draft method (live or single-list). The voting will take place on the League Referenda page, and it will take a majority vote (5 owners in an 8-team league, 6 in a 10-team league, 7 in a 12-team league) to set the draft's date/time and draft method. Keeper teams in their second season CANNOT draft via the Waiting Room. Once a draft time is finalized, you will receive an email notification detailing the league's settings for the upcoming draft.
Your team's Clubhouse page will convert into preseason mode, giving you the chance to rank the non-keeper players in your league. Rookies will be added to the player pool at this time. The three (3) players you designated as keepers and your team's position in the draft will also be displayed on your team's Clubhouse page.
Draft Day, Year 2:
Live Draft: Access your live draft from the Fantasy Hockey frontpage at least 15 minutes before the scheduled draft time. At the beginning of your draft the three (3) players you designated as keepers will automatically be drafted onto your team. Essentially, the first three rounds of the draft are already run, and the actual draft starts in the fourth round. The draft order works in the order described above, and the draft lasts until each team has a valid roster of 21 players. After the 2nd Year Draft is completed, the league's initial waiver order will reset in the inverse order of the draft.
Single List Draft: Your team will automatically be drafted for you. The three (3) players designated as keepers will be the first three selected and the next rounds of the draft will depend on your assigned pre-season rankings. The draft order works in order described above. You will receive an email upon completion of the draft. After the draft is completed the initial waiver order will work in inverse order of the draft position.
Season, Second Year:
Rules remain the same as in Year 1.
Keeper leagues will have a unique page that shows last year's results and "career" records against other teams. Last year's standings and links to the previous year's games/records will be available as well. Year 2 into Year 3 works the same way as Year 1 into Year 2.
End of Year 3:
In order to continue playing, you will need to create a new league and have all the necessary team owners join. We hope you decide to keep ESPN as your fantasy games provider in future seasons.
**Dead Team Note** We understand there is nothing worse than a dead team in a league and for Keeper Leagues we will make every effort to contact the AWOL team owner. If repeated email attempts fail, and the team owner does not log into the system for over 30 days (starting on the day that Year 2 starts), we will be distributing keeper teams to other owners to continue the integrity of the league.