Scouts Inc: Off the Beaten Path

Originally Published: January 3, 2005
By Jason Langendorf | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Because keeper lists are as much a tradition among fantasy football columnists in Week 17 as fudge for breakfast and an A.M. eggnog buzz--what, that's not tradition?--I proudly present to you: OTBP, the Keepin' It Real version.

OK, overlooking the fact that this is very lame--the column idea, somewhat; the title, very much--keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to be a keeper-league owner to glean ideas and information from a keeper-centric advice column. Go on, give it a try. You might enjoy it--like fruitcake, only more tasteless and slightly easier to digest.

The usual standards for judging player value will apply to my early keeper rankings: 2005 potential, injury risk, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I'll also factor in elements like long-term viability; the probability for change (teammates, coaches, schemes); and likely 2004 draft position, which could decide what sort of pick some owners will have to give up in the '05 draft to keep that player.