Derek, Fort Worth, Texas: Our 12-team league drafts new rosters every year. Some owners have inquired about allowing a keeper from each 2005 roster. Is there a respectable and fair way to do this?
Engel: I simply have to believe the owners who want to keep their players from 2005 have elite standouts like Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson. There's nothing wrong with converting from a yearly league to a keeper format, but it simply can't be done using last season's rosters. If all the owners knew they could keep players heading into 2006, they would have drafted and made roster moves with a completely different mind-set. Every single transaction would have been made with a different approach. You can't go from a yearly to keeper format after a fantasy season is over and base it on the past year. It's unfair to make such a change after a full season of "yearly" strategy. The only reasonable way to execute the change is to announce that the 2006 draft will be the first in which players will become eligible for keeper status. Owners will be able to designate their first-ever keepers after the conclusion of the '06 season.