Keeper Core Thoughts
Tier 1 - Ridiculous
1. Saldogg - Kevin Durant, Lebron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Serge Ibaka, Tony Parker
In a league of its own. It's actaully scary to think that one point last season he also owned Rose and George. I guess that we can all say he's done quite well for himself since the inception of this league in building his core as is reflected in his raising the banner 3 times out of 6. I think that besides the obvious that he statistically owns the two most dominant players that puts himself at such an advantage, the other huge factor I have noticed on Saldogg's team is how durable his core is. Not losing any of those guys for an extended period of time puts him at such an advantage.
Tier 2 - Damn Sexy
2. Lilstinkylynx - Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Love, Kawhi Leonard, Larry Sanders
Not even close to Saldogg's caliber, but I can safely say that everyone who takes a quick look at this core would have 'SEXY' on their lips. In a keeper league you always look for productive players that are young enough to carry you from season in and season out without having to worry about a rebuild too soon. That's exactly what I got. Not to mention, I own an elite player at every position. This gives me a lot of freedom in drafts by not having to reach for any one player based on position eligibility. My issue, the exact opposite of Saldogg's, is that my team is made of glass (especially when it comes to my big dogs). Oh well, makes me work even order to draft better and make moves to take down the big empire.
3. Tekopp - Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving, Paul Millsap, Rudy Gay, JaVale McGee
Another one of those cores of young guns that have shown productivity and glimmers of being productive for many season to come. One of top managers in this league, Tek has built quite a team. four out of his 5 players have at one point in their careers posted top 15 Value. That's quite a core no matter how you look at it. Add to that... I love that he has two elite PG's in a time where elite fantasy PG's are far and few between IMO. A consistent stud in Millsap that has been placed in a wonderful position to succeed. I like a nice bounce back season for Gay and his across the board contributions are what we all look for in a roto league. My biggest concern and his biggest concern is mr JaVale (too imature) Mcgee. With that said, not many guys can have the potential to lead the league in blocks and even with that kind of immaturity, the gamble is well worth it IMO.
Tier 3 - Compete Now
4. Wesbaedke - Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Brandon Jennings, Al Jefferson, Eric Bledsoe
I like to look at this team and think 'Oldies but Goodies.' That obviously goes for Dirk and Pau and in some respects Al. I'm sure that part is self explanatory so I won't go into too much detail. What I like about this core is that Wes has already started the process of transitioning and adding some young blood to his keeper core to get ready for when the oldies are no longer good. Dirk and Pau IMO both had a little bad luck last season and I see a nice bounce back. Al has always been Al and will continue to be Al on his new team. I think that this team, when looking at cores only, will go as far as Jennings and Bledsoe takes them. Both players are placed into somehat unknown situations and whether they reach their fantasy potential is anyone's guess.
5. Barrec - Dwayne Wade, Kemba Walker, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Al Horford
Two guys who have consistently posted top 15 value in their careers in Wade and Horford. A young stud in Davis who should only build on his fantasy production for the rest of his NBA career. A stalwart and consistent guy in Anderson who produces even when not a starter. A player who took a giant and I mean giant leap last season in Kemba. Oh yeah, this team is built to compete now and I know Barrec wants to take down Sal as bad as I do and will do what it takes to make it happen.
6. Ddomrow - Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Nicolas Batum, Damien Lillard, Brook Lopez
Unfortunately for D, he has now lost Westbrook for quite a significant amount of time. He also entered the draft late. With that said, I would have no problem taking over a team with these pieces as its core. He has two guys that showed they can or have produced top 15 value and another guy in Wall who should take that leap this season. Lopez and Lillard to me fall into the same boat. Guys who peaked too early. I know some people may disagree with me, but I don;t see either guys making massive leaps the rest of their fantasy career.
Tier 4 - Good On Paper, but Where Do You Take Them
7. TonyM - Chris Paul, Goran Dragic, Josh Smith, Anderson Varejao, Chris Bosh
Tony took over a team that won the other 3 seasons in the league that was dominated by Sal. That tells you how good this core is and can still be. with that said, even the previous manager saw that it may be time to break it up and move forward. Will Tony do the same... hard to say.
8. Baller7037 - Rajon Rondo, Ricky Rubio, Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Carmelo Anthony
Baller at some point will realize that having Dwight and Rondo on his team means he will never get any more than 1 point in ft% and the fact he has 4 out of 5 guys that will plummit him in the TO cat as well, his draft selection and managerial skills will dictate if he ever joins the top managers/teams in this league. As I have said multiple times in seasons past and again this season, he hasn't quite made the right moves yet. Waiting for him to prove me wrong though. With that said, by having the top two assists and steals guys in the league, he has and can dominate two of the hardest CATs IMO. Quite a coup I would say. I have never been a big fan of Melo in fantasy terms but the past two years have shown me that he can up his game and make himself an elite fantasy player so I give Baller mad props for sticking it through with him. I gave Baller props in my analysis in past for his core and I don;t mind doing it again... just wish he would actually do something with that decent core.
Tier 5 - Good, but Great? Possibly...
9. Jasonuoft - Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Greg Monroe, Jeff Green, Jeff Teague
One thing about this tier and all the teams in this category is that we got some up-and-comers. It's always hard to determine whether or not these guys will pan out or not. In Jason's case, he went in rebuild mode last season when both Dirk and Pau plummeted. In there place, he has added Green and Teague. Hard to imagine that any of those guys will ever be able to put up value similar to Dirk or Pau. With that said, Jason has been the most consistent manager in this league. Always finishing top 3 except for last season I believe. Definitely won't be counting him out.
10. GGS - Jrue Holiday, Paul George, Chandler Parsons, Blake Griffin, Tim Duncan
I acutally really like where GGS took his team in respect from last year to this year. He got young real quick and a stud in George. Duncan is at the end of his fantasy greatness and I'm sure GGs will look into replacing him as a keeper come season's end, but he is more than a great option for now. We saw Blake and Jrue take a step forward and back last season. Both players had phenomenal starts and less that spectacular finishes. His team will go where these two guys take him since you can't win this league with only one stud. Parsons is on of those glue guys that every team should have.
Tier 6 - You Got Work
11. Mac-Unit - Derrick Rose, Ty Lawson, Ersan Ilyasova, Nikola Vucevic, Jonas Valanciunas
Another young team with so many question marks. Rose - will he be back to form and can he take the next step. Even at his best, Rose has never shown that he is a top 15 guy. Can Ty and Ersan finally put in one full season of consistency. Will Nikola's production change once the team finally adds consistent pieces and a star? This team has no sure studs and Mac will have to decide if any of these guys can become that or if he will need to trade 2 for 1 to get a stud like GGS did last season to nab George.
12. Phil O'Pastry - Monta Ellis, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins
I think the major issue with this core is that you don't know what player will show up. Every single player on this list has so much talent. Problem is, in fantasy terms, talent doesn't always result in fantasy production and wins.
* Just a fun read and my two cents. Comments and responses appreciated. Write ups would be even better.