This is for you if you are playing in a keeper league. Nine out of ten keeper leagues have a policy that whoever is on your roster at season's end, is available to be kept. Anyone not on a roster after that last day of the season, goes back into the draft. That's most keeper leagues. What most managers forget, is that if they were paying attention, they could go and scoop up some of these players that have real potential for next season.
Let's say its the last week of the season. You are in 5th place or lower and realistically no shot at the money or a championship. Why not drop some of those players you never use or that you would never keep so that you can pick up and stash potential break out players and sleepers for next season? Maybe you already have your 8 keepers, but why not pick up a few potentials that you can then package in a deal in the off-season to upgrade your keeper list?
On the last day of the season, or sometime that last week to be safe, in KEEPER leagues, drop all the useless players on your team and pick up some of these guys who have potential for next year, i.e. Nelson Cruz, Andre Ethier, Dallas McPherson, Ian Stewart, Elijah Dukes, etc. Or, if you want to go deeper, pick up Matt LaPorta, David Price, Kila Ka'iahue or Andrew McCutchen….Stash them on your bench in the off-season so when all the websites and magazines start pumping these guys up, they're already on your roster as potential keepers, which then you can trade them in the off-season to teams for upgraded keepers in package deals!
Remember, after that last day of the season, in most leagues, you can’t make pick ups. The league software or your league rules may lock you out until after next year's draft. Get these guys on your roster, if available, and stash just in case they are useful to you in 2009!!! In one of my keeper leagues, Nate McLouth was on the wire in the off season because I failed to stash him at the end of the season in ’08. It turns out, I had to overpay slightly to get him on draft day…which worked out anyway. DO YOUR RESEARCH NOW!!! Look at who is hot, who has potential to break out, and then drop guys like Jeff Kent, Barry Zito, Billy Wagner, etc., guys who are useless right now and that you most likely won't keep in 2009.
What happens is, during the off-season, like at the Winter Meetings, players get tossed around and suddenly someone gets a boost in sleeper status because of the moves. For example, there is potential that the Marlins could move Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs which would make room for Dallas McPherson. McPherson has .290+/30+ HR potential but he's blocked by these two and McPherson doesn't have that "prospect" tag anymore, so he's a huge sleeper after a great healthy year in AAA if he gets a chance to play in 2009! So in essence, you are picking up players now who you feel could make a splash in draft status in the off-season!
Also, make sure you are not dropping superstar players on that last day/week, because that’s how you make league mates angry! You don't want to drop players who maybe are not potential keepers on your team, but could be potential keepers on another team. You might not have room for Chris B. Young, but there is probably someone out there that would keep him in a deep keeper league. Don't make that mistake.
So with all of that being said, be smart! Do your homework NOW, before the season ends! Grab and stash these "potentials" before your league locks out the add/drop option!