Most keeper leagues involve a salary and a contract. They’re ideal for auction drafts where the salary is the winning bid. However, leagues using a draft to roster players can use the round in which the player was drafted as the salary. Instead of having the keeper salary of the player deducted from your auction budget, keeping a player drafted in Round 5 means you have your Round 5 pick skipped.

Some auction keeper leagues have an escalation of salary over time. A common approach is keeping the player for two more years at the initial bid price, then having the option of signing the player to a long-term contract, usually at $5 per season.

The analogous approach in a keeper draft league is having the keeper round escalate. For instance, a player drafted in Round 8 can be kept in that round for a set number of years, then for his long term contract, the salary becomes Round 5 (or whatever).

Sometimes, to concoct and evaluate trades in a draft league, it’s nice to know the salary equivalent of the round in which the player was drafted. Unfortunately, it is not linear. That is, the delta between adjacent players is greater in the early part of the draft compared to the middle and late rounds. Think of the draft as a slinky. Hold it with your arm extended and let it drop to the floor. Each rung is a draft pick. Those at the top are furthest apart and by the time you get to the other end, the rungs are essentially on top of each other. Well, unless you are really tall, or are using a really small slinky.

The same is true of the NFL draft. Years ago, Jimmy Johnson developed a chart to reflect the value of each draft pick, mostly to facilitate trades. What follows are three tables, each estimating the expected earnings of all the picks. Tables for a 10-, 12- and 15-team league will be presented.

But first, here is a brief review of the methodology. I averaged a few projection sets together and plugged the results into the HIT_CVRC and PIT_CVRC included in the Fantasy Index Baseball Draft Kit. CVRC stands for Customizable Value and Rankings Calculator. They’re Excel programs coded to determine projected earnings for 4x4 or 5x5 rotisserie leagues. There is limited customization, but one of the features is being able to change the number of teams in the league.

Each league assumes a 23-man roster with 14 hitters and nine pitchers. Using the 10-team league as an example, exactly 140 hitters and 90 pitchers are assigned projected earnings of at least $1. The standard auction budget is $260, so in a 10-team league, the sum of these 230 players is exactly $2600. Most fantasy drafts are of the snake variety (last pick in the off rounds get the first pick in the even rounds and vice versa). The projected earnings are snaked accordingly, generating the following:

10 Team League

  Tm 1 Tm 2 Tm 3 Tm 4 Tm 5 Tm 6 Tm 7 Tm 8 Tm 9 Tm 10
Rnd 1 $51 $42 $40 $39 $39 $37 $37 $36 $36 $33
Rnd 2 $26 $28 $29 $29 $30 $30 $31 $31 $31 $32
Rnd 3 $26 $26 $25 $24 $24 $22 $22 $22 $22 $22
Rnd 4 $19 $20 $20 $20 $20 $21 $21 $21 $21 $21
Rnd 5 $19 $19 $19 $19 $18 $18 $17 $17 $17 $17
Rnd 6 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $17 $17 $17
Rnd 7 $16 $15 $15 $15 $15 $14 $14 $14 $14 $14
Rnd 8 $12 $12 $12 $12 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13
Rnd 9 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $11 $11 $11
Rnd 10 $10 $10 $10 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11
Rnd 11 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $9 $9 $9 $9
Rnd 12 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8
Rnd 13 $8 $8 $8 $8 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7
Rnd 14 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $7 $7 $7
Rnd 15 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6
Rnd 16 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6
Rnd 17 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5
Rnd 18 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4
Rnd 19 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $3 $3 $3
Rnd 20 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
Rnd 21 $3 $3 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2
Rnd 22 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $2 $2
Rnd 23 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1

This season's chart is skewed with the otherwordly projections for Ronald Acuna Jr., but the general pattern is the same. There is a significant different between the first and last player in each round, but it doesn't take long before the difference is just $1 and eventually it is essentially the same (keeping in mind the numbers shown are rounded off so $1.51 and $2.49 both display as $2. Here are the other two samples leagues.

12 Team League

  Tm 1 Tm 2 Tm 3 Tm 4 Tm 5 Tm 6 Tm 7 Tm 8 Tm 9 Tm 10 Tm 11 Tm 12
Rnd 1 $52 $43 $41 $41 $39 $38 $38 $37 $37 $34 $33 $33
Rnd 2 $26 $26 $26 $27 $27 $29 $30 $31 $31 $31 $32 $32
Rnd 3 $26 $24 $23 $23 $22 $22 $22 $22 $22 $22 $21 $21
Rnd 4 $18 $19 $19 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $21 $21 $21 $21
Rnd 5 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $17 $17 $17 $17 $17 $17
Rnd 6 $15 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $17 $17 $17 $17
Rnd 7 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $14 $14 $14 $14 $14 $14
Rnd 8 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $14 $14
Rnd 9 $13 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12
Rnd 10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11
Rnd 11 $10 $10 $10 $10 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9
Rnd 12 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9
Rnd 13 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8
Rnd 14 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $8 $8 $8
Rnd 15 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $6 $6 $6
Rnd 16 $5 $5 $5 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6
Rnd 17 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $4 $4
Rnd 18 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4
Rnd 19 $4 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
Rnd 20 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
Rnd 21 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2
Rnd 22 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2
Rnd 23 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1

15 Team League

  Tm 1 Tm 2 Tm 3 Tm 4 Tm 5 Tm 6 Tm 7 Tm 8 Tm 9 Tm 10 Tm 11 Tm 12 Tm 13 Tm 14 Tm 15
R 1 $50 $42 $41 $41 $38 $38 $37 $37 $36 $34 $33 $33 $33 $33 $32
R 2 $25 $25 $25 $25 $25 $27 $28 $28 $28 $29 $30 $30 $31 $31 $32
R 3 $24 $24 $24 $24 $24 $23 $23 $23 $23 $23 $22 $22 $22 $22 $22
R 4 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $20 $21 $21 $21 $21 $21 $22
R 5 $20 $19 $19 $19 $19 $19 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $18 $17
R 6 $15 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $16 $17 $17 $17 $17 $17
R 7 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $14 $14
R 8 $14 $14 $14 $14 $14 $14 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13 $13
R 9 $13 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $12 $11 $11
R10 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $11 $10
R11 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10
R12 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9
R13 $9 $9 $9 $9 $9 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8 $8
R14 $8 $8 $8 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7
R15 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6
R16 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6 $6
R17 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $5
R18 $5 $5 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4
R19 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $4 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3
R20 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $2 $2 $2
R21 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $2 $1
R22 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1
R23 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1 $1

The prices aren't perfect for every league, and may differ a bit between single league (AL and NL only) and mixed formats, but they're close enough to facilitate decisions in draft leagues. As always, I'm happy to address questions in the comments.

Todd Zola is an award-winning fantasy baseball writer and 2020 inductee into the Fantasy Sports Writers Hall of Fame. He's the content provider for the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Index Draft Kit, available now. To purchase, click HERE.