We are just one week into the season, and it’s easy to overreact to hot starts and early slumps, we forget this is a long process as we buy the hype way early and want to make big roster moves to help uswin our league. This idea is dangerous and sometimes foolish as paitence is a birtue in fantasy baseball, but there is one player that had a great start and needs to be added in most formats, and that is Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who is owned in just 57% of Yahoo leagues and 49% of ESPN leagues. This early in the season any add/drops made should be rationally aggressive, with a long term purpose in mind. It’s okay to chase hot starts as long as you understand the risk balance between who you are adding and who you are dropping, and you do some cursory research before making a move. Breakouts and league winners emerge in April, and Dylan Bundy has the makings of one.
Nothing feels worse than exiting the draft room and hating the team you just spent the last three hours building, but fantasy owners across all sports have been there at one point or another. We feel like we reached on every pick, like our season is already over, and worst of all, we feel powerless in this situation. Whether it manifests itself through aggression or apathy, don’t allow dejection to overtake your actions when managing this team. You can work your way out of a bad situation and contend regardless of your draft missteps. Nobody is eliminated in the first month, not Carlos Carrasco owners, Steven Matz believers, or people that went Trea Turner 1.1. By following the first four steps of my twelve-step program, you can turn your team around.
According to Fantasypros aggregate ADP, Kyle Schwarber is going as the 20th outfielder and 67th player off the board in drafts, ahead of outfielders like Mark Trumbo, Justin Upton, Jose Bautista, and Khris Davis. After an amazing rookie season in 2015 and a miraculous return from a knee injury to play in the 2016 World Series, fantasy owners are seeing nothing but roses when looking at Schwarber’s potential. Schwarber is being drafted like a surefire top 20 outfielder, but there is still plenty of risk which is not being factored into his draft day price. As his value currently stands, Schwarber is undraftable in leagues where is only outfield eligible.
The last time Rich Hill pitched a full season George W. Bush was the president, Barry Bonds broke the home run record, and Evan Longoria hadn’t yet reached the majors. To call Rich Hill a sleeper would be a miscategorization of his potential, he’s 37 years old and the baseball world is fully woken up on him. Hill’s injury woes have been well documented, and he frustrated fantasy owners last year with a blister that seemingly never healed, leaving a lot of people to proclaim that they won’t touch Hill under any circumstance, but passing on Hill’s upside completely is a dangerous game to play. He’s being taken as the 45th pitcher and 121st player per Fantasypros ADP, and his potential upside is worth the risk at that price. Don’t believe me? Think I’m crazy? Well let me explain.
With Halloween a mere seven months away, it seemed “fitting” to write about the scariest pitchers going into drafts, and the following three pitchers give me the spooks. All three of them flashed some serious warning signs last season, and none of those warning signs are priced into their current draft positions. The following pitchers are three I would avoid in all formats this season.
When it was reported that David Price needed an MRI on his elbow, Red Sox fans and fantasy players alike were justifiably concerned. When the MRI results were deemed inconclusive and Price was flown out for a second opinion from the ominous Dr. James Andrews, there was even more concern, and it was assumed that Tommy John surgery was inevitable. In a surprising twist, the prognosis from Dr. Andrews was positive, meaning no surgery needed! In lieu of surgery Price will be shut down for 7-10 days minimum before resuming throwing, however in an interview with mlb.com Price said that “There is no timetable.” With all the different changes going on it’s difficult for fantasy players it’s difficult to value Price right now.
Most fantasy players are aware of the pitching metrics FIP, xFIP, and SIERA, and use them when analyzing pitchers to draft for their team. These metrics are great at indicating when a pitcher may be outperforming his true skill, or have fallen victim to poor fortune. However, when analyzing pitchers it seems that a lot of people simply stake their flag in one of, or all of, the metrics to decide a player’s talent and value. This approach can be misguided because while FIP is calculated around the three outcomes a pitcher can control, walks, strikeouts, and home runs, it does not directly account for the types of contact a pitcher induces, the defense behind him, or in the case of xFIP, his ability to limit home runs. SIERA attempts to incorporate these factors by including net ground balls (GB-FB) and weighting them alongside a pitcher’s strikeout and walk rates. These stats however don’t paint a full picture, and can misguide you when drafting your team. So today, let me show you examples of how that can happen.
Eric Hosmer is currently ranked 96th on our site’s fantasy baseball rankings, but I have him at 144th overall, the lowest among our writers by over 50 spots. In turn, Hosmer’s current ADP according to Fantasypros is 107th, which means he is a 9th round pick in a 12 team league. Hosmer would be a solid utility or a center Infield play if he was going five rounds later, but he’s not worth tying up that spot when you could get Danny Duffy, Danny Salazar, or Evan Longoria in the same area.
The team of writers have finished their first set of preseason rankings for the 2017 fantasy baseball season. By using the links below you can view their top 200 or simply view position by position. If you have any questions as always please find us on Twitter @Fantasyreport_
As we continue the roll out of our pre seaason rankings, today the staff at The Fantasy Report unveil their top 90 Outfielder rankings. As always if you have any questions feel free to reach us on Twitter @Fantasy Report_