Fantasy All Stars (5×5, on-base leagues)
C – Buster Posey, SF – Has 3 titles in 5 years and is putting up solid numbers again. I thought where he was going in the draft was too high, 3rd round, but so far he’s been worth it.
C – Derek Norris, SD – He was the 2nd choice in OAK, because Vogt is amazing, but now he’s 1st in SD. He’s been the consolation prize for fantasy players everywhere who missed out on Vogt.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt, AZ – the #1 rated player on Yahoo! for good reason, maybe people will finally start talking about him in real baseball. I can’t not see him going 1st overall next year.
1B – Anthony Rizzo, CHI – Theo’s poster boy, but for some reason ESPN only seems to mention Kris Bryant. The Cubs made out on that deal, but I’m still hoping for Cashner to put it all together. The SBs have been a pleasant surprise, proving that any smart player with an aggressive manager can get to 20 SBs easily. Continue reading
So the first month of baseball is technically over, but because the season started so late the first month hasn’t really finished yet. I looked into some players off to great starts to the season and I used fangraphs for all the stats mentioned in my post.
Nelson Cruz – Well it’s official, I was dead wrong on Cruz. Seattle is where hitters go to die! Cano couldn’t even get to 15 HRs last year and Cruz moving from the hitter friendly Camden Yards to Safeco was supposed to reduce his power, not increase it! He’s hitting fly balls 14% more than last year and his ground ball rate is down by 8%, so the spike in HRs makes sense. Those rates usually don’t stabilize until ~170 PAs and he’s only half way to that mark. His HR/FB is high, but if he can keep generating this many FBs then he might even eclipse last years 40 HRs…he only needs 30 more to go. His walk and strikeout rates look right around career average and he’s swinging a little less outside the strike zone while increasing his contact rate. His age, injury history, and home park gave me concern going into the season, but the stats show there’s little to dislike.
The Cubs and Cardinals start off the season and I was a little too excited to watch 2 teams I don’t care about, but today is officially Opening Day! Part IV of my 2015 frugal fantasy baseball goes over some underpriced SPs and RPs. Obviously depending on how competitive and deep the league is many of these recommendations will be owned already. Depending on how well pitchers do during their first outing will obviously determine how well they’ll perform the entire year. Even if you’ve drafted already I value these pitchers higher than they are currently valued, go trade for them! Add them on the waiver if you’re lucky enough.
A lot of sites will tell you not to draft pitchers early, to draft hitters instead because they’re “safer,” but the better advice would be to draft the correct players. Last year instead of drafting Felix Hernandez in the 2nd round you could have drafted Corey Kluber in the later rounds and got the same production! In 2014 reliable hitters didn’t bust (Prince Fielder, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Jason Kipnis) and it’s so much harder to find hitters that out perform their ADP drastically like pitchers so often do (Michael Brantley, Victor Martinez, Jose Abreu, Anthony Rendon). Sarcasm! Clayton Kershaw finished as the #1 overall player last year and he didn’t even pitch the whole season. If you want to draft pitchers early there are plenty of hitters that you can draft late. There seems to be an epidemic of Tommy John surgeries, but there are plenty of pitchers that remain consistent throughout the years, so just draft the players that won’t get Tommy John! It’s that easy. H2H formatting deflated aces because weekly performances are so fickle, and quantity usually beats quality in daily leagues, but having a strong ace can anchor a fantasy rotation, especially in roto leagues. Here are some guys that could help with the quantity side of things though.
Do you know how much easier it is to make fantasy predictions with almost no research to back it up? ESPN posted 53 bold predictions with almost zero facts explaining them, and it included the bogus Troy Tulowitzki will remain healthy for a majority of the year fact! It’s total BS and it’s beautiful, unlike the new ESPN format, but maybe I just hate change. I’m going to make a bunch of fantasy baseball predictions with very little facts to back me up and a ton of bias! Some of them might even be underlined instead of bolded!
Matt Harvey is a bust
He’s on an innings limit and if the Met’s aren’t in the playoff hunt I can see him getting shut down earlier than expected. He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and I know he’s looked excellent in spring training, but spring training doesn’t mean too much. He has to carry the weight of all of New York’s expectations now that the Yankees stink, that’s too much pressure! He’s getting drafted in the 3rd/4th round now, so people are expecting ace numbers, but he hasn’t pitched a real game in more than a year. Also the Mets can’t have nice things.
Joey Votto finishes as a top 5 1B
He was a top 1B before and I like the Reds’ offense this year with Billy Hamilton likely improving, Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd providing reliable power, and Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips can’t possible play as bad as they did last year. He’ll provide Freddie Freeman like numbers but for a 3 round discount. Bring on those sweet walks baby!
Part III of frugal fantasy baseball 2015 goes over some underpriced OFs. I’ll still be using the Fantasy Pros average rankings, with Yahoo! and ESPN rankings given precedence over the others, but since most of drafts will be over by now I’ll only recommend guys that should be on the waivers, obviously depending on how competitive and deep the league is many of these recommendations will be owned already.
It’s the strongest and most diverse group of fantasy players in the game. If you need power, check the OF. If you need speed, check the OF. If you need a UTL player, check the OF…or 1B. You could draft 3 OFs with your first picks and no one would bat an eye, but do that with any other position and you might be crazy. It’s also one of the deepest positions and every year undrafted guys like Corey Dickerson and JD Martinez break out and finish among the top of their position. My goal here is to try and find some players that could break out, but more realistically I’ll help identify some underrated hitters.
Part II of my frugal 2015 options will go over the rest of the infield. I’ll still be using the Fantasy Pros average rankings, but Yahoo! and ESPN updated their rankings over the weekend and Fantasy Pros hasn’t updated there ADP accordingly, making it harder for me to recommend some undervalued players through their rankings. Yahoo! and ESPN rankings will be given precedence over the others.
A relatively weak position outside of some early selections, 2B gets dicey really quickly. I like Brian Dozier a lot more in OBP leagues, while Dee Gordon drops down a little in OBP leagues. We still have the annual tradition between most boring 2B in Howie Kendrick and Martin Prado. Kendrick was in one of the best offenses last year and he still ended up with forgetful stats and Martin Prado is just as bad.
I had the 12th pick in a snake draft with standard scoring in an ESPN roto league. I think my team turned out meh.
Team Strengths: I think I have a good mix of power hitters and a strong pitching staff.
Team Weaknesses: I’m weak on SBs, I drafted closers terribly, and I’m relying heavily on a bunch of bounce back players to carry my team, specifically Cargo/Fielder/Zimmerman. Wow my MI is weak and I waited way too long on a 5th OF. I usually love cycling my 5th OF or UTL player with whoever’s hot throughout the year, but I waited way too long on both.
It’s pretty easy to explain my picks cause they’re all back to back, here are some screenshots of the full draft. If I learned anything it’s that I shouldn’t have waited on players I really wanted, especially late in the draft. I wish I reached on deGrom/McHugh/Segura/Hunter.
Today I’m going over frugal options for the catcher and first base positions, this isn’t exactly a sleepers article, just guys I’d target at those positions later in the draft. Fantasy Pros average the rankings from 6 other sites and it’s what I’ll use for player ADP (average draft position) here. I feel like most people draft on Yahoo! and ESPN so I’ll be giving those rankings precedence over the others.
I usually target catchers late, I know, this isn’t exactly ground breaking advice. Buster Posey finished in the top 50 twice during the Giant’s even year dynasty, but it’s 2015 now. Even if the year was 2222 and Posey was 22 years old I wouldn’t draft the guy at his current 2nd round price tag. Players like Devin Mesoraco and Yan Gomes weren’t drafted in most leagues last year but still finished in the top 5 at their position. Catcher is one of the weakest positions, you can’t screw up your draft by selecting a catcher too late.
Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler are both young RFs with a ton of potential. Heyward seems to be on the cusp of truly breaking out every year and Soler is primed to break out after an impressive summer call up. In keeper leagues I feel the debate is closer, but let me go over who I think is a better pick.
ESPN Keeper Rankings: 45
Razzball Keeper Rankings: 41
Fantasy Pros: 66
ESPN Keeper Rankings: 84
Razzball Keeper Rankings: Unranked or <59
Fantasy Pros: 85
Why is fantasy football more popular than fantasy baseball? Football is more popular. That’s the simple answer, but I want to go deeper. I was always a fan of fantasy baseball before getting into fantasy football, so I was surprised to learn how popular it was when I started doing both. I guess I never realized how much more material and coverage there is on fantasy football. Here are several reasons why I think it’s more popular.