Fantasy Baseball: Draft Observations and Predictions

In these last days leading up to Opening Day, I thought I would share some of my predictions from the five(soon to be six) drafts I’ve done so far. Also, I’m throwing in some observations of of how the drafts have played out. Here are the 30 things I believe in.

All ADP data came from

1. OF Giancarlo Stanton will stay healthy all season, finishing with 40+ HRs and 110+ RBI. He’ll be the fourth best position player in fantasy behind Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt.

2. After a healthy off-season, 1B  Miguel Cabrera will be a Triple Crown candidate. His current ADP is a total bargain.

3. SP Jake Arrieta will have another great season, but is being badly over drafted as the third pitcher off the board. He’ll finish in the top 15-20 SP.

4. In the same vein, 2B Dee Gordon will not return draft day value. He had a career season, and is being drafted like he’ll repeat it.

5. OF George Springer is a much better value than OF Mookie Betts. Everyone is on Betts this season, but I’ll draft Springer on average a round later.

6. OF Nelson Cruz saw his Home Run percentage jump by almost a full point last season. His current ADP of 40 is not worth it heading into his age 35 season.

7. SP Stephen Strasburg is the 14th pitcher off the board, but will end in the top 7. One of my favorite pitchers to draft, he’s a great #2 for your rotation.

8. OF Adam Jones is coming off a down year and is the 18th OF taken. He will hit a ton in the Orioles lineup, and is a big bounce back candidate. He’ll only be 30 this coming season.

9. C/OF Kyle Schwarber is the second best C, but his ADP of 44 is pretty aggressive. I’m happy to take him in the sixth round, but someone else can have him in the fourth.

10. OF Ryan Braun is someone I have drafted zero times so far. His skillset is still very valuable, but he’s not worth the headache to me. His back has already flared in Spring Training.

11. 1B/DH Prince Fielder is another bounce back player I love. His power was down in 2015, but he was coming off neck surgery. If he’s 1B eligible in your league, he’s the top option after the very elite.

12. Kyle Seager isn’t a name with a ton of sizzle, but you know exactly what you’ll get from him. He’s the kind of pick that helps win your league because you don’t whiff on an upside pick in his range.

13. 2B Rougned Odor will finish as the second highest scoring 2B after Jose Altuve. I’m far from alone by calling him a breakout, but he can help you in every category.

14. RP Mark Melancon will be a total bust and may not be the closer all season. Almost all of his numbers started to slide last year other than saves.

15. SP Carlos Martinez will finish as the St. Louis ace, and will be a top 12 fantasy pitcher.

16. OF Christian Yelich will have a fantastic all around season, and is the best choice when you get to picks 95-115.

17. SP Steven Matz is an exciting young prospect, but has to show a bit more before I draft him at his current ADP of 132.

18. SP James Shields is an excellent pick at his ADP of 144. He was near 200 strikeouts, and is a good bet to bring down his ERA and WHIP.

19. SP Drew Smyly has his health concerns, but those are already accounted for given his draft positon. When healthy, he could be a top 20 SP.

20. SS/3B Jung-Ho Kang could be a steal of the draft. Even though it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to play, he put up over .900 OPS during the second half of 2015.

21. OF Kevin Pillar is a great target later on in the draft. He’ll most likely bat at the top of one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball.

22. RP Drew Storen still has a higher ADP, but make sure you grab RP Roberto Osuna. In a bit of a surprise, he’ll start the year as the Blue Jays closer.

23. OF Gerardo Parra will see a large uptick in value playing his home games in Coors Field. His ADP of 193 carries almost no risk if he falls flat.

24. 2B/3B/OF Josh Harrison is fully healthy and looking to replicate his 2014 season. It’s a great way to add position flexibility with his ADP of 204.

25. SS Jean Segura will have a huge season at the top of the Arizona lineup and finish as a top 5 SS.

26. Utility player Justin Turner not only is eligible at multiple spots, but it seems like his knee injury is behind him. The Dodgers will always find a spot for him, and he carries big potential.

27. 1B/OF Wil Meyers will finally deliver on his promise and be a viable fantasy option all season long.

28. Utility player Brock Holt will start the season in LF for the Red Sox, and could be super valuable player for fantasy owners since he can slide in at so many spots.

29. 1B/DH Pedro Alvarez is a great source of late power, and will actually be useful in other areas now that he doesn’t have to play in the field.

30. OF Byron Buxton will have some bumps, but will be an All-Star level player in the second half and a big fantasy asset.


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