Posts Tagged ‘player rankings’

For fantasy baseball players draft day is the best part of the entire baseball season. This is the day when you get to make your team. When the draft starts you have a blank sheet, and after a hour and a half or 3 hours (however long your draft takes) you have YOUR team. You may not like every single pick, but you were in control the whole time.

In this post I am going to try and give a couple of strategies for your draft. This can help you go in knowing what you want to do, and feel like you are in control the entire time your draft is happening. Before we get to the actual draft strategies you should do one thing, look over several different fantasy player rankings. It is good to use just one for the draft, but I encourage you to look over 3, 4 ,10 different player ranking lists. This will help you get a feel for what every “expert,” blogger, and paid writer thinks going into this season. If you don’t know where to find a good list, well I have a little treat for you.

The Fantasy Newsman <—-Click here for a huge list of rankings galore!

I stumbled upon this the other day, and I thought this is a great resource to have in preparation for a draft. I would suggest you look over a couple of those lists the week of your draft so you get a feel for all of the players (names, positions, teams) before going into your draft. Once you have done a little “research” print off one of those ranking lists and start highlighting, crossing off, or any other form of note making for the players that you want/like this year and players you don’t want/dislike. This way you can go into your draft knowing which guys you should be looking for. (The note-making step isn’t necessary but I feel it helps a lot for draft day.) Another thing that is pretty helpful is do a mock draft or two. You can find mock drafts on ESPN, Yahoo, CBSsports, and many more. This helps you see where the “average” fantasy player is taking certain people. This will help you enhance your note making, you can put where players you like are typically getting drafted. Let’s say you really like Cole Hamels once you do a mock draft you can see oh he went in the middle of the 8th round. Now you can put 8th next to Hamels, and when it gets to your draft you will know going into the 7th and 8th round that Hamels will be going off the board so you can pull the trigger on him so you don’t “reach” too much for him.

So enough of the preparation stuff here is a couple of H2H draft strategies that I think might be helpful for you.

Overloading a side-This strategy just means you load up on either batters or pitchers. The reason this strategy can work is because you are trying to lock down one side of the matchup categories each week. If you have 5 great SP, 4 great Closers, and 4 more High potential pitchers then you will probably beat your opponents in all of the pitching categories each week. The only weakness in this strategy is if you will have little depth on the other side and it will be hard to steal a category to win your matchup 6-4. But if you were to choose to overload pitching your staff could look like this Roy Halladay (1st), King Felix (2nd), Cliff Lee (3rd), Josh Johnson (6th), Joakim Soria (7), Carlos Marmol (9), JJ Putz (14), John Axford (16), Shaun Marcum (11), Brandon Marrow(13), Craig Kimbrel(19). Or something similar to that. It is always nice to know you don’t have to worry about positions so this strategy is best if you don’t think you will be able to check multiple times a week.

Punting categories-This strategy is commonplace among H2H leagues. It is also a gamble because you are purposely losing a category so that you can make your other categories stronger. So let’s say you decide you aren’t going to worry about batting average at all. Then during the draft you would go for guys you are known to not have good avg, but are really good at another category. A good example of this is people like Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Michael Bourn, Ryan Howard, Jose Bautista, and many others. If you were to choose to punt BA then you wouldn’t go for guys like Ichiro, Prado, and Starlin Castro since they offer high BA but not great in any of the other categories. Now if you do this strategy you wouldn’t pass on guys who have a high avg if they offer you good-great stats in at least 3 other categories. So in the first 3-5 rounds don’t pass on studs because they give you a high average. Some other categories that may be easy to “punt” are Saves, SB, and Wins. This strategy has always worked really well for me in fantasy basketball, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work in baseball.

Best value-This is always a good strategy no matter the league you are in. You are simply going to get the best value at your pick every time. This might mean you get 2 1B early in the draft, or an old OF in the 10th round. The reason for this is if you have the best players you will be a tough team to beat every week. Plus if you do manage to get 2 great 1B, and 6 solid OF, you can always trade during the season to those who went with position scarcity instead of taking the best player. The down side to this strategy is you don’t end up with the players you like as much. So if you want take a couple of picks either in the middle of your draft or late to take a couple of “homer” picks so you will have some names on your team you actually want to root for.

There are several other strategies that people use during fantasy baseball, but these are three that could help you be competitive in your h2h league for the entire season. Now I want to remind everyone that there is no such thing as a perfect draft…so don’t expect it. Yes you can have a really good draft and love the team you have, but the season hasn’t started so no team is beating the other. The reason I wanted to say there is “no perfect draft” is to take the pressure off of you during your draft. It is ok if you reach for a player once, or you take a guy you aren’t sure about. The draft is an exciting time so sit back, have fun, and enjoy the hours you get to build the team you will get to manage for the entire year. At the end of the season the people who win their league are the people who make moves during the season. If you aren’t willing to change the team during the season, I can almost GUARANTEE that you will not win your league. My fellow fantasy baseballers the time is upon us go and draft with confidence, for those who are about to fantasy draft…I salute you!

Advertisements

I only did the top 25 SP since there are way too many to rank top 100 and I’m not getting paid to do this ;). SP are a dime a dozen especially once you get out of the top 10. Every year there are 3 or 4 guys that come out of nowhere so don’t get too comfortable with the SP you draft. It is always nice to have an ace on your team, but it isn’t necessary to have one to win/compete in most leagues. It was considered to be the year of the pitcher last year, and that trend may continue into this year. I hope this list is helpful for you.

1) Roy Halladay (Phi-SP)-Roy Halladay is easily the #1 SP. He is a great command guy, with great stuff. That combo is very rare. Since 2005 his highest ERA was 3.71 and in that same span his highest WHIP was 1.23. Those being his worst still make him a top 15-20 SP.

2011 prediction: 22 W, 2.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 210 K

2)   Felix Hernadez (Sea-SP)-King Felix is probably the best pitcher in baseball in terms of age, stuff, and dependability. This will be his 7th full season in the Majors and he is only 25! He improved his command last year which helped his WHIP. His struggles in May and June made his season values seem worse than they were.

2011 prediction: 16 W, 2.35 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 216 K

3)   Tim Lincecum (SF-SP)-Lincecum struggled at times last season and had a career worse ERA. But he still was among the league leaders in K’s, and IP. So he should do a little better than last year. His HR allowed and BB were up though so that could be concerning.

2011 prediction: 17 W, 2.88 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 240 K

4)   Adam Wainwright (StL-SP)-Wainwright has finally come to be the ace the Cardinals (and myself) hoped he would be. If he didn’t finish the year with 4 straight mediocre games and poor run support he would have won the Cy Young. He has command, will get you a high amount of K’s. He is a stud in roto and H2H leagues. (NOTE: A report has just been released that Waino may need Tommy John surgery, monitor the situation if he has to go under the knife he isn’t worth owning this year.)

2011 prediction: 19 W, 2.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 209 K surgery season: 0 W, n/a ERA, n/a WHIP, 0K

5)   Cliff Lee (Phi-SP)-Cliff Lee is a dominant pitcher, but he seems to go through a couple of games where he doesn’t show up. That is why he is 5th if he pitches every game like it is the playoffs he would be #1.

2011 prediction: 18 W, 3.11 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 176 K

6)   CC Sabathia (NYY-SP)-CC had a terrible end of May and beginning June last year, but his last three months he was one of if not the best SP in the Majors. His WHIP has never been that low so that is his weakest category. He may opt out of his contract after the season so CONTRACT YEAR.

2011 prediction: 19 W, 3.21 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 195 K

7)   Jon Lester (Bos-SP)-Lester improved on every category last year, and finished with a great season. He is the ace of the Bos rotation, and has a great offense behind him. This will probably give him a boost in W’s but I could see him losing focus at times because he will have 8-1 leads in the 4th.

2011 prediction: 21 W, 3.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 218 K

8)   Josh Johnson (Fla-SP)-Johnson showed signs of being a true ace. If he got a little run support he would have easily been an 17 game winner. His team should help his case this year, but his numbers won’t be quite as great.

2011 prediction: 16 W, 2.85 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 183 K

9)   Zack Greinke (Mil-SP)-Greinke is two years removed from being a Cy Young winner, and his stats were good but not great last year. He is in a easier hitting division than last season, and gets to face a pitcher almost every start. He should be focused and ready to show 2009 wasn’t a fluke.

2011 prediction: 17 W, 3.17 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 204 K

10)   Clayton Kershaw (LAD-SP)-Kershaw is entering his 4th season as a big league pitcher, and really only his 3rd as a full time guy. His numbers improved in every category last season, and the stats say that will probably happen again.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 2.93 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 208 K

11)   Justin Verlander (Det-SP)-Verlander is a workhorse logging over 867 IN the last 4 seasons. So he will be on the mound every start for you and has the chance to get you huge K numbers. He gives up HR on occasion and can walk too many guys at times. Great pickup for H2H because of K numbers.

2011 prediction: 18 W, 3.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 228 K

12)   Ubaldo Jimenez (Col-SP)-I think we all hope Ubaldo will be the dominant pitcher we saw the first half of last season (unless you are a dodger, padres, giants, d-backs fan). But he did slow down a lot in the 2nd half last season (only 4 w, era near 4, and 1.29 Whip). If he can just average those two personalities this season he will end with another solid year.

2011 prediction: 18 W, 3.02 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 205 K

13)   Chris Carpenter (StL-SP)-Carp is getting older 35, but in the last 10 years pitchers who have reached 35 seem to hit a new prime. So his age shouldn’t slow him down. He does have a history of the injury bug, but when he plays he is one of the best in baseball.

2011 prediction: 16 W, 2.97 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 167 K

14)   Dan Haren (LAA-SP)-Haren has been a great fantasy option since 2007 until last year hit. He just didn’t look the same in the first two months of the season. He had a strong last two months with the Angels so he could be a great bounce-back guy.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.13 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 207 K

15)   Tommy Hanson (Atl-SP)-Hanson has been a solid pitcher since arriving on the scene in 2009. He only turns 25 this season. So it is his 2nd full season as a starter. His SO/9 went down and his H/9 went up. Some of that was due to bad luck. I think he will make big strides this season to be the future ace for the Braves.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.16 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 178 K

16)   David Price (TB-SP)-Price is the former #1 overall pick, so he has great expectations. He more than lived up to those last year. His offense will be worse this year than in the past which will hurt his W’s and his 2nd half was a showed signs of a tired arm. He is a high upside type guy, but don’t be surprised if his numbers are slightly worse this year.

2011 prediction: 17 W, 3.22 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 197 K

17)   Matt Latos (SD-SP)-Latos is young (24) and on the rise. He finished his first full big league year with a sub 1.1 whip, and sub 3 era. Both might be because of a pitcher friendly park. He did post more K’s and W on the road, so he didn’t pitch poorly on the road just a little worse. His 2nd full season could be a great one, but I’m expecting some growing pains like most 2nd year guys have.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 2.99 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 194 K

18)   Jered Weaver (LAA-SP)-Weaver posted his best ERA (3.01) and WHIP (1.07) since his rookie season. So it could mean one of two things turned the corner and is a boderline ace, or just had luck on his side. It looks like it is a little of both from the numbers.

2011 prediction: 14 W, 3.43 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 201 K

19)   Cole Hamels (Phi-SP)-Cole has never been a fantasy stud his lowest WHIP (1.08) was in 08, lowest ERA (3.06) and highest K’s (211) was in 2010, and his highest W mark was in 07 (16). So he has never had one stellar year, but he is consistent, and doesn’t kill you in any category.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 195 K

20)   Matt Cain (SF-SP)-Matt Cain seemed to have hit a stride last August-October last year, and since he will only be 26. He may have finally learned how to be a pitcher. He had a career low WHIP and still mantianed a relatively high K mark (177). I can’t see the run support being great, but he plays in a good pitcher’s park.

2011 prediction: 13 W, 3.05 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 181 K

21)   Roy Oswalt (Phi-SP)-Roy used to be a fantasy ace, know he is just a good fantasy starter. He turns 33 this year, and will have a full season where he should be pitching with full focus. If he pitches like he did in his 12 starts with the Phillies last year, he will be a top 5 pitcher to end the year. I don’t see him doing that well.

2011 prediction: 16 W, 3.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 176 K

22)   Yovani Gallardo (Mil-SP)-Yovani is no longer the ace for the Brewers, with Marcum and Greinke coming to the Brew Crew this offseason I see a revitalized Gallardo. He strikes out a lot of guys but gives up his share of hits. High K not so good WHIP guy.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.63 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 207 K

23)   Francisco Liriano (Min-SP)-Liriano looked similar to the guy who pitched lights out in 2006. His K numbers were high his WHIP was dropping, and he wasn’t getting hit as much. I see this strong year building his confidence and this year will be what we will see from here on out.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.58 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 198 K

24)   Max Scherzer (Det-SP)-Scherzer turns 26 and is entering his 3rd full year as a big league starter. He has a crazy delivery (which could mean injury) but he can strike people out. His control can be a little off at times, so he won’t post great numbers in ERA or WHIP.

2011 prediction: 15 W, 3.42 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 185 K

25)   Chad Billingsley (LAD-SP)-Billingsley’s h/9, bb/9, hr/9 were all lower last season than in previous years. But his overall numbers weren’t that good. That usually means he had some rough luck either by his run support or his defense. He is still a young guy (26) and can eat up innings. I expect him to build on his numbers from last year and be a steal later in the draft.

2011 prediction: 14 W, 3.38 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 179 K

My Rankings ESPN Rankings Yahoo! Rankings CBS Sports
Roy Halladay

1

1

1

Felix Hernadez

2

3

2

Tim Lincecum

3

2

4

Adam Wainwright

6

4

3

Cliff Lee

4

5

5

CC Sabathia

7

11

7

Jon Lester

5

8

8

Josh Johnson

18

9

6

Zack Greinke

9

7

15

Clayton Kershaw

8

6

16

Justin Verlander

11

13

12

Ubaldo Jimenez

13

10

10

Chris Carpenter

12

24

13

Dan Haren

14

20

9

Tommy Hanson

10

15

20

David Price

21

12

18

Matt Latos

15

17

21

Jered Weaver

16

19

17

Cole Hamels

17

14

11

Matt Cain

19

21

19

Roy Oswalt

20

22

22

Yovani Gallardo

22

16

23

Francisco Liriano

23

18

14

Max Scherzer

24

23

27

Chad Billingsley

26

27

28

The final position ranking will be tomorrow. If you have any questions or disagreements regarding my rankings leave a comment. Leave any predictions you have for a starter this year. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you can stay updated throughout the fantasy season!

SS were also a little difficult to rank. There is really only 2 studs, 3 or 4 safe bets, and the rest could be hit or miss. But after looking over some stats from the last couple of years this is my list and I’m sticking to it!

1)  Hanley Ramirez (Fla-SS)-Han-Ram is a stud at the plate, and lucky for us that is all that matters in the fantasy world, 2 years ago he was battling for a batting title, he has had 20/30 seasons 3 of the last 4. So needless to say he does everything. His steals have dropped from his first two full seasons, but still got a solid 32 last year. He will have another good year because that is what he does.

2011 prediction: .311 avg, 106 r, 26 hr, 84 rbi, 31 sb

2)  Troy Tulowitzki (Col-SS)-Tulo has fought early season struggles, and injuries every single year in the league. But he also has had monster 2nd halfs the last three seasons. So be prepared to suffer through a month or two with Tulo, but then you get rewarded with the best bat in the league for about 3 weeks (last September 30,15,40). So Tulo could take the next step if he can bring his bat to the first two months of the season, but don’t expect it to happen.

2011 prediction: .298 avg, 97 r, 31 hr, 102 rbi, 12 sb

3)  Jose Reyes (NYM-SS)-Jose Reyes was a top 5 pick for three years in a row then he got injured in 2009, and last year he battled thyroid problems the whole season. So let’s just assume this offseason he has learn to deal with the thyroid and will be able to gain some of his allure that he once had. If Jose plays 150+ he will be worth the price you pay for him.

2011 prediction: .284 avg, 102 r, 12 hr, 57 rbi, 41 sb

4)  Derek Jeter (NYY-SS)-I thought about dropping Derek on the list but I wasn’t ready to put Alexei, Elvis, and Stephen as the 4th best shortstop. Derek is getting old (turns 37 this season) so his numbers will probably decline some, which they did last year. Jeter is a decent producer in every category which is why he is still at number 4. But if he doesn’t improve his avg from last years numbers then he won’t be worth the 4th SS.

2011 prediction: .286 avg, 109 r, 12 hr, 68 rbi, 17 sb

5)  Alexei Ramirez (ChW-SS)-Alexei is only in his 4th full season, and is turning 29 this year. So Both of those things should tell you that he shouldn’t have any decline from his season last year. Alexei had a rough first two months last year, but came on strong the last three months. He will bring you value in all five categories, but he won’t be a monster in any of them. If he can stay at the top of the batting order then I expect big things from him this year.

2011 prediction: .289 avg, 86 r, 20 hr, 77 rbi, 10 sb

6) Elvis Andrus (Tex-SS)-Elvis had a good year last year in his second full season, but he didn’t shine. Most have him ahead of Ramirez, but he did worse in every category but sb. So I put him one spot lower than Ramirez. He is entering his third full season, and is only 22 so good things could happen for him (could key word there). If he gets his avg up 10-15 points he will be higher than Ramirez, but he never showed improve signs at the end of last season for me to believe that it will happen. He is a high sb guy that you can get in the middle rounds.

2011 prediction: .272 avg, 93 r, 2 hr, 44 rbi, 39 sb

7) Jimmy Rollins (Phi-SS)-Jimmy Rollins was once a fantasy killer, and a MVP candadate. The last two seasons however say something very different. It looks as though his age is starting to show, injuries, drops in his sb, and huge drops in his batting avg. Jimmy no longer is a top five SS, but at 32 there is still a chance he produces much better than he has.

2011 prediction: .265 avg, 94 r, 18 hr, 65 rbi, 27 sb

8)  Stephen Drew (Ari-SS)-Drew has been the full time SS for 4 seasons now so when you take a look at his stats year to year you know what you are going to get. He doesn’t shine in any one category, but he did up his sb total last year. So if Drew can improve that number more this year and be more consitent at the plate he will deliver a good fantasy season. I don’t see him breaking out of his mold though.

2011 prediction: .277 avg, 81 r, 16 hr, 64 rbi, 14 sb

9)  Rafael Furcal (LAD-SS)-Furcal is getting to the latter part of his SS days (33). He has gone good year/bad year the last 5 years, and if that pattern stays true then this year is going to be a bad year. But stats don’t tell the whole story. Furcal was dinged up last year, and put up some good numbers. So if he can stay on the diamond I think he will put up decent numbers again. Remember players with patterns (especially ones that have had a pattern for more than 3 years) usually stay true to it.

2011 prediction: .274 avg, 87 r, 7 hr, 49 rbi, 24 sb

10) Starlin Castro (ChC-SS)-Castro was a highly touted rookie last year and probably did better than most thought he would do, especially at the plate. Hopefully in year two he can begin to either a) drive the ball a little better than last year (only 3 hr and 41 rbi in 2010). Or get more aggressive on the basepaths (only had 10 sb and 53 r) As long as 2 of those 4 numbers improve and his avg stays the same he will be a great SS at a low price.

2011 predicton: .296 avg, 65 r, 5 hr, 48 rbi, 16 sb

11) Alcides Escobar (KC-SS)-Alcides was the main piece in the Grienke deal this offseason. Last year with the Brewers, Escobar struggled at the plate. He looked really bad… hit .235 for the season. His avg should go up, he is a player who puts the ball in play a lot, and has plus speed. He also hit fairly well in the minors so his avg shouldn’t be as low as it was. This was a guy who I rank higher than anyone else, but I have faith that he will come through for  me.

2011 prediction: .279 avg, 69 r, 6 hr, 46 rbi, 27 sb

12) Ian Desmond (Was-SS)-Ian was a great pickup last year considering he had dual position eligibility, but this year he is SS only. With that knowledge and the stats he put up last year I don’t see him getting much higher that 12th. It will be his 3rd full season and his 2nd as a full time starter. So that means there is a chance he could be better than 12. I don’t see the Nats having a great season offensively, so I don’t see his numbers improving that much this year.

2011 prediction: .270 avg, 61 r, 11 hr, 66 rbi, 17 sb

OF will be up tomorrow. Leave any questions, or disagreements with my rankings in the comment section. Also, leave any bold predictions you have for the SS class of 2011.

My Rankings ESPN Rankings Yahoo! Rankings CBS Sports
Hanley Ramirez

1

1

1

Troy Tulowitzki

2

2

2

Jose Reyes

3

3

3

Derek Jeter

4

5

5

Alexei Ramirez

7

6

9

Elvis Andrus

6

9

6

Jimmy Rollins

5

4

4

Stephen Drew

8

7

7

Rafael Furcal

10

10

8

Starlin Castro

11

11

10

Alcides Escobar

13

15

27

Ian Desmond

9

8

14