Before you even attempt a fantasy baseball draft you need to establish depth at each position. Sometimes deciding between two players can be determined by position depth. If your not sure whether or not to take the starting pitcher you like, or to take the second basemen you like, you probably want to consider that one is the deepest and one is the thinnest position this season. Making the mistake of taking the wrong guy could result in you finding out that there are no more good options for the position you need. Let’s take a look at part 1 of this year’s position depth.
Please note that these guys are in order of average draft position and not where I think they should be. For more information on how to get my personal rankings, please read the bottom of this page.
Not much to worry about here. A once thin position is now deeper than ever. I can easily pick out 12 catchers that I would want on my fantasy team. Seeing how leagues of more than 12 teams are rare, and seeing how having more than one catcher on each team is rare, your going to end up with a solid guy. Unlike last year where Joe Mauer was going in round 1 or 2, there aren’t really any catchers being drafted real early. Which makes most of the top ranked players great value picks. If you end up with Santana, Posey, McCann, Wieters, or Mauer you have a great catcher. A lot of middle tier guys also have huge upside. M. Montero, Avila, Arencibia, and Ramos can all be real good. Then there are still plenty of late guys worth having on your team such as Ianetta, Lucroy, Mesoraco, and J. Montero. I just named 13 guys. And that was just skimming names. There are others I left out. That means catching is deep. And that’s the first time I’ve ever said that in the history of fantasy baseball.
This position always has depth. But it’s also very top heavy. There’s a reason why there are more 1B’s ranked in the first round than any other position. Because of the high expectations you have to have for this position, most young guys with upside carry a lot of risk. If your fantasy team doesn’t have a solid 1B, you probably won’t win. You can get by at other positions such as 2B and SS with a weak guy, but not at 1B. Getting MCab, Pujols, Votto, Gonzalez, or Fielder is a smart thing to do. Aside from them I see two MAJOR great values at the position in the middle rounds. My cheat sheet will tell you who they are. I do not think it’s a good idea to play a guy with multiple positions at 1B. Miguel Cabrera is the exception once he’s eligible at third. Guys like Sandoval are better to play at 3B. Michael Young must play 2B, Napoli, Mauer, and Posey must catch, and Berkman must be in your outfield. Their values all reflect their other positions better. Waiting on guys like Davis, Goldschmidt, Freeman, and Smoak is very risky. There is a chance any one of them can break out, but the risk isn’t worth making them your only option at the position. Some of them are good fits in your utility spots with a better guy in front of them. Grab a 1B early.
Yuck. I absolutely hate this position this year. And that is a bizarre thing for me to say because the last few years I’ve praised how good this position has become. Just a few short seasons ago we had multiple 2B’s being drafted in the first round! Now there are only a few guys I even feel comfortable with. Robinson Cano is far and beyond the top guy. He is virtually the only guy that I think is a lock at 2B. After him it’s injury prone Pedroia and Kinsler. Then comes low average Uggla. Followed by the overvalued Zobrist and Phillips. There are a few guys that I think have some upside that I would like to take the chance on at their average draft position. But there aren’t many. My cheat sheet will tell you who. There really isn’t a right answer here. If you draft early in round 1 you can’t take Cano. If you draft late in round 1 he might not be there. And I’m not even saying that he is the must have in round 1 either. His value is huge because of position scarcity, but I can’t justify taking him over guys with better numbers like Votto and Braun. The position is just a mess. You should probably get a middle round guy with high upside. There are a small number of late round guys who could contribute, but they aren’t guarantees.
Last year there weren’t many guys at this position that I trusted. I said it was surprisingly weak. This year that has changed. Some of that has to do with both Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez making position changes. The position is still a little top heavy however. Getting MCab, Bautista, or Longoria in round 1 gives you a big name at the position. One of those guys isn’t a good 1st round pick though (cheat sheet.) Hanley has to be used at SS because of position scarcity. But it gets a little bit deep after that with guys that are almost guaranteed to produce. Beltre, Wright, Zimmerman, Sandoval, Lawrie, A-Rod, Youkilis, Young, A. Ramirez, and Reynolds are all pretty consistent. You know what you’ll get with them. Lawrie hasn’t proven it yet, but should. After that there are still a handful of decent values. But those values are best served in a utility role with a better starter in front of them. Overall 3B isn’t something to worry about this year like it was last year.
If you want immediate information on who to draft you can get The Fantasy God’s cheat sheet. A preview of it and information on how to get it can be found here by clicking on this link. The sheet uses a completely unique color system that tells you which players are the best picks in each round. Every player in the top 1,180 are listed on the spreadsheet with a description that analyzes each player in great detail.
The Fantasy God’s position by position rankings will be released one by one the week of March 19th. Please come back to BSR all season long for your fantasy baseball advice. The Fantasy God will answer all questions and comments throughout the season.
Follow The Fantasy God on Twitter @FantasyGodmb.