Something I have always tried to do in fantasy drafts is select players who would give me the best options. Options like starting a guy at SS, or 3B. Maybe even at 2B or 1B. No room for him in the main lineup? How about a UTL, MI, CI or DH spot in your deeper leagues?
Seven different options for one player can make a fantasy squad extremely dangerous thanks to the lineup flexibility. Imagine having two or three guys like this. Trust me, it makes fielding a fantasy team a pleasure.
First things first. One of the very first things anyone should do before they draft, is know the roster requirements and the eligibility rules that go along with them.
Yahoo has traditionally been the most lenient in terms of this, yet players are required to start at least 25 games at a position in some leagues in order for them to have eligibility there.
*This is based on leagues where there are CI, MI, UTL and DH roster slots.
Isn’t this a no-brainer? Granted he is in the top 2 Catchers in fantasy to begin with, but with 30 games at 1B last season ,and the flexibility shown above, may make Martinez a possible notch above Los Angeles Dodger Russell Martin. The 3rd round is perfect for Martinez.
Lance Berkman- HOU
Another pretty simple choice here, with 126 starts at 1B and 32 in OF Berkman not only showed flexibility, but even more importantly, durability. Although Berkman did not have as strong a season in 2007 as he did in 2006, I like him to bounce back this year. It's always nice to shuffle 30+ homers in and around your lineup, isn't it? Think early 4th for him.
Nick Swisher- CHI (AL)
Getting shipped to Chicago was the best thing that could have happened to Swisher. Be sure to see him at 1B and OF this season, as last year he totaled 44 and 116 games at those positions, respectively. I am on the band wagon this year and consider Swisher a high value pick in the 7th round of standard roto leagues. Anywhere past the 7th is a steal.
Chone Figgins- ANA
Figgins is always one of those questionable fantasy players. Outstanding steals and run potential, but sub-par power and average make Figgins a 4th or 5th round pick. In some cases, maybe less. The 7 position potential might tip the scale towards the 4th if you need your speed burner when the elite of Jose Reyes, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez are off the board, which of course they will be. Figgins should not last past the 6th.
*Figgins did not qualify in some leagues to be eligible at 2B and OF, but certainly keep an eye on the Angels lineup daily in 2008.
C/1B/CI/UTL/DH Jarrod Saltalamacchia- TEX
Texas got a gem in the making with the 6-4, multi-position slugger after Atlanta dealt him last season. 47 games at C and 38 at 1B gives this 25+ homer threat multiple ways to benefit your fantasy team. I don't think round 11 is too early for this 22-year old. That's right deep keeper owners. He is 22.
Carlos Guillen- DET
Guillen will start the season at 1B for Detroit, but don't be surprised to see some games where he is at SS or even DH. The Detroit lineup is so scary, and so flexible they are going to be scoring runs in bushels. In a fantasy sense, he can play almost anywhere, and can save your team should you suffer a tough injury to a MI, SS, or UTL player.
B.J. Upton- TAM
Upton is one of the top "buzz" picks of early mock drafts. I have seen this guy go as early as the 2nd round. Easy does it. I like him in the mid-third. Last season he played 48 games at 2B, and if your league has him eligible there, then he is a lot more valuable at 2B than he is at OF. A league with dual eligibility makes him even more a sought after pick.