Fantasy Baseball 2012: Risky Picks That Will Render Huge Payoffs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2015

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros at Citi Field on April 21, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

If you want to win in fantasy baseball, you need to take some risks during the draft. 

There are a lot of players with boom-or-bust potential, but if you pick the right ones, it can create a huge payoff for your team as the season progresses.


Ike Davis, 1B New York Mets

Ike Davis was on his way to a breakout sophomore season last year, but an ankle injury caused the first basemen to end his season in mid-May.

When Davis finally seemed healthy to start the new season, he was diagnosed with Valley Fever.

Selecting the youngster would be risky, as he could be shut down due to fatigue.

However, if he plays a full season, Davis could become one of the best young hitters in baseball.


Bryce Harper, OF Washington Nationals

Even Bryce Harper does not believe he will make the team out of spring training, but the phenom can pay dividends for a patient fantasy owner.

Odds are very good that Harper will be on the major league roster within the first few months of the season, and he will be able to do damage.

If you are playing in a keeper league, there is no question he should be drafted and stored on a bench.


Trevor Cahill, SP Arizona Diamondbacks

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Trevor Cahill #53 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Texas Rangers during an MLB baseball game at Coliseum on September 22, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

At 22, Trevor Cahill looked ready to become one of the best young pitchers in baseball with 18 wins and a 2.97 ERA.

Unfortunately, Cahill took a step back last year and his numbers were down across the board.

During the offseason, Cahill was traded to Arizona, where he can greatly benefit from a change in scenery. 

Expect a bounce-back year from the young pitcher.


Carl Crawford, OF Boston Red Sox

Before signing a major deal with the Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford had hit above .300 in five of the last six years. 

In his first year with his new club, Crawford only hit .255 with a .289 on base percentage. 

With a new manager, the veteran should be able to refocus on his play and have a better year in a great lineup. 


Matt Moore, SP Tampa Bay Rays

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 04:  Pitcher Matt Moore #55 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Texas Rangers during Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/G
J. Meric/Getty Images

The risk here is selecting a player that has only thrown 9.1 regular season major league innings in his career.

Trusting a small sample-size is usually not a good idea, but the important thing is that Matt Moore passes the eye-test.

The rookie pitcher has incredible stuff and will be able to get out any major league hitter.

Considering he can throw upper-90's with solid off-speed pitches, Moore can be one of the best pitchers in the league by the end of the year.