As you know, fantasy baseball has started again. For most people, this means another year of research, luck, and blind fury.
For those who drafter Vernon Wells and Jake Peavy like me last year, it was hell. So... I like to believe I've grown wiser over the year, and hope to give a guide for yahoo users.
Yahoo has some weird rankings, which I intend to take full advantage of.
Here are some sleepers everyone should be looking at:
C: Now, there are no really good C in the major leagues who are worth being drafted before the eighth round, but McCann, Mauer, and Martin always seem to do this. Look for Molina who has consistently hit 16 homers, 80 RBI, 280 avg, and his average pick is 143. Ianetta is also good, and so is Doumit. Also, Matt Weiters is popping up as the new Mike Piazza. The only problem is whether or not he'll play this season, or at what time he will take over. Hes probobly not worth consideration as your starter.
1B: There are 8 1B who all have All-Star potential. But if they are missed, there is plenty of depth at this position. Chris Davis is a potential 35-40 homer batter which will hit in the middle of the Rangers lineup. In his first season, he belted 17 homers, 55 RBI, 51 r, and a .285 avg in 300 at bats. He also plays 3B, and his average pick is 75.
Many others who are solid are Aubrey Huff, Derek Lee, Joey Votto, and James Loney who all will be picked at the 100+.
2B: This is a very surprising category, it has blossomed into a fantasy powerhouse. The three most notable are Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, and Brandon Phillips. There are 3 or 4 others at this position who can guarantee solid stats.
But one person in this field is very unappreciated: Jose Lopez. He hit 297, had 17 homers, 89 RBI, and 80 runs. He had his breakout season last year, and will only improve. He is a bargain at the 176 average pick in a fantasy draft.
3B: Nothing to say here, one of the weakest positions besides SS. The people of interest here are Chris Davis (look in 1B), Ryan Zimmerman (can he regain his form?), Cantu (will he repeat last year's stats), and so on. This position is a mystery, with no definite results.
SS: The player I'm interested in here is Mike Aviles for KC.
He is eligible for 2B and SS, and had a solid season. He had 400 at bats, and hit 325, 10 hmrs, 51 rbi, 68 r, and 8 sb. His average pick is 133.
The other guy I hope to get is Troy Tulowitzki. After a hard year of injury's, hes poised to make a comeback. At the end of last season he averaged .320, and with the hitting environment of Colorado, you never know. In a SS position with maybe 6 or 7 decent guys (3 will be picked in the 1-2 rounds) hes worth a look.
OF: This is a position that if worked right, can get some amazing bargains. Ibanez is an average pick 129, who will hit 25 homers, have 80-90 RBI/r, and hit 280. Johnny Damon is very similar to this and is picked at 129. Bobby Abreu has an average pick of 100 and can steal 25, drive in 80, score 90, hit 20 hmrs, and hit .290. The OF position is jam packed with whatever your team is lacking.
This category contains prospects galore, including Jay Bruce (a little overrated), Cameron Maybin, Justin Upton, Lastings Milledge, and so on. All of these players could have a breakout year, and are solid options in very late rounds.
SP:Okay... avoid Daiskue, Saunders, and Harden. I'm sure I could add more to this list, but I won't. How Daiskue's ERA was under 4, I am bewildered. Harden is just Harden, a pitcher who will be amazing one day, then out for 3 weeks the next. Finally, avoid pitchers like Joe Saunders and Cook, they wont be drafterd, and there are always a couple of pitchers who will have a good season at one point in time..
In this position, I suggest getting one star pitcher such as Santana, Lincecum, Halladay, Webb, Hamels, or Haren. Then get another good starter, and wait until much later rounds to act.
I like the Marlins pitching, they have plenty of SP aces in Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, and Chris Volstad. There are also pitchers such as Lester, Zambrano (I don't think hes done yet), Ryan Dempster, Mike Pelfrey, Brandon Morrow, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Pat Malholm.
CL: Most managers will get a closer off of free agency in the middle of the season. But there are many closers who are quite good who are always off the board quite late.
Fuentes, Marmol, Wood, etc. are all going at 100+. This position is full of mystery, and the drafters should choose the people they think will succeed.
Now I would like to remind people that this draft rankings are based on who is the best value later on. Late picks could mean the difference in a playoff spot, and choosing them wisely is very important.