The 2014 Major League Baseball season is about 40 games in, meaning we've more or less reached the quarter mark of the year in fantasy. There's still a heck of a long way to go, but six weeks provides enough of a sample size to take a look at some of fantasy's biggest busts and biggest steals so far.
Here's hoping your make-believe squad is sporting a few of the 10 steals to follow, rather than any of the 10 busts. If that's the case, chances are you're an owner who is in a prime position in your league's standings, which certainly beats being in the opposite scenario.
Before unveiling the worst busts and best steals to date, some qualifications.
For busts, there are two caveats. First, any player who's been on the disabled list doesn't qualify. In other words, while Chris Davis, Adrian Beltre, Bryce Harper and Jason Kipnis have been equal parts disappointing and frustrating to own, they simply haven't had a full opportunity to prove themselves. That won't be held against them, especially when there's no shortage of players who have been busts based strictly on their performance—or lack thereof.
Second, only players with average draft positions (ADP) of 100 or better, per Fantasy Pros, are up for consideration. Yes, Brandon Phillips (ADP: 107.8), Brian McCann (ADP: 108.4), Curtis Granderson (ADP: 116.8) and Billy Butler (ADP: 116.8) have been bust-worthy terrible, but each fell outside the top 100 picks on average, so they haven't hurt their owners quite as much as a higher draft choice has. Hey, being a bust is all relative.
Same goes for being a steal. Again, we'll use an ADP of 100 to determine whether players count as steals, only this time, to be eligible, they have to have been drafted outside the top 100. While one might consider, say, Troy Tulowitzki (ADP: 17.8), Carlos Gomez (ADP: 25.2), Giancarlo Stanton (ADP: 28.0) or Masahiro Tanaka (ADP: 96.8) steals because they were drafted after the first round but have been among the very top players in fantasy, that's not quite a wide enough gap to qualify here.
To put it another way, you know a steal—and a bust—when you see one. Like these 20 players, ranked in order of ADP, from highest to lowest.
Average draft position (ADP) comes from Fantasy Pros.