Winning a fantasy baseball championship is a balancing act. While drafting stars is certainly important, it's the value plays and the late-round draft picks that put owners over the top.
This slideshow focuses on five hitters that will most certainly come at a much lower price than guys they may equal or outproduce. And while they may not be of great value when all is said and done, they won't cost owners as much as the high profile busts.
It's easy to forget in a position full of sluggers a guy like Casey Kotchman who doesn't blow you away with huge power numbers. But for people in AL-only leagues and deeper leagues, Kotchman has finally gotten another opportunity.
After bouncing between the Angels and the Braves in 2008, Kotchman struggled in 2009 to get any playing time. During the 2008 season, the gap-hitting first baseman hit .272 with 14 homers and 74 RBI.
Now with a clear starting job in Seattle, Kotchman could make a run at 90-100 RBI in a large park that plays to his style of driving liners into the gaps. With Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins atop the lineup, it seems as if only health would stand in the way of Kotchman being one of the more underrated first base options for 2010.
Many owners may regret taking the bait on Gordon several years ago, as he failed to deliver on his immense promise and potential. Now, after essentially losing 2009 to injuries, Gordon will come at a small price.
Despite knocking just 31 homers between the '07 and '08 seasons, the third basemen knocked 71 doubles and seems to have shrugged off the hip injury with a solid last couple of weeks to the season.
I believe Gordon will really hit his stride in 2011. The third sacker will make a run at 20 homers, 10 steals and 80 RBI, especially now that the Royals have inked Coco Crisp and Scott Podsednik to get on base in front of him.
Perhaps Andruw Jones has finally hit the wall and no longer offers much value. Or, perhaps after his 14 homer first half of the 2009 season, Jones has some juice left to offer the White Sox and fantasy owners.
A hamstring injury derailed Jones season last year, but as of now, he has a starting job in Chicago's outfield/designated hitter spot. Cellular Field has been known to boost a few players' home run totals and if Jones gets at-bats, homers will follow.
Pick up Jones after the draft and watch him knock 20 or more homers as a nice fourth outfielder in AL-only leagues and a quality reserve option in mixed leagues.
To say Young disappointed in 2009 would probably be a compliment to the 26-year-old center fielder. After batting a putrid .212 and hitting just 15 homers to go along with 133 strikeouts, Young will have most likely fallen off many owners' radars.
But to disregard Young all together would be a huge mistake because of his young age and previously quality seasons. In 2007 he hit 32 homers and swiped 27 steals, so the ability is there.
The big key with drafting or acquiring Young is not overpaying. He could offer some good value and potential trade bait with a fast start.
Before you cruise through this slide and think to yourself, "I didn't know it was the year 2001," remember that in his last healthy season, 2008, Glaus hit 27 home runs and drove in 99 runs.
Of course, Glaus has never been a picture of health, but he has demonstrated consistent power throughout his career. While it seems like he may be 40 years old, he is only 33 and the Braves are allowing him to play first base, a less demanding position.
In NL-only leagues, Glaus could be a nice midround pick, but be sure to supplement him with a player such as the newly acquired Giant, Aubrey Huff.