A lot of people focus on the hidden gems of fantasy baseball drafts. It's fun to imagine what kind of upside those players can have, and if things work out, those players can go a long way towards winning your league.
However, I think figuring out which guys in the early portions of the draft can hurt you is just as important, even if it is more depressing. If your second-rounder gives you tenth-round production, that can have just as big of a negative impact as that big-time sleeper has on the positive end.
It's important to think about the potential downside of your top picks as well as their upside.
Take Joey Votto, the guy pictured on this page, as an example. If you look at his current Yahoo! ranking, he's slated as a late-second or early third-round pick.
That's awfully high for a guy that has yet to deliver top-50 value in his career. While that .320 average last season is quite gaudy, he didn't project to have 100 runs, 30 homers, or 100 RBI if he played 155 games. Considering he plays a deep position and isn't a threat on the basepaths, that is pretty worrisome from one of your top hitters.
Sure, Votto has the potential to have a big season. However, when you're already paying for that increased production, it probably isn't a smart move for your team. That is why unless he falls farther than expected in my drafts, Votto probably won't be on my fantasy team.
This is something I try to look at for all of my picks in the first half of the draft. Here are 10 other players that I probably won't be drafting this season. I'm less comfortable drafting any of these players at their current spot than I am with Votto, who I do like as a player.