It is nearly impossible to not fall in love with an under-the-radar player or two each year while preparing for a new fantasy football season.
These are guys you feel aren’t getting enough love or attention from experts who bury them in the rankings.
- Evan Longoria, TB. Some make a case for David Wright here. And, if you look at their 2010 stats, they are similar. Except that Longoria’s career is on the way up, and Wright has already reached his ceiling. I also trust the lineup support in Tampa Bay over the brittle offense in New York.
- David Wright, NYM. 1b to Longoria’s 1a. At a position that is more top heavy than many want to believe, Wright has value earlier in drafts than similar players at other positions. I still will likely be taking a value guy at 3B. Like that McGehee guy.
- Ryan Zimmerman, WAS. A good example of how my rankings don’t necessarily match up with where you should take guys. Zimmerman doesn’t have the name value that A-Rod does, and that will show on draft day, but I have no qualms in predicting right here and now that Zimmerman will outproduce A-Rod as a fantasy option at third base this season. Zimmerman is just 26, finally starting to realize his true power potential, hits for high average and finds himself on a young but quickly improving Washington offense.
- Alex Rodriguez, NYY. Not that I’m knocking A-Rod. Even in a “down” season, he led all third baseman last year with 125 RBI…21 more than the next guys on the list. There is no denying he’s in one of the best lineups in baseball, in one of the most hitter-friendly environments. He’s been a little more brittle of late, but still good for some nice stats, especially when considering the drop off moving down this list.
- Casey McGehee, MIL. Not understanding how McGehee is not considered part of this next tier by many experts who do rankings. Sure, he has a shorter body of work than the Adrian Beltres and Aramis Ramirez is on this list. However, the workload he has turned in looks really, really good. His 23 homers last year and .283 average put him higher than many others on this list already. His 104 RBI in 2010 meant he matched or beat the RBI output of every other third baseman not named A-Rod. McGahee’s half-season of major league stats in 2009 were also impressive. 16 homers in just 355 at-bats. A .301 batting average. And, he still plays in a Brewers lineup filled with solid offensive options. I wouldn’t take him this high, but expect him to produce numbers to justify this ranking by the end of the season.
For the rest of my third base rankings, with analysis, check this out.