Every year, I like to a have a little local flavor on my fantasy team. Yeah, I side more with the Cubs, but I don't dislike the White Sox.
I try to find guys to put on my roster than I can actually enjoy rostering and maybe even catch them in action a few times over the course of the year.
This year the White Sox look to be a bit stronger than the Cubs overall, but which team has more fantasy value for all of us stat heads out there?
If I am looking to grab a catcher from Chicago, I have to go with Soto.
Soto has only been great one year, but he did have a pretty solid year last year for only playing in 105 games. He hasn't shown he can play over 130 games year in and year out, but to me, it is about potential.
Pierzynski has had solid seasons, but he has never been great. His biggest attributes don't show up in the fantasy game.
Soto has more power, a better OBP and way more potential.
This is an easy pick for me.
New Cub Carlos Pena doesn't threaten Paul Konerko's spot as the No. 1 first baseman in Chicago.
Konerko had a great 2010 with 39 HR, 111 RBI, .312 AVG and it is highly unlikely he repeats that. I would expect a regression to 25-30 home runs and maybe 90-95 RBI's. But that still takes top spot over Pena.
Pena comes to Chicago fresh off of a season where he managed a terrible .196 batting average. It can't get much worse than that can it? Well, let's hope not. I'd expect Pena's power numbers to be similar to Konerko, but his batting average to be about 70 points lower.
Both will get drafted, but right now, Konerko is getting picked about 10 rounds higher than Pena. If I was buying, I'd buy Konerko and Pena, but Pena at a very low price because you have to find a way to work around that bad average.
This isn't much of a contest. Dewitt has no fantasy value unless you are in a extremely deep NL league, and if that's the case, I'm sorry.
Beckham was highly regarded going into last year, and then all of a sudden there was talks of him going to the minors again. He failed to do much to impress fantasy guru's. His ADP right now is near 200. He's draftable, but I don't know if I'd trust him as my starting second baseman at the beginning of the season.
Beckham, more attractive in a keeper format, is only 24-years-old right now, and has great potential.
Right now, we are not really sure who the White Sox are going to put at 3B at the beginning of the season. One thing is for sure though, none of them will out produce Aramis Ramirez during the course of a season making him Chicago's best third base option by far.
From the outside, Ramirez's 2010 campaign isn't exactly a diamond. He produced 25 HR, 83 RBI and a .241 AVG in 124 games.
But digging a little deeper, you will see that he only had six home runs, 22 RBI's and a .158 AVG at the beginning of June. He clearly picked it up over the last four months of the season.
Ramirez is in a contract year, so if he performs well enough he sets himself up for his last big pay day, if not well, then time will tell.
One thing is for certain, he has an incentive. Ramirez is currently being drafted as the eighth 3rd baseman in a shallow position. If he has a good season, he will help the Cubs and a lot of fantasy teams.
This one is a close race. Starlin Castro has the potential to be a great SS, but right now, I would want Alexei Ramirez just slightly more than Starlin Castro.
Now we didn't get to see Castro for a full season, but he did accomplish some impressive feats. He hit .300 as a rookie, and who could forget his debut. But Alexei has more to love when it comes to fantasy baseball.
A line of 85-20-85-15-.280 isn't too far from possible for Ramirez. He has shown improvement over the last few years and if his numbers keep trending like they are he could very well be one of the top five shortstops in all of baseball. I just like his overall 2011 possible potential better than Castro's.
However, if I was going to draft in a keeper league, I would no doubt choose Castro a little higher. He is almost a decade younger than Ramirez and will most likely hit for a better average, steal more bases and possibly score as many runs as Ramirez in 2011.
Right now, Alexei is going in the Top 100 and the seventh best shortstop, while Castro is 11th in the 150 range. I'd take them both right at about where they are being draft, I may even reach a little for Castro.
I think I could find a way to survive a fantasy season without either one of these guys, but they are both being drafted in mock drafts, so someone must think they have potential.
Right now, Soriano's ADP is 100, Pierre's is 131. However, if I had to choose between the two, I'd rather have Pierre. I really believe that you can find outfielders like Soriano on the waiver wire at any point in the season.
He will maybe produce a 60-20-70-8-.270 season, and that's being nice.
Those numbers aren't anything to die for. Pierre, however, is a fantasy stud at one thing—stealing bases. Last year he stole 68, I'd expect him to get well over 50 again in 2011. I know steals aren't easy to come by, but Pierre would be a solid supply of them without much work on your part.
He may also near 100 runs which is a bonus and his batting average will keep up with your team's average. He's only a liability in the power department.
This one isn't that hard. Marlon Byrd is a great guy and most here in Chicago seem to like him. But he cannot produce at the level that Alex Rios is capable of producing at.
Last year, Rios produced an 89-21-88-34-.284 season. He was an above average contributor at all five fantasy categories. He will be turning 30 next week, meaning he could very well replicate this type of season in 2011.
He could even decline a little bit and still out produce Byrd, who is only being drafted in 16 percent of mock drafts, while Rios is being drafted towards the tail end of the fifth round.
Rios could be a nice No. 2 outfielder for any fantasy team. Byrd is maybe a bench guy that won't kill you when he fills in, but you don't want to rely on him all season.
Right Field on the North side is still to be determined, but I'll hedge my bets and go with Colvin.
I am torn here as well. Colvin clearly has the upside, but hasn't proved that he is a better option than Quentin. I personally wouldn't want either one of them to be my starting outfielder on my fantasy team, but would roster both as a bench option.
If I had to choose between them it goes back to what type of league.
Colvin has the potential to breakout, but not the track record that I would overpay for. Right now, Quentin is being taken at pick 198 and Colvin at 232. That seems about right, and if there is one position in Chicago that I wouldn't need it would be this one.
Sorry, the only Adam Dunn/White Sox Picture I could find. (Rios is safe)
I know this isn't a question, but I couldn't leave Dunn off this list. He is going to be an absolute monster at the cell in the summer time.
40 home runs seems like a given, as does 100 RBI's.
As far as Fukudome, who cares?
Are these really the staff aces? Probably not, but it is what their "official" websites posted, so that is what I I will go by.
If we are comparing these two, I like Dempster a lot more. He posted better ratios in 2010, and he has almost double the strikeout potential.
Dempster is going about 80 pitchers before Buehrle, rightfully so. I don't know if I'd want Buehrle on my fantasy team, he's too risky and not enough potential rewards.
I'd love Dempster on my team though.
Again, just going by the official sites, and the fact that I like the Cubbie more.
I think Garza is in line for his best season yet. His numbers have been very steady over the past few years, while Floyd's have been getting worse.
Garza also put up better numbers than Floyd while pitching in the toughest division in baseball. Now he goes to the N.L. Central, where the bats get much weaker.
Right now, Garza is being drafted about two rounds ahead of Floyd, I'd say that is justified.
I have to go with Danks here. His past three seasons all have been equally good. His numbers won't jump off the board at you, but they will quietly help your fantasy team along the way.
Big Z has more strikeout potential, but you also have to factor in the fact that you will be without him for a a month or so because he will go off on someone or something.
Danks is being taken higher than Zambrano, way higher; about 150 picks higher. Maybe that is too big of a gap. I think Zambrano will perform better than his ADP, but Danks is still more valuable. I'd roster both, no question, but I'd perform Danks.
This is assuming Peavy is healthy enough to make more than 25 starts, but even with the health risk, I'd be more inclined to draft him over Randy Wells.
Wells had a nice rookie season with the Cubs, but last year did nothing great.
Peavy, when on, can be an absolute beast. His career numbers are really nice, but he hasn't reached 200 innings since 2007, which raises a red flag.
I am going to assume Peavy has a nice season and project him ahead of Wells. If you get a good Peavy season, it will make a difference. Other the other hand, Randy Well's season is a dime a dozen type of production.
Randy Wells actually has a higher ADP than Peavy, but I am not going to draft someone I can find on the waiver wire or simply live without. Peavy can create a high reward if you are willing to take the risk, which isn't that high right now as he is being mock drafted around pick 300.
A tough call, but based on what I saw at the end of the season compared to what I saw at the beginning, I have to go with Edwin Jackson.
He is a risky pick since he has the capability to blow your WHIP into places you don't want to see it go, but Silva just doesn't do it for me.
The Cubs got a surprise with Silva, they thought he was just a nice way to get rid of Milton Bradley. He pitched halfway decent in 2010, but slowed a little at the end. I'd still rather have Jackson who has great strikeout potential and has seemed to excel in the A.L., where he will most likely spend his 2011.
Right now, Jackson is going in the top 200 and around the 60th pitcher taken, while Silva isn't being considered.
I'd take Jackson on my team, probably not worry about Silva.
Similar to the situation at third base, we are unaware of who is going to close for the Sox. They do have some great options in Sale, Thorton and Crain, but none of them compare to Madman Marmol.
Carlos Marmol was ridiculous in 2010 with 138 K's in 77 innings. If the Cubs actually win some games this year, he has a chance to lead the league in saves. Marmol is just down right nasty.
The other guys are nice, but two of them are likely to settle into a setup role, which doesn't really help us fantasy geeks.
So I have to choose Marmol here, no question.
The Southsiders take 10 of the 15 positional battles in the city.
Sorry Cub fans, it's just the way I see it.
Feel free to comment and put in your thoughts.