Fantasy Baseball 2011: Value Outfielders and When to Draft Them
The outfield position in fantasy baseball has been one of the scarcest positions over the past few years. Considering most leagues start five outfielders, the player pool gets thin very quickly in respect to elite outfielders. There are players you can get five rounds later with comparable numbers in many stat categories as that of their elite counterparts.
This analysis is not meant to deter owners from drafting these players, it is simply to show you that some players are overvalued and some are undervalued. When taking player comparisons into consideration, you have to look at the type of league you are in; Roto leagues have different player values than head-to-head point leagues.
Fantasy baseball is a game of numbers, so we will look at the outfield position to show you some value picks for 2011:
Player A: .298 Avg. 21 HR 112 RBI 5 SB
Player B: .304 Avg. 25 HR 103 RBI 14 SB
Both Player A and Player B had comparable stats in most categories in 2010. The biggest difference in these players is you can get one of them eight rounds later than the other.
Player A is Delmon Young. The Twins' outfielder is the 86th ranked player in ESPN rankings. Player B is Ryan Braun, the fifth ranked player on the entire draft board, per ESPN.
Is Ryan Braun overvalued?
Not really. He's a great outfielder and will give you great numbers in all five Roto categories, though he did have a down year in 2010.
Delmon Young is a 25-year-old player on the rise. Smacking 21 home runs last year while playing his home games at the spacious Target Field, look for Young to at least match his 2010 numbers, if not improve upon them.
Now for the second set of outfielders:
Player A: .296 Avg. 106 R 27 HR 85 RBI 13 SB
Player B: .288 Avg. 91 R 29 HR 89 RBI 1 SB
The difference in these players is you can get one of them 13 rounds later than the other, per ESPN rankings.
Player A is being projected as a third or fourth round pick on draft day, while Player B is ranked as a 17th round pick. These players' stats are too similar for them to be that far apart on the draft board.
Did the Washington Nationals over pay for Jayson Werth?
Player B is Nick Swisher. The Yankees right fielder is in a potent lineup, so these stats are easily repeatable. On the other hand, Player A, Jayson Werth, is moving away from a highly-offensive team in the Philadelphia Phillies.
Werth is definitely overvalued. The Washington Nationals threw a lot of money at him in the offseason to sign him out of free agency. In 2010, Werth was not able to top 30 home runs, 90 RBI or a .300 average.
It's a wonder the Nationals spent so much money on him. Werth has never, in his eight-year major league career, driven in more than 100 runs, so don't expect him to in a downgraded lineup this year. Just because the Nationals overvalued him, doesn't mean you have to too.
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