September 25, 2012
First, Third, and DH Review
As the season winds down, Value Picks takes a fond look back at our picks from the season, looking at the hits and misses we collected in our efforts to find value among the overlooked players on your league’s waiver wire. As with assessing fantasy players, the notion of “value” can be slippery to pin down, especially when looking at players who are largely castoffs from other fantasy squads.
As a result, I didn’t count all of my valuable players, like two of my best and longest-tenured Value Picks. In his second stint as a VP (his first lasted just a week), Yonder Alonso hit .293/.371/.435 in 313 plate appearances, adding seven home runs, 41 RBI, 25 runs, and even a stolen base. Brandon Belt had two good stretches as a VP. In the first one, Belt hit .277/.397/.500 in 116 plate appearances with four home runs, 22 RBI, 11 runs, and three steals. He wasn’t as powerful the next time around but still brought a .277/.326/.458 triple slash in 89 plate appearances with two home runs, 16 RBI, eight runs, and two more swipes. In the end, however, Alonso and Belt only broke even on their mixed-league dollar returns (courtesy of Last Player Picked), making them decent Value Picks, but not exceptional ones.
The players that follow either brought or lost significant money for their owners, with the exception of the short-timers at the end of the season, many of whom hadn’t played much of the year and couldn’t rise into positive territory. I also ignored many single-league choices, who are extremely marginal to begin with, or those I gave up on after a week or two.
I can tip my hat to PECOTA for some of my earliest Value Picks, which I used to look at players expected to rebound the most in 2012. Picking players like Adam Dunn, David Wright, Chris Davis, and Albert Pujols doesn’t seem too courageous in retrospect, but the first three didn’t do much in 2011, and Dunn in particular seemed like fantasy poison. Interestingly, PECOTA did a fine job with the dollar projections for all but Pujols, the “safest” pick of the bunch: