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March 20, 2014

The Darkhorses

Runs Scored

by BP Fantasy Staff


One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer-shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’re taking a look at offense this week and pitching next. To read the earlier editions in this series, click below:

Here are some players who can score with the best of ‘em.

OUTSIDE THE TOP 10

Matt Carpenter, 2B/3B, STL
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone considering he led the league in runs last year. The offense he’ll be hitting atop is a bit different, having lost Carlos Beltran and David Freese, but as bad as Freese was last year, Kolten Wong might represent a small upgrade, and Jhonny Peralta represents a major one. While last year’s 126 runs might be difficult to match, Carpenter hits in front of a deep and talented group of players, boasts a double digit walk rate and rarely strikes out. While I’ve argued against him as a fantasy product due to so much of his value being tied up in a contextual statistic, that doesn’t make him less likely to do well in such a statistic. His combination of opportunity and skills mean he’s probable to score a bunch of runs, whether the Cardinals can repeat their historic batting average with runners in scoring position—or not. —Craig Goldstein

Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
If things do come together as anticipated and Heyward finds himself leading off in front of Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman, there’s going to be ample opportunity for a man with a .352 career OBP to pile up the runs. This goes double for those of us who see big things in Heyward’s immediate future; the just-now-24-year-old could be as close as a fully healthy season away from a monster breakout, and if that happens out of Atlanta’s leadoff spot it could very quickly lead to 110-plus runs and a shot at the league title. —Wilson Karaman

Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
In some ways, Heyward is still searching to get back to his rookie season at the plate, when he had a .393 on-base percentage and a 131 OPS+. Those are the types of numbers that Hall of Famers put up at age 20 (which Heyward was). And despite being one of the best young outfielders in baseball, he's been disappointing from a fantasy perspective, often hitting for low batting averages and having trouble staying healthy. However, being the likely tablesetter for what should be a strong Atlanta offense will allow him to score runs by the bushels if he can get a little luckier on balls in play and push his OBP back around .370. If that happens, watch out 100 runs. —Bret Sayre

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Bea... (03/20)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Darkhorses: Runs B... (03/19)
Next Column >>
The Darkhorses: Stolen... (03/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/20)

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