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March 21, 2014

Fantasy Auction Values

Fourth Edition

by Mike Gianella


It’s auction season, and tomorrow morning I’ll be competing against the some of the best and brightest in NL Tout Wars. Here are this week’s significant movers and shakers; next week I will make adjustments based on news, but also on auctions trends and spending in all three Tout Wars formats.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Hitters

Chris Davis $32 (previous: $34)
I moved Davis up $2 last week and moved him back down this week. I made the adjustment to try to add some money to the top tier, but my $32 price for Davis made more sense in the first place

Yan Gomes $12 (previous: $14)
I’m less and less sold that Carlos Santana is going to be able to play third base on a regular basis. Gomes is a fine option, but Santana will probably still catch enough to keep Gomes from busting out significantly.

Grady Sizemore $10 (previous: $4)
Jackie Bradley $3 (previous: $8)
Last week, I was tentatively buying into Sizemore. This week, I’m all in. It looks more and more likely that Bradley is going to get sent down to Triple-A. He’s a good handcuff for Sizemore in AL-only leagues with reserve lists, but in deeper mixed Sizemore is the guy to look at during the back-end of your auctions.

Aaron Hicks $6 (previous: $1)
Alex Presley $1 (previous: $4)
Hicks’ hot spring has put him front and center for the starting center-field job in Minnesota, while Presley should wind up back in Triple-A.

Conor Gillaspie $5 (previous: $1)
Gillaspie will likely beat out Matt Davidson for the job in Chicago out of spring training. Davidson has the higher ceiling (and still has a higher bid price), but Gillaspie can’t be viewed as $1 -only league filler anymore.

Jose Iglesias $1 (previous: $6)
Iglesias is out for the season. In redraft leagues, you can cross him off your lists completely.

Pitchers

Justin Verlander $28 (previous: $26)
It now appears that Verlander will not miss any time this season. Between this news and confidence in the mechanical adjustment Verlander made post-All Star 2013, he should be priced as an elite starter with confidence.

Matt Moore $16 (previous $18)
Moore is similar to Chris Davis (see above). I moved Moore up last week because I felt some of the prices in this bracket were too low but my confidence in Moore this year isn’t quite this high (even though I do like him more than many other fantasy analysts for 2014).

Nate Jones $14 (previous $10)
Jones appears to be healthy, and he fits in far better with the second-tier AL-only closers, as opposed to the bottom of the barrel only guys he was ranked with previously

A.J. Griffin $9 (previous $13)
Jarrod Parker NO BID (previous $12)
Griffin will miss some time in April and the bid emphasizes caution. Parker wasn’t so lucky and will miss all of 2014, making him worthless in redraft leagues.

Yordano Ventura $9 (previous $3)
Ventura has locked up the last spot in the Royals rotation. The ceiling is much higher than this nine-dollar bid, but this emphasizes an appropriate amount of caution in redraft leagues.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Hitters

Everth Cabrera $24 (previous $22)
Nothing has changed with Cabrera, but an examination of the stolen-base climate in the NL led me to move a few bids. Cabrera shouldn’t be that far removed from Billy Hamilton from a bid perspective in an only format.

Michael Cuddyer $18 (previous $20)
Cuddyer was great in 2013, but the .382 BABIP gives me pause, even with the Coors Field bump. I’d rather build some regression into Cuddyer’s bid and get a slight bargain than lose a lot if he crashes and burns in 2014.

Carl Crawford $14 (previous $16)
Crawford has a minor injury. If it were any other player I might leave him where he was or only move him down one dollar. However, Crawford’s track record and the presence of Andre Ethier both concern me.

Peter Bourjos $12 (previous $14)
I reexamined the depth in the NL and outfield is very strong. Bourjos is not one of my favorite fantasy players, so I moved his price down a little. I won’t get him unless he’s a significant bargain, and I’m OK with that.

Justin Ruggiano $8 (previous $6)
For the second week in a row, Ruggiano moves up in my rankings. I still don’t like him as a real life proposition, but if he plays he will produce.

Javier Baez $8 (previous $4)
Am I overestimating Baez with this bid adjustment? Perhaps. But his impressive spring combined with the Cubs lack of appealing options at second or third base has pushed Baez’s timetable ahead. He is this year’s version of the 2012 Bryce Harper or 2010 Giancarlo Stanton: a highly touted rookie who could make the leap as early as May if his start in the minors justifies it.

Ike Davis $7 (previous $9)
Lucas Duda $4 (previous $2)
This isn’t an endorsement of Duda, but rather a caution on all of the Mets first base options. Davis could be a bargain at this price, but with his injury issues this spring and given how rich first base is, I’d advise exercising caution, even in NL-only. Duda at $4 is okay; he’ll offer enough power to return this even if he isn’t the starter.

Marcell Ozuna $6 (previous $10)
Jake Marisnick $6 (previous $2)
Brian Bogusevic $5 (previous $1)
Early this spring, I thought Ozuna would be the starter, Marisnick would go to the minors, and Bogusevic would be Triple-A filler. Now it appears that Bogusevic might start with both Ozuna and Marisnick heading to the minors. In keeper leagues, bump up both Ozuna and Marisnick’s prices, but in a one-and-done this is a messy situation where a significant bid on any of these outfielders should be avoided.

Pitchers

Aroldis Chapman $11 (previous $21)
J.J. Hoover $8 (previous $1)
Chapman is supposed to be out for six to eight weeks, but this bid takes a more conservative approach and assumes he will miss a longer period of time. Many are talking about a committee while Chapman is out, but I suspect that like most teams the Reds will go with one pitcher and Hoover seems to be the logical choice to step forward while Chapman is out.

Sergio Romo $14 (previous $17)
Santiago Casilla $3 (previous $1)
I don’t move bids up or down based on spring training results/performance often, but Romo’s struggles concern me a great deal. This is still a closer price but moves Romo further away from the top of the heap and into the more-crowded second tier.

Mike Minor $13 (previous $15)
Brandon Beachy NO BID (previous $7)
David Hale $3 (previous $1)
A lot of action this week for the Braves rotation is reflected in the bid updates. Now that we have the official timetable for Minor, his bid moves down slightly. Beachy is going to have his second Tommy John surgery and is done for 2014. Hale slots into the rotation.

Patrick Corbin NO BID (previous $12)
Archie Bradley $8 (previous $5)
This might be an aggressive move, but with Corbin out for the season, Bradley’s unofficial timetable gets pushed up somewhat. Randall Delgado isn’t a significant obstacle, and the spring training reports on Bradley have been fairly strong.

Like Beachy, Corbin is out for 2014 and has no value in redraft leagues.

Carlos Martinez $6 (previous $4)
This bid is a balance between the risk that Martinez won’t start the year in the Cardinals rotation and the reward that he will win the fifth starter job over Joe Kelly. There is a significant amount of upside in Martinez’s profile if he does win the job, and if it is announced before the season, he will get another strong bump at that time.

Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

Related Content:  Fantasy,  Auctions,  Auction Values

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