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March 26, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

My Favorite Endgame Targets

by Bret Sayre


With spring training reaching peak twilight and the biggest drafting weekend of the year approaching, it’s time for my final marker post column of the preseason.

We’ve been doing rankings and analysis here for the last three months and hopefully they’ve been helpful to you as you sort through all of the information that lead to your most important draft decisions. And to top it off, as we get to the endgame of draft season, it seems only natural to focus on the endgame of drafts. It’s the most interesting, and often most important segment of your draft. Sure, if you miss on your first round pick or get $5 in value from your $25 player, you’re in a hole that can be very difficult to climb out of. As I’ve said many times, closing out your draft strong is a must if you want to win your league.

So the list assembled below is not all of the players worth targeting towards the end of drafts, just the ones that I personally have my eye on. The ones who will end up in my queue once there are only around five rounds or so to go. And since we all play in different-sized leagues, these endgame targets should reflect a variety of formats, starting with your more standard 12-team mixed leagues and ending with reserve picks I like in single-league formats. Finally, there’s one important thing this list is not—and that is my picks for elite, breakout seasons. Sure, there are some players in here who may have that upside, but on the whole, these are players who could outperform their current draft spot in a meaningful way. After all, a dollar player that returns $10 of value is just as valuable as your fifth-rounder returning second round value.

So I sat down to come up with my twenty guys for this year, and this is the list that ensued. Of course, because I’m mildly sleep deprived, I miscalculated and gave you 22 players instead of the 20 I had planned. Somehow I don’t think you’ll mind. And here they are, broken out by league type:

12-TEAM MIXED LEAGUES

Yordano Ventura, SP, Kansas City Royals (ADP: 262)
The diminutive fireballer has been one of the talks of Arizona this spring, and unlike the other one (Javier Baez), Ventura will have a job with the major league club to start the season. Now, he is not on here because I think he might be the next Matt Harvey/Jose Fernandez—I don’t think Ventura will register the strikeouts requisite for that next level breakout, but he could throw 190 innings with a sub-3.50 ERA and around 150-160 strikeouts (which would be a very nice return this late your draft)

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15 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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BrianG

Would you consider stashing either Baez or Grady Sizemore in a 12 team mixed league if you had an open roster spot?

Mar 26, 2014 04:54 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

Sure. Baez was actually the last player I cut from the 12-team mixed league list. He's got all the potential in the world, but I don't think we see him until June and even elite prospects like him are still more likely to struggle in their first taste than succeed. But if you have room, by all means--he could be special and there's certainly a chance it could happen later this year.

Mar 26, 2014 10:27 AM
 
dcapofari

can Chad Qualls challenge Crain as an option to the Astro's closer job?

Mar 26, 2014 09:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

He can, but he's also Chad Qualls. He's certainly flier worthy as well, I just like Crain better for value.

Mar 26, 2014 10:27 AM
 
BPKevin

Grady's the starter in Boston, so IMO, yes. Baez, 12-team? How deep is the bench and is it a keeper league?

Mar 26, 2014 09:49 AM
rating: 0
 
BrianG

We have 5 bench spots total. Its a non-keeper league. I won the league the last 2 years and I picked up Trout 2 years ago during the season, and Puig last year, I can see Baez as being that type of impact player.

Mar 26, 2014 10:07 AM
rating: 0
 
misterjohnny
(925)

What is a fair price for E-Jax in an NL only 11 team league? $5?

Mar 26, 2014 11:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

Considering he went for a dollar in both NL LABR and NL Tout, I'd think you could certainly get him for $2, and possibly the same $1 (those are both 12-teams NL-only).

Mar 26, 2014 12:04 PM
 
NJTomatoes

I wish my 12-team league let Ventura and Nova last 20+ rounds.

Mar 26, 2014 11:25 AM
rating: 0
 
Pokeyreese

Better Profar replacement: Wong or Ackley?

Mar 26, 2014 13:10 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

It's very close, but I think I'd still lean Wong. However, if Ackley ends up at the top of the Mariners' lineup and Wong ends up being in the 7th or 8th spot in St. Louis, I'll flip them.

Mar 26, 2014 14:48 PM
 
ostdiek1

raps, not wraps.

Mar 26, 2014 16:11 PM
rating: 2
 
Robotey

If you could keep Miller at $9 or Tyson Ross at $7, whom would you choose? Would you take either over Wheeler at $6?

Mar 26, 2014 16:24 PM
rating: 0
 
stuckinLF

Not that you asked me... :-)

Tyson Ross first: San Diego and strong breakout
Miller next: strong lineup should maintain win totals even if he has a bit of a sophomore slump
Wheeler: maybe a year away from breakout. Plus weak team behind him and at plate. Too much uncertainty for me.

Caveat: as a Mets fan I am prone to the classic Mets fan self-loathing reflex, especially in the spring. These are all pretty good options. Ross is probably the least injury-vulnerable, being the oldest of the three. That would also support that.

Mar 26, 2014 18:35 PM
rating: 0
 
MaineSkin

Corey Dickerson is a guy who could really take off from the start. The entire org and staff love him and CF is his w/o the glove of Stubbs manning CF. Coors plays to hitters, but the depth at which Rockies CF have to play, a guy like Stubbs can really make an impact. Dickerson per metrics I know by heart posted 30 and 40% abv lg abv in Spd and PX. His xBA was in the mid-.280s. Love the calls here and have many of these guys on my benches or in onlys.

Mar 27, 2014 00:54 AM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article The Darkhorses: WHIP (03/26)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Two... (03/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Thr... (03/27)
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Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (03/26)

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