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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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<< 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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