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June 27, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

Veterans With Value

by Craig Goldstein


It’s only natural to have a bias toward younger players and prospects in dynasty formats. After all, they are the gift that keeps on giving, especially in leagues that don’t have limits on how long one can be kept. We know going into the season that older players are undervalued, and yet we still can’t help ourselves from reaching when it comes to the promising young ones.

So, we know there’s value to be had all over the place in the over-30 range, as guys are still exiting their primes, but what about the 35-plus crowd. The names below won’t surprise you, as you have to be pretty good to hold value into your mid-30s, but they are a subset of players that I think can hold their value for the next 2-3 seasons, which is reason enough to hold onto/target them in dynasty leagues.

Jayson Werth – OF – Washington Nationals
While 2014 hasn’t been a banner year thus far, Werth has been healthy—an issue that’s plagued him in the past. For dynasty league players, this should be a vital factor when determining Werth’s value, and it’s one that seems to be gotten wrong all too often. Werth missed 81 games in 2012 and another 32 in 2013, but he had three straight years of 150-plus from 2009-2011. So while he’s been snake-bitten in his career when it comes to health, he can certainly put together a complete season.

Moreover, even when unhealthy, he’s productive. Since his first season mediocrity in DC, Werth has posted OPS’ of 827 (81 games) and 931 (129 games). In a 20-team dynasty league of mine, Werth was recently traded straight up for Jimmy Nelson. I’m well aware that one trade is the ultimate small sample size, but that even one person would consider this deal makes me comfortable with the idea that Werth is not being valued correctly in dynasty leagues. He’s still productive enough to be a OF2 when he’s right, and he’ll even contribute on the basepaths here and there.

Aramis Ramirez – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers
Another injury-plagued veteran, Ramirez is a productive force when healthy, producing wRC+s of 134, 141, 132 over the last three seasons, and is on his way to replicating that success with a 128 figure thus far in 2014. At 36 years old, he’s one of the more productive players in a crop of third baseman that has been fairly deplorable. He’s dropped his penchant for walking in 2014, as his 4.1 percent would represent his lowest total since 2000, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since he’s so effective at putting the bat on the ball and hitting for average.

He’s not a complete player, as his defense is an issue and his struggle to stay on the field is quite real. Still, with the lackluster production from the position in general (.253/.317/.394 league average slash line), Ramirez is something of an elite option there. Knocking him down a few pegs for age-related reasons is more than fair, but drop him too far and you’ll only be hurting yourself.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (06/27)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Wea... (06/26)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Loo... (06/30)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (06/27)

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