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November 25, 2013

Fantasy Team Preview

Kansas City Royals

by Craig Goldstein and Paul Sporer


One of the songs of summer, if not the song of summer was Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. The electronic music duo’s smash hit also serves as the overriding factor of what determines fantasy champions over the course of a grueling baseball season. Call it chance, call it fortune, call it what you want to call it (wait, that’s a different song), luck is unavoidable. Either good or bad rolls of the dice affect all of us as we try to navigate our way through the labyrinth that is living vicariously through the accomplishment of others. But, as summer gave way to fall and fantasy playoffs ended, Get Lucky has given way to another pop hit… Royals by Lorde.

And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule / Let me live that fantasy.

You might have heard the above line in the last month or so. Alternatively, you might be deaf. It’s hard to know these things sitting behind one’s computer, in one’s mother’s basement. What you might not know is that the song this line comes from was inspired by the Kansas City Royals. It’s true! With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Royals will rule your fantasy...

Projected Lineup

  1. LF Alex Gordon
  2. 2B Emilio Bonifacio
  3. 1B Eric Hosmer
  4. DH Billy Butler
  5. C Salvador Perez
  6. 3B Mike Moustakas
  7. CF Lorenzo Cain
  8. RF Justin Maxwell
  9. SS Alcides Escobar

For a lineup that struggled to produce runs for stretches throughout the 2013 season, there’s plenty of fantasy goodness here. Gordon is alternately overrated and underrated depending on your league’s scoring. He’s a phenomenal option in OBP and OPS leagues, but can suffer in leagues that shade towards power. It was a down 2013 for him, but his value shouldn’t crater and something between 2012 and last season can be anticipated. Much of the same analysis applies to cleanup man Billy Butler, who is rumored to be on the trade block as we speak. There was a severe power outage from Butler, that I expect to correct itself, though not back to it’s .500-plus peak. Hosmer is the star of the show of course, with his post May slash line whetting the appetites of fantasy owners everywhere. He might be overdrafted because of this, but I’d rather be on the Hosmer bandwagon than off it, even if it means going slightly earlier than I’m comfortable with. Perez is the last major fantasy player here and while his season last year featured slightly less power than hoped for, getting a .292 average from the catcher spot is a huge boon. He should hit for average again, and it will weigh heavily (which is good) as he doesn’t walk much.

Bonifacio and Escobar are steals plays who might luck into solid averages but you’ll be better off only expecting speed from them. Maxwell is of interest in deep daily leagues when you can play him in a platoon role (as the Royals will). I’m all out on Moustakas at this point. There’s talent there but the upside isn’t worth the downside, and he’s not someone I can recommend owning in anything shallower than 14-team leagues. Cain is a mystery, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that solving the mystery will be anticlimactic. He’s got a little bit of pop and can occasionally hit for a solid average, but outside of extremely deep leagues, there will be better options available.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (11/22)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/18)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/27)
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The Week in Quotes: No... (11/25)

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