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02-21

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2

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Long-Term Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-20

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3

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-10

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3

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Shortstops
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-03

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14

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Third Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-27

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5

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-20

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12

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-13

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-11

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8

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-04

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4

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-23

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10

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-12

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Shortstops
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-05

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5

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Third Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-29

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4

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-22

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18

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-15

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7

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-06

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-27

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17

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-13

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19

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-06

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4

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Shortstops
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-30

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16

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Third Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-23

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-16

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1

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Base
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-09

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8

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-07

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9

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-28

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25

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-21

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20

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-14

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16

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Third Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

02-07

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18

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Shortstops
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-31

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11

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-24

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17

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-17

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

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February 21, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Long-Term Outfielders

2

BP Fantasy Staff

Our staff feels these players might be overvalued in dynasty formats this spring.

Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres
In terms of real baseball value, Manuel Margot is one of the more exciting outfield prospects in the game. He’s right on the verge of contributing in a meaningful way, and should do it in most areas of the game. He’ll hit a little, he’ll fly on the bases and his athleticism and defensive instincts will play well in San Diego’s spacious outfield. Unfortunately, much of that skill set doesn’t translate into fantasy value.


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February 20, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders

3

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Sometimes I wish that real baseball could be a little more like MLB: The Show, and you could have the option to turn off injuries. In this alternate universe, how many homers would Stanton have had in the last four seasons, 175? 200? At one time Stanton flirted with the top three of fantasy drafts, and you could have talked yourself into taking him at number one if you were feeling frisky (or had a severe fish allergy). Unfortunately, his stock is tumbling, mostly due to injuries depriving him (and us) of being able to suit up for a full season.


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Our staff thinks you might be better off letting someone else draft or buy these six-spotters in your leagues this spring.


Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
I'm a dinosaur in the Statcast era—still getting used to this whole newfangled thing. But allow me to throw some numbers at you.



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February 3, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Third Base

14

BP Fantasy Staff

You might be better off letting someone else buy or draft these players in your leagues this spring.

Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox
Moncada has monstrous raw talent and he’s obviously a premium asset in dynasty leagues, especially with his speed and power combination. Moncada might be a 30/30 player someday if everything goes right. He is probably the best fantasy prospect in baseball, and I absolutely love him long term.


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January 27, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Base

5

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Dozier has been a worthwhile second baseman since entering the league; no one's doubting that. He's virtual lock to crack double digits in every non-rate category and has somehow scored 100-plus runs on the lowly Twins for three straight years.

But everything that made Dozier a top-25 hitter in 2016, and not just a barely-top-100 hitter in 2015, is tied up entirely in the circumstances of last season's power surge. It depends if you believe Dozier's power stands on its own. Color me skeptical: per StatCast, his average exit velocity (on both flyballs/line drives and overall) and his Barrels per ball in play don't rank particularly well relative to his contemporaries, and neither of those metrics fundamentally changed from 2015 to 2016.


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January 20, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Basemen

12

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Man, this has a chance burn me badly and make me look really stupid at the end of 2017. Paul Goldschmidt is still an awesome, amazing fantasy asset, so don't think I'm disparaging his skills or anything. It's just that he had some declines in a few areas last year that I want to shed light on.

In a year where power was up across baseball, possibly because of a juiced ball, Goldschmidt had a noticeable drop in power. His .192 ISO was exactly league average for a first baseman, and was down about 50 ISO points from where it was the prior 3 seasons, where it sat at .247. He slugged under .500 for the first time since 2012 and ranked 10th among qualified 1B in slugging, down from ranking 2nd from 2013-2015, when he slugged .556. His park and league adjusted OPS+ fell from an incredible 162 from 2013-15 to 134 in 2016, a drop of almost 30 percentage points.


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January 13, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers

6

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.


Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Molina was panned in this space last year, and the market was down on him. We were out to lunch. In 15-team mixed leagues, Molina finished 108th overall per the PFM, beating his NFBC ADP of 258 by a fair amount. But last year isn’t this year, and many of the concerns that dogged Molina in 2016 carry over into this season. Much of Molina’s value is predicated on his batting average. While Molina certainly does have a history of .300+ seasons, 2016 was his first campaign over .300 since 2013. He hasn’t stolen more than three bases since 2012 and more importantly hasn’t had more than eight home runs since 2013. Batting average tends to fluctuate, and betting on another .300+ season from an older, slow-footed catcher is suboptimal.



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March 11, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers

8

BP Fantasy Staff

You might be better off letting someone else draft or buy these closers in your leagues this spring.

A bad hitter who bombs stings, but will likely stay in the lineup and give your fantasy team something. A bad closer will lose almost all of his value once he starts getting saves. Here are some relievers who run the risk of being that kind of pitcher in fantasy baseball.

Brad Boxberger, Rays
Boxberger is currently the 16th reliever coming off of the board in NFBC drafts, and the Rays reliever strikes me as the leading candidate among the top 20 to lose his closing job for performance-related reasons in 2016. Boxberger’s earnings in 2015 were masked by his shiny 41-save output, which was good for fourth overall. After putting together a sparkling 2014 season in which he struck out 42.1 percent of opposing hitters and held them to a .152 batting average against, Boxberger struggled with his command virtually all of the 2015 season, seeing his strikeout rate dip nearly 15 points to just over 27 percent and allowing baserunners by the truckload, as evidenced by his 1.37 WHIP. Boxberger’s high-wire act led to a 3.73 ERA, which could have actually been worse, as his 4.23 FIP and 4.63 DRA would suggest. Boxberger’s velocity dropped slightly in 2015, but along with the increase in his walk rate (just over eight percent in 2014 to almost 12 percent in 2015), he also saw his line-drive rate jump to a career-worst 21.3 percent (up from 16.7 percent in 2014) and watched his groundball rate tumble to 36.3 percent—also a career low.


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March 4, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers

4

BP Fantasy Staff

Our fantasy staff thinks you'd be better off letting someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

A bad starting pitcher in fantasy can knock your team out of contention, push you into the second division, and make you curse the day you started playing fantasy baseball. Our fantasy staff has put together a list of arms that we think you should avoid on draft day.

Yu Darvish, Rangers
Look, I like Yu Darvish a lot. He’s on the short list of pitchers I actively want to watch when they toe the rubber, and I’m stoked that he’ll be back on a big league mound this year. I look forward to hopefully drafting him in future years. But he’s currently going off the board 34th among starting pitchers, in the eighth round. Let’s take a best-case scenario here, where he jumps right in, doesn’t miss a beat, and puts up a similar line to his 2014 campaign (144 1/3 innings, 10 wins, 3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 11.3 strikeouts-per-nine, 3.1 walks-per-nine). That effort was worth $13 of mixed-league value. Toss another three or four bucks onto the tally for the 60 replacement-level innings you’ll need to log over the first six weeks of the season (this is the best-case scenario, after all), and you’re looking at maybe, possibly scraping your way to a marginal profit on that draft price.


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February 23, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders

10

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

With so many bargains out there in the outfield on Draft Day, you don’t want to get stuck with a lemon. Here are some outfielders to avoid in your fantasy drafts or auctions, as selected by our fantasy staff at Baseball Prospectus.

Rusney Castillo, Red Sox
I get wanting to gamble on Castillo. He has the natural speed and power to serve as a 15-homer, 20-steal threat, and he plays in a great home ballpark as part of a good lineup. It’s all there for Castillo... except it’s really not. The 28-year-old has killed more worms in 329 professional PA than millions of allegorical early birds combined, generating a not-so-nice 63.9 GB% in his stateside career. Castillo can’t hit righties (.189 TAv), is a TOOTBLAN waiting to happen every time he reaches base (4 SB, 5 CS in 2015), and walked at just a 4.5 percent clip last year. He deserves a longer leash than most players his age thanks to his unique circumstances, but there are no real signs pointing to a breakout other than solid but unspectacular Triple-A numbers. Castillo is currently the no. 65 outfielder drafted according to FantasyPros.com ADP, going before Kevin Kiermaier, Denard Span, and Marcell Ozuna, among others. Do better, mock drafters. There is some upside here because of the tools, but Castillo’s floor is probably lower than you think. —Ben Carsley


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February 12, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Shortstops

6

BP Fantasy Staff

You might be better off letting someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

These introductions have been filled with C- jokes and should probably be avoided. Just like the players below should be avoided, based on the recommendations of our Baseball Prospectus staff.

(You see, this is a joke that should be avoided which makes it like the jokes I am describing so it is meta. This paragraph fits this model as well, so it is another joke of this ilk. This is awful and I apologize for subjecting you to it.)

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Our staff thinks you'd be better off letting someone else draft or buy these players in your leagues this spring.

There are a lot of things in life you want to avoid, including but not limited to: bad fish, going into space without enough oxygen, and pointless arguments on social media. Below are five third basemen who members of our staff think you should avoid as well.

Evan Longoria, Rays
Evan Longoria is still only two years removed from being one of the most talented third basemen in the league, but that feels like ages ago. While name value may have carried him last season, that time is likely over. Even given that, he’s still not someone you want to be targeting. At his peak, Longoria was a consistent threat for 30-plus home runs. Those days are long gone, as he’s hit just 21 and 22 in the last two years while his ISO has fallen to .166 and .151. At the same time, he has watched his HR:FB ratio drop while his infield-flyball rate has risen, indicating consistently poorer contact. This brings us to his plate discipline, which has gone from near-elite to merely average. Last season, for example, he walked just 7.6 percent of the time while carrying a strikeout percentage of 19.7 percent. The main culprit has been an increased swing rate since his prime, particularly on pitches out of the zone. As the 11th third baseman coming off the board at NFBC drafts, the cost isn’t massive, but it also isn’t ideal. Preferably, you can grab one of the 10 third basemen in front of him. If not, you will be better off using your mid-round pick on a different position and either taking someone like Mike Moustakas or tossing a late-round flier on someone like Brett Lawrie, David Wright, or Nick Castellanos. —Matt Collins


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