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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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6

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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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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January 29, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Second Base

4

BP Fantasy Staff

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

In the seminal Simpsons episode “Homer vs. Dignity” (season 12, episode 5), Marge Simpson advises us to “Avoid The Noid. He ruins pizzas.” Here are six second basemen our staff recommends you avoid in your upcoming drafts or auctions.

Logan Forsythe, Rays
A funny thing has happened in the last few years. Second base, traditionally a bastion of paucity (that works right? No? Let me have this), has actually accrued some depth. Enough for our esteemed leader to rank a guy like Dustin Pedroia 15th in his dynasty rankings. That being the case, I come to you with the advice to avoid Logan Forsythe, for a couple reasons.


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January 22, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Base

18

BP Fantasy Staff

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

Last week, we kicked off our Players to Target/Avoid series with a look at fantasy backstops. This week, we march on by taking a deep dive on first basemen who could either make or break your auctions and drafts. Today: six hitters who members of our staff think could be overvalued this year, relative where they will be selected in drafts later this spring.

Justin Bour, Marlins
Beware of overemphasizing September stats. This is particularly true where non-contenders are concerned, as a number of teams are often running for the bus (if you’ll pardon an old cliché). After a dismal stretch from June through August where Bour slashed 225/301/394, it seemed that he had turned a corner in September, mashing nine home runs in 120 plate appearances and appearing that he “figured it out.” In reality, Bour had the benefit of feasting off of a number of weak Braves and Phillies pitching, hitting some of those home runs off of the likes of Ryan Kelly, Ryan Weber, David Buchanan, and Daniel Winkler. Granted, Bour does get the advantage of an imbalanced, NL East schedule again in 2016, but given a full year of Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Aaron Nola, that isn’t necessarily a blessing. I have a healthy skepticism when it comes to late bloomers, and while Bour will probably survive in the Marlins lineup, it is better to bet conservatively than to simply extrapolate last year’s numbers expecting a repeat performance. There is also the very real danger that pitchers continue to pound him with offspeed stuff until he shows he can either hit breaking balls or lay off of them entirely. Bour’s 38 percent swing-and-miss rate makes the formula for opposing pitchers fairly evident in the early going next year. —Mike Gianella


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January 15, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers

6

BP Fantasy Staff

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

Nick Hundley, Rockies
How does a catcher entering his age-31 season move from 37th among catchers in 2014 to seventh at the position in 2015, despite only receiving 156 more plate appearances? Signing a free agent deal to play half of your games in Coors Field is a good place to start. Hitting 10 home runs and stealing five bases made Hundley quite valuable in 2015, no question about it, but I have serious doubts about what, if anything, he’ll be able to replicate in 2016. Hundley’s 10 taters were the second most of his eight-year career, despite a four percentage point drop in his hard-contact percentage and a drop of over five percentage points in his flyball rate. Hundley’s five steals were more than he swiped in the five seasons prior combined, and his .807 OPS was the first time that he registered an OPS of above .700 since 2011. His career-high .301 AVG in 2015 was a 58-point improvement over 2014, a number likely buoyed by his .356 BABIP.

Like countless examples of Rockies hitters past and present, Hundley hit much, much better at home (.355/.393/563) compared away from Coors (.237/.275/.355), and 2016 is the last season that the Rockies have Hundley under contract. Prospect Tom Murphy hit 23 home runs between the high-minors and majors last season and appears ready for an extended run of regular at-bats, which could earn Hundley a ticket out of town before the trade deadline, putting into question not only how many plate appearances that Hundley will receive above the 389 that he received in 2015, but how many of those will actually come at Coors. Hundley is currently being drafted in the roughly the same spot as Derek Norris, and just behind Yasmani Grandal, which is pure insanity to me. —J.J. Jansons


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March 6, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers

6

BP Fantasy Staff

You might want to let someone else pick up these projected closers in your drafts and auctions this spring.

Previous articles in this series:

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February 27, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers

17

BP Fantasy Staff

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

Previous articles in this series:

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February 13, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Outfielders

19

BP Fantasy Staff

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

Previous articles in this series:

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

Previous articles in this series:

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