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March 3, 2014 12:00 pm

Fantasy Players to Target: Relief Pitchers

11

BP Fantasy Staff

A look at the best values to help your fantasy squad rack up saves.

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February 24, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: Starting Pitchers

12

BP Fantasy Staff

A look at seven starters who should provide good value on your draft-day investment this year.

You know how everyone waits on pitching in drafts every year? Don't feel the need to wait on these pitchers.

Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
Seasoned fantasy players often avoid taking young arms early in drafts, and for good reason. Prospect hype can lead to inflated ADP and auction prices, and owners can get caught paying for perceived performance rather than likely results. I'm advocating for throwing caution to the wind with Cole, though, and I think his current aggregate ADP (courtesy fantasypros.com) of 103 is quite reasonable. Some people got bored with Cole in the minors as he ever put up huge stats, but he's an absolute horse who's fully capable of notching 200 strikeouts, 15-plus wins, and a sub-3.50 ERA as soon as this year. He may not be a bargain where he's being drafted right now, but you won't have to reach for him either and he's an excellent no. 2 fantasy starter with top-10 SP upside. The term "ace" gets overused a lot, but Cole could become one in short order. —Ben Carsley


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February 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: Outfielders

13

BP Fantasy Staff

A look at our staff's favorite value picks at this position.

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February 10, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: Third Basemen

2

BP Fantasy Staff

The fantasy crew runs down the best values at the hot corner.

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February 3, 2014 6:04 am

Fantasy Players to Target: Shortstops

11

BP Fantasy Staff

The best value picks at a position where offense can be hard to find.

Long renowned as one of fantasy’s most shallow positions, shortstop is about to get an infusion of talent like we haven’t see in many years. The influx of strong young performers will create an opportunity both to secure new cornerstones of your fantasy franchises, as well as capitalize on veterans who fall through the cracks as owners flock to what is shiny and new.

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January 27, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: Second Basemen

13

Baseball Prospectus

A look at the value picks at the keystone for your drafts and auctions this spring.

Once viewed as one of fantasy’s most shallow positions, second base has enjoyed a multi-year run as a fantasy-friendlier position thanks to a mix of established stars and new young talent creeping into the game. That’s reflected in the staff choices below, as a nice mix of players young and old comprise this collection of second baseman we think you should target in 2014.

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Matt Carptenter is an interesting case in that he's likely to regress some next year but I doubt that his numbers will fall off drastically enough to drop him below guys like Ben Zobrist and Ian Kinsler in 2B rankings. I doubt he scores 126 runs again but Carpenter holds a very solid 10 percent walk rate and he did put up 73 extra-base hits in 2013. The lineup behind him is very solid as well, and he has the opportunity to tease 100 runs scored again. He's not above Cano, Pedroia, or Kipnis, but he should be a very valuable 2B again this year. —Mauricio Rubio


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January 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: First Basemen

7

BP Fantasy Staff

Our fantasy crew's favorite value picks at a spot where elite production is critical.

First base is a position that harbors many good fantasy players. These are some the aforementioned good players who we feel are comparatively more good than their peers.

Brandon Belt, Giants
Heading into 2013 there were legitimate concerns about Belt’s power and by extension his viability as an everyday major-league 1B. Belt answered those concerns with a strong season, complete with 60 extra-base hits, a solid walk percentage (9.1) and a pretty damn good 139 wRC+. Belt plays in extreme parks the majority of the season—AT&T and PETCO strongly favor pitchers, Coors and Chase Fields both favor hitters, and LA falls somewhere in the middle, depending on what time the game starts. He hit well on the road in 2013 and his production didn’t nosedive at home. Belt will be undervalued this year, and while he isn’t an elite-level 1B, he provides enough production to warrant being a starter in standard fantasy formats. —Mauricio Rubio


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Notes from the fantasy staff on several backstops you should consider selecting in your drafts this spring.

As our eminent leader Bret Sayre outlined in the Baseball Prospectus draft prep guide, the fantasy staff here at BP is aiming to bring you a comprehensive look at each and every position on a weekly basis. From prospects to veterans, superstars to scrubs and sleepers to potential busts, we want you to have a thorough understanding of every player at every position when you hit your drafts this winter and next spring.

With that in mind, we’ve polled the fantasy staff here for a player to target and a player to avoid for each position, to run every Monday and Friday, respectively. We don’t always agree on every player, which is why you’ll see some names pop up more than once, but we hope those debates give you even more insight as to who you should or shouldn’t select on draft day.

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