Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fantasy Red Herrings

Below is the the sixth annual installment of my Fantasy Red Herrings post. Like I did in '15, '14, '13'12 and '11, I'm providing my usual intro before the good stuff...

Since I know some readers of this blog are my comrades who will draft players in our fantasy baseball league this Saturday, I thought I'd post about players that GMs might want to target for the upcoming season.

But my fellow GMs might think this document is simply a list of red herrings.

Maybe players on it are.

Maybe players on it aren't.

Regardless, here are players to target or low risk/high reward players for 2014. 

First Base: Chris Carter, Milwaukee Brewers

This dude is often overlooked because he hits for such a low average. But I play in an OBP league, so Carter is a good guy to nab in the later rounds to fill in at the Util spot. He moves from a home hitter's park (Houston) to another home hitter's park (Milwaukee), so I expect him to sustain his high home run and decent rbi totals. The last few years he hit 24 ('15), 37 ('14), and 27 ('13) home runs. Anywhere in the 25-35 home run range should be expected. 

Second Base: Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays

This guy put up a solid season even though most non-rotowhores don't know who he is. He'll put up mid-teen numbers in steals and homers along with decent runs and rbi totals. Also, he's projected for a .345 OBP. If you don't draft one of the elite second basemen, Forsythe is a good option for later in the draft. 

Shortstop: Jung-Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates

I'm planning on drafting all kinds of players from the Far East this year, and Kang is on my fantasy radar. He's an excellent hitter with decent pop. Like Forsythe, he's projected for a .340ish OBP. He also qualifies at third base. 

Third Base: Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies

In 80 games last season, he hit 14 home runs and had 50 rbi with an OBP of .343. Based on that track record, if he plays 150 games, he'll hit 26 home runs. One would expect him to hit for a lower average now that pitchers know his weaknesses, but I have on rose-colored glasses when viewing this guy. He has tremendous power. 

Outfield: Nori Aoki, Seattle Mariners

I've been high on this guy since he's been in the league. He's a late-round pick who can fill in at outfield when other guys are not playing. He'll get on base, steal an occasional bag, and score a good amount of runs.

Starting Pitcher: Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies

Yes, I'm featuring a Colorado pitcher. And no, I'm not drunk. He's expected to an "ace" by scouts across the league. He had a less than stellar season last year, but he is supposed to make a major step forward this season. The projections I'm using say he's going to have 4.02 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP, which isn't bad for a late-round pick. Heck, he might be the kind of player you could stream or just start on the road and only at home versus weak offenses. 

Relief Pitcher: Brad Ziegler, Arizona Diamondbacks

The pride of the Missouri State Bears had a great season last year. With an improved rotation and a burgeoning offense, the Snakes should be a stronger ball club. My only concerns would be that he's only been a closer for one season, and his 2014 season was atrocious ~ 8 blown saves. 

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