Sports Outside the Beltway

2007 Fantasy Busts!

This isn’t so much about “all out” busts but more about players that may be getting drafted too high and too early. Again, when you see the name Joe Mauer, don’t freak out. I’m not saying I wouldn’t draft him, I’m just saying that he is going too early and that way too many people are overrating him. Here is a list of some of the “overvalued” players in fantasy right now along with some that you should just stay away from. Again, this is not a list of people I wouldn’t draft, I actually own a couple in some leagues, this is a list of people that I wouldn’t reach too early for.

CatcherJoe Mauer, Jorge Posada: You heard a little about why I believe Mauer is overrated above. Sure the guy won a batting title, but 12 other catchers hit 16 or more homers to Mauer’s 13. Four other catchers had more RBI, and 2 others had more stolen bases. This is not to say that he won’t top his power numbers from last year, I just believe he is beong overvalued and that I wouldn’t take him any earlier than the mid-late 3rd round. Jorge Posada is kinda in the same boat. He gets drafted for three reason: his homers, the fact he plays for the Yankees, and his lineup protection. Not bad reasons. But he gets drafted before guys like Ramon Hernandez, Mike Piazza, and Russ Martin. Posada is turning 36 this year and his career .270 AVG is probably in decline and is gonna be a killer and walks don’t help in most fantasy leagues. He’s good but I have him ranked around 8-12 for catchers.

First BaseSean Casey: I love Casey. Nice guy, everybody on his team and the opposing team, loves him. But on fantasy teams… Yes he has topped .300 5 times in his career and hit 20 or more homers 3 times. But those days seem long gone. He should never be drafted above guys like Overbay, Conor Jackson, or even Ty Wigginton. Stay away from him at all costs.

Second BaseRickie Weeks, Ray Durham: I’m not gonna mention Dan Uggla here. He is actually being avoided by everyone and he seems to be getting drafted in a perfect spot. But Weeks is an intiguing player. He has 20-30 potential every year. But he seems to get injured every year. He currently is fighting wrist problem, and his wrists are what generate his bat speed, and he could kill your team AVG (he is a career .257 hitter). You can look like a genius if you get him and he performs, but I wouldn’t draft him any sooner than the 10th round. And if anyone thinks Durham is going to repeat his numbers, let’s please make a bet!

ShortstopCarlos Guillen: Guillen is a guy I could be dead wrong about. He has .300-20-90-20-100 potential but I’ve seen him go in round 3 before. He isn’t getting younger and he is also getting slower (both at SS and in actual speed). I would love to have him on my team but I wouldn’t take his 2006 stats to the bank. I would rest on .300-15-80-10-90.

Third BaseJoe Crede: Two sets of two words for you: Back Problems, and Josh Fields. Crede continues to have back problems and the young Josh Fields is waiting to snag the 3B job. The White Sox need to trade Crede while his value is at it’s highest. If traded, his stats should diminish because he’s most likely headed to a ballpark that is not Chicago’s.

OutfieldWilly Taveras, Dave Roberts, Moises Alou, Gary Matthews Jr.: I’ll start with the speedsters. Taveras is not going to hit for power because he’s in Colorado. He is going to put up numbers around the same as last year’s. Don’t draft him expecting Coors Field to magically bring him power, it didn’t do it for Juan Pierre. Roberts is on a team with aging vets and he himself fits perfectly on that platform. He could easily swipe 40 bags but that’s all you should draft him for. I hear from people that Alou is going to perform miracles because he’s in the Mets lineup. Don’t buy it. He hits lefties like no one else but he probably won’t see more than 400 at-bats. Draft him as your 4th or 5th OF, not one of your starting 3. Lastly we come to Matthews Jr. Do I have to explain here? I’ll keep it simple: No Way he duplicates last year’s stats which were overrated in themselves!

Starting PitchersJered Weaver, Chien Ming-Wang, Orlando Hernandez: Weaver is having some problems with nagging injuries and his season last year was a season in which hitters never saw him before and he took advantage of it. Hitters are wise and they will catch on. Weaver should still have a good year but he’s going earlier than Kazmir, Hamels, and Cain and I think that’s ridiculous. Wang will give you 15+ wins, no doubt. But can he win 19 again? I wouldn’t bet on it. 76 strikeouts in 218 innings is not a sign for good things to happen. Some of those balls in play will drop for hits this year and his ERA won’t be duplicated from last year. Wang, in my opinion, is a one-dimensional fantasy starter. He’s a good #3, maybe #2, but don’t make him your #1. And Orlando Hernandez is just not going to have a stikeout per inning again. His ERA will kill you and you will regret taking him ahead of young guys like Garza, Sowers, and even James Shields of the Rays.

Relief PitchersBob Wickman, Takashi Saito, Armando Benitez: All three of these guys are on this list because they all have a history of injuries. They all also have people behind them (Wickman has Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, Saito has Jonathan Broxton, and Benitez has Brian Wilson) that will step in and may not give the job back if given the opportunity. Don’t be scared to take Wickman though, but monitor the other two closely. Closers are one-dimensional players (saves) and saves can be had in the waiver wire every year (2006: Putz, Saito, Francisco Cordero anyone?!)

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