Friday, March 8, 2013

Fantasy Funkhouser: Fantasy Baseball 2013 Ranks - Round 7

Like many Cubs fans have been saying. There's always next year. (Getty)
Fantasy Funkhouser will review all things Fantasy Baseball. After all, life is a small sample size.

Patience is a bad thing in fantasy sports. In redraft leagues, aggressiveness is what wins championships. Whether its taking leaps of faith with sleepers in the draft and not adhering to anyone's rankings or constantly working the waiver wire and trying to make trades to improve your team - those are the ways to wiiiiiiin.

There are instances in redraft leagues, however, where patience can pay off. Every year there are shiny new players poised to breakout and be the best thing for fantasy owners since Google Drive, but the thing to realize about these players is that even on the slight chance they do make you the envy of every other team in your league; you only get them for one year. The flip of that, and more likely outcome, is that the player fails to live up to the high expectations set, and is a drag on your team you can't drop because of his promise along with the high dollar or round level you've invested in him.

I used to succumb heavily to such players, but that changed last year when a lot of the hyped prospects were getting so overvalued it was insane. Guys like Eric Hosmer, Matt Moore, and Brett Lawrie were all being taken way above their pay grade, and they all struggled. Lawrie and Moore were able to piece some things together near the end of the year, but Hosmer was flat out awful. This year they're actually ranked much more in line with what they should do than last year. A little step back isn't always a bad thing for players or fantasy owners.

Now, before the 57 people that read this are screaming at their iPads about a couple of dudes named Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, they were hardly drafted at all because primarily they didn't have jobs on Opening Day 2012. The idea behind being patient is not wasting value picks on guys like the trio above. Adding from free agency is at the core of succeeding in fantasy. All Trout and Harper cost you last year was a last round pick, $4 at auction, or the energy to make a couple of clicks with your mouse.

The one instance where this plan of mine went astray was with Stephen Strasburg. Going into every draft, I knew I would never own him, and I was fine with that. I wasn't going to invest in a one year league a lot into a player who was coming off of Tommy John, had an innings cap, and hardly had a MLB track record. Strasburg went on to finish 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, 197 K's, and a 1.15 WHIP, but while I didn't experience because I didn't own him - we all know how messy the end of his season wrapped up with the will they/won't they/should they debate around shutting him down.

In Round 7 of my rankings there are a couple of guys in here that might be a year away, but are getting a lot of buzz right now. The first guy that jumps out is Anthony Rizzo. There are a lot of mixed projections on whether Rizzo will take the leap this year or not. I'm actually leaning more that he will, but I'm not leaping up draft boards to get him. Where he's ranked right now doesn't appear to be overblown (ADP: 85), but from hearing what experts are saying, the general pop is more hesitant to jump in on these guys because the Hosmers and Lawries of 2012.

Freddie Freeman comes in a spot behind Rizzo at #82. Freeman's case is an odd one. Despite marked improvements in his counting stats his OBP dropped even though he walked more, and his SLG barely ticked up from .448 to .455. Also his average dropped almost 30 points even though he struck out less. Freeman showed flashes of greatness in 2012 tearing through Spring Training (I know, I know, but he put on a bomb show during that SSS) and he was a multiple player of the week award winner early in the season. Throughout the rest of the year though, he was inconsistent. An injury to his hand as well as eye issues didn't allow him to hit a baseball very well. So now as 2013 approaches, we are left to wonder if the injuries held him back from a true breakout year.

Another odd thing I found about Freeman is, that at age 23 he's performing about as good as virtually any scout thought he would. His power profile was never there, but last year it was mentioned that not only was he (say it with me...) in the BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE, he also started lifting weights for the first time ever ... apparently impressing chicks in high school was different for him than it was for me. I'm no scout, but I doubt they base their power profile on whether or not this guy can bench his weight, but perhaps there is something to this. There's also the distinct chance that Freeman just might be at his peak already. It's a weird case as Freeman's ceiling certainly appears limited.

Notes: I was scared of Sale, now not. Injuries are for keeper leagues, dudarino - let him stand and fire...I have no idea what to make of Hill - he'll get you power, and I wouldn't classify him under the FLUKE tag, just too uneven for my tastes...Motte altered his delivery slightly near the end of last season - once he did that he was scorching through the end of the season and playoffs - don't be surprised if he's the #2 closer in 2013.

RANK NAME POSITION
73 CHRIS SALE SP
74 MICHAEL BOURN OF
75 MAX SCHERZER SP
76 AARON HILL 2B
77 JOE MAUER C/1B
78 MATT MOORE SP
79 ALEX GORDON OF
80 SHIN-SOO CHOO OF
81 ANTHONY RIZZO 1B
82 FREDDIE FREEMAN 1B
83 JASON MOTTE RP
84 MATT WIETERS C


OVERALL RANKINGS THUS FAR

Another week, another Yankee is clipped. Mark Teixiera sprained his wrist, and he can now be expected to miss 8-10 weeks like his teammate Curtis Granderson. While this does plummet him to #125 in my overall ranks, this injury is much more concerning than Granderson's. First, Tex strained his wrist as opposed to Granderson's clean break of his bone. Bones heal, and you're back and ready to go. A wrist injury for a power hitter is shaky ground. Tex has devolved from a great all-around player to now one that only brings homers and RBI to the fantasy picnic table.

As an overall note, I've read several interesting things about starting pitcher depth on Fangraphs and ESPN. The consensus? There's no more depth now than 10 years ago. It's become popular to wait on pitchers, but in shallow leagues, that's bunk.

Elite pitchers bring it to the table, and while I too agree I'd go offense over pitching early, it's important to sure up the top of your staff. Whether your a streamer or like to spin the wheel of destiny with sleeper pitchers, make sure you build a stable staff. 


RANK NAME POSITION CHANGE PREVIOUSLY
1 MIGUEL CABRERA 3B
2 RYAN BRAUN OF
3 MIKE TROUT OF
4 JOEY VOTTO 1B
5 ANDREW MCCUTCHEN OF
6 MATT KEMP OF
7 ROBINSON CANO 2B
8 ALBERT PUJOLS 1B
9 CARLOS GONZALEZ OF
10 JUSTIN VERLANDER SP
11 PRINCE FIELDER 1B
12 CLAYTON KERSHAW SP
13 JASON HEYWARD OF
14 GIANCARLO STANTON OF
15 DAVID WRIGHT 3B
16 FELIX HERNANDEZ SP
17 JUSTIN UPTON OF
18 JOSE BAUTISTA OF
19 EVAN LONGORIA 3B
20 STEPHEN STRASBURG SP
21 ADRIAN BELTRE 3B 22
22 HANLEY RAMIREZ 3B/SS 24
23 JOSH HAMILTON OF 23
24 BUSTER POSEY C/1B 21
25 ADAM JONES OF
26 DAVID PRICE SP
27 TROY TULOWITZKI SS
28 EDWIN ENCARNACION 1B/DH 28
29 IAN KINSLER 2B
30 MATT CAIN SP 30
31 COLE HAMELS SP
32 STARLIN CASTRO SS
33 DUSTIN PEDROIA 2B
34 JAY BRUCE OF
35 JOSE REYES SS
36 CLIFF LEE SP
37 ADRIAN GONZALEZ 1B/OF
38 MATT HOLLIDAY OF
39 RYAN ZIMMERMAN 3B
40 JACOBY ELLSBURY OF
41 ADAM WAINWRIGHT SP
42 MADISON BUMGARNER SP
43 ZACK GREINKE SP
44 BRYCE HARPER OF
45 JERED WEAVER SP
46 BRANDON PHILLIPS 2B
47 ALLEN CRAIG 1B/OF
48 YU DARVISH SP
49 YOENIS CESPEDES OF
50 BILLY BUTLER 1B
51 BEN ZOBRIST 2B/SS/OF
52 PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT 1B
53 GIO GONZALEZ SP
54 PABLO SANDOVAL 3B
55 BRETT LAWRIE 3B
56 R.A. DICKEY SP
57 CRAIG KIMBREL RP
58 CC SABATHIA SP 62
59 B.J. UPTON OF
60 IAN DESMOND SS
61 YADIER MOLINA C
62 ROY HALLADAY SP 70
63 AROLDIS CHAPMAN SP/RP
64 MAT LATOS SP 58
65 JASON KIPNIS  2B
66 ARAMIS RAMIREZ 3B
67 AUSTIN JACKSON OF
68 KRIS MEDLEN SP
69 DESMOND JENNINGS OF
70 JOHNY CUETO SP 64
71 CHASE HEADLEY 3B
72 JIMMY ROLLINS SS
73 CHRIS SALE SP
74 MICHAEL BOURN OF
75 MAX SCHERZER SP
76 AARON HILL 2B
77 JOE MAUER C/1B
78 MATT MOORE SP
79 ALEX GORDON OF
80 SHIN-SOO CHOO OF
81 ANTHONY RIZZO 1B
82 FREDDIE FREEMAN 1B
83 JASON MOTTE RP
84 MATT WIETERS C


The Funkman says: "I'm not old; I'm proven."

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