Who should you avoid in your fantasy baseball drafts in 2014? Which players are sleepers that you might consider targeting given their below market draft day cost? In this series we'll take a look at each position and give you some names to avoid and some to target.
* ADP's taken from the NFBC.
Jose Fernandez (32 ADP): Coming off one of the best rookie seasons in memory, everyone is blindly expecting at least a full repeat in 2014. As I noted in Last Year Bias, too many just accept last year as if that is all that matters. I'm not saying that Fernandez won't rock in 2014, but know there is virtually no chance he repeats the 2.19 ERA or 0.98 WHIP, that he walked a league average number of batters (3.02 per nine) and that he's yet to throw 180 innings in a season in his life.
Justin Verlander (47): I so like it when I can just write – I've written it all, just check out his Player Profile.
Cole Hamels (74): Love the skills. Hate the health issues. At this point it sounds like he might miss all of April. Even if he returns on May 1 at 100 percent, taking away 4-5 starts should diminish his draft day cost a wee bit more than it has, especially since we cannot be certain he will be at 100 percent on May 1st.
Anibal Sanchez (76): There is no disputing that he had a great season last year as the best #3 starter in the game. Still there are plenty of concerns, or at least there should be despite the fact that most don't seem to agree. See his Player Profile for the entire story.
Tim Lincecum (242): Come on, you knew he would be on my list. Here's a quote from the review I wrote for my team in the SiriusXM Experts League. “(1) Lincecum was 18th in baseball in K/9 (8.79) and his total of 193 Ks was 19th. (2) For 5-straight seasons his GB/FB mark has been at least 1.43. (3) In his 10 wins last season he had a 1.64 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .153 BAA and a .505 OPSA.”
Wily Peralta (368): From his Player Profile that you have to read. “If you look at his last 15 starts these are the numbers you find: 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 7.7 K/9 mar over 91.1 innings. Those aren't special numbers, but think of this. Matt Latos had a 3.16 ERA, 1.21 WHIP an a 7.99 K/9 ratio.”
Erasmo Ramirez (408): Through 131 big league innings the results are blah including a 6-6 record, 4.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 7.20 K/9 mark. But this is a decently skilled fella who pitches in a nice ballpark as far as AL homes go. His 2013 effort was messy cause of health issues, but he was still successful in the minors (2.83 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.24 K/BB). You can take him in the last round of your draft, or just add him off waivers to stream early in the year since no one is drafting him.
Eric Stults (426): He's a disaster on the road, but at home he's well worth rolling out there. I'm going to be obnoxious and not even list the numbers here. You will have to click on the link to his Player Profile to find them. Plus, I wanted you to see the really cool picture of the friar that accompanies the piece.
Josh Beckett (431): Aging, coming off injury, and dealing with a hand issue this spring after getting it caught in a door, Beckett is much better than anyone is giving him credit for. ADP numbers suggest that if you're in a 15 team league with 30 rounds that he's barely being drafted. It's like no one seems to take note that he still struck out 41 batters in 43 innings last season or that he is Josh Beckett. Keep an eye on him even if you don't want to take the risk of drafting him.
Get All of Ray's Picks in the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.