2018 MLB Offseason: New Year's Resolutions
Published: Jan 02, 2018
With New Year’s right around the corner, it’s time to make some fantasy baseball resolutions for the upcoming year. Many people travel the route of getting to the gym four times a week, giving up soda, cutting back on sweets, etc. However, I’m going to make mine all around the wonderful entity that is fantasy baseball and how we, FA Nation, can set ourselves up for success this fantasy season!
Some of these are personal and some are overall statements by which we should abide come draft time. Let us know your fantasy baseball New Year’s resolutions by hitting us up on Twitter! Let us know at the following Twitter handles:
RESOLUTION #1: I will draft ONE top-10 closer. No more, no less.
From the 2017 Mock Draft Army ADP, only one preseason top-5 closer (Kenley Jansen) ended the season among the top 15 closers in terms of saves. However, of those top 15, seven of the top 11 from the ADP ended the season with at least 26 saves, good enough to rank in the top half of MLB closers. Given the fact of where you’re going to have to draft these closers, taking more than one seems unnecessary. Last season, Fernando Rodney, Brandon Kintzler, Corey Knebel and Greg Holland all earned at least 29 saves, despite falling outside of the top 350 in ADP. Here’s a table of the 15 leading closers (by saves) and their ADP last season.
Kenley Jansen (R)
Craig Kimbrel (R)
Edwin Díaz (R)
Wade Davis (R)
Roberto Osuna (R)
Kelvin Herrera (R)
Ken Giles (R)
Álex Colomé (R)
Cody Allen (R)
A.J. Ramos (R)
Raisel Iglesias (R)
Fernando Rodney (R)
Brandon Kintzler (R)
Greg Holland (R)
Corey Knebel (R)
Skimping on some of the top guys may have left you with guys like Jeurys Familia, Tony Watson, David Robertson, Sam Dyson, Cam Bedrosian or even Seung-Hwan Oh. I’m not saying that you absolutely have to draft Kenley Jansen in every draft, but assuring yourself of one top-tier, reliable closer is going to be integral to success this season. Of course, you’ll need to be active in free agency during the year, because you never know who will pop up during the course of the year, especially around the trade deadline.
However, I will not draft Fernando Rodney.
Resolution #2: (courtesy of Fantasy Alarm’s Nate Miller): I will not draft Billy Hamilton in the 6th round.
Dilly dilly, say no to Billy, in the sixth at least. Check out the Fantasy Alarm Offseason Podcast for Nate’s full thoughts on this, but let me give you a snippet here.
“I love speed. He’s the type of guy who can essentially win you a category. After four full years, he’s gone over 55 stolen bases in each season, but he hurts you in every other place. I don’t ever let him fall past the sixth round in 12-team drafts, but I’m not taking him there this season.”
I do agree with Nate and won’t be touching Hamilton at that price point this season. Hamilton just never has been my cup of tea and 2018 won’t be the year I start drinking the Hamilton Kool-Aid.
Resolution #3: If drafting outside of the top 4, Trea Turner is your, and my, top priority.
I received a Trea Turner jersey for Christmas and that is the sole purpose of this resolution. Enough said. Albeit never playing more than 100 games in a season, the 24-year-old continues to get it done and shortstop eligibility only makes him more attractive. Consider his 162-game stat line.
In 98 games last year, Turner came in 33rd on ESPN’s Player Rater. He was No. 20 if you restrict it to hitters only.
In 73 games in 2016, Turner was No. 37 on ESPN’s Player Rater among hitters.
Injuries are a risk for Turner, but the upside is immense with this kid, and if he gets a full year, his stat line could be fantasy gold! His prowess on the basepaths will give you a great leg on your opponents in the stolen base category, while not destroying you in power, like Dee Gordon, or batting average, like Billy Hamilton.
Assuming the first four picks are Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, you’ll be tasked with the likely decision of Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Turner. Harper and Turner are both deserving of that fifth pick, so that comes down to how you want to build your team in the beginning of the draft. It’s not necessarily a power/speed debate, but if you want to make it one, Turner’s home run total will be closer to Harper’s, compared to the latter’s stolen base total to his speedy teammate.
As for Blackmon, his home runs and batting average have increased each of the last years, while his stolen base total has regressed accordingly. The Colorado outfielder is also seven years older than Turner and has some significant splits. Consider the following:
CHARLIE BLACKMON CAREER HOME/ROAD SPLITS
If Blackmon were to be traded near the deadline this season, how much would that impact his fantasy value?
Turner is as complete as they come in the fantasy game, and he’s a player you can build around outside of the top 4 picks.
Resolution #4: I will only have one IPA during a single fantasy baseball draft this season.
This is very important. Drinking and drafting is like dancing with the devil. Sure, your league mates can hit the bottle all they want during the draft, but FA Nation has eyes for the bigger picture, not an empty pint glass. Drinking too much during the draft not only leaves you with a bad fantasy team, but a bad hangover to boot.