Every year before starting a Yahoo draft I look at how they rank their player pool. Many drafters become slave to Yahoo's rankings during the draft. They know they need a Starting Pitcher so they pull up Starting Pitchers and pick the "best available". I understand why this happens. Drafting is a fast and furious process many times and if they don't own an intimate knowledge of every player in the player pool they'll trust Yahoo and pick the dreaded "best player available". Who's to say Yahoo has the best rankings? They don't and the proof is below.
First of all, Chase Utley is 21st on Yahoo's rankings. If you're sitting at the end of the first round in your league and no one's picked up on the fact that Utley is ranked 10 spots too low then pounce on him.
Randy Winn (280) - According to Yahoo, Winn was the 80th ranked player at the end of '08. Now he's at 280 to start the year. He's a boring guy to own but he produces.
Mike Jacobs (293) - 32 hr's in 477 ABs.
Mark Teahan (597) - 2nd base eligibility should happen within first 10 days of season. He should put up .275 15/8 with eligibility at 1B/2B/3B/MI/CI/OF. There's room for him on any AL only roster.
Jerry Hairston (659) - SS eligible and may have the job with Gonzalez injury
Elvis Andrus (676) - SS in Texas, 35+ steal upside
Colby Rasmus (709) - May be starter in StL
Rocco Baldelli (746) - UT only but he'll have OF eligibility soon and figures to be super sub in Boston
Travis Ishikawa (758) - Starting 1b in SF
Matt Gamel (830) - He'll start the year in the minors but if you can afford the spot he'll be a masher when he arrives
Ryan Spilborghs (841) - This might be the worst ranking of the bunch. It looks like he'll be playing CF and leading off for the Rockies. In his 668 major league AB's his slash stats are .302/.374/.466 with 21/16. He'll be forgotten about in this player pool so search for him and be rewarded.
Pudge Rodriguez (851) - Sign with Astros and figures to get 400 AB
Mike Fontenot (869) - How is it possible he's so low? It looks like he'll be in the potent Cubs lineup every day and projects to hit close to .290 with 15 HR and 10 steals.
Todd Helton (901) - How the mighty have fallen. He does lead the Rockies in spring home runs and appears relatively healthy.
Joe Crede (916) - Could hit 20 HR with the Twins
Kevin Gregg (306) - Could have the job and is ranked 185 spots behind Marmol
Kelvim Escobar (316) -Coming back in early May. Nice 4th starter when healthy
Joel Zumaya (393) - It'll take quite a few things to happen before he's the closer but, we've seen his stuff and it's nasty when healthy
Rick Porcello (437) - Love this rook. In a keeper league take him in the 20-24th round.
Jason Motte (444) -The favorite to close in StL and he's stuck way down the charts
Jordan Zimmerman (452) - May earn a spot in Wash. If he does he's got big K potential.
Tommy Hansen (486) - Another rook who's dominated over the last year. His AFL run was legendary.
Scott Shields (505) - He's slipped a bit but, in a holds league he'll still get the job done and he's ranked low enough that he could fall a while.
Ramon Ramirez (507) - Coco brought back Ramon. He looks like a sure bet for lots of holds and a K per inning.
Justin Masterson (515) - Whether it's starting or middle relief I have a feeling that he'll be a nice piece of the puzzle for AL only leagues.
Octavio Dotel (529) - Jenks' Ks keep falling and may eventually lose his effectiveness. If that happens Dotel and his big K rate will be there to pick up the slack.
Homer Bailey (541) - Post-hype sleeper?
Tim Wakefield (542) - Despite dropping from 17 wins to 10, his '08 was significantly better than '07. His K's went up, ERA down almost half a run, and WHIP down almost .20. He could quietly help in AL only or deep mixed leagues.
Dave Bush (558) - Will the WHIP master ever break through?
Ryan Franklin (559) - The StL '08 saves leader may have a job again in '09. LaRussa tends to like vets in the closer role so he's well worth a flyer in NL only.
Kyle Lohse (571) - There needs to be a "Duncan Project" in the same vein as the "Haney Project". Wouldn't you like to see him out there with hacks like Lohse? He turned around his career in '08 and could be a contributor to an injury riddled fantasy team.
Jamie Moyer (572) - The other day I found a Jamie Moyer baseball card in my garage from his 3rd year in the league. I was nine that season.
Leo Nunez (574) - Keep your eye on the Lindstrom injury.
Brandon Lyon (575) - He's the closer right? As an '08 Lyon owner I can tell you first-hand he's awful. But 575
Sean Marshall (585) - Cubs 5th starter. He's got a great offense and nice bullpen behind him.
Carlos Villanueva (600) - Hoffman may start the year on the DL. The Brewers bullpen is a mess but someone's going to get the saves.
Manny Corpas (648) - Shed 20 pounds and appears to really want this job. Ranked 400+ spots lower than Street for some unknown reason.
Randy Wolf (663) - 162 Ks in '08 after he finally got healthy.
Jeremy Bonderman (874) - He still has a fan club out there somewhere. I'm not one of them but he'll be taken in AL only leagues.
Andy Pettitte (876) - Back with the Yanks and the wins figure to come if he stays healthy.
Jorge De La Rosa (932) -Take a look at the K/9 and August/September last year
Bronson Arroyo (936) - 15 wins and 163 Ks. He doesn't belong in the 900's.
Brad Penny (1003) - He looks healthy and may be a sleeper for comeback player of the year given his surroundings.
Pedro Martinez (1009) - No team yet but you gotta love Pedro.
Edwin Jackson (1024) - He made strides in '08 but his K rate dropped. Will the pitcher-friendly Comerica Stadium help him finally find his potential? I picked him up in the last reserve round in a deep mixed league.
Clay Buchholtz (1039) - He doesn't have a rotation spot but he has a no hitter under his belt and a 0.46 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB rate in 19 2/3 innings this spring.