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Hidden Value: Fantasy Clones (Part 1)

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Hidden Value: Fantasy Clones (Part 1)

By now it is clear to most veteran fantasy players that finding the most value at each draft pick plays a significant role in whether a fantasy GM will win a league or not. More often than not, the GM who finds the most value later in the draft will be, at the very least, in the mix for the league title at the end of the season. A "Fantasy Clone", for the purpose of this article, shall be termed as a player who is projected to put up similar stats to another player of the same position in 2013, yet is likely to be picked significantly later than the other player in most drafts. This could be due to name recognition, reliability, recent lucky or unlucky performance by one or both of the players, and/or common perceived upside of one of the players.

I am certainly not suggesting that taking the "second-tier" player in each Fantasy Clone pairing will definitely be just as beneficial as or better than taking the "first-tier" player. However, I am pointing out that if you miss out on a "first-tier" player then you can find another player to put up very similar stats for you later on in your draft. Furthermore, there should be less of an inclination to reach for the "first-tier" player knowing that there is a Fantasy Clone for you to take later on in your draft. These comparisons are being made based on the standard 5x5 scoring setup. The projected 2013 numbers will be based off of the Fake Teams 2013 Positional Rankings.

Fake Teams 2013 Rankings and Projections

Carlos Santana: .252 AVG, 18 HR, 76 RBI, 72 R, 3 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .260 with 23 HR, 70 R, and 80 RBI in 2013)

Fantasy Clone A: .260 AVG, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 46 R, 0 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .275 with 23 HR, 60 R, and 80 RBI in 2013 with the fences coming in at his home ballpark)

Carlos Santana and Fantasy Clone A were ranked 4th and 13th respectively in the consensus Fake Teams catcher rankings and should have an ADP at least 5 rounds apart in most drafts yet you can expect similar production from each player for 2013.

Mark Teixeira: .251 AVG, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 66 R, 2 SB with some injury-related deflation in 2012 (Projected to hit .255 with 31 HR, 80 R, and 100 RBI in 2013)

Fantasy Clone B: .268 AVG, 32 HR, 95 RBI, 66 R, 4 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .260 with 30 HR and 85 RBI in 2013 with 1B/OF eligibility in most leagues and 1B/3B/OF eligibility in some others)

Mark Teixeira and Fantasy Clone B were ranked 13th and 25th respectively in the consensus Fake Teams first base rankings and should have an ADP at least 4 rounds apart in most drafts yet you can expect similar production from each player in 2013.

Aaron Hill: .302 AVG, 26 HR, 85 RBI, 93 R, 14 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .270 with 25 HR, 75 R, 75 RBI, and 15 SB in 2013)

Fantasy Clone C: .276 AVG, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 62 R, 7 SB with some injury-related deflation in 2012 (Projected to hit .285 with 17 HR, 80 R, 85 RBI, and 12 SB in 2013)

Aaron Hill and Fantasy Clone C were ranked 4th and 13th respectively in the consensus Fake Teams second base rankings and should have an ADP at least 5 rounds apart in most drafts yet you can expect similar production from each player in 2013.

Elvis Andrus: .286 AVG, 3 HR, 62 RBI, 85 R, 21 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .280 with 4 HR, 88 R, 60 RBI, and 30 SB in 2013)

Fantasy Clone D: .290 AVG, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 67 R, 20 SB in 2012 (Projected to hit .275 with 10 HR, 70 R, 50 RBI and 20+ SB in 2013)

Bonus Sleeper Clone: .304 AVG, 7 HR, 44 RBI, 57 R, 37 SB at AA and .258 AVG, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 19 R, 7 SB at the MLB level in 2012 --- Very impressive with his Winter League numbers as well (Projected to hit .270 with 5 HR, 65 R, 40 RBI, and 25+ SB with potential for much more if he can work his way into the lead-off spot in 2013)

Elvis Andrus, Fantasy Clone D, and Sleeper Clone were ranked 9th, 21st, and 22nd respectively in the consensus Fake Teams shortstop rankings and should have an ADP at least 6-8 rounds apart in most drafts yet you can expect similar production from each player in 2013.

Brett Lawrie: .273, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 73 R, 13 SB with some injury-related deflation in 2012. (Projected to hit .285 with 20 HR, 90 R, 70 RBI, and 20 SB in 2013)

Fantasy Clone E: .269 AVG, 20 HR, 86 RBI, 62 R, 13 SB in 2012. (Projected to hit .270 with 23 HR, 75 R, 90 RBI, and 10 SB in 2013 with the fences coming in at his home ballpark and is also eligible at 3B/2B for 2013 in some leagues)

Brett Lawrie and Fantasy Clone E were ranked 10th and 18th respectively in the consensus Fake Teams third base rankings and should have an ADP about 5 rounds apart in most drafts yet you can expect similar production from each player in 2013.

The main point of this article is to display the fact that in order to be fully prepared and get the most value out of each draft pick you must avoid reaching because you think that if you do not get a specific player with a certain draft pick you will not be able to find anything comparable later. In many cases, you can find comparable production later in your draft which means better pick value. Better value at each pick will give you a better chance to win your league.

Fantasy Clone A = Jesus Montero

Fantasy Clone B = Mark Trumbo

Fantasy Clone C = Neil Walker

Fantasy Clone D = Erick Aybar (Bonus Sleeper Clone = Jean Segura)

Fantasy Clone E = Kyle Seager

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series which will contain OF, SP, and CL Clones. I encourage you to post your own Fantasy Clones in the comments. Thank You.

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