When preparing for your fantasy baseball drafts, it is a must to have a draft strategy, and on Wednesday, Zack Smith broke things down for you to assist you in your fantasy third base draft strategy.We have also provided you with our Top 30 third base rankings for 2014:
Included in the rankings above, we provided 2014 projections for almost every third baseman ranked, courtesy of Daniel Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter.
In addition, Daniel Kelley provided you his third base breakdown using his new fantasy stat called Equivalent Fantasy Average, or EFA.
Now that we have provided you all these tools you need to prepare for your drafts, your fantasy draft preparation would be incomplete without some third baseman to avoid, which we provide you today, and some third baseman to target, which published yesterday.
We asked each of the fantasy baseball writers to provide you with the third baseman they would avoid in fantasy drafts this season, and you can find them along with their reasoning below:
Third Baseman to Avoid in 2014
Matt Carpenter will not score 126 runs again. It's not going to happen. So, if he really doesn't hit home runs and he really doesn't steal bases then his value will take a hit. However, everyone will draft him in the top 10 again this year dreaming of his fantasy goodness from last year. Don't do it. Holliday is a year older, Beltran is gone, and now you're talking Kolten Wong, Mark Ellis, Craig in the OF, and a somewhat unproven Adams. I think there's too many question marks here. By the way, in dynasty leagues, he should have already been sold at the end of last season--he'll lose 2b after this year and you certainly don't want him at the hot corner.
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals - Matt Mattingly (follow @mattmattingly81)
NFBC average draft position results have the Cardinals' third baseman going off the board at #52 overall as of 2/17/2014. That is a steep investment to pay for a player trying to duplicate a first time performance of putting up a .318 batting average while scoring 126 runs. While those numbers demonstrate just how well Carpenter performed in 2013, the chances of reaching those totals again in 2014 are very unlikely. A batting average around .290 to go with 90 runs scored would be a much better baseline for owners to set expectations. Add in that Carpenter doesn't provide much in homeruns or stolen bases, and there is a good chance that owners who invest heavily in the Cardinals' third baseman will get burned.
Zimmerman entered September 2013 with just 15 home runs, 62 runs scored and 61 RBI and proceeded to hit 11 home runs, score 22 runs and drive in 18 runs, making his season ending totals respectable. His current ADP according to NFBC is 61.71, so he is being drafted in the late fourth-early fifth rounds in the NFBC 15 team mixed leagues. That seems a bit high for me. I prefer drafting Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson later in the 5th round or Aramis Ramirez in the 10th round, as both could put up similar or better stats than Zimmerman in 2014.
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers - Jason Hunt (follow @jasonsbaseball)
The name is a big one for fantasy owners, and it's easy to just disregard the 2013 campaign as a fluke and believe that he will return to a .300 hitting, 25 home run third baseman. However, you have a power hitter coming off an injury, who has also seen a drop in his fly ball percentage each of the last three years, If you can get him at a later point in your draft, he's got the potential to provide nice excess value, but don't get tricked into drafting him so early that he has to hit those numbers to justify the pick.
Josh Donaldson, Athletics - Daniel Kelley (follow @Danieltkelley)
Okay, pretty much everyone will have Miguel Cabrera first among third basemen, with David Wright, Adrian Beltre, and Evan Longoria the next group, in some order. After that, Donaldson, along with guys like Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Carpenter, Pedro Alvarez, and a host of others, are fine candidates. Short of injury, you know what you're going to get from most of that group. With Donaldson? You can't confidently say he'll repeat 2013 or even close - not with his spotty history before last year and the possibility of regression. Even if it's possible Donaldson is good again, there's enough risk there that the other members of his "tier" are safer bets.
I'm washing my hands of Mike Moustakas. There. I've said it. I've long been a believer of Kansas City's "third baseman of the future," but I can't do it anymore. I once pegged Moustakas as an annual 30-home run threat. Then I compromised to 25. Now I'm praying for 20. At age-25, a breakout season is still possible, but it's not going to happen on my fake team. Moose Tacos is trending in the opposite direction, from a .263 BA in 2011 to a .242 BA in 2012 to a .236 BA in 2013. After hitting 20 home runs two seasons ago, Moustakas failed his believers with just 12 homers and 42 RBI in over 500 plate appearances. Drafting him as anything more than a late-round flier is a big risk, including if you're planning on sticking him in the corner infield.
Chase Headley, Padres - Jasper Scherer (follow @jaspsch)
Much of the case for Headley hinges upon his 2012 performance, which included a league-leading 115 RBI and a career-high .875 OPS. But his next-highest single-season OPS is over 100 points lower, at .773, and his numbers took a drastic nosedive last season. Headley's circumstances are also unfavorable in almost every way. He plays half his games in the hitter's nightmare that is Petco Park, and the Padres' lineup is among the worst in baseball (618 runs in 2013, 24th in the majors). Worse yet for Headley, his .250 BA last season came despite his .319 BABIP, a significant margin above the MLB average of .297, which would indicate his ceiling in 2014 is no better than his career batting average of .269. Add an alarmingly-high 23.7 K% in 2013 and a slightly-above-average ISO of .150 (despite power being Headley's primary asset), and the prospects don't look promising for the Padres third baseman in 2014.
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