2014 NFL Draft: Post-draft rankings and analysis
Now that the 2014 NFL Draft is over, it's time to update our 2014 rookie position rankings. Our fantasy football writers were all over the draft and here are a few articles addressing the fantasy impact of round 1 of the draft, the winners and losers from round 1, and our post-draft position rankings.
Prospect Buy and Hold
We all want to know when Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras will be called up to the big leagues, as they are the next prospects in line to make an impact on your fantasy teams. But who are the other top prospects who can help you this season? Jason Hunt publishes his weekly Buy and Hold article every Saturday morning, ranking his top 10 prospects in line for a call up, along with some other prospects to consider as well.
Victor Martinez: Is this 2007 all over again?
I don't have to tell you how good a hitter Tigers DH Victor Martinez is, but he was once one of the best hitters in the game, regularly hitting over .300 combined with 20-25 home run power and 100 RBIs. Back in 2007, VMart hit .301-.374-.505 with 25 home runs, 78 runs scored and 114 RBI. He was probably the first catcher taken in most mixed leagues, and for good reason.
He has started off the 2014 season on a tear and hasn't let up yet. Yesterday, Martinez went 3-6 with a double, home runs, 3 runs scored and two RBI, raising his slash line to .329-.383-.615 with 12 home runs, 10 doubles, 23 runs scored, 28 RBI and an elite 11-15 strikeout to walk rate in 161 at bats. He has more home runs than strikeouts so far in 2014, a mighty impressive feat, and speaks to how great a hitter he is. Heck, he is even doing his share by flashing some speed on the base paths with his two stolen bases to date.
He is on pace to hit over 40 home runs and a 100+ RBI. I doubt he reaches the 40 home run level, but he should be good for 25-30 home runs, if not a few more. With Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera hitting ahead of him, Martinez should drive in over 100 runs, and is doing a fine job helping Tigers fans forget about Prince Fielder.
For more on Martinez and the Tigers, make sure you check out Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Tigers fan site.
Jeff Samardzija: The unluckiest starting pitcher
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija is having the best year of his short career this season, but has zero wins to show for it. Yesterday, he shut out the Yankees on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings, and left with a 2-0 lead. Closer Hector Rondon could not hold the lead, blowing the save in the ninth inning, thanks to an unearned run, leaving Samardzija without a win once again.
On the season, Samardzija is 0-4 with a 1.46 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 54-21 strikeout to walk rate in 68 innings. He has now given up two runs or less in nine of his ten starts this season. To give you an indication on how good Samardzija has pitched this season, here is Karl Ravech from ESPN tweet yesterday afternoon:
Jeff samardzija has done the impossible. .era of 3.00 last 16 starts no wins..6x in those 16 starts. .1 or 0 er.. zero wins..- karl ravech (@karlravechespn) May 21, 2014
Then there is this one from Carrie Muskat, Cubs beat reporter from MLB.com:
According to Elias, #Cubs Samardzija is the 1st pitcher since 1977 to lead the league in ERA this late in the season and not have a win.- Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 21, 2014
Every year, we see something we haven't seen before.
The Reds placed first baseman Joey Votto on the 15 day disabled list with a left quadriceps strain. Votto has been struggling at the plate, hitting just .257-.410-.449 with 6 home runs, 19 runs scored and 12 RBI in 173 plate appearances. The knock on Votto coming into this season was the fact that he doesn't drive in enough runs, and that is still very evident in his stats to date. He is on pace for 22 home runs and 44 RBI, a far cry from what fantasy owners expect from a top 5 fantasy first baseman.
The Reds also got some good news on Wednesday, as they activated outfielder Jay Bruce from the disabled list, but he did not start in the Reds afternoon tilt with the Nationals. Bruce was off to a slow start at the plate before the stint on the disabled list, so hopefully his power begins to show up once he returns to the lineup.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is proving all his critics wrong through the first six weeks of the season. There were many fantasy writers who were telling their readers to stay away from Puig due to the risk involved with him, saying he was still learning the game, and his performance last season was not to be duplicated. Last night, Puig went 1-3 with a walk, a home run, and an RBI in the Dodgers 4-3 win over the Mets. He raised his slash line to .333-.427-.610 with 10 home runs, 25 runs, 37 RBI and 4 stolen bases, with a 36-21 strikeout to walk rate in 159 at bats. He has lowered his strikeout rate from 23% to 19%, and improved his walk rate from 8% to 11% thus far in 2014. His 2.4 fWAR ranks fifth in baseball, behind Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson. Puig is on pace for 34 home runs and 128 RBI, but I don't see him reaching either projection.
Yasiel Puig has been very hot of late, but there might not be a more locked in hitter than Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. A night after hitting two home runs and driving in four runs, Encarnacion tried to repeat that feat, but came one RBI short. He hit two home runs and drove in three runs in the Blue Jays 6-4 win over the Red Sox. EE is now hitting .253-.333-,560 with 13 home runs, 30 runs scored and 38 RBI in 182 at bats thus far. He has homered seven times in his last six games, and 11 home runs this month. He is on pace for over 40 home runs right now, and if anyone can hit 40, he is one of them.
Angels starter Jered Weaver isn't the dominating starter that many want to draft on draft day, but he is still an ace, and he brought his A game on Wednesday night. Weaver tossed a complete game two hitter, giving up just one run, a solo home run to George Springer, in the Angels' 2-1 win. Weaver moved his record to 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 50-19 strikeout to walk rate in 66.1 innings this season. After giving up three runs or more in each of his first three starts of the season, Weaver has given up two runs or less in each of his last seven starts.
Speaking of Springer, he hit his fourth home run of the season, going 1-3 at the plate vs Weaver. But, he suffered a right hip flexor strain while being picked off first base in the ninth inning last night and could need a DL stint. Springer got off to a very slow start after his call up, hitting just .182-,262-.218 in April. But he is looking more like the Springer we drafted in May, hitting .286-.375-.514 with 4 home runs, 11 runs scored and 11 RBI.
For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.