You’ve heard it a thousand times, "You can’t win your league in the first round, but you can lose it." If that’s the case, can you win your league in the last round?
Just as in roto scoring, the key to a successful fantasy baseball season in a head-to-head points league is finding productive if not elite performance from late round draft picks. Everyone is going to be drafting 500 point hitters in the first and second rounds; the question is whether you can find 400 and 300 point hitters much, much later or whether you even need to draft them at all?
Every round that passes that you don’t feel the need to draft a second baseman, shortstop, catcher, third baseman or bench hitter is another round that allows you to stock up on pitching. And if you’ve played in a points league before, you know that pitching, pitching and more pitching is the key to building a successful squad.
In a typical 12-team fantasy baseball H2H points league, there are no more than 25 rounds in a draft. Meaning there are no more than 300 players drafted. Is it possible there could be players able to offer significant point totals that go undrafted?
Based on the scoring multipliers used for my H2H position rankings, 300 points is the cutoff (or close to it) for a hitter worthy of starting in a points league lineup as 108 hitters start in a 12-team league each week (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UTL x 9) and there were 118 hitters to reach 300 points or more in 2012.
Read more after the jump:
Using Average Draft Position (ADP) from Mock Draft Central, as well as 2012 projections from Roto Champ, there are 12 hitters projected to score 300 points or more with an ADP over 300:
Bobby Abreu, OF/DH, ANA
Projected Points: 328, ADP: 335
Jon Jay, OF, STL
Projected Points: 320, ADP: 402
Josh Reddick, OF, OAK
Projected Points: 318, ADP: 399
Omar Infante, 2B, MIA
Projected Points: 316, ADP: 316
Vladimir Guerrero, DH, FA
Projected Points: 313, ADP: 311
Aaron Hill, 2B, ARZ
Projected Points: 312, ADP: 303
Danny Valencia, 3B, MIN
Projected Points: 311, ADP: 370
Rafael Furcal, SS, STL
Projected Points: 309, ADP: 356
Alcides Escobar, SS, KC
Projected Points: 308, ADP: 336
Kelly Johnson, 2B, TOR
Projected Points: 302, ADP: 330
Jordan Schafer, OF, HOU
Projected Points: 302, ADP: 452
Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS, COL
Projected Points: 300, ADP: 334
There were 45 outfielders that scored 300 points or more in 2011, meaning that Abreu, Jay, Reddick and Schafer might not make most starting lineups, but all would qualify as fourth outfielders, utility options and depth if an owner drafted Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton or another oft injured superstar.
Only 11 second basemen scored 300 points or more in 2011, with two scoring 300 exactly (Danny Espinosa, Omar Infante), therefore in 2012, Infante, Hill, Johnson and Scutaro would all qualify as starters. However, if you read my point differential article, you’ll have already drafted Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia or Ian Kinsler.
Were Valencia able to score his projected 311 points in 2012, that would put him at the 13th highest scoring third basemen from last season and make him a borderline starting option at the position. I’d consider him a more attractive option than Alberto Callaspo, Chipper Jones or Edwin Encarnacion.
There were only eight catchers able to score 300 points or more in 2011, and none projected to score that total with an ADP over 300, however, four of last season’s Top 12 have an ADP over 300, including Russel Martin, AJ Pierzynski, Kurt Suzuki and Carlos Ruiz.
Is there a hitter currently going undrafted with a 300 ADP or worse that you’re excited about? Feel free to comment below with questions and thoughts on H2H points league strategy.