We continue down my rankings I used entering 2015 for a 6x6 dynasty league. These rankings were only used to project 2015 production, which I weigh most heavily when doing ranks, but obviously do not reflect long term valuation. At this point, you know how this works:
#149 Daniel Murphy, 2B/3B, NYM
$9.46, 80 R, 10 HR, 61 RBI, 16 SB, .282 AVG, .722 OPS
For four months, the Mets made my projections look aggressive, and then the arrival of Cespedes dragged many a Met back to expected production. Next season Murphy's value will skyrocket in many leagues after flashing power in baseball's limelight. For me personally, I don't see Murphy moving up more than 30 spots in 2016. He moved around in the lineup, and didn't score runs as expected, but hit more homers and RBIs, despite missing time due to injury. He also totally stopped running, so while in 2013 he posted 23 steals with only 3 CS, last year he was 2/4 in steal attempts. The key to Murphy's game is good plate discipline, and tremendous bat control. Last year he was the #2 contact hitter in baseball, only behind Michael Brantley. Murphy has always been a contact machine, and this is going to be his calling card going forward. A move to a park with friendlier dimensions could result in him accumulating a few more cheap homers, since he puts so many balls in play. As of right now, we have no idea where he is headed, and have to hope it's a place that helps him take advantage of his high contact ways next season.
#148 Gio Gonzalez, SP, WSH
$9.73, 196 K, 13 W, 3.409 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 2.761
Last year Gio had a down year, and I think some of it can be attributed to bad luck, and some can be attributed to bad defense. He increased his ground ball rate, and saw his babip skyrocket. Unfortunately, Gio's wild ways also continued with him posting his 8th consecutive season of 3+ BB/9. Next year I think I'll move him down my ranks slightly because of age, but I think he should be owned in every fantasy league, and you shouldn't think of him as an end of the line arm next season.
#147 Drew Storen, RP, WSH
$9.75, 55K, 3 W, 41 SV, 2.727 ERA, 1.121 WHIP, 3.667 K/BB
Storen produced a great season and still wasn't able to retain the closer job for all of 2015. An almost 11 K/9 is dominant, but when the Nationals dealt for Papelbon, Storen had to step down for the remainder of the year and perform as a set up man. As of today, Papelbon is still the 2016 Nats closer, which I find hard to imagine. If Papelbon is dealt, Storen will go back to closer role. Right now is a good time to buy low on Storen because I don't see the Nats trying to reunite Papelbon and Harper in 2016.
#146 Yan Gomes, C, CLE
$9.80, 61 R, 19 HR, 68 RBI, 2 SB, .280 AVG, .780 OPS
Gomes missed a 6-week chunk of last season with an MCL sprain. I believe he'll be back to his hitterish ways of old. Any knee injury midseason for a catcher is a disaster waiting to happen, and I'm not surprised he had a down year. In years past he's shown good hard hit rates, line drive rates, and had an approach that allowed him to spray the ball all over the field. His injury led him to the worst hard hit rate of his career, dragging everything else down. I expect a healthy offseason to lead to a nice rebound in 2016.
#145 Jake Arrieta, SP, CHC
$9.99, 193 K, 14 W, 3.415 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 2.757 K/BB
He's a stud, I undervalued him. Next season he'll be an ace again.
#144 Fernando Rodney, SP, SEA
$10.00 75 K, 4 W, 43 SV, 2.647 ERA, 1.191 WHIP, 2.885 K/BB
Rodney's home run rate exploded, and his strikeout rate dropped. He's no longer a closer, and I won't be ranking him in 2016.
#143 Steve Pearce, 1B/OF, BAL
$10.05, 58 R, 20 HR, 54 RBI, 6 SB, .274 AVG, .845 OPS
Pearce could not repeat his 2014 breakout, and fell short of all his projections. His 15 home runs leave us we something to dream on, but I don't think he'll ever come close to matching his 2014 again. He'll also be 33 next year, he should be avoided unless the Orioles give him the 1B job if Chris Davis leaves.
#142 Drew Smyly, SP, TB
$10.14, 173 K, 11 W, 3.75 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, 3.392 K/BB
Missed the majority of the year with a labrum tear in his throwing shoulder, and came back piling up strikeouts while keeping his walks around his career average. He's only had one almost full season, and has alternated between the bullpen and the rotation. Next year I think the Rays place him in the rotation, and try to keep him healthy and successful for the first time in his career.
#141 Martin Prado, 2B/3B, MIA
$10.14, 75 R, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 6 SB, .286 AVG, .752 OPS
Prado missed some time with a wrist injury, but performed as expected during his time on the field. Next year he'll be back in Miami, likely posting another high average empty line for his owners again.
#140, Ken Giles, RP, PHI
$10.26, 98 K, 4 W, 6 SV, 1.938 ERA, .877 WHIP, 5.158 K/BB
Ken Giles was terrific last year, and after the departure of Papelbon, he became an excellent closer. Next year he will enter the season as the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies closer. I'd invest in the 25-year-old with confidence.
#139 Anibal Sanchez, SP, DET
$10.49, 165 K, 13 W, 3.668 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 3.300 K/BB
Anibal Sanchez experienced a big home runs allowed spike last season, and it dragged his overall line down. After historically pitching to an 8% HR/FB rate, his 2015 line doubled that. You can no longer trust him to pitch a full healthy season, but you can expect him to produce a decent middle of the rotation stat line.
#138 Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL
$10.51, 60 R, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 3 SB, .281 AVG, .782 OPS
Aramis had a nice season, and was dealt back to Pittsburgh to compete for a title in his final year.
#137 Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL
$10.55, 72 R, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 17 SB, .280 AVG, .772 OPS
Charlie Blackmon beat all of his projections and destroyed his SB projection by swiping 43 bags. Blackmon had a career high line drive rate, a career high hard hit rate, and a career high walk rate. His contact rates were improved, and he chased much less than in previous years. If he can keep this improved approach, I think he should have another excellent fantasy season.
#136 David Wright, 3B, NYM
$10.63, 63 R, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 11 SB, .278 AVG, .779 OPS
David Wright only played 38 games after dealing with a spine injury. He will be dealing with this for the remainder of his career. While on the field he had a very nice offensive season. The information from last season is far too small to be considered stable, but what he did in that brief time was earned with a good batted ball profile. Next year I'd expect the same healthy hot streaks, and then him playing through injuries with poor results, and some missed time. A player like Wright is very hard to value, since you cannot rely on his production alone to support you at 3B, a now strong offensive position.
#135 Chase Utley, 2B, PHI
$10.72, 73 R, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 9 SB, .273 AVG, .779 OPS
Utley was absolutely terrible last year, and will have a hard time finding a starting job without being in a position battle. I will own 0 shares of the 37-year-old second baseman in 2016.
#134 Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT
$10.75, 171K, 13 W, 3.176 ERA, 1.198 WHIP, 2.898 K/BB
Cole has moved into the ace category pitcher people dreamed of him being. Cole has great strikeout, walk, and ground ball rates. His pitch f/x info is off the charts based on movement and velocity. He's an ultra talented arm who is built to dominate for many years to come.
#133 Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, OAK
$10.79, 78 R, 13 HR, 66 RBI, 11 SB, .270 AVG, .774 OPS
Zobrist was missed some time, but was a stud when he was playing. He was one of 5 batting title qualifiers in baseball who had more walks than strikeouts. He's a free agent this offseason, in all likelihood, he will will get paid by a new team, and move to an easier park to hit in than Oakland or Kansas City. Next year he should continue to be a valuable piece not only because of his production, but also because of his versatility.
#132 Kolten Wong, 2B, STL
$10.81, 83 R, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 28 SB, .270 AVG, .715 OPS
Wong had a nice season, but didn't experience the breakout that may hoped for. He's flashed power, but hasn't made it a regular part of his game. He also failed to take the big jump forward in steals that many anticipated. He's not a true burner, but next year he looks like a potential breakout, as I expect him to further improve as a power and average hitter.
#131 Adam Lind, 1B, MIL
$10.91, 58 R, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 1 SB, .286 AVG, .822 OPS
Lind was finally used as a full time platoon player, and was an excellent hitter. He outperformed his R, HR, and RBI projection. Lind has always been a good hitter against righties, and now that he's exclusively hitting against them, he's just a good hitter when he plays.
#130 Trevor Rosenthal, RP, STL
$10.92, 88K, 4 W, 44 SV, 2.957 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 3.034 K/BB
Rosenthal was a beast again by reducing his walks, and increasing his ground ball rate. For the third season in a row he posted a poor babip, something that remarkably hasn't turned into an issue, and I expect him to soon correct. Next year he'll turn 26, and I fully anticipate him being an elite closer again.
Tomorrow we will profile a few huge flops, multiple players who suffered major injuries, and a few studs. If you have any questions about rankings, feel free to comment below or ask me on twitter @jackcecil1