2016 Fantasy Football Previews
Robert Kohnfelder has been previewing the 2016 fantasy football season by taking a look at the top fantasy weapons in each of the NFL divisions over the the last several weeks, and here are links to the divisions he has previewed to date:
Robert recently published his early June position rankings as well:
Matias Wonder took a look at some under valued and over valued players according to current ADP rankings this week:
Robert Keeley ranked his early quarterback rankings for Dynasty leagues as well:
Stephen Strasburg was unhittable on Sunday; potential Cy Young candidate
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg returned from the disabled list on Sunday and pitched like he hadn’t missed a start, as he didn’t give up a hit in his 6.2 innings of work vs the Reds. He walked 4 and struck out only 5, needing 109 pitches before being taken out with two outs in the seventh inning in the Nationals 12-1 blowout win.
The win moved his record to 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 1.03 WHIP and a 123-28 strikeout to walk rate in 99.2 innings. He has given up two runs or fewer in 10 of his 15 starts this season, and is inducing a lower hard contact rate this season vs last season. He is still prone to the start where he gives up 3-4 runs, but he is probably one of the leading candidates for the National League Cy Young award if Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s stint on the disabled list lasts more than a month.
As it stands right now, Strasburg, Kershaw, Jake Arrieta and Noah Syndergaard are the leaders in the race for the NL Cy Young award. If Kershaw misses more than 3-4 starts, it may prove difficult for him to win the award, allowing the others to battle it out into September.
Strasburg’s teammate Danny Espinosa was given the starting shortstop role out of spring training, and many still think top prospect Trea Turner should be starting over him. Espinosa’s bat has helped him keep the job this season, and his bat has resulted in the Nationals trying Turner in center field in AAA recently. On Sunday, Espinosa had another big day at the plate, going 4-5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the Nationals big win over the Reds. Espinosa is now hitting .241-.341-.479 with 18 home runs, 40 runs scored and 49 RBI and is leading the Nationals in home runs right now, one more than Bryce Harper. Espinosa has been hot of late, with 5 home runs and 15 RBI over his last four games. That’s a good month for most hitters.
The Diamondbacks place ace Zack Greinke on the 15 day disabled list on Sunday with a strained left oblique, and it is likely that he could miss more than the expected 15 days. After a very rough April, Greinke has returned to being the ace we expected when drafting him as one of the top 10-12 starters on draft day. Greinke is 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 1.16 WHIP and a 91-21 strikeout to walk rate in 109.1 innings. After pitching to an ERA north of 5.00 in April, he has settled in, pitching to an ERA of 3.82 in May and 1.63 in June.
I couldn’t even imagine the narrative had the Dodgers signed Greinke in the offseason and both he and Kershaw were on the disabled list together at this point in the season. The panic calls from the baseball insiders would be deafening.
The Dodgers activated starter Brandon McCarthy for his first start after missing most of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery. His performance was better than I expected, as he shut out the Rockies on 2 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 5 innings in the Dodgers 4-1 win. McCarthy joins a Dodgers rotation that is in desperate need of quality innings with Kershaw on the disabled list. He should provide solid strikeout totals, so he is a solid grab off of you league waiver wire this week. Quinn Canelias recommended streaming McCarthy in his 5ive Guys to Stream for Week 14 as he faces the Padres later this week.
Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin struggled at the plate to start the season, hitting just .150 in April and .230 in May, and many were wondering what was going on with him at the plate. Martin has returned to form since the end of May, hitting .262-.3980.446 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI in June, and he had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Martin went 3-4 with 2 walks, a home run and 5 RBI in the Blue Jays big 17-1 win over Corey Kluber and the Indians. Martin is now hitting .225-.313-.339 with 7 home runs, 28 runs scored and 34 RBI and appears to be over his early season slump.
Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler doesn’t get the press that other second baseman get, and he might be one of the more underrated fantasy second baseman. He is quietly putting together an excellent season at the plate, and after going 2-4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI on Sunday, Kinsler is hitting .293-.352-.502 with 16 home runs, 67 runs scored, 52 RBI and 8 stolen bases this season, and is on pace for 30+ home runs, 130 runs scored, over 100 RBI and 16 stolen bases. He ranks in the top five in four of the five fantasy categories among qualified second baseman right now. Is he a second round pick in 2017?
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