2016 Fantasy Football Rankings
Our fantasy football writers have begun their offseason coverage with some early position rankings, breakout candidates and ADP analysis:
2016 Position Rankings
ADP Rankings Analysis
Byron Buxton: Too early to assign bust label
It is too early to place the “bust” label on Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, but he has not performed well in his two stints in the big leagues over the last two seasons. The former top prospect has had to deal with some injuries, so that has to be considered in his performance to date, and the Twins have shown they are not the best at developing prospects into solid big leaguers recently.
Yet, here we are with Buxton back in the minors.
He has struggled in the big leagues in 2016, hitting just .193-.247-.315 with a home run, 20 runs scored, 16 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 10 attempts in 218 plate appearances. There is no doubt he has the speed to steal 30+ bases every season. He has power, but his plate discipline needs to improve, as he struck out nearly 37% of his plate appearances in 2016. He struck out in 31% of his plate appearances last season, so he went downhill in the whiff rate this season.
He has already proven he can dominate in Triple A, so he must focus on making adjustments at the plate the rest of this season and in the offseason. Maybe his swing needs to be reworked. Maybe he needs to learn pitcher tendencies, or picking up the ball out of the pitchers hand. I am sure we will see stories about his offseason work to improve upon his disappointing season coming November-December.
He’s too young and talented to give up on. Not now.
Mookie Betts: #1 Fantasy Outfielder
On Sunday afternoon, and for the second time this season, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts hit three home runs in a game, driving in 8 runs in the Red Sox big win over the Diamondbacks. Many ranked Betts among the top 10 fantasy outfielders coming into the season, and now a case can be made that he is the #1 fantasy outfielder. I know. I know. Mike Trout is still young and hitting well, but taking a closer look at their stats head to head, Betts is having the better season:
Betts: .313-.353-.561, 26 HRs, 91 runs, 84 runs, 18 SBs
Trout: .311-.423-.550, 22 HRs, 90 runs, 75 RBI, 19 SBs
Betts is barely better than Trout in four of the five categories, as he owns a .002 edge in batting average, a 4 home run advantage, has scored one more run and driven in 9 more runs. Trout has stolen one more base than Betts.
Betts leads all outfielders in runs scored, ranks second in RBI and and 7th in home runs, stolen bases and batting average. He also hits in one of the best lineups in the game. A lineup that should improve next season with the addition of Yoan Moncada and a more experienced Andrew Benintendi. Then again, DH David Ortiz is retiring....supposedly.
After trading for Padres closer Fernando Rodney, coupled with the injury to Wei-Yin Chen, the Marlins moved set up man David Phelps to their starting rotation. The former starter had dominated in the set up role, striking out more than a 11 batters per nine innings and saving three games. In his first two starts, Phelps pitched very well, giving up just one run on 8 hits, 4 walks and 9 strikeouts in 9.1 innings. Last night, he dominated the Reds, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits, a walk and striking out 8 batters. So, he has now given up just 3 runs in his three starts, giving up 12 hits, 5 walks and striking out 17 in 14.1 innings. It’s a small sample size, but promising nonetheless, and he is available in 85% of leagues right now, so if you are in need of some strikeouts, Phelps is an under the radar waiver wire pick up.
Our own Joon Kim profiled Phelps last week:
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is making a push to be a top 5 outfielder heading into the 2017 season. Blackmon has been on fire of late, winning the National League Player of the Week award. As I write this, he is 1-3 with a home run, and has now homered nine times in his last ten games. After missing a few weeks back in April, he is now hitting .324-.383-.543 with 21 home runs, 80 runs scored, 60 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts. The 30 year old outfielder has improved across the board this season, making more hard contact, hitting more fly balls, walking more, striking out less and hitting for more power. He is on pace for his first 20-20 season, and has already reached a career high in home runs, so he is trading in stolen bases for more power and an improved OBP. That said, if the Rockies decide to deal him in the offseason, his fantasy value will definitely take a hit, but he seems to be improving each year, so I see them waiting till next July before considering dealing their center fielder and lead off hitter. The Rockies could see a nice return for Blackmon, and they have his replacement in Raimel Tapia in Triple A right now.
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My personal Twitter account
I have been meaning to add a personal Twitter account for awhile and I finally decided to create one recently. You can find my personal Twitter account at @RotoRay_LAD. I will be free to tweet about many subjects, but the focus will be on fantasy baseball, and the teams I cheer for. In addition, I may tweet about current events, the stock market, politics, beer among other subjects.