2016 Fantasy Football Rankings
Fantasy football season is here and our fantasy football writers have published their early position rankings, some breakout candidates and some ADP analysis from the early mock drafts, and you can find all of these articles in one spot. Check out the articles in the link below.
In addition, Robert Kohnfelder took a look at the top fantasy players for each NFL team in the fantasy football team previews linked below.
Yulieski Gurriel: Left fielder?
When the Astros signed Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel, the team told us that he would be used strictly at third base once he is called up to the big leagues. Well, plans have changed apparently. Here is more from Jake Kaplan from the Houston Chronicle, via Twitter:
Yulieski Gurriel playing LF tonight for Triple-A Fresno per @PaulBraverman. Expectation had been he would only 3B/DH during stint in minors.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) August 18, 2016
So, in addition to playing third base and designated hitter, the Astros are playing him in left field. With Alex Bregman currently playing third base, it appears the Astros prefer he stays there, and could move Gurriel to the outfield. Since signing with the Astros, he is 13-49 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI. He was recently moved to Triple A where he has hit well, but it is only two games.
We should see him in the Houston outfield in the next week or so, so grab him in keeper leagues and one year leagues if you need an outfielder/third baseman.
On Thursday, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant had a day to remember at the plate, going 5-5 with a double, 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 5 RBI in the Cubs 9-6 win over the Brewers. Thought Friday night's games, Bryant is now hitting .299-.393-.563 with 30 home runs, 96 runs scored, 79 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Among fantasy third baseman, Bryant is the leader in runs scored, and ranks in the top 6 at the position in batting average, home runs, RBI and stolen bases. At the beginning of the season, I felt that Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco could put up similar stats as Bryant, but you didn't have to spend a first round pick on him. How wrong was I on that prediction. Ouch. I questioned whether he should have been a first round pick in 2016 drafts. I was wrong. Bryant should be a first round pick in 2017 drafts once again.
On Wednesday night, Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas had a big night at the plate, going 3-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 6 RBI in the Diamondbacks 13-5 win over the Mets. Tomas has been an up and down hitter, and many felt he was an all power, no hit tool hitter when the Diamondbacks signed him a few seasons ago. Last season, he showed he could hit for average, and this season, the power has appeared. He is now hitting .269-.312-.520 with 25 home runs, 58 runs scored and 57 RBI in just over 400 plate appearances. When he makes contact, he is hitting the ball hard at an excellent 42.5% clip right now. If he could hit more fly balls, he could easily be a 30 home run hitter playing half of his games at the hitter friendly Chase Field.
The Padres traded infielder Jedd Gyorko in the offseason, as they needed a lead off hitter and center fielder, and getting Jon Jay in return looked like a fair trade for both teams. Some questioned the move, but major league front offices have so much information at their stead, that what looks like a questionable trade to some, actually is just the opposite. You see, the Padres had infielder Ryan Schimpf in their minor league system, and apparently he has as much power as Gyorko, we just didn't hear about the kid until this season. At least I know I had never heard of him prior to this season. On Friday night, Schimp had a big night at the plate. going 4-5 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI in the Padres 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks. He isn't hitting for a high average but he gets on base and has power. He is now hitting .235-.357-.593 with 14 home runs, 31 runs scored and 34 RBI. He is relatively unowned at the moment, but provides value due to his power and on base abilities for those of you in OBP leagues.
Coming into the season, Diamondbacks shortstop Jean Segura had two down years in a row, and the Brewers, looking to get younger, traded him for a package that included top 100 prospect Isan Diaz, who is someone you should be targeting if you play in keeper or dynasty leagues. Back to Segura, he had a good night at the plate on Friday night, going 5-6 with a run scored, 2 RBI and 3 stolen bases in the Diamondbacks 7-4 loss to the Padres at Petco Park. Segura is enjoying a nice bounce back season, as he is now hitting .321-.368-.477 with 11 home runs, 75 runs scored, 49 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 35 attempts. His 28% hard hit rate, while still low, is the best of his career, and he is getting on base via the free pass more this season than last. His .156 ISO and .477 SLG are also the best of his career. He should move up shortstop rankings heading into the 2017 season.
Segura's teammate A.J. Pollock is getting closer and closer to returning to the big league team. Here is more from Diamondbacks beat writer for MLB.com Steve Gilbert, via Twitter:
#Dbacks mgr Chip Hale says AJ Pollock is en route to join Reno tomorrow. Could return in a week IF everything goes well.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) August 20, 2016
Pollock stated when he injured his elbow in spring training that he would be back before the season ended and kept to his word. He is owned in just 53% of leagues right now, so grab and stash him if you can.
I wrote about Astros second baseman Jose Altuve last weekend, saying he is my #1 pick, and tweeted the same this morning:
He had another big night at the plate last night, going 3-6 with a home run and 5 RBI in the Astros big 15-8 win over the Orioles. Altuve is now hitting .365-.427-.579 with 20 home runs, 88 runs scored, 80 RBI and 26 stolen bases, and is on pace for a 27 home run, 35 stolen base season. He doesn't have the power that Mike Trout does, but he has more speed, and hits for a much higher average. He is the leading candidate for America League MVP in my eyes.
The Brewers traded outfielder Khris Davis to the Athletics in the offseason, and some, including me, wondered if the move out of Miller Park into o.Com stadium would have a negative impact on his power production. Well, we are nearly five months into the season and Davis is showing that his power will play anywhere. He went 3-4 with a home run, 4 runs scored and 2 RBI in the A's 9-0 win over the White Sox last night. On the season, Davis is hitting .256-.298-.522 with 31 home runs, 62 runs scored and 79 RBI. His 31 home runs place him tied for third with Mariners DH Nelson Cruz and is five home runs behind Orioles DH Mark Trumbo for the major league league
If you are looking for more fantasy baseball and football coverage, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, where you can find links to all of the best fantasy coverage on the internet.
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.