The week is nearly over, so that means it is finally time for some staff targets. Be sure to check out everything from outfield week, as well as the latest Double Switch fantasy baseball podcast. Now let’s see who the staff like in the outfield, ranging from a Top 50 play to what surely qualifies as a pair of “deep sleepers” who are going after pick 300.
Let’s do it.
Starling Marte, Pirates (Eddy Almaguer)
Starling Marte is coming off of a lost season in which he was suspended 80 games for a PED violation. As a result, I think his ADP is slightly depressed, and that has created a buy-low opportunity. When Marte returned in 2017 he stole 19 bases in 64 games—which is a 44-steal pace over 150 games. Pair that with 12-14 home runs and a .275 average, and you have an extremely valuable outfielder at pick 50.
Mitch Haniger, Mariners (Joe Gentile)
Josh Donaldson, Jr. (or Mitch Haniger as others call him) will be my target in basically every league. With his ability to make hard contact (career 35.3%) he is truly a threat to hit .280 with 25+ home runs, while also being able to swipe you five to 10 bags. Give me all the Mitch Haniger I can have at his current expert consensus ranking of 252.2 according to FantasyPros.
Lewis Brinson, Marlins (Heath Capps)
On Thursday night Eddy and Brian joined me on the most recent doubleswitchpod. We discussed our respective teams in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. Lewis Brinson was a topic of conversation due to his wide variance in ADP in the TGFBI. I agree with Eddy—perhaps it is the absence of an announcement that Brinson will definitely be manning an outfield spot come Opening Day that is depressing his ADP. Even at Brinson’s min pick of 153 in the TGFBI, he is a legitimate play due to his power/speed combination and to a pathway to playing time. I mean, really—who else is going to start in Miami? In a typical 12-team draft you can draft Brinson’s upside late. If he doesn’t perform early on, you haven’t made a large investment and you can cut him free without hesitation. Or if your bench is deep, you can stash him and see if he figures things out. I’ll take a chance.
Matt Kemp, Dodgers (Punk is Dead)
A little bit out of the (Dodgers) blue here, but Matt Kemp might be getting overlooked. I know playing time is a concern and he might not even be with the Dodgers on Opening Day, but as we get closer and closer to March 29, maybe he will be? Kemp hit .276 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI over 115 games for the Braves last year. That’s a pace of 25-90. Let’s not forget, Kemp had 100+ RBI in 2015 and 2016 and a 35-homer season in 2016 as well. It’s not a sexy pick or a high upside prospect, but the reliable 33-year-old can still produce offensively for your fantasy team. His current ADP on FantasyPros is 315.
Stay tuned for staff avoids later in the day. Happy fantasy baseball draft season, degenerates!