Fantasy Baseball Preview: SS
Howdy Fantazzle Faithful,
What a great time of year it is to be active in fantasy games. The Masters wrapped up an entertaining week of fantasy golf, while the NBA’s best continue to put on a show as we approach the playoff push. In my opinion, this is the best time of the year for fantasy basketball salary cap leagues, as the stars are out in full force, looking to position their teams in the ideal spot for postseason action.
But the season with the most life remaining, and therefore the most advice needed, is fantasy baseball. Pitching has dominated the early going, so don’t get discouraged with your slumping batters. Here are the studs, duds, and sleepers at SS for this season.
1. Troy Tulowitzki – Playing at Coors field will never hurt a batter, but until opposing pitchers start throwing bowling balls at Tulo, the man will continue to rake. Mark him down for 30 bombs and a .300 average, the only SS who will do both. Add in the potential for double digit steals, and you’ve got yourself the top SS and a 1st round selection.
2. Hanley Ramirez – I’m all in on a Hanley bounce back in 2012. He is still eligible at SS, and you should take full advantage. He’ll be the best Marlin infielder this year due to his power. There is speed in the later rounds, but his Ramirez’s 5 tool skills are few and far between. Hitting in the 3 spot helps his RBI potential, and I see him knocking in 100 runs this season. Add that to his 90 runs, 25 homers, 30 steals, and .300 average, and you’ve got a middle infielder you can trust.
Note: Jose Reyes would be my next ranked SS, but there is to much of a drop off from second to third for me to consider Reyes “elite”. He’ll steal bases and score runs, but I’m not buying .337 again, and the health risk needs to be acknowledged.
Sleeper: Dee Gordon – Value wise, I like him compared to Reyes. Why can’t this guy swipe 60 bags? He doesn’t play for a great team, and his youth will lead to some prolonged slumps, but with such little risk in most fantasy baseball leagues, you can live with that. Remember when Juan Pierre won you steals every single week? Imagine if he played at a shallow position and had as high a ceiling as anyone.
Bust: Asdrubal Cabrera – Bust might be a little harsh, but there is no way Cabrera duplicates his breakout 2011 performance. He had 18 career homers going into last year, but powered up for 25 long balls last year. He had averaged 41.5 RBI in his 4 year career before 2011, but knocked in 92 in 2012. Cabrera will see fewer pitches this year, and there is little protection in that weak lineup. He won’t be bad, but I’m not spending the money required to get his services in fantasy baseball salary cap games.
As the weather heats up, the bats tend to as well. So stick to your guns, trust the same players, and your loyalty will pay off. Don’t make erratic decisions … we are less than 2.5% through the season.
May the fantasy gods treat you well this week!