Featured Pros: Overvalued Players for 2013
Last week, we broke down 2013’s most undervalued players, as determined by comparing the opinion of the expert consensus to ADP. This week, we’re flipping things around by using our Overvalued Player Report to examine who the consensus believes is going off draft boards too early.
We’ve gone ahead and highlighted some notable names from the report (apologies in advance to Phillies’ fans!). The experts who are lowest on each player were asked to share their thoughts below on why the player is overvalued (relative to ADP).
If you’re scratching your head and want to get involved with your own picks, be sure to check out our MLB FanDuel contest that just opened up. There are $1,000 in prizes up for grabs. And, best of all, entry is completely free!
2013 Overvalued Players
Expert Rank: #141 | ECR: #92 | ADP: #70
My low draft ranking for Jonathan Papelbon is mainly about my aversion to closers. Generally, I’d rather take my chances with the Jose Verases/Sergio Santoses/free agents of the world than use a high pick on saves in a standard mixed league. If you play your cards right. you can get comparable production with a much smaller investment.
Papelbon’s MLB ranks in saves since 2008 have been as follows: T-4, T-6, T-9, 18, T-7. That’s about as reliable as a closer gets, and it shows an element of randomness with the category. Papelbon could rank 18th again if he pitches well – the year he ranked 18th in saves was probably his best in terms of advanced metrics – or first if he pitches poorly. I don’t want to use a pick in the first 10 rounds on that kind of uncertainty. – John Halpin (Fox Sports)
Expert Rank: #171 | ECR: #114 | ADP: #96
I honestly don’t know what we’ll get from Melky Cabrera in 2013 as he returns from a PED-related suspension. Even in his quality 2011 season, his 18 HRs and 20 SBs came in more than 700 plate appearances, and he’s not going to get that much work in Toronto. If his batting average dips back under .300, which is where it was in every year before 2011, he’ll be waiver-wire fodder. The risk is just too high for me to consider him in the first 10 rounds. – R.J. White (Fantasy Baseball Café)
Expert Rank: #159 | ECR: #125 | ADP: #93
Maybe I’m slotting him far too low for a closer who allowed five earned runs throughout the entire 2012 season, but what are the chances Fernando Rodney does it again? Since an unsustainable .220 BABIP and 89.4 strand rate guided him through an unimaginable breakout campaign, replicating that success is a tall order for a 36-year-old with a career 3.75 ERA. It will all depend on Rodney preserving a 1.81 BB/9 ratio he posted a year prior to allowing 28 free passes in 32 innings, so it makes sense for drafters to wait a few rounds for an undervalued commodity such as Glen Perkins. How did drafting Kyle Farnsworth work out last year? – Andrew Gould (Bleacher Report)
Expert Rank: #136 | Consensus: #88 |ADP: #62
It isn’t so much that we dislike Matt Wieters, as we feel that the scarcity of position has gotten out of hand in fantasy baseball drafts. There are actually plenty of late round sleeper pickups that should hit for a solid average and power including Salvador Perez, Wilin Rosario, and Jonathan Lucroy, so why waste an early draft pick on a guy that will be sitting once a week? Wieters is a prototypical catcher with solid power, but he doesn’t hit for a high average as evidenced by his .249 mark in two of his last 3 seasons, and the most RBIs he has managed was last season with 83. Overall, our feeling for Matt is that he is a good player for the Orioles, but there are better options at catcher for your fantasy team; and you won’t have to waste an early to mid round pick in 2013 on an average guy like Wieters. – KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)
Expert Rank: #150 | ECR: #85 | ADP: #68
When initially putting together my rankings, I was forgiving of Doc’s down year last season. A rough spring in which his fastball velocity is way down has me concerned. It’s been reported that he suffered from a stomach virus that caused him to lose 10 pounds, and that is what’s being blamed for the missing ticks on his heater. Now that he’s healthy, he’s working to build up his arm strength. If reports of his fastball velocity improving begin to surface, I’ll nudge him back up the rankings. In the mean time, the risk that Halladay presents is too great to take him where the expert consensus suggests. – Josh Shepardson (Baseball Prospectus)
Expert Rank: #172 | ECR: #107 | ADP: #91
There’s good reason for hope with Ryan Howard based on his track record when he was younger and injury-free, but there are a bunch of red flags with him. Before his age 32 season in 2012 he started work on an enormous contract that pays him $25 million per year for five years. Who knows if he’s the kind of player motivated by money but either way, he won’t be. More importantly are his injuries, age and the history of big sluggers like him. An achilles injury limited him to just 260 at bats last year, a season where he only managed a .219 AVE. And that was a further decrease from his dip to .253 the last year he was healthy. The somewhat hidden issue for Howard last year was his limited production in the runs category – only 28. In his 20s Howard ran pretty well for a big guy and has averaged 98 runs per year over his career. But last year, even if he had been healthy he was only on pace for about 60 or so. The age 33 comps for Howard on Baseball Reference are Mark McGuire, Richie Sexson and Cecil Fielder. McGuire’s career was fading before his amazing rejuvenation, but if you look at Sexson and Fielder they completely fell off a cliff at age 33. All of that to worry about and I’ve got to draft him in the 8th round? The floor is just too low for me. – Dave McKay (The Fantasy Sports Brain)
Expert Rank: #254 | ECR: #157 | ADP: #135
I’m down on Espinosa because he’s going to attempt to play through a torn rotator cuff this season. The Nationals’ second baseman struggled at the plate down the stretch last season due to the ailment, and so far he’s yet to go deep during Grapefruit League play. If Espinosa loses his power because of his wonky shoulder, we’re looking at a low-average guy with middling steals potential. – Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld)
Expert Rank: #118 | ECR: #79 | ADP: #54
Yadier Molina is renowned for his work ethic and has progressed steadily over the last several seasons to become a balanced offensive weapon at a scarce position, but drafting him in accordance with his 2012 stats violates one of my 2 primary fantasy baseball rules: Don’t pay for a career year. (The other is “Don’t pay for saves.”) Last year Molina posted career-bests in steals (12), home runs (22), HR/FB rate (13.8%), batting average (.315), and pretty much any other stat you can imagine. I believe in the batting average–Molina’s K:BB ratio is always great and his line drive rate was well above average last season–but I don’t feel comfortable projecting a repeat of the 34 combined homers and steals from a player whose previous career best combo was just 18. Small drops in both categories will have a combined big effect on Molina’s 2013 end-of-year ranking. – Bryan Curley (The Baseball Professor)
Expert Rank: #248 | ECR: #160 | ADP: #149
For the past few seasons Nick Swisher has proven to be a fantasy asset. Not only does he boast multiple fantasy position eligibility (OF/1B) in most standard formats, but he has proven to be a nice source of power. Over the last four years he’s averaged 26 HR and 87 RBI per campaign.
Swisher is on the wrong-side of 30, though, and will no longer benefit from playing in the revamped Bronx Bomber lineup or from getting half of his at-bats at the launching pad that is Yankee Stadium. One of his greatest assets has been durability. He has averaged 149 games per year over eight seasons, but now that he’s 32 years old that number could also dip.
The consistency still makes him worthy of a roster spot in deeper mixed leagues, but his current ADP of 149 suggests he’ll come at a price that owners should be advised not to pay, especially for a guy that is mostly a two-category contributor. The FantasyPros.com consensus ranking has Swisher going off the board midway through Round 13 in a 12-team league, but there is better value to be had there for a guy a guy that I project to hit .260 with 22 HR and 75 RBI. Go with younger options that have more upside. – Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)
Expert Rank: 267 | ECR 184 | ADP 164
Torii Hunter leaving the Angels for Detroit could kill his declining HR total. Right now 15 HRs/90 RBIs/10 SBs is what you want to expect, but moving to Detroit we could see 12 HRs/80 RBIs. Of course this all matters where he bats in this new stacked Tigers lineup. – Muntradamus (Beast Dome)
Thanks to the experts for stopping by to offer their analysis. Be sure to check out each of their websites and to follow them on Twitter. Also, don’t forget that you can check out reports by fantasy expert to view additional players to avoid picking too early.