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Fantasy Baseball: Boom or Bust Players

by Carl Tempesta
Mar 22, 2016

Will the 2014 of 2015 version of Carlos Gomez this up this season?

Will the 2014 or 2015 version of Carlos Gomez this up this season?

Last season, we saw many high round picks become useless, and many waiver wire adds become All-Stars. When drafting in the higher rounds, a top priority should always be consistency.

There is nothing worse than drafting a player early and seeing him get injured or having him go into a sophomore slump. Here are some boom or bust players to consider in fantasy baseball drafts this season.

Draft Wizard: Mock in minutes vs. the most accurate experts >>

Carlos Gomez (OF – HOU)
Gomez tops the list of boom or bust players this season. Last season, everybody was raving over Gomez, and he was a first-round pick in redraft leagues. Despite the hype, Gomez ended the season the 47th ranked outfielder.

He finished with 111 hits, 61 runs, 12 home runs, 56 RBI, 31 walks and 17 stolen bases. According to our FantasyPros ECR, Gomez should be drafted in late fourth or early fifth round.

This is high for someone who barely broke the top 50 at his own position. However, Gomez is well worth the risk if he produces similar numbers like he did in 2014.

Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD)
Let me start by saying that I don’t think Kershaw is a bad pick. In fact, he’s a great pick.

He had a 2.13 ERA, 16 wins and 27 quality starts. He was the first player since Randy Johnson in 2002 to strikeout 300+ batters.

The only risk that comes with Kershaw is his ADP. His current ADP is fourth overall, but many people are taking him third behind Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Pitchers who were right behind Kershaw have much better ADP values like Max Scherzer (14.0), Jake Arrieta (18.0), Zack Greinke (32.0) and Dallas Keuchel (43.0).

Giancarlo Stanton (OF – MIA)
Right behind Kershaw in the FantasyPros 2016 ECR is Stanton. There is no doubt that Stanton puts up big numbers, but he needs to be on the field to achieve them. Stanton has had five significant injuries in his career, including the dreaded left-hand fracture he suffered last season.

He recently stated in an interview that he was feeling “relatively good.” I don’t think I’m willing to risk my first-round pick on an injury-prone outfielder who is feeling “relatively good.”

Gerrit Cole (SP – PIT)
Cole had a fantastic season in 2015 with 25 quality starts, 19 wins, 202 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.60. It is unlikely Cole will repeat these numbers in 2016.

Cole has been suffering from rib inflammation and hasn’t looked good in preseason thus far. He gave up two home runs in two innings in his first outing.

Also, Cole went public about his extreme unhappiness with his contract this offseason. If I am going to take a pitcher in the first four rounds, I would rather draft a happy and healthy one.

Mookie Betts (OF – BOS)
Betts is going to be the full-time right fielder for the Boston Red Sox this season. Last season he finished with 92 runs, 174 hits, 18 home runs, 77 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Those numbers are projected to rise slightly in 2016.

One thing we have yet to see in Betts is consistency. This will only be his third year and second year as a starter. He has potential, and great dynasty format upside, but Betts ranked outside the top 10 in every fantasy category among outfielders.

His current FantasyPros ranking is 17, which I think is too high. If he can improve his numbers from last season, then he may be worth the risk.

More Advice: View Bust Picks for 2016

Carl Tempesta is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Carl, check out his archive or find him @dfswhizkid.

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