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Overvalued Players Based on Yahoo! ADP

by Max Freeze | @FreezeStats | Featured Writer
Mar 22, 2018

Yesterday I wrote about some of the players I’m much higher on than where Yahoo!’s average draft position has them taken off the board. Today, I’m getting into some players that I’m lower on as compared to Yahoo!’s ADP. It’s not that I don’t like or even want these players, I just feel like they are being targeted too early, especially in Yahoo! Drafts. I’ll back up my reasoning behind a select seven players that I feel are polarizing. Hopefully, you can take some of the information I have provided in these last two articles to the draft table in this last week before the start of the season to help boost your draft results. At the end of the article, I’ll have a table showing many other players I dislike more than their ADPs. I’m starting off with some high-end talent, so get ready. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD) Yahoo! ADP 4 My Rank 16
I’m not completely opposed to drafting Kershaw, I just wouldn’t spend a first-round pick on him considering he hasn’t thrown 200 innings since 2015. The Dodgers once again have an abundance of starting pitching and a great bullpen. There’s no reason to have Kershaw throw seven-plus innings every time out and with his back issues, so a 10-day DL stint or two is likely. When he’s out there, he’s elite and if you were to guarantee me 200 innings from him, he’d be ranked as the number one starting pitcher for sure, but at around 180 innings, I can’t justify a first-round pick on him.

Kris Bryant (3B/OF – CHC) Yahoo! ADP 12 My Rank 23
As a Cubs fan, it’s hard to be objective, but I’ve learned to be even more critical of the teams and players I root for. In this case, the 2016 MVP is being a bit over drafted, not because he isn’t uber-talented but because the depth of hitters at the top is massive. Bryant will be hitting second in the lineup again with an uncertain lead-off hitter in front of him. The RBI opportunities will be limited as they were in 2017. I don’t understand the projections that have him around 95-105 RBI. The other reason I have him this low (low is relative, he’s still a top 20 hitter) is steals. Joe Maddon doesn’t run a lot and Bryant has stolen only 15 bases in 25 attempts the last two seasons. That’s a 60% success rate, which is not going to fly with Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras hitting behind him. I don’t want to get in too deep, but his hard contact dropped to below 33% last year and his HR/FB was only 16%. He will score a ton of runs but if he hits .280 with 30-35 home runs along with five steals and 80 RBI, that’s not a top 10 hitter. I’d rather have George Springer or Freddie Freeman.

Starling Marte (OF – PIT) Yahoo! ADP 41 My Rank 61
It appears that Yahoo! is the highest of all the sites on Marte. My rank of 61 isn’t that far off of the consensus, I guess Yahoo! is expecting another 19 homer, 40-steal type season. Yahoo! is usually too late on ranking breakout players and always seems to have a hard time letting go of veterans. I go over Marte in a bust post on my website that I wrote back in November and for me, not much has changed. Basically, I highlight the PED suspension and discuss his inability to lift the ball to the pull side. That along with his terrible exit velocity does not make for a quality combination for home runs. His speed is still there but I’m projecting a slight regression in his BABIP and his batting average. I’m projecting him for less than 10 home runs and sub-par counting stats to go along with his 30+ steals. You’re better off waiting 150 spots for Delino DeShields or Bradley Zimmer.

Buster Posey (C/1B – SF) Yahoo! ADP 56 My Rank 109
I’m not a fan of drafting catchers early unless your last name rhymes with man-prez. Posey has been a rock in terms of fantasy output and health from the catcher position for years, but it’s time to realize that he’s on a steady decline. I don’t believe in his .320 average in 2017 at all. xStats.org had him pegged for a .290 average last year. He’s 31 years old and has a ton of mileage on his body. Here are his home run totals since 2014: 22, 19, 14, 12. That’s not the trend you want. In fact, his profile is looking a lot like 30-something Joe Mauer in that he hits a lot of line drives, has a low fly ball rate and takes walks. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if he had a similar line in 2018 to Mauer, a fantasy draft afterthought. I’m not wasting a top 100 pick for good batting average and 10-12 home runs.

Xander Bogaerts (SS – BOS) Yahoo! ADP 68 My Rank 133
Bogaerts is still only 25 years old and has over 2,600 plate appearances to his name along with an All-Star appearance. While he’s not great in any category, there’s a decent floor with a guy like Bogaerts, but it comes with limited upside. That’s not something I want in one of my top 70 picks. There isn’t much power with Xander and his 2016 season where he belted 21 home runs appears to be an outlier. His fly ball percentage is low (32%), he doesn’t hit the ball that hard (31%), and he has a popup problem (over 15% the last two seasons combined). I believe his BABIP continues to decline, the power remains moderate, and you’re stuck with a .275 hitter with 10 to 12 homers and 12 to 15 steals. Yes, the run production should be decent, but not enough for me to take a shot on him inside the top 100.

Didi Gregorius (SS – NYY) Yahoo! ADP 111 My Rank 200
If you’re looking for a poster child of the home run revolution, it’s not Francisco Lindor or Jose Ramirez, its Didi Gregorious. Lindor and Ramirez at least hit the ball hard, Didi has the profile of a slap hitter without any speed. He’s also been a huge beneficiary of hitting from the left side in Yankee Stadium, which justifies some of his power production, but I’m not buying him as a 25-home run hitter. Take a look at all of Gregorius’ home runs from 2017 superimposed at Fenway just for reference.

I see about 10 lucky homers that may or may not be home runs in 2018. I’ll close this with a few stats; his average home run distance was 377 feet (lowest average HR distance for anyone with 15 or more HR in 2017), he had a 40.8% O-Swing, and his triple slash line per xStats.org in 2017 was .257/.291/.401.

Cole Hamels (SP – TEX) Yahoo! ADP 168 My Rank 285
I’m signaling the end of Cole Hamels. He’ll be 34 years old and is coming off the worst season of his career. He used to be a rock solid 200-inning workhorse which is very valuable for fantasy purposes. In 2017, though, he threw only 148 innings, had a career low strikeout rate of 6.39/9 and a walk rate of 3.22/9. The underlying skills aren’t there either, his swinging strike rate went way down, contact went up, his velocity was down 1.5 MPH and the hard contact rate was up four percent. Not only that, but he was lucky in terms of BABIP and HR/FB which both decreased from 2016 even though his skills continued to erode. If there is correction closer to league average on BABIP plus a slight increase in HR rate, we are looking at a potential 5+ ERA from Hamels in 2018.

Here is a complete list of players that I believe are being overvalued by Yahoo! in terms of ADP.

Player Yahoo ADP FreezeStat Rank
Clayton Kershaw (LAD – SP) 4 16
Kris Bryant (CHC – 3B,RF) 12 23
Aaron Judge (NYY – RF) 15 25
Corey Seager (LAD – SS) 30 37
Starling Marte (PIT – LF,CF) 41 58
Buster Posey (SF – C,1B) 56 111
Robinson Cano (SEA – 2B) 58 103
Dallas Keuchel (HOU – SP) 67 102
Xander Bogaerts (BOS – SS) 68 137
DJ LeMahieu (COL – 2B) 87 157
Didi Gregorius (NYY – SS) 109 200
Matt Carpenter (STL – 1B,2B,3B) 114 189
Kyle Seager (SEA – 3B) 115 187
Javier Baez (CHC – 2B,SS) 117 212
Gio Gonzalez (WSH – SP) 146 215
Greg Bird (NYY – 1B) 152 185
Cole Hamels (TEX – SP) 167 280
Taijuan Walker (ARI – SP) 186 255
Blake Parker (LAA – RP) 187 260
Brian McCann (HOU – C) 198 254
Julio Teheran (ATL – SP) 207 272
Jason Kipnis (CLE – 2B,CF) 210 252
Dansby Swanson (ATL – SS) 247 296

 

Undervalued Players Based on Yahoo! ADP

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Max Freeze is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Max, check out his archive and follow him @FreezeStats.

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