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Round 1 Fantasy Baseball Draft Analysis (2020)

Apr 7, 2020

Max Scherzer has the greatest potential to be a first-round bust according to the majority of our featured experts.

Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Cheat Sheet Creator – which allows you to combine rankings from 100+ experts into one cheat sheet – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.

While the delay to the start of the MLB season is hard on everyone, it does allow for deeper dives into different aspects of fantasy baseball. You’ll notice that we’re doing this on a team-by-team and player-by-player basis with a pair of series we’ve put together. Additionally, we’re going to examine fantasy baseball on a round-by-round basis, covering 12 players per article and providing you a plethora of info specific to each fantasy baseball round.

We’ll get things started with Round 1. You can find the complete series here.

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Round 1 Player List

Rank Player Team Positions


Expert Analysis*

Jarad Evans @Jarad_Evans 10 1 11 1
Andrew Gould @AndrewGould4 10 2 11 1
Jon Anderson @JonPGH 10 3 12 2
Mario Mergola @MarioMergola 10 2 10 1
Carmen Maiorano @carmsclubhouse 10 2 10 1
Bobby Sylvester @bobbyfantasypro 10 1 12 0
Dan Harris @danharris80 10 1 12 0

*Value: A total assigned to how the overall fantasy value of the round compares with other rounds relative to ADP/ECR (10 = most value : 1 = least value); Risk: A total assigned to how much potential risk exists compared with other rounds (10 = most risk : 1 = least risk); Studs: the number of potential league-winning players that can be found in the round; Busts: the number of potential busts that can be found in the round.

Q1. Who has the most league-winning potential of any Round 1 fantasy pick?

Jarad Evans
Andrew Gould
Jon Anderson
Mario Mergola
Carmen Maiorano
Bobby Sylvester
Dan Harris

Q2. Who has the biggest bust potential of any Round 1 fantasy pick?

Jarad Evans
Andrew Gould
Jon Anderson
Mario Mergola
Carmen Maiorano
Bobby Sylvester
Dan Harris


Q3. What is your general strategy tip for Round 1?

Steals and starting pitching are in very high demand this year and I want my first-round pick to contribute in one of those areas. Cole or deGrom are awfully tempting if picking in the middle of the first round. Otherwise, grab one of those combo power/speed hitters to maximize flexibility as the draft moves along.
– Jarad Evans (@Jarad_Evans)

Just grab the best player available. The formula could change depending on the league (i.e. favoring a five-category hitter in roto or moving up aces in a deeper format), but this isn’t the time to go too far off the grain.
– Andrew Gould (@AndrewGould4)

Your first pick sets the tone for the rest of your draft. If you take a guy like Gerrit Cole, you may want to focus on high upside hitters as you move along the draft to compensate for missing one of the uber elite hitters. After taking a guy like Trea Turner, you can sit back on steals for a while since you already have such a big number there. You should decide what categories you feel good about making up for in the later rounds, and use your first pick to get someone who will hook you up big time in the categories that are harder to replace. Steals and batting average are very tough to find late in drafts, so I tend to lean towards covering those categories early on – making me most interested in Acuna, Betts, Lindor, and Turner here.
– Jon Anderson (@JonPGH)

The first round is about canceling out options more than chasing a target. Knock out anyone with a shred of doubt from your shortlist. If you feel the need to take a certain position because of how the round is unfolding, exercise restraint. Make a reasonable expectation about what will be available in the second round and, if the positions align, then eliminate more options. Ultimately, you’ll trim the list and then pounce on the best available.
– Mario Mergola (@MarioMergola)

Follow your projections and grab the highest-ranked guy left on the board. Simple as that.
– Carmen Maiorano (@carmsclubhouse)

What happens in this round should establish which category(s) you are punting. If you land Trout or Soto, punt steals, if a pitcher then punt batting average, otherwise punt saves unless your league allows for the Marmol Strategy, in which case you can draft any hitter and still be in good shape.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

In the first round, there is no real strategy. It’s too early to think about position strategy. This year, more than ever the first round is deep. You can’t go wrong.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Complete Round-by-Round Fantasy Baseball Draft Analysis

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1Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
2Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
3Michael Thomas (NO)WR
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
9Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
10Davante Adams (GB)WR
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11Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
12Julio Jones (ATL)WR
13Josh Jacobs (LV)RB
14DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)WR
15Chris Godwin (TB)WR
16Travis Kelce (KC)TE
17Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
18George Kittle (SF)TE
19Aaron Jones (GB)RB
20Mike Evans (TB)WR
21Kenyan Drake (ARI)RB
22Miles Sanders (PHI)RB
23Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
24Lamar Jackson (BAL)QB
25Mark Andrews (BAL)TE
26Patrick Mahomes (KC)QB
27Austin Ekeler (LAC)RB
28Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
29A.J. Brown (TEN)WR
30Todd Gurley (ATL)RB
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Mike Trout (LAA)CF
3Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,RF
4Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
5Mookie Betts (LAD)CF,RF
6Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
7Trevor Story (COL)SS
8Gerrit Cole (NYY)SP
9Trea Turner (WSH)SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
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11Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
12Juan Soto (WSH)LF
13Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Jose Ramirez (CLE)3B
16Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
17J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
18Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
19Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)SS
20Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
21Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
22Bryce Harper (PHI)RF
23Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
24Starling Marte (ARI)CF
25Jack Flaherty (STL)SP
26Javier Baez (CHC)SS
27Stephen Strasburg (WSH)SP
28Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
29Shane Bieber (CLE)SP
30Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
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11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (CLE)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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