Analyzing Yahoo’s ADP for Overranked Players to Avoid (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
I’m a “glass half full” kind of guy, so I find it much more challenging to write an article about over-ranked players than under-ranked players. That’s probably true for most fantasy analysts, though. We all love to uncover a diamond in the rough you can steal in round 23 because they are ranked outside the top 1,000 players at Yahoo. It’s much more precarious to tell the world that a fantasy stud who’s going in the first few rounds is going to disappoint.
But a bunch of us just got finished naming our biggest busts for the 2021 season, so I’ll stick with the theme and identify some players who are going too early in Yahoo drafts. My views won’t always perfectly line up with FantasyPros’ Expert Consensus Rankings (cough, cough, Corey Seager, cough, cough). Still, they’ll hopefully give you something to consider before hitting the “draft” button on these guys.
Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS): Yahoo ADP: 21
If you’re a big believer in the ZIPS projections, Giolito is a steal in the late second round of 12-team drafts. But most of the other projection systems have Giolito finishing outside of the top-12 starting pitchers in 5×5 formats, with some (like Steamer) placing him well outside of SP1 territory. I’m not saying that he will revert to the awful pitcher he was in 2018, or anything close to it. But if you take the nearly-identical stats he compiled in 2019 and 2020, they don’t justify the price tag: he was the overall SP13 in 2019 and SP24 last year, and that was with a very favorable BABIP and HR/FB ratio.
Nolan Arenado (3B – STL): Yahoo ADP: 25
Arenado’s ADP was destined to drop after the Rockies traded the star third baseman to St. Louis, but for some reason, it hasn’t fallen as much at Yahoo as it has at other providers. As I explained in my recent name-brand/off-brand article, based on past experience with Matt Holliday, we can anticipate Arenado’s batting average dropping between 10 and 30 points and him hitting 6-10 fewer home runs than he did in Colorado. Arenado will still have plenty of value, but he shouldn’t be going ahead of Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman, or Rafael Devers.
Luis Robert (OF – CWS): Yahoo ADP: 33
I just named Robert as my biggest “bust” candidate this year, so it should come as no surprise that he also shows up on this list. You can click through to the article for all the details, but the short of it is that Robert swung and missed more than anyone else in baseball last year, and that scares me. Maybe he leaps forward in his approach in his age-23 season. Maybe he hits so many home runs and steals so many bases that his batting average doesn’t matter. But I don’t want to pay a third-round price on a player who has a plausible path to hitting under .200 and getting sent back to the minors. You can’t win your league in the early rounds, but you sure can lose it.
Corey Seager (SS – LAD): Yahoo ADP: 38
Seager is actually a round cheaper at Yahoo than he is at ESPN or CBS, but it’s still too rich for my blood (at least in standard 5×5 formats). Seager was truly awesome in the abbreviated 2020 season, but that was the first time he’s finished as a top-40 fantasy asset and just the second time he’s been among the top-95 most valuable players. Unlike most other top shortstops, Seager offers almost nothing in the stolen base category, so he’ll need to maintain last season’s power growth and manage to stay healthy to justify his draft cost. I’d prefer to use one of my first two picks on a five-category stud at the position or wait a couple of rounds after Seager is taken and snag Javier Baez or Gleyber Torres.
Cavan Biggio (2B/3B/OF – TOR): Yahoo ADP: 64
The helium behind Biggio is a little tough to comprehend unless it’s simply a matter of his famous last name. Yes, he has a realistic shot to go 20-20, but the problem is that’s close to a best-case scenario, and it could come with a batting average in the .230-.240 range. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Brandon Lowe, Ketel Marte, Jeff McNeil, Jose Altuve, and Max Muncy are all 2B-eligible players with lower ADPs that I expect to out-earn Biggio in standard 5×5 formats. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mike Moustakas, Dylan Moore, or Gavin Lux beat him out, either.
Willson Contreras (C – CHC): Yahoo ADP: 116
I’ve already made my distaste for Contreras known, but this is more about the futility of drafting catchers early. Contreras finished as the fourth-most valuable catcher in standard 5×5 leagues last season. Still, he was just the 167th-most valuable player overall, which actually marked the first time he finished inside the top 250. Unless you get J.T. Realmuto, I wouldn’t waste a single-digit draft pick on a catcher. It’s best to pass over the Salvador Perez/Contreras tier and get better value on a catcher like Christian Vazquez, Gary Sanchez, Mitch Garver, Wilson Ramos, or even Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our Cheat Sheet Creator – which allows you to combine rankings from 100+ experts into one cheat sheet – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.