Analyzing Yahoo’s ADP for Undervalued Players (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Wrapping up my site-specific over-ranked/under-ranked series, today we’ll focus on players who are being drafted later than they should in Yahoo leagues. We will compare the player’s Yahoo ADP to our Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) and our ADP (determined by averaging the six most popular fantasy baseball sites) and highlight those undervalued players.
For this series, I tend to focus on players in the earlier to mid-rounds because as you get later and later in the draft, everyone has their own opinions. In rounds 2-12, however, if you can find a player fifteen spots or more after their cumulative ADP, then you’ve started your draft off nicely with some excellent value.
Unlike the few other sites we’ve investigated, Yahoo seems to be the most on track with the consensus ADP. There are still a few players falling, however, that are worth taking advantage of. Here are five players ranked inside of FantasyPros top 125 ADP, who are currently being drafted much later in Yahoo leagues than they should be. Grab these players somewhere after our rankings (maximizing their value), but before (sometimes long before) Yahoo’s ADP.
Trent Grisham (OF – SD)
Yahoo: ADP 82
FantasyPros: ADP 65, ECR 73
Grisham is one of those classic 20/20 guys who are always sought after in fantasy. Not only does he offer a good deal of speed and power (10 homers, 10 steals in 2020), but he is penciled in to bat leadoff for a loaded Padres lineup, which should result in a surplus of runs scored as well. In a division where he gets to face the Rockies, Giants, and Diamondbacks pitching staffs often, look for Grisham to take full advantage and contribute across the board regularly.
If he stays healthy, 110 runs with 25 home runs and 20 steals are well within sight. Don’t wait until the draft reaches the 80’s. Grab him in the early sixth round in standard, 12-team leagues.
Lance Lynn (SP – CWS)
Yahoo: ADP 76
FanatsyPros: ADP 55, ECR 58
In a year where pitchers are going to be held to low pitch counts, that notion goes right out the window when discussing Mr. Lance Lynn. The 6’5″, 270 lb. Lynn is the definition of a workhorse and led all of MLB last season in innings pitched. Outside of 2016, when he needed Tommy John, Lynn has never pitched less than 31 games in a season and rarely, if ever, misses a start.
He shows great command of a mid-90’s fastball (68 percent usage, .290 xwOBA), a cutter/slider, which is equally effective, and a curveball that only gave up three hits all last season (nine percent usage). Lynn has always been a difficult pitcher to make solid contact against, and moving to a team with arguably the best bullpen, his ability to pitch deep into games and the run support he should receive, 17 wins, and 220 strikeouts should be well within range for the grizzled veteran. Falling to 76th overall, instead of 55, allows you to wait a bit longer on Mr. Lynn. Target him in the fifth round as a solid number two starter for your staff.
Ian Anderson (SP – ATL)
Yahoo: ADP 109
FantasyPros: ADP 93, ECR 109
Ian Anderson made a name for himself last year in the expanded playoffs, starting four games and rendering a microscopic 0.96 ERA, including a four-inning, one-hit outing versus the world-champion LA Dodgers. However, what may have been forgotten, is the fact that he produced similar numbers in six regular-season games as well. Throughout those final five weeks of the year (Anderson’s first taste of the majors), he put together an impressive 1.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 11.4 K/9, and three wins.
With a strong, unwavering mound presence, Anderson utilizes a three-pitch mix that looks nearly identical coming out of his hand. He reminds me of a young Stephen Strasburg, who likes to work his mid-90s heater up in the zone while getting hitters to whiff on the high-velocity changeup and the sharp-breaking curveball. His control may become an issue over the course of a full season (he was a bit wild in the minor leagues), as will a possible innings limit, but if he can even come close to repeating what he did in the playoffs, he’ll be a steal going near 100.
He’s already shown that he is capable of putting away some of the best teams the NL has to offer. Many clubs still haven’t seen him in person, so I expect more of the same this season. The skeptics are letting him fall, which they will regret. Draft him near the end of round eight.
Max Fried (SP – ATL)
Yahoo: ADP 89
FantasyPros: ADP 75, ECR 92
Max Fried is another Braves pitcher who has fallen in Yahoo drafts and deserves to be a much higher pick. Many are down on Fried this season because they believe his .268 BABIP is unsustainable and that he got a bit lucky last year. Count me out of this group. Any pitcher able to manipulate the bottom of the zone the way Fried does should have no problem reproducing last year’s numbers. He was just as consistent in the playoffs as he was in the regular season as the Braves’ ace, where he held hitters to 27.2% soft contact, nearly a 2.0 GB/FB rate, and close to a K per inning.
Those claiming he got lucky are quick to forget his 2019 season and all the buzz around him entering 2020. He was considered an elite sleeper going into last season, and now that he performed at the level expected, many doubt he can do it again. Well, I’m here to tell you they are wrong! He may not pitch that deep into games, so 165 innings with close to the same amount of strikeouts seem like a fair projection. But with a low ERA and WHIP total and all the run support he should receive backed by the top scoring offense in the NL last season, a final line of 14 wins, 160 K’s, a 2.85 ERA, and a 1.20 WHIP is a steal to draft in the seventh round. I’m targeting him at 69th overall, don’t sleep on the consistency that is Max Fried.
Patrick Corbin (SP – WAS)
Yahoo: ADP 143
FantasyPros: ADP 125, ECR 127
I actually don’t love Corbin this year as he looked like a shell of his former self last season. That said, falling all the way to 143rd is a bit drastic. He’s only one year removed from being a top 20 pitcher in the league, and he still possesses the devastating slider that can make hitters look silly. He is said to be tinkering with his pitch selection and arsenal in camp, and if it translates to the regular season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to being a valuable starter.
The velocity on his fastball was down last year, and there’s been no report that it has ticked back up this offseason. However, the commentary coming from his teammates and coaching staff this spring has been high praise for Corbin’s new changeup and “hard cutter.” If hitters don’t know the fastball is coming, hitters won’t be able to sit on it, which is what led to an extremely high hard-hit rate and BABIP last season. With a solid four-pitch repertoire, he will be that much tougher to hit and should provide quality numbers for someone you can get after round 10. Don’t let him drop to 143rd. He’s well worth a pick a couple of rounds before.
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Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.