When it comes to evaluating players, Yahoo leagues are usually pretty accurate. That doesn’t mean they’re void of overpays, though, as there are always a few players that gain momentum for no valid reason.
Once they appear on Yahoo’s trend boards, other managers take notice, and their draft ranking starts to rise. I’m here today to tell you which overvalued targets to avoid, even though your fellow Yahoo mates are buying in.
Here are five players that, on average, are going far too early in Yahoo drafts.
- Fitz’s Positional Primers
- Justin Mason’s Draft Day Cheat Sheet
- Players the Experts Draft
- Latest Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Overvalued Players to Avoid in Yahoo Leagues
Spencer Strider (SP, RP – ATL)
Yahoo ADP: 24
Consensus ADP: 27
Yahoo players have hopped on the Spencer Strider train, and for good reason. The kid strikes out nearly a batter and a half per inning and has sometimes looked downright dominant. The issue for Strider is that he’s a two-pitch pitcher with very little of a track record. We’ve all seen first-year pitchers get off to a great start, just to have the league catch up to them as teams begin to figure them out. The San Francisco Giants had no problem against him, and neither did the Nationals when they faced him for the second time.
No pitcher is perfect, and Strider’s high-spin/high-velocity heater is as nasty as they come, but drafting him above players like Aaron Nola and Sandy Alcantara could come back to haunt you. Take the safer route with a 200+ innings pitcher this early and leave Strider for the third round.
Kenley Jansen (RP – BOS)
Yahoo ADP: 86
Consensus ADP: 95
Outside of the playoffs, Kenley Jansen has been a reliable closer for years. He regularly puts up high save totals with quality ratios and counting stats. Moving to Boston, however, is hardly going to help him improve. Not only are ballparks in the AL East smaller, but the lineups he’ll be facing are a lot tougher. Also, Boston is predicted to win 77 games this year, and while most of their wins will probably be of the 1-3 run variety, it’s a far cry from the 100-win Dodgers or Braves teams he was closing for. Plus, he’s entering his age-35 season and has only produced one sub-3.00 ERA season over the past five years.
With full-time closers becoming increasingly a thing of the past, the rock-solid saves pitchers have taken on more value in today’s drafts. While Kenley isn’t in jeopardy of losing his job, his peripherals don’t add up to a player who should be taken in the top 100. Even if you don’t have a closer by round eight (12-team league), don’t reach for Jansen.
Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB)
Yahoo ADP: 97
Consensus ADP: 115
It’s not that Tyler Glasnow isn’t one of the best young arms in baseball. It’s that the often-injured starter hasn’t picked up a baseball since Feb. 27, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll return to the mound. Furthermore, when he returns, the Rays will likely treat him with kid gloves, limiting his innings and not allowing him to pitch deep into games. Not only will that hurt his strikeout totals, but his wins will also likely be affected.
Glasnow is a stud, but he only threw 6.2 innings last year after coming off of Tommy John surgery, and now he’s dealing with a grade two oblique strain. He’s a risky pick inside the top 100, a pick that could be better spent elsewhere.
Mitch Haniger (OF – SFG)
Yahoo ADP: 130
Consensus ADP: 154
I’m a Mitch Haniger fan, but the poor guy can’t seem to stay healthy. Diagnosed with an oblique strain (those seem to be abundant these days), the Giants’ new outfielder is unlikely for Opening Day. He only participated in 57 games last year due to injury as well, after missing all of 2020 and half of 2019.
Haniger is a warrior, though, and if he can lace them up, he’ll be out there. But at a 130 ADP, he will do you more harm than good. He’s also joining a club with a slightly worse hitter’s venue than he’s used to and a weaker lineup. I still like him around 170ish, but keep expectations at bay with him starting the season on the injury list.
Whit Merrifield (2B, OF – TOR)
Yahoo ADP: 145
Consensus ADP: 160
Yahoo drafters must think it’s 2021 again because they are far too aggressively drafting the Blue Jays utility man. Gone are the days of the ex-Royal stealing 40 bags and leading the league in hits. He may not even have an everyday role for the Jays, similar to last year when he shared time with Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio. Toronto also now has Brandon Belt, who will primarily DH, leaving two of the best-hitting catchers in the league vying for at-bats.
Even if the 34-year-old Whit Merrifield finds his way to 500 plate appearances, he likely won’t produce more than 10 homers with 20 steals and a batting average of around .260. That is hardly worth a selection in the 11th round. Target players like Brandon Lowe, Josh Bell or even Brandon Nimmo instead. And if you’re hunting for speed, wait five rounds and make a savvier pick like Thairo Estrada.
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 Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.