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5 Fantasy Baseball Draft Values to Target (2024)

5 Fantasy Baseball Draft Values to Target (2024)

The 2023 MLB season is in the books, but it’s never too early to look ahead to the upcoming campaign. While much of the MLB landscape is sure to change over the offseason, it can be helpful to get an early sense of where the experts stand in terms of initial fantasy baseball rankings. We’ll have you covered as we approach the spring and new season. Let’s take a look at a few fantasy baseball draft values to target.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Values to Target

Nolan Jones (1B/OF – COL): ECR 48 | ADP 78

Nolan Jones made a significant impact in the 2023 season, showcasing his power and speed as a 20/20 player in Colorado. With an impressive .297/.389/.542 slash line and a strong Barrel% of 15.7, Jones is a reliable source of power and on-base ability (xwOBACON .475). However, his high .401 BABIP suggests his batting average might decline. Despite a high strikeout rate around 30%, Jones’s combination of power, walks, and 15-20 stolen bases, especially in Coors Field, makes him a valuable fantasy asset, albeit with a potential downside in batting average.

Tarik Skubal (SP – DET): ECR 49 | ADP 54

Tarik Skubal arrived in 2023 and quickly became the Detroit ace. He started 15 games for the Tigers, throwing 80 1/3 innings and striking out 102 batters. More impressively, he ended with a 2.80 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. On top of that, his xERA was 2.30, and his xFIP was 2.56, which suggests that his production was not an aberration. Looking ahead to 2024, Skubal slots in as an SP2 with an SP1 ceiling that is hard to ignore. He is worth targeting in the fourth or fifth rounds of drafts.

Christian Walker (1B – ARI): ECR 79 | ADP 77

Will Christian Walker remain a sleeper first baseman for the third year in a row, or are people finally onto his production? The 32-year-old hit 33 home runs and drove in 103 while slashing .258/.333/.497 for an exciting Arizona lineup. Walker has an impressive K% (19.2) and xwOBACON (.380), and he has also remained healthy, playing 160 games in 2022 and 157 last year. While he is not a full sleeper in 2024, he is still the cheapest of the top 1B options, going in the fifth or sixth round in most drafts. Don’t be afraid to wait – the return on investment will be worth it.

David Bednar (RP – PIT): ECR 81 | ADP 73

David Bednar finished 2023 tied for the National League lead in saves. He struck out 80 batters in 67 1/3 innings and had a 222 ERA+, which puts him in the elite tier of relievers just behind Josh Hader, Devin Williams, and Felix Bautista. There isn’t much to dislike about Bednar, and as last year proved, a closer doesn’t have to be on a good team to rack up saves. The 29-year-old should be going higher in drafts than he is, so take advantage of the discount.

Triston Casas (1B – BOS): ECR 85 | ADP 114

Triston Casas is the next star at the first base position. He took a leap in 2023 at the age of 23, hitting 24 home runs in 132 games with an impressive slash line of .263/.367/.490. He is in the 93rd percentile of BB% at 13.9 and the 92nd percentile in xwOBA at .370. His counting stats weren’t great, only tallying 65 RBIs and 66 runs, but this should improve with the return of some key Boston players. He might come at a wild discount, going in the early 100s, but this will be the last time you will be able to get him there. He is worth reaching for because chances are good he will outproduce his ADP.

What is Fantasy Baseball?

Fantasy baseball is an online game where participants act as managers of virtual baseball teams based on real-life Major League Baseball (MLB) players. The performance of these players in actual games determines the results in the fantasy league. It’s a blend of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck, akin to the real-world decisions team managers must make.

Basic Strategy for Fantasy Baseball Success

1. Understand Your League’s Format and Scoring

Before drafting your team, it’s essential to understand the scoring system and rules of your specific league, as this will influence your drafting and management strategy. Knowing whether you’re in a points-based, category-based, or head-to-head league will guide you in selecting players whose strengths align with the scoring system.

2. Drafting Your Team Wisely

A solid draft is the foundation of a successful season. Here are a few tips for the drafting phase:

  • Balanced Team: Ensure you have a balanced team with a mix of power hitters, average hitters, speedsters, starting pitchers, and relievers.
  • Position Scarcity: Be aware of the depth of talent at each position. Some positions, like shortstop, may have fewer high-quality players, making it beneficial to draft a top player at that position early.
  • High-Floor Players: Early in the draft, focus on players with a proven track record of consistency.
  • Upside Picks: In the later rounds, look for “upside” players. These are athletes who have the potential to outperform their draft position.

3. In-Season Management

  • Stay Active: Constantly look for ways to improve your team through waivers, trades, and free-agent pickups.
  • Mind the Matchups: Pay attention to player matchups, platoon splits, and ballparks. Starting a pitcher in a hitter-friendly park, for example, can be risky.
  • Injury Management: Stay on top of player injuries and have backups ready for your key players.

Check out our early 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit partner-arrow

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