Avoiding overvalued players in draft key to building contender
A typical snake draft or an auction is really just a puzzle, the latter more elaborate than the former. As an owner, what you're really trying to do is put together a winning team, piece by piece. One of the surest ways to screw up the puzzle is to pick one of the wrong pieces early, or use too much of your budget on a disappointing piece. That one misstep has a ripple effect on the rest of your draft or auction that sometimes cannot be countered.
The baseball season is long and your fantasy roster is deep, but everyone needs a couple guys capable of carrying their team for weeks at a time. Nine times out of 10, you're going to find those guys in the first few rounds or in an auction's most expensive tiers. Mixed in among the studs are a handful of overvalued players that threaten to undermine your entire draft or auction. They may have the same price tag, but they won't provide near the rate on return as their counterparts, especially when you consider the impact they have as you fill out your team.
So what's the common thread among the overvalued players of this year's early rounds? They're outfielders. Outfield remains the deepest offensive position, by far, in fantasy. Meanwhile, first base gets shallow pretty quickly this year (take a look at the names after the first six guys, who will all be gone by the 30th overall pick), shortstop and third base are as shallow as ever, and second base, while not the dearth of talent it has been in the past, has few elite options. On the flip side, B.J. Upton is the 20th-ranked outfielder by average draft position right now. Jason Heyward is 31st. Logan Morrison is 38th. There's talent to be had late in the outfield.
Let's take a look at some of the pieces you want to avoid, given their current prices.
The first third of a fantasy draft is no time to mess around. It's time to build a foundation and lock up as many sure things as possible. Hamilton is no sure thing. Third basemen Adrian Beltre and David Wright have lower ADPs in Hamilton's neighborhood, yet provide top-notch options at a much shallower position. The elite first basemen, second basemen and shortstops should be gone, but aces like Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver and David Price make for better investments, as well.
1. Jose Valverde -- 49 saves, 152.79 ADP
Conversely, Joakim Soria, Carlos Marmol and Brian Wilson were all taken in the top 100 in a typical draft, and all had down seasons. Don't pay for saves.