Each position on a fantasy team brings with it the questions of depth, consistency, and timing. Understanding when to draft is often as important as knowing who to draft.
Outfielders comprise 15 of the top 50 selections right now and the names are slightly different than one might expect. Josh Hamilton’s recent public relapse has pushed him down nearly a full spot but keeps him as the number 10 outfielder selected overall. Understandably, there are concerns regarding Hamilton, but the relapse should be less of an issue than his injury history.
Just outside the top-50 picks, Michael Bourn checks in with an ADP of 56. His ADP has jumped a spot in the last two weeks. Bourn will get a full year in a far better lineup with Atlanta than what he had in Houston. Bourn has some upside at this selection for those seeking runs and steals specifically.
Finally, take a look at Jason Heyward. He ranks just outside the top-30 outfielders overall but has seen a jump of two full spots to pick 106 overall. There is no doubt that Heyward was a problem for fantasy owners last year, but you can see that many maintain faith in the outfielder.
There will be many that argue how top-heavy Shortstop is in 2011. Still, only five are being selected in the overall top-50, meaning that the bulk of owners are waiting until the middle rounds to find their middle infielder. Some interesting notes arise this week. First, Zack Cozart is settling in around pick 244 according to MockDraftCentral.com. The Cincinnati offense has scored the most runs of any National League team in the last two years and Cozart figures to be the starter in that lineup. FantasyPros911 projections give him 13 home runs, 15 steals, and near 70 runs scored. Those numbers are far better than the average Shortstop and make him a low-risk late-round selection with plenty of upside.
Dee Gordon has jumped two spots to number 145 overall. The move has put him into the top-10 at the position overall. Gordon will excel with speed and should score runs, but there will be limited to no power of which to speak. But a 50-steal season is within reach.
At First Base, Ryan Howard has tumbled out of the top-12, falling four spots in the last two weeks. For a position traditionally thought of as a power house, the tenth through 12th players taken at the position right now are Freddie Freeman, Mark Trumbo, and Paul Goldschmidt. Not saying that all wouldn’t see a level of success, but it shows the greater risk coming here. All three are coming in ahead of Howard, Adam Lind, Justin Morneau, and Ike Davis.
The curious one here has to be Trumbo. With the volume of corner infielders and outfielders currently with the Angels, Trumbo could face reduced playing time despite the success he saw in 2011. Give me Howard every time. Trumbo is close to undraftable in mixed leagues.