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Thursday, March 16, 2006 

What's Your Fantasy? (3/16)

The fantasy discussion continues...

- Who are your 3 favorite sleepers?

Todd: 1. Matt Holliday - playing in Coors boosts any fantasy player's value, and I forsee a breakout year from Holliday. His 2nd half numbers from last year are unbelieveable and with a full season from Todd Helton added to the Colorado lineup, Holliday should absolutely rake.

2. Jason Schmidt - I'm predicting Schmidt to be back to his old self this year, rebounding from last year's injury-riddled campaign. Look for his Ks to approach 200 and his ERA to be right around 3.10.

3. Carlos Guillen - Tigers fans will be ecstatic if Guillen can play 140+ games this year, and if he does, look for him to approach a top 5 ranking among fantasy shortstops.

Derek: 1. Carlos Beltran - Remember it took D Lee a year to get used to his new big city surroundings, expect Beltran to be healthier (more SBs) and happier in his second year in NYC. He's 28 this year, right in the middle of his prime. Take him in the third or fourth round, and get a 30-30 player that was taken top 5 a year ago.

2. Ryan Freel - Get a late surprise utility man who is versatile and who swiped 36 bags in a 369 AB season. If he can stay healthy the Reds will get him 500 ABs and he'll reward them with 40+ SBs.

3. Brandon McCarthy - What are the odds all 5 of the overachieving White Sox starters keep overachieving and/or stay healthy? Less than you may think. McCarthy will get his shot, and he has a nasty breaking ball that will allow him to have a high K/9 rate and an ERA under 3.5. Bank on a nice 15-20th round surprise that will get 10+ wins and 150+ K's.

NJV: 1. Curtis Granderson - There has certainly been a lot of talk this spring about Nook Logan and how new manager Jim Leyland plans to use him. In reality, Logan is above average in only one area: speed. Granderson is a five tool prospect who might go 15-15 this year. There is a better chance that President Logan gets re-elected on 24 than Nook Logan steals Granderson's job for the entire season.

2. Aubrey Huff - Sure, he's been around but the D-Rays are hoping to play him at third which boosts his value tremendously. He will hit .275 with 25-30 jacks and close to 100 RBI in a very good Tampa lineup. I snagged him in the 14th round in a recent draft and will play him in the OF until his 3b eligibility kicks in.

3. Erik Bedard - In Leo Mazzone we trust.

- Which 3 players are most likely to be busts?

Todd: 1. Alfonso Soriano - unless he is traded out of Washington to a hitter's park, his days as a 30/30 threat are done. Watch his batting average, I'm predicting it drops into the .250 range.

2. Miguel Tejada - A few years ago it looked like Tejada was ready to take the crown as top fantasy shortstop for years to come. Jeter slowed down, Nomar can't stay on the field and A-Rod moved to third. However, his second half last year was atrocious, and led in part to the O's falling apart down the stretch. At this point, I don't see him as a top 5 fantasy shortstop.

3. Elder statemen: Thome, Pudge, Konerko, Giambi, Javy Lopez, Jorge Posada. If it was 5 years ago, this lineup would be a fantasy owner's dream. These players can all still contribute in your clubhouse, and if they come cheaply, on your fantasy team. But don't waste high draft picks on them.

Derek: 1. Juan Pierre - People will draft Juan Pierre for one reason: he steals bases. While he may hit .300 and may ignite the Cubs' offense, don't be surprised if his stolen base total drops below 40. Todd Walker of Neifi Perez will hit behind him and are decidely fastball and early count hitters. He will also battle a manager who encourages Ramirez and Lee to power his team with the long ball.

2. Jake Peavy - Seems to be a consensus 2nd round pick, but he's only average 3 more starts than Mark Prior in his career so his health still remains in question. In addition, Peavy has pitched through many other nagging injuries which must only further aggravate a herky-jerky elbow torquing motion which will sure land him on the DL.

NJV: 1. Bobby Abreu - The Venezuelan has done nothing since his legendary performance in the Home Run Derby last year in Comerica. He had a terrible second half and failed to impress during the WBC and is now 32 years old. He is probably still a lock for a 20-20 season with a good average, but he is going in the late first or second round in drafts. The Phillies tried to unload him this offseason as well...something just doesn't feel right here.

2. Dontrelle Willis - Owners who take him in the fifth round to anchor their staff will be disappointed. The Marlins will be awful and he will be hard pressed to win 12 games this year. This is one pick I hope is wrong; you can't help but like Dontrelle.

3. Jon Garland - He is simply not as good as his numbers from 2005.