Since I have already covered the different outfielder sleepers and busts I see with outfielders this season, I thought it was a good time to show some mispriced pairs. What I’m looking at are guys that are giving you similar production with vastly different costs.
As I went over with the sleepers/busts articles, everything in Fantasy Baseball is about value. Sleepers are simply players that are under-valued and busts are guys that are getting over-valued.
With mispriced pairs, I am identifying the opportunity cost or gain. I want to show that you can get generally the same production or value from a player at a much lower cost than the over-valued guy of the mispriced pairs.
This is the most important part of ADP Analysis. Knowing when a guy is generally being taken is obviously the easy part of looking at the ADP. However, knowing who you can get at a later pick that is similar is more important.
Fabian Taylor already did an excellent job looking at some of the mispriced pairs in the infield. I am focusing simply on the outfielders. I tried to make sure the players were at least 100 spots apart from their ADP data.
All of the Average Draft Positions and projections are from Fantasy Pros as of March 8th.
Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Kansas City Royals
Jonathan Villar, 2B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers
This is kind of cheating since these two are primarily second basemen. However, Fantasy Pros has them listed as outfield-eligible so I threw them in here.
You definitely lose some power with Villar, but you do gain speed. The big factor with that tradeoff is there is not nearly as much elite power around Villar’s draft position as there is around Merrfield’s ADP.
You can usually get speed later in drafts. Everyone wants their big, bruising home-run hitters early and often. So I would definitely take Villar in Round 20 (of a 10-team league) after getting someone like Yoenis Cespedes around Merrifield’s ADP rather than Merrifield and someone like Mitch Haniger.
Power With More Average
Khris Davis, OF, OAK
Eric Thames, OF/1B, MIL
Alright, so there is a pretty big power discrepancy between these two. I get it if that would scare you off. But you also have to factor in that Thames is a better player in all three other 5X5 categories. That includes a significantly better batting average.
More importantly, I think Thames’ RBI potential is much better than the average projection right now. The addition of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to the Brewers gives Thames two speedy guys that get on base a lot. The Brewers’ lineup is pretty solid now and I expect him to creep closer to the 90 RBI range.
So if that does come, then you are just losing some home runs, but also spending a draft pick almost 120 spots later. There is too much value here to take Davis early when Thames might end up having the better overall season.
A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI
Brett Gardner, OF, NYY
The production is really not that far off for 110 spots in ADP. But as I have already stated in my Outfielder Busts, I just have no trust at all that Pollock stays healthy.
Gardner has played at least 145 games in each of the past five seasons and seven of his eight full major league years. While there is some concern that his at-bats will decrease with the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, I’m pretty confident that either Stanton or Judge will be the DH most days.
Pollock just cannot stay on the field. So if you are telling me the best (health) case scenario for Pollock is mostly the same as Gardner but a bit more speed, I’m taking Gardner 11 rounds later all day. And, ya know, humidors and stuff.
Cincinnati Outfield Teammates
Adam Duvall, OF, CIN
Scott Schebler, OF, CIN
I mean just look at those projections. They are nearly identical, with Duvall just having a slight RBI advantage. Would you take 14 less RBI for TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE spots in draft position? Of course!
The runs and RBI projection might be a little low for Duvall. But if you just compare last season, Duvall had 78 runs, 31 homers, 99 RBI, five stolen bases with a .249 average. Schebler had 63 runs, 30 home runs, 67 RBI, five stolen bases with a .233 average.
I also think Schebler is going to come around with his hitting. The majority of his minor league career he was hitting above .260 including .311 his last full stint in the minors. If he raises that average up to .255 or so, I think he might have more value overall than Duvall, let alone where you draft them at.
So give me an arm to boost my pitching staff in the area where Duvall is getting picked at, and I’ll take Schebler with one of my last picks.
So would you rather have Player A or Player B on your team, draft value not considered? I think the obvious answer is Player B. He has the edge in three of the five 5X5 statistical categories. There is only a slight disadvantage in runs and average, but the massive power advantage pushes it over the top.
Now, what if I told you that Player A’s ADP is 125 and Player B’s ADP is 239? There is no argument at all. With that in mind, Player B is the best value for sure.
Player A is Ian Desmond. Player B is Michael Taylor.
I know Desmond’s season was cut short last year, but it is not like he was playing that well anyway. Taylor only played 118 games but extrapolated over a full season he had 75 runs, 26 home runs, 73 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a .271 average.
Only two outfielders are projected to have at least 23 home runs and 23 stolen bases: Mike Trout and Charlie Blackman. So with that said, give me Taylor in the 24th Round of a 10-team league all day long.
For more Fantasy Baseball Outfielder analysis, check out our rankings.
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