2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Outline – Which Players I’m Targeting And When
It’s draft season, which means you better get prepped before you’re on the clock without an idea of who you should pick. Lucky for you – and everyone who I’m in a league with – I’m going to outline my entire draft plan for 2017, from who I’m targeting in each round to which positions I’m focusing on getting early in the draft and those to wait on. All my favorite players are here in one place for each position, with a round-by-round outline at the end. The rounds are a rough estimation, and should give you a general idea of when you should be looking to grab them.
Before we begin, there are a few things to note:
– This outline is meant for a redraft, 12-teamer 5×5 league. It still applies to most variants, but obviously it’s not a one-size-fits-all.
– I have purposefully left some holes since drafts are fluid creatures that need affection and constant-attention to nail down just right.
– Don’t follow this so rigidly that when Ryan Bruan falls to the 8th round you ignore him.
– Round targets are created based around Fantasy Pros’ ADP, which merges NFBC, Yahoo, and CBS data.
I really don’t like chasing a catcher in the early to mid-rounds as there is often value to be had deeper in the draft when you can often have you favorite choice of backstop at the 12th or 13th off the board. At that point, I’m hoping Stephen Vogt, Wellington Castillo or Russell Martin are still around to snatch up. There are some interesting upside plays that you can wait incredibly long for, such as Travis d’Arnaud and Cameron Rupp if all else fails.
- Wellington Castillo/Russell Martin/Stephen Vogt – Round 17/18
- Travis d’Arnaud/Cameron Rupp – Round 20+
I’m all for grabbing as many power hefty bats early in drafts and there is an obvious drop-off in first base production if you don’t snag one early. I’d be looking to grab one of Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Cabrera, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto, Freddie Freeman, and Edwin Encarnacion in the first two rounds as the later options don’t bring enough value. Ian Desmond will gain 1B eligibility in the first two weeks, making him a solid grab in the fourth if he’s around, while pairing him with a later upside pick in the short term. Adrian Gonzalez has been falling due to injury and could be a good safety net if you miss out in the first four rounds. I like Matt Carpenter as well, but he’s more valuable at second base or third. Late in the draft, there are some big upside options with Tommy Joseph, Greg Bird, and Yulieski Gurriel that could pay big dividends at a much lower cost. Keep in mind, Gurriel, like Desmond, will take about two weeks to gain eligibility this season
- Paul Goldschmidt/Miguel Cabrera/Anthony Rizzo/Joey Votto/Freddie Freeman/Edwin Encarnacion – Round 1/2/3
- Ian Desmond – Round 4
- Adrian Gonzalez/Kendrys Morales – Round 13
- Tommy Joseph/Greg Bird/Yulieski Gurriel – Round 18+
It’s hard to turn down Jose Altuve if he falls to you, though it may be smart to look elsewhere with that early pick as there are a sturdy amount of options in the early-middle rounds that can pay huge dividends. It starts with Robinson Cano and Rougned Odor, who each may pay big dividends if they are still there by the late 3rd and fourth. By the sixth and seventh round, I’m looking to snag one of Jean Segura, Matt Carpenter and Ian Kinsler if they fall to me. If not, I’m reaching for or DJ LeMahieu or Jason Kipnis in the seventh/eighth round as it’s a dramatic fall off from there. Worse comes to worse, Devon Travis is the later rounds has intriguing upside, while it’s hard to deny the pop of Jedd Gyorko’s bat.
- Robinson Cano – Round 3
- Rougned Odor – Round 4
- Matt Carpenter/Ian Kinsler/Jean Segura – Round 6/7
- DJ LeMahieu/Jason Kipnis – Round 7/8
- Devon Travis/Jedd Gyorko – Round 20+
As tempting as it is, it might be best to skip out on grabbing an elite third basemen early as there are decent options later on with more pressing tier drops at other positions. Still, if any of the big three fall in the first round – Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, and Josh Donaldson, it would be foolish to pass them up. For value I’m looking for a 3B starting in the sixth and seven rounds, hoping to grab one of Kyle Seager, Adrian Beltre, and Matt Carpenter. Backup options are sturdy as well, with Justin Turner in the 10th and Maikel Franco in the 12th. And there are deeper options still that should provide plenty of value, such as Jake Lamb in the 15th, Ryon Healy and Jung-Ho Kang (who will not be heading to jail) in the 18th, and guys like Yulieski Gurriel and Mike Moustakas hanging around at the end of your draft.
- Nolan Arenado/Kris Bryant/Josh Donaldson – Late Round 1
- Kyle Seager/Adrian Beltre/Matt Carpenter – Round 6/7
- Justin Turner – Round 10
- Maikel Franco – Round 11/12
- Jake Lamb – Round 15
- Ryon Healy/Jung-Ho Kang – Round 18
- Mike Moustakas/Yulieski Gurriel – Round 20+
I’ve heard a bit about “no such thing as position scarcity this year” and I just don’t buy it. I see shortstop as being top heavy where I want to grab one of Manny Machado, Carlos Correra, or Corey Seager and I’d prefer to skip over Xander Bogaerts or Francisco Lindor given their 2nd/3rd round price tags. If I miss out on those three, I’m looking to grab one of Jean Segura or Jonathan Villar in the 5th or 6th rounds, followed by Addison Russell, Eduardo Nunez (if I’m lacking steals) and Troy Tulowitzki in the middle rounds and looking to Tim Anderson late if the slot is still empty.
- Manny Machado – Round 1
- Carlos Correra/Corey Seager – Round 2
- Addison Russell/Eduardo Nunez/Troy Tulowitzki – Round 12/13
- Tim Anderson – Round 18+
While you can’t say no to Trout and Betts to start your draft, the most value with outfielders lies in rounds 3-6 with plenty of excellent options to go around. I’d love to snag at least one of Nelson Cruz and JD Martinez in the third or fourth, then mix in Carlos Gonzalez/Ian Desmond/Yoenis Cespedes/AJ Pollock and Mark Trumbo between the fourth and sixth rounds. Adam Jones and Jose Bautista are great value picks near the 10th round with Andrew Benintendi shortly after in the 11th. Then there are a lot of middling options where I would rather wait toward the end of my draft to select major upside and big value players like Ender Inciarte/Keon Broxton/Kevin Kiermaier/Travis Jankowski for extra speed and Aaron Judge/Eric Thames for upside.
- Nelson Cruz/JD Martinez – Round 3/4
- Carlos Gonzalez/Ian Desmond/Yoenis Cespedes/AJ Pollock/Mark Trumbo – Round 4/5/6
- Adam Jones/Jose Bautista – Round 9/10
- Andrew Benintendi – Round 11
- Ender Inciarte/Keon Broxton/Kevin Kiermaier/Travis Jankowski/Aaron Judge/Eric Thames – Round 18+
I’ll be laying off of the top tier starters in my drafts unless they fall a ton, with my main three targets being Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, and Carlos Carrasco in that order. Unless there are weird things happening in my draft, I’m aiming to snag one of them by the fifth round, possibly early sixth for Carrasco. Then around round 10, I’ll be shifting my focus to grab a large handful of pitchers inside my Tier 3, including Aaron Sanchez, Carlos Martinez, Jameson Taillon, James Paxton, Steven Matz, Michael Fulmer, Sean Manaea, and Aaron Nola. With a huge amount of options here, be a little patient and don’t spend the price to take the first player from this group unless you were unable to snag a pitcher prior to the ninth round. There are plenty of highly undervalued arms going deep this year that I’ll be grabbing at the tail end of my draft to fill out my rotation: Garrett Richards, Jharel Cotton, Lance Lynn, Jerad Eickhoff, Joe Ross, and Dylan Bundy, and in even deeper leagues, guys like Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, Matt Andriese, Alex Cobb, Joe Musgrove, and Daniel Norris should not be undrafted.
- Justin Verlander/Jacob deGrom/Carlos Carrasco – Round 5
- Carlos Martinez/Aaron Sanchez/Jameson Taillon/Aaron Nola/James Paxton/Steven Matz/Michael Fulmer/Sean Manaea – Rounds 10 through Round 16, draft 3 or 4.
- Garret Richards/Jharel Cotton/Lance Lynn/Jerad Eickhoff/Joe Ross/Dylan Bundy – Round 16+, draft 2
- Daniel Norris/Matt Andriese/Zack Wheeler/Robert Gsellman/Alex Cobb/Joe Musgrove – Deeper leagues
I’m all in favor of grabbing at least one sturdy reliever in drafts this year, with rounds 8/9 dedicated to finding at least one stud closer to anchor my relief core. Edwin Diaz is my favorite to provide more value than his current ADP slot, though I’d be happy with any of Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman, Edwin Diaz, and Zach Britton in the 8th. If I miss out on them, I’m looking to grab one of Ken Giles and Kelvin Herrera in the 9th, possibly going back-to-back into the 10th. To round out the staff, I’m a fan of Hector Neris and Shawn Kelley, both of whom are lower based on uncertainty in their bullpens, but can run away with the job and give you stud numbers as well. Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances should also be considered despite their lack of closing roles as their productivity as middle relievers will still be beneficial week-to-week.
- Aroldis Chapman/Kenley Jansen/Edwin Diaz/Zach Britton – Round 8
- Ken Giles/Kelvin Herrera – Round 9/10
- Hector Neris/Shawn Kelley – Round 15/16
- Andrew Miller/Dellin Betances – Round 20+
Round by Round
Round 1: Mike Trout/Mookie Betts/Nolan Arenado/Kris Bryant/Josh Donaldson/Manny Machado/Paul Goldschmidt/Miguel Cabrera
Round 2: Carlos Correra/Corey Seager/Miguel Cabrera/Anthony Rizzo/Joey Votto/Freddie Freeman/Edwin Encarnacion
Round 3: Nelson Cruz/JD Martinez/Robinson Cano/Joey Votto/Freddie Freeman/Edwin Encarnacion/Ian Desmond
Round 4: Nelson Cruz/JD Martinez/Ian Desmond/Carlos Gonzalez/Yoenis Cespedes/AJ Pollock/Mark Trumbo/Rougned Odor
Round 6: Carlos Gonzalez/Ian Desmond/Yoenis Cespedes/AJ Pollock/Mark Trumbo/Kyle Seager/Adrian Beltre/Matt Carpenter/Ian Kinsler/Jean Segura
Round 7: Kyle Seager/Adrian Beltre/Ian Kinsler/Jean Segura/Matt Carpenter/DJ LeMahieu/Jason Kipnis
Round 8: Aroldis Chapman/Kenley Jansen/Edwin Diaz/Zach Britton/DJ LeMahieu/Jason Kipnis
Round 18: Tim Anderson/Ender Inciarte/Keon Broxton/Kevin Kiermaier/Travis Jankowski/Aaron Judge/Eric Thames/Ryon Healy/Jung-Ho Kang/Garret Richards/Jharel Cotton/Lance Lynn/Jerad Eickhoff/Joe Ross/Dylan Bundy/Wellington Castillo/Russell Martin/Stephen Vogt/Tommy Joseph/Greg Bird
Round 19: Tim Anderson/Ender Inciarte/Keon Broxton/Kevin Kiermaier/Travis Jankowski/Aaron Judge/Eric Thames/Ryon Healy/Jung-Ho Kang/Garret Richards/Jharel Cotton/Lance Lynn/Jerad Eickhoff/Joe Ross/Dylan Bundy/Wellington Castillo/Russell Martin/Stephen Vogt/Tommy Joseph/Greg Bird
Round 20: Tim Anderson/Ender Inciarte/Keon Broxton/Kevin Kiermaier/Travis Jankowski/Aaron Judge/Eric Thames/Andrew Miller/Dellin Betances/Mike Moustakas/Garret Richards/Jharel Cotton/Lance Lynn/Jerad Eickhoff/Joe Ross/Dylan Bundy/Devon Travis/Jedd Gyorko/Travis d’Arnaud/Cameron Rupp/Tommy Joseph/Greg Bird/Yulieski Gurriel