Sometimes you’ve gotta be a little rough in the world of fantasy baseball. We don’t want to do it, but we’ve got to. Like any division, the NL East gives us plenty of chances to do that.
Some of guys are overrated because they’re not that good. Now, all three of these guys are good players, but I’m calling them overrated because I don’t think they’re quite as good as what the draft positions will show.
- No. 1: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
It kills me to put Giancarlo Stanton on this list, but he belongs here for a few reasons.
- He’s missed 85 games over the last two seasons. Stanton is only 24, but he’s very quickly running into the injury prone category. That’s a rough thing to handle for anyone, but especially someone who’s primary fantasy value will come from counted stats like HR and RBI.
- While the 2014 Marlins enter the year with a better foundation than the 2013 team did, Stanton’s still surrounded by a lot of question marks. On one extreme, you have Christian Yelich, who’s very talented but is only 22 and has only 62 MLB games under his belt. On the other extreme, you have guys like Rafael Furcal and Garrett Jones, who are either over-the-hill, or over the hill hiding behind the first hill. That’s not Stanton’s fault, but it doesn’t do much for his fantasy prospects.
- Stanton’s not a base stealer and is only a .265 career hitter and is only a .257 hitter if you eliminate his 2012 season.
Just too many question marks for him. I want to be wrong because I like Stanton a lot, but I think you need to let him fall below his average draft position before you consider bringing him aboard your fantasy team.
- No. 2: Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves
There is a big caveat that needs to be in play here. For Justin Upton to really belong on this list, he has to remain batting second in the Braves order. That’s where he finished last season and where MLB Depth Charts has him penciled in right now. Clearly, any time you have a guy who strikes out 120 or more times each year whose primary skill is power, you bat in second in a lineup, right?
I don’t get it. If you put Upton fourth, behind Freddie Freeman, you give pitchers a known power threat to respect when dealing with Freeman. Yes, Evan Gattis has potential and power, but he isn’t anywhere near as reliable as Upton.
Keep in mind, if Upton bats second in a National League order, he loses significant RBI potential, and that’s going to hurt his fantasy value. With Freeman batting behind him, it’s not even like Upton’s more likely to steal many more bases, as a successful steal would open a base up.
I’m not quite seeing the logic of this. If Upton does in fact look to be batting second for the Braves, wait a round or two below his ADP to take him. Upton will not be a thriving fantasy player batting second.
- No. 3: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
I can already sense that a lot of you will want to have me committed for calling Stephen Strasburg overrated. So, let me explain.
First, I’m not saying that he’s not a good pitcher that doesn’t belong on your fantasy team. He’s a fine pitcher and should absolutely be rostered in every league out there.
But I just don’t but that he’s in the next group of pitchers after Clayton Kershaw. He’s never thrown 200 innings in a season and while his career ERA is 2.96, his mark over the 2012 and 2013 seasons is 3.08. Again, not bad, actually quite strong, but I don’t know that I’m seeing a Top-5 fantasy arm just yet.
I need to see if he can get to that 200 inning mark and how he’ll handle the extra load before I call him one of the game’s best.
Now, am I being a little impatient? After all, isn’t Strasburg still a young, developing arm? Yes, he is and there’s certainly plenty of time for him. But keep in mind that while he’s never hit 200 innings, Madison Bumgarner has hit that mark three times, and Bumgarner is a year younger than Strasburg. Both are good, young arms, but be careful when thinking about how young Strasburg is, because he’s a little older than it probably seems.
If you’re looking to have a championship pitching staff on your fantasy team, think of Strasburg more as a No. 2 option than No. 1. You can say it’s picky if you’d like, but Strasburg is definitely overrated right now.