The St. Louis Cardinals are a perennial postseason team with plenty of solid fantasy options to choose from. They have been fairly active this off season by bringing in Jhonny Peralta and Peter Bourjos but perhaps the best moves were to let certain players go and to clear up at bats for some guys who have been waiting in the wings. Guys like Matt Adams and Kolten Wong are ready for a full workload and are among many other options that the Cardinals offer for our fantasy squads.
Projected 2014 Cardinals Offense
|1. Matt Carpenter||3B||28||L||570||96||11||77||3||.295|
|2. Peter Bourjos||CF||27||R||366||51||8||36||10||.254|
|3. Matt Holliday||LF||34||R||540||91||24||89||5||.299|
|4. Allen Craig||RF||29||R||477||69||18||85||14||.308|
|5. Matt Adams||1B||25||L||460||59||24||69||1||.275|
|6. Yadier Molina||C||31||R||482||62||13||70||4||.298|
|7. Jhonny Peralta||SS||32||R||502||58||14||62||3||.271|
|8. Kolten Wong||2B||23||L||486||59||10||46||16||.264|
Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina
As tempted as I was to say “All of the above,” I wanted to note the 4 real bankable fantasy option the Cardinals offer. We’ll get to the rest of the lineup in due time.
– Carpenter: Matt Carpenter really had a breakout season in 2013 raking up 126 runs and 78 RBI as a lead-off hitter, while batting .318. Just do not go too crazy of Carpenter as he does not offer much in HRs and steals. He is a solid option outside of the top 5 at most of the positions he qualifies for.
– Holliday: Matt Holliday is a solid fantasy option who will be good for 20 homers and hit near .300. He is aging, but his skill set isn’t one that is exclusive to a younger player. He hits many home runs with sheer brute strength, and that strength isn’t going anywhere.
– Craig: Allen Craig is possibly one of the more underrated fantasy options out there. He is good for a .300+ average, 15+ homers and could rake in 90+ RBI again. What more do you want from a guy you can draft after round 5?
– Molina: Yadier Molina is one of the most bankable options, not just at catcher but in the entire league. He is just a guy that you can count on, which is such a great attribute to have in a fantasy option.
Projected 2014 Cardinals Pitching
- Crackerjack Fantasy Options: All above!
– Wainwright: Adam Wainwright is a top-flight ace and should be considered a Top-5 starting pitcher option.
– Miller: Shelby Miller is a terrific young pitcher, and should be a relative steal in most draft formats. He will maintain a near 9.0 k:9 ratio, and will not likely face a tight innings limit. So truly for this kid, the sky is the limit this season.
– Wacha: Speaking of a terrific young pitcher. Michael Wacha really burst on the scene at the end of 2013. He will also greatly benefit from pitching behind Wainwright and Miller in the rotation as even with all his hype, he should not feel the pressure to carry this staff. Draft with confidence.
–Rosenthal: Trevor Rosenthal thrust himself into elite closer status last season and there is a lot to like about Trevor. Nearly a 12 k:9 ratio, and lower than a 2.5 BB:9 ratio. I think that Rosenthal is about a legit as they come.
- Fantasy Star: Adam Wainwright
This team is loaded with quality bats, but I would not say there is an elite bat in the lineup. However this team has Adam Wainwright who is not only a Top-5 starter, but might just be right behind Clayton Kershaw in preseason rankings.
- Fantasy Bust: Jhonny Peralta
Jhonny could still be a solid fantasy option, however there are some question marks on him. If Jhonny Peralta is going high because of a thin shortstop crop, then he could be a very serious let down.
- Prospect Watch: Kolten Wong
Kolten Wong will have to shake off the base running mishap that gained him infamy in 2013 and make good on the hype he carries a top prospect. Given the team that surrounds him, that should not be a problem.
He, much like Wacha, will have little pressure to carry his team. He has a wealth of professional hitters to learn from in this lineup and if he is patient and coachable, then he will be a good fantasy option by season’s end, hopefully sooner.
- Fantasy Sleeper: Matt Adams
If given the at-bats, this could could hit 30 or more bombs this year. That would make him a very good option for this season and even more so for years to come!
- Final Thoughts
It would be an understatement to say that I like the St Louis Cardinals players as fantasy options. These guys not only offer great value in standard leagues, but if you use categories such as walks and OBP for hitters, then these guys start to rise much higher.
I don’t think that any stats that a league could use will hurt or help these pitchers at all. They are all just about as elite as you can find.
- Paying Off a Career Year at Second Base: Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy
- Jhonny Peralta Cardinals: Questions Signing Brings to St. Louis
- Matt Holliday: Evaluating OF’s 2014 Fantasy Value