Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Price points: 10 undervalued fantasy options

Lindor, Cespedes among players whose production should outweigh draft cost
March 28, 2017

Fantasy drafts are all about value.When selecting a team, the focus should be squarely set on getting the most productive player with each pick. Based on the ADP (Average Draft Position) data, the following 10 players should offer production that exceeds their acquisition costs.Fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to grab these

Fantasy drafts are all about value.
When selecting a team, the focus should be squarely set on getting the most productive player with each pick. Based on the ADP (Average Draft Position) data, the following 10 players should offer production that exceeds their acquisition costs.
Fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to grab these players at their current ADPs and may even want to consider them a bit earlier.
2017 Fantasy Player Preview: Full rankings
ADP data courtesy of Yahoo Sports.
Jonathan Lucroy, catcher, Rangers
Current ADP: Round 7 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 5
Lucroy is overshadowed some by the steady excellence of Buster Posey and the top-flight potential of Gary Sanchez, but he has been a stable stud at fantasy baseball's weakest position in recent seasons. A career .284 hitter who went deep 24 times last year, Lucroy has the skills to rank among the top-3 catchers in all five standard categories this season.

Brandon Belt, first baseman, Giants
Current ADP: Round 14 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 12
Belt displayed outstanding on-base skills in 2016, reaching at a terrific .394 clip as a result of his personal-best 15.9 percent walk rate. And though he again saw his offensive impact limited by a middling power output (17 long balls), last year's career-high 46 percent fly-ball rate bodes well for future production in the homer department. With an improvement on his 9.3 percent HR/FB rate from last season (18.2 percent in '14, 13.6 percent in '15), Belt could record career-best marks in homers, RBIs and runs scored in '17.
Rougned Odor, second baseman, Rangers
Current ADP: Round 4 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 3
True, Odor needs to make major improvements on his plate discipline after posting a 0.1 BB/K ratio in 2016. But at an age when many players are still hoping to reach the Majors, the 23-year-old is already coming off an impressive campaign of 33 home runs, 88 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Having made strides to increase his fly-ball, HR/FB and hard-hit rates in each of the past two seasons, Odor is on track to have a long tenure as an elite producer at a premium position.

Justin Turner, third baseman, Dodgers
Current ADP: Round 11 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 8
Turner should not be expected to regress much from his excellent 2016 production (27 homers, 90 RBIs), as his breakout year was mostly fueled by him holding a full-season starting role for the first time in his career. Able to minimize strikeouts and grounders in favor of well-struck fly balls and line drives, Turner should produce a solid batting mark with strong counting-stat totals from his spot in the heart of a productive lineup this season.
Francisco Lindor, shortstop, Indians
Current ADP: Round 3 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 2
One of the most exciting young players in baseball, Lindor has hit over .300 in each of his initial two seasons. He also showed improved plate discipline by posting a 0.6 BB/K ratio a year ago (0.4 in 2015). Likely to hit directly in front of RBI machine Edwin Encarnacion, the 23-year-old should rank among the Major League leaders in runs scored in addition to compiling more than 15 long balls and 20 steals.

Andrew Benintendi, outfielder, Red Sox
Current ADP: Round 11 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 10
The top prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, Benintendi is poised to make a major fantasy impact during his first full big league season. With his versatile skill set and a premium spot in Boston's productive lineup, the 22-year-old could approach the 20-mark in both homers and stolen bases while tallying more than 80 RBIs and 80 runs scored.
Yoenis Cespedes, outfielder, Mets
Current ADP: Round 5 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 3
Cespedes has delivered outstanding production since joining the Mets in July 2015, hitting 48 homers with 130 RBIs and a .282/.348/.554 slash line across 189 games. The outfielder made encouraging strides at the plate during his first full campaign in New York, posting career-best hard-hit (39.3 percent), walk (9.4 percent) and chase (34.6 percent) rates. Having found his comfort zone in the Big Apple, Cespedes should provide a solid batting average and outstanding power again this season.

Kyle Hendricks, starter, Cubs
Current ADP: Round 7 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 5
While Hendricks is unlikely to match his astonishing 2016 ratios (2.13 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), he could still serve as a borderline ace in mixed leagues this season. By regularly inducing weak contact (87.2 average exit velocity allowed in '16) in front of a stellar Cubs defensive squad, the right-hander should deliver strong ratios and an excellent win total despite his unremarkable strikeout skills (career 7.7 K/9 rate).
Rick Porcello, starter, Red Sox
Current ADP: Round 9 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 7
Porcello was one of the best value picks last season, finishing 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA (9-15, 4.92 ERA in 2015). Though the right-hander may regress a bit after benefitting from a career-low 9.3 percent HR/FB rate and .269 BABIP last year, he could use his stellar control (1.3 BB/9 rate in '16) to remain highly successful. And with help from Boston's potent lineup, the 28-year-old has a good chance to notch another lofty total in the wins department.

Seunghwan Oh, reliever, Cardinals
Current ADP: Round 7 in 12-team leagues
Can be drafted in: Round 5
Following a successful career overseas, Oh needed just three months in the Majors to become the Cards' bullpen anchor. The right-hander should already be regarded as a top-tier fantasy option at his position after producing stellar ratios (1.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) and an 11.6 K/9 rate as a rookie. And with the benefit of playing for a competitive team with a deep roster, Oh is a strong candidate to lead the Majors in saves during his sophomore campaign.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.