Manny Machado - Current ADP 9 - I'd take him top #4
Everyone knows Machado is a stud, and he's obviously not a sleeper. But even still he's going too late in my book at #9. If I have a draft pick outside of the top 4 in any league he's gonna be at the top of my queue and hopefully on my team.
Anthony Rizzo - Current ADP 13 - I'd take him #7
Rizzo is also a stud and everyone and their mom knows it, I'm just saying he's a first round pick in my book not a second. Also with the way 1st base is this year I would love to lock up a stud at the position since I think it drops off very quickly unlike in previous seasons. If I can get Rizzo in the late first or early second round of my mixed league I'm doing it every time.
George Springer - Current ADP 30 - I'd take him top 20
Some people think Springer is a risk, and maybe he is since his batting average is far from safe, but you don't win leagues without taking risks and if Springer hits I think he has more upside than any other player in fantasy baseball. Enough said.
Maikel Franco - Current ADP 92 - I'd take him top 75
Franco is currently going as the 11th 3B off the board and at that price I think he is one of the best bargains in all of fantasy. Franco provides a rare combination of power and plate discipline with a 15% K rate and 14 homers in 80 games last year. I think Franco is easily a top 10 option at the position and could be top 5 as early as this season.
Gregory Polanco - Current ADP 103 - I'd take him top 75
Polanco might have the most profit potential of any player this season in my book. I think he has the potential to hit 15-20 homers with 35-40 steals and you can get him outside of the top 100, in the same range as Ben Revere who is a steals only power suckhole. If Polanco hits at the top of the Pirates lineup I think he could be a top 10 OF.
Addison Russell - Current ADP #132 - I'd take him top 120
I know, I know, Russell is going to hit at the bottom of the Cubs lineup and that's gonna limit his fantasy upside. Except pretty much every single lineup on every single team in the history of MLB has changed a lot over the course of the season. If Russell is as good as I think he will be he's gonna move up in the lineup and provide a ton of value.
Kevin Pillar - Current ADP #173 - I'd take him 160
Pillar is currently slated to hit leadoff for the Blue Jays one year after hitting 12 homers with 25 steals in 29 attempts. So what's not to like here????? I'm waiting......... Well I cant think of anything so I'll just say that if Pillar hits leadoff for the Jays he will have the potential to be one of the top run scorers in the bigs. Combine that with his power and stolen base efficiency and you get TARGET SUPREME (copyright Nate Dokken).
Yasmani Grandal - Current ADP #216 - I'd take him top 200
Grandal has as much power and OBP potential as any catcher in baseball. He's currently going as the 12th catcher off the board and if he stays healthy I think he could easily be top 5. Draft him.
Alcides Escobar - Current ADP #225 - I'd take him #220
Escobar had a low BA in 2015 fueled by a low BABIP. In my opinion that also led to his low stolen base total. If his BA can rebound then I think he can up the stolen bases and return value. I wouldn't reach for him but if he falls he is one of my favorite late round options at a bad position.
Bonus Dudes!!! - These are my late mixed league and only league targets. If it is getting late in my draft I'm getting these guys in my queue, and I also feel more comfortable punting these positions since I feel confident these guys will produce.
Marcus Semien - #258 overall
Nick Castellanos - #263 overall
Cesar Hernandez - #424 overall - Hernandez is criminally underrated in my opinion, he's slated to hit at the top of the Phillies lineup and he steals bases at a premium position. If I was in an NL only league he'd be on my team no questions asked.
Corey Kluber - Current ADP #36 - I'd take him top 30
If you've listened to the podcast at all then you know I'm all over the Indians pitching staff this year. Long story short Kluber has already had a top 5 season and I think with better luck and defense than he had in 2015 he will do it again.
Carlos Carrasco - Current ADP #54 - I'd take him before the draft even starts.
I admit it, I am not rational about Carlos Carrasco. But what I will say is that he has all the same great things going for him as Corey Kluber does and he was top 5 in baseball in several key pitching stats last year including K9, strikeout % and he also had one of the largest differences between his ERA and FIP among qualified starters. How's this for a bold statement, if things go right for Carrasco he could be a top 3 starting pitcher this year.
Johnny Cueto - Current ADP #71 - I'd take him as high as 45
Cueto is getting a bum rap for his time in KC last year in my opinion. Yes he struggled in his short time in the AL but he also had to deal with switching leagues and it was a small sample size. Now he's headed to San Fran and one of the best parks in the NL, and the last time he pitched a full season in that league he was a top 3 starter in baseball. Sign me up for all the shares of Cueto I can get.
Drew Smyly - Current ADP - #156 - I'd take him top 150
If you've been paying attention you'll notice I'm not willing to reach much above Smyly's ADP to nab him, but I still had to make him a dude since I love his skills and situation so much. He has a strikeout per inning upside with solid ratios so I still love him around #150.
Joe Ross - Current ADP #224 - I' take him top 175
I have already bet that Joe will be better than Tyson in a battle of the Ross's in 2016, so I've made my feelings clear. But that bet is both about my dislike for Tyson and my love for Joe, so I will explain my position more. I think that Ross is a lock to stay in the rotation all year while some people don't and I also think that he provides more strikeouts and better ratios than all the pitchers going 20-25 picks ahead of him.
Ian Kennedy - Current ADP #254 - I'd take him top 170
Kennedy is my favorite pitcher in all of fantasy in 2016. If he can keep up his strikeout rate up and the Royals stellar D and great park help him then he's a safe bet to be a #3 pitcher that you can get as a late rounder in a mixed league. If there are any leagues I don't own him in this year I will be shocked and might cry.
Matt Moore - #259 overall
Daniel Norris - #387 overall - I owe this call to The Welsh from the ITL podcast, who was a guest of ours and a great dude. Norris is a forgotten man as a former top prospect going behind guys like Tommy Milone and Kyle Gibson currently. He was called the next great left handed starting pitcher by the great Rich Wilson from prospect361.com and at this price he might just swing your league if you draft him late.
Jonathon Niese - #416 overall
Andrew McCutchen - Current ADP #10 - I'd take him outside the top 20
Cutch has been a top 10 player the past 3 or 4 years but at this point I think he's more name value than stud. His stolen bases have fallen the past 3 years and he's only getting older. I realize this pick could backfire but I'd rather be a year too early than a year too late jumping off the Cutch wagon.
Jake Arrieta - Current ADP #18 - I'd take him outside the top 30
Arrieta is actually one of my favorite pitchers of all time, and I've loved him since his time in Baltimore when he sucked. But at this point you're paying for his career year and I just am not willing to do it.
Dee Gordon - Current ADP #19 - I'd take him outside the top 50
Gordon is a one category player in my opinion. I don't trust the BA to repeat, and if it doesn't everything else he does will take a dip in 2016. While stolen bases were down in 2015 I don't necessarily believe that will be the case in 2016, and if it isn't then Gordon won't be as valuable even if he repeats his 2015 numbers (and I don't think he will).
Kyle Schwarber - Current ADP #43 - I'd take him outside the top 70
I watched the Cubs playoff run in 2015 so I realize Schwarber looks like a future monster. But the sample size is too small for me and even though he has catcher eligibility this year I just don't trust him enough to draft him anywhere near his ADP. If he struggles this year at all (which I think is very possible) the Cubs are so stacked is easy to see him losing AB's and killing your fantasy team.
Miguel Sano - Current ADP #57 - I'd take him outside the top 70
I am a Twins fan, and Sano is probably the most exciting Twins player since Kirby Puckett and Johan Santana in their primes, and its really not close. Even still a player who needed a .396 BABIP to hit .269 and struck out 35.5% of the time is just not gonna be on any of my teams if he goes in the top 6 or 7 rounds. Sano is an amazing dynasty asset but I'm passing in redraft this year.