The Counselor is IN: by Michael Kaplan
There is a subtle distinction between “Sleepers” and “Quiet Superstars”. When an expert is talking about sleepers, he usually mentions players drafted anywhere from the 9th round and beyond. Quiet Superstars are those players that slipped down to about the 3rd to 6th rounds in the draft. Those rounds, in my mind, are the most important part of the draft. In those rounds you are selecting players from pick 25 to 72 and you are hopeful that they will perform in the top 15 in fantasy players. If you can perfect those rounds and get 4 quiet superstars to add to your first two obvious superstars, you will have a winning fantasy team. Here are some of my picks for quiet superstars that can lead your team.
Jason Bay- Jason Bay was an incredibly impressive hitter on a mediocre team getting mediocre stats for the last couple of years, until he joined the Boston Red Sox for the last 49 games of the season. Bay had big shoes to fill coming in after Manny Ramirez and this is a classic example of a fresh start on a powerful offense that lights a fire under a hitter. In those 49 games for the Sox, he got 54 hits, 39 runs, 37 RBIs, and 9 homers with a .293 batting average. If he can keep up those stats over 160 games next season, he will get about 176 hits, 127 runs, 121 RBIs, and 29 homers. This is a player that can be drafted at around the 3rd or 4th round, but he could definitely be a top 10 player.
Roy Halladay- Roy Halladay is referred to as a rubber arm. This means that he can pitch all game long, all season long. There are tons of fantasy leagues that have complete games as a stat, and Halladay managed to get 9 complete games in the 246 innings he pitched last year. This was all while he was keeping up a 2.78 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, racking up 20 wins and 206 Ks. If you can grab him close to the end of the 3rd round or beyond, he will perform way better than his Yahoo ranking if he does anything close to his season last year.
Adrian Gonzalez- Adrian Gonzalez is a young and rising first baseman ready to have a great year. He is located in the middle of a less than ideal situation on the struggling offense of the San Diego Padres. However, Gonzalez has averaged 30 homers, 100 RBIs, and a .288 batting average in the last three seasons. Last season he had 36 home runs and 119 RBIs playing in all 162 games. Check to make sure your league has walks because less and less pitchers are going to want to pitch to him in the Padres lineup. And remember; don’t be afraid to take a second 1B early in the draft even if you already took one, because you always have that utility spot to put him in.
Dan Uggla- Dan Uggla does not exactly fall into this category as well, but he is a quiet superstar. He is one because of how hard it is to find a good 2B this year. If you take one as early Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, or Dustin Pedroia will go in the draft, you don’t get enough bang for your buck. Then, the class of 2B just drops off the table and you won’t find a decent one. Uggla is basically the only one in the middle and he got 97 runs, 92 RBIs, and 34 homers last year. This could easily turn into the 100 runs, 100 RBIs, and 35 home run season on the improving Marlins offense. This will probably escalate him to one of the top 3 2B next year. Caution: make sure that you are in a league without offensive Ks, because Uggla’s a free swinger.
Some other quiet superstars to think about are David Ortiz, Derek Lee, Jake Peavy, and Vladimir Guerrero. These players need to go back to their old selves and they could be in the top 25 at least. Check out more of Michael’s help at http://www.bestfantasysportshelp.com/.
The Counselor is OUT: