10 Spring Training Position Battles With Major Fantasy Baseball Implications

Ian Happ had an impressive rookie season in 2017, but he's not currently slotted to start every day for the Chicago Cubs. How should we handle Happ and others fighting for playing time in fantasy baseball?

Maybe it's the cold, winter air. Maybe it's the fact that everything outside of sports sucks. Maybe it's just the snail-like offseason.

Whatever "it" is, it's amplifying my perceived importance of spring training. I'm just going to embrace it.

That slow dribbler you sent out to the second baseman? It was the best darn groundout of your entire life. At this point, I'm just looking for action, and with the first real games getting under way later this week, it's time to start obsessing over the most trivial events at every opportunity.

While there's plenty of noise throughout spring training, we also have to make sure we're paying close attention. The stats do matter (if you look at the right ones), and this is where key position battles will be decided. If we're tuned into what's happening, we can invest in the players trending up before the market can react to their new prices for fantasy baseball.

What can help with that is knowing which positions have the most at stake. If we know that there's an opening in a high-powered lineup, we need to anticipate who's going to fill it. The upside of correctly nailing players in positive situations is immense, and if we identify those high-upside battles beforehand, we know where we need to focus our attention.

So let's do that today. We're going to run through 10 position battles that carry major fantasy baseball implications this spring, focusing on the ones that could have the biggest influence on the value of individual players.

Throughout, we'll be referencing average draft position (ADP) data from the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC), narrowing the scope to drafts that have been completed in the month of February.

Which position battles do we need to watch once the games get going? Let's check it out.