Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Friday 5/27/16
We're starting a new little diddy here on numberFire to try to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape that is fantasy baseball. It's not easy to keep up with all of the day-to-day fluctuations, so it can help to have someone to bounce ideas off of. That's what our daily mailbag will look to do.
Feel free to shoot us any questions you may have throughout the day on Twitter, and then we'll try to answer as many as we can in the form of a post. If you prefer, you can also send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com. These questions can be anything fantasy baseball related. That means daily fantasy baseball, season-long, dynasty, and everything else are all in play.
Obviously, we won't be able to get to all questions because there's a lot to cover. For additional questions, be sure to check out our new MLB DFS tools along with our daily and season-long projections, which should help out more times than not.
Now, enough of that. Let's dig into today's mailbag and see what's popping in the world of fantasy baseball.
Email submission from Aaron Parker:
Playing in a 10-team redraft H2H Yahoo league (smaller 3-OF roster settings but 6-man bench). 5x5 scoring, but AVG and R swapped out for OBP and TB (so I'm going heavy on walks/power types and punting SB). With C Davis, JD Mart and Ortiz locked into 1B/OF/UTIL slots, I've got ~3 spots up for grabs among my OF/UTIL slots and bench for the best of BH Park, C Santana, Sano, Ozuna, Conforto, Mazara, Myers, Valencia, Kh Davis, A Duvall, J Lamb. Can you rank them ROS?
That bench is stupidly hot. Whew. Awesome job accumulating those types of names if your intent is to load up on pop and walks.
I think any ranking involving those players has to start with Michael Conforto. Although he has slowed down a bit recently, he still has the fourth-highest hard-hit rate in the entire league. If you don't own Conforto now, it's not a terrible idea to probe whoever does have him to see if you can buy while his price is still sitting somewhere below where it will likely be going forward.
The second spot is a bit more difficult than the first, but with the scoring rules you have in place, Carlos Santana is a really good bat to have. He has drawn walks in 15.0% of his plate appearances this year while striking out only 11.9% of the time, making him ideal for an on-base percentage league. His batting average on balls in play should rise soon given his 36.4% hard-hit rate, and when it does, Santana's going to be putting forward some quality numbers. Cleveland's offense is decent, and he's in a great park, so I think with the rules you have set up, he's a solid guy to hold onto.
Things get really tight between Byung-Ho Park, Marcell Ozuna, and Miguel Sano, as all have tremendous batted-ball stats this year. Both Sano and Park have hard-hit rates above 39.0% for the season, and Sano walks enough to compensate for his lofty strikeout rate. As for Ozuna, he has gone off the chains in May with a 40.8% hard-hit rate and 18.2% strikeout rate. When Sano's luck turns around, I think he'll hold down that third spot on your roster, but Ozuna would be right on his tails with Park also being a viable option.
Those are the guys I would plop in the top five positions, but there are some interesting names on the rest of this list, not just for your team, but just in general. Let's start with Adam Duvall, who is available in over 85% of ESPN leagues but may deserve to be a bit more widespread than that.
Duvall isn't great for this specific format, but if you're looking for a big-time bat to add some pop, you could do a lot worse. He has a 36.2% hard-hit rate and 44.7% fly-ball rate this year, both of which are a tick above his career marks, and those will play up even more in a spot like Great American Ballpark. He's going to strikeout a ton, so he's not the best option if you're looking to bolster your batting average or on-base percentage, but the power is an asset in points leagues and some other formats.
The other guy worth a bit extra investigation here is Jake Lamb. At this point, he's really only one small change from being an elite fantasy stud at third base, but that one thing is something that has been trending the wrong way recently. Let's start with the good, though.
Lamb has excelled this year in each of the first three categories I look toward in evaluating a hitter: hard-hit rate, strikeout rate, and walk rate. When you're cooking in all three, it's easy to see why a .276/.360/.506 slash might be sustainable, and it's possible that Lamb could keep all of those numbers up. But his ground-ball rate has been trending the wrong direction, and that makes you worry about his power.
In April, Lamb was lofting the ball a decent amount with a 34.4% fly-ball rate and a 47.5% ground-ball rate. It's not a power-hitter profile, but it's absolutely respectable. This month, though, those numbers have shifted to 25.8% and 53.2%, respectively. His hard-hit rate has remained the same, but when he's hitting that many ground balls, it's going to lead to a bunch of sharp singles. If he keeps this up, his isolated power will decline, and he'll be a less intriguing option. But if he can flip the switch and get more loft again? Hold onto your butts, peeps.
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