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Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL THIRD BASE PRIMER

The third baseman are up next as we continue our initial look at our draft plans for 2016 fantasy baseball. 

Draft Strategy:  Third base is suddenly so spectacular when it comes to top end talent that is it no doubt very tempting to go with Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, or Manny Machado in Round 1.  We have no issue with drafting any of these guys that early given how awesome their offensive numbers are but that means you got to wait until Round 3 to get a first baseman or five-tool outfielder.  We would suggest going outfielder in Round 2 under that scenario and then go with an Adrian Gonzalez in Round 3 as he should be there.  If you choose to wait a bit, there are some intriguing sleepers as well. 

THIRD BASEMAN WE WILL TARGET

Josh Donaldson/Nolan Arenado/Manny Machado:  Again we would no hesitate to draft either one of these three first round monsters but it will come at the expense of first base where you will have to wait until Round 3 to grab an Adrian Gonzalez or an Eric Hosmer or Prince Fielder type. 

Kyle Seager:  The last three seasons have virtually been carbon copies in terms of what Kyle Seager has done with his offensive numbers.  This is a guy who is very underrated and underappreciated as he gives you a locked in .260 average with around 25 home runs, 80 RBI, and a handful of steals.  Tremendous fallback option if you wait on drafting a third baseman for a few rounds. 

Maikel Franco:  Already did a sleeper post on this future .300-hitting/25-home run slugger.  Franco is already showing above-average ability with the bat across the board and could be in Round 2/3 territory by the end of the season. 

Todd Frazier:  Frazier is a rung down from the top tier of guys but he could be the bets overall buy due to his 30-plus home run bat and 10 or so steals.  The average is always going to be ugly due to a high K rate but Frazier has firmly established his base as a top-end guy.

Anthony Rendon:  Willing to give Rendon a mulligan on 2015 due to the incredible amount of injuries he suffered.  The bat is very good here and Rendon already has a five-tool season under his belt in 2014.  Take advantage of cheaper draft cost. 

Matt Duffy:  Many will doubt the out of nowhere breakout Duffy had last season but that will just make his draft price that much more affordable.  The numbers are helpful across the board with possibly some more upside. 

THIRD BASEMAN WE WILL AVOID

Evan Longoria:  Sorry I am bored with the Evan Longoria show as he ages and starts losing his numbers.  We have said for years that Longoria was never worth the early round picks he annually generated and now his numbers back that up.  The steals are long gone, Longoria's average is never pretty due to a high K rate, and now his power is dropping.  Not good signs all around.

Mike Moustakas:  The price could be cheap enough to change this opinion but I am not buying the average climb last season.  Moustakas did seem to make it a point to hit for a better average at the expense of power but that reversed itself during the second half. 

Adrian Beltre:  It was fun for years but Beltre is no doubt slipping as he reaches his late 30's.  The average is still very good but the home run totals are dropping sharply.  Remember one of the biggest mistakes fantasy baseball players make is buying too much into the name brand not appreciating the actual level of production. 

Josh Harrison:  Called it correctly that Harrison was a bust for 2015 and that won't change for 2016.  Simply put, Harrison was a giant fluke in 2014 as his power had never approached that level before and it didn't again last season.  Also the steals and average are good but the overall counting stats and nothing to write home about. 

Chase Headley:  If you can't hit for power at Yankee Stadium, you shouldn't be owned in fantasy baseball. 

 

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