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Fantasy Baseball 2013: The Hate List

Andy Behrens
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Just look at Yu. He knows what's up. He's not drafting Elvis, no way (USAT Sports Images)

OK, so maybe "hate" isn't exactly the right word here. I'm fairly sure that no member of the Yahoo! fantasy staff actively hates anyone on the list below (except maybe Evans, with Hosmer. Something's up there). In fact, you might actually be able to field a middle-of-the-pack public league fantasy team from the names below. We're not discussing terrible players here.

But the draft-day price tags? Yup, those we hate. Here's a roster full of guys we're not buying...

[Baseball 2013 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

Elvis Andrus – Nothing gets me more more riled up than Andrus' annually overinflated ADP. His power is completely non-existent; he hit six home runs as a rookie, and a combined eight home runs over the following three seasons. His SB% is abysmal, so less running is a logical progression (21 SBs in '12 was his first sub-30 total). And he's nothing special in the other categories.

Frankly, I just don't get the Andrus fascination. -Funston

Buster Posey – Minimizing risk is the name of the drafting game. This is exactly why owners should resist the temptation of chasing "scarcity" in the first couple rounds. Catcher is a physically taxing position, which enhances the possibility for long-term injury. Posey is a marvelous hitter who is undeniably the pacesetter at his position, but he’s too make or break to warrant such a heavy investment. And before you ask, yes, I lug around pebbles instead of stones. -Evans

Derek Jeter – It's rare that I drag any name onto the do-not-draft list, but I'm getting close with Jeter. No gift basket for Behrens. One day after serving as DH in a game over the weekend, Jeter was dealing with ankle soreness, leading to this statement from his GM:

"We'll back off completely. He won't be doing anything; he won't be playing any games here for the next few days."

As great as he's been, Jeter is presently a 39-year-old shortstop (not many of those, ever) dealing with a persistent ankle issue. I'm out. -Behrens

Tigers BullpenBruce Rondon is blowing up before our eyes, we can all see that. But is there a reliable closer to be found anywhere on the roster? Phil Coke can't get righties out consistently; Al Alburquerque has control and durability questions; Octavio Dotel broke in with Hank Greenberg, for crying out loud; and the club doesn't like to use Joaquin Benoit in the ninth. Gut feel: the team's ultimate saves leader is not currently on the ballclub. I'm not spending a draft choice on any of these names. -Pianowski

B.J. Upton – Thanks to his name-brand appeal and flashy 20/30-club credentials, you'll never, ever get a deal on Upton in your fantasy draft. And for the full price, you'll get stuck with a lousy batting average and counting stats that have never been that far above serviceable (career highs of 82 RBI and 89 Runs). -Funston

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Matt Wieters, no longer feeling the fantasy love (USAT)

[AL East Preview: How good are the Blue Jays?]

Matt Wieters – Here's another player where fantasy owners have a hard time letting go of the pedigree. He was a stud in college and in the minors, but it's time to call a spade a spade when it comes to his MLB career. He's logged nearly four full season with Baltimore. He has a .260 career batting average and .749 OPS to show for it. He has yet to have a top-5 fantasy season among catchers. You can use a top-100 pick on Wieters, or you can wait 100-plus picks later and pick Ryan Doumit. I know which way I'd rather go. -Funston

Eric Hosmer – Many within the "expert" community continue to cling to the false hope the Royals first baseman will suddenly morph into a 30 home run beast. Listen folks, it simply isn’t happening, at least this year. His unsightly batted ball profile, which trends heavily toward grounders, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. An increase in batting average is likely, but without the pop, he’s the Maggie Gyllenhaal of first basemen, a complete two-face. -Evans

Carlos Beltran - The final haul from 2012 looks pretty, but the story got ugly in the second half (.236/.302/.440). Beltran is moving around like Fred G. Sanford this spring and he turns 36 in late April. Forget last year's 151 games; I don't see Beltran going past 125 starts in 2013. He won't be found on my rosters. Stay fresh, Oscar Taveras. -Pianowski

Dan Haren – He's logged a lot of successful fantasy campaigns, but he's on a run of seven straight seasons in which the difference between his first half and second half ERA is more than a run. Not exactly a model of in-season consistency, even though the end-of-season numbers have painted a prettier picture. -Funston

[NL East Preview: Can Phillies keep up with the Nationals and the Braves?]

Craig Kimbrel – Tossing vitriol Kimbrel’s way isn’t a statement regarding his talent or person. In reality, he’s probably a swell dude, worthy of sharing multiple barley pops with. However, in fantasy, he’s a player to circumvent. Gamers, the changing of the guard happens. Look at the past two years. Nearly two-thirds of bullpens have experienced closer turnover. No doubt, he’s the best stopper in the game, but it’s senseless to spend a top-50 pick on a position brimming with volatility and late-round values (e.g. Greg Holland, Jason Grilli and Addison Reed). -Evans

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Don't pretend you're surprised, Greinke owner (USAT)

Zack Greinke – I've drafted pitchers with plenty of fleas over the years, but I really don't like to mess with elbow pain. Greinke is pitching again, true, but Monday's start wasn't pretty (3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Zack's tier is loaded, so I don't really see the need to draft damaged goods. No thanks. -Behrens

Jacoby Ellsbury - It might be time to accept the Two Jakes; Ellsbury's 32-homer explosion from 2011 isn't supported by any other season in his career. Throw in two major injuries in three years and I don't understand why Ellsbury is a fourth-round ticket in most leagues. I'd like more certainty, please. -Pianowski

Evan Longoria – When healthy, the Ray packs quite the sting, but he’s missed 22.4 games per year during his five-year MLB career. Invest a top-30 pick in his services, and he’ll surely drive you to the bottle. Third base is a relatively shallow position this year, but it would be no surprise if late-round gems Mike Moustakas and/or Todd Frazier outperformed the fragile hot corner this season. -Evans

Addison Reed – Yeah, sure, I realize that everyone views Reed as a bargain closer. But he allows plenty of hard contact (25.5 career LD%), and was borderline unwatchable in the final weeks last season. Check the game log. I don't see the magic here that others do. Reed's secondary stuff needs to improve a bunch if he's going to keep the ninth. -Behrens

Paul Goldschmidt - He's a fine commodity in a vacuum but the first-base ADPs don't make complete sense to me. Why is Goldy flying off the board 30 picks before Freddie Freeman, 68 picks ahead of Ike Davis and 70 picks in advance of Eric Hosmer? I know it's a Mad Lib of sorts to rely on the "take the cheaper option" card – in a snake draft, you have to select someone with those early picks. But I'm not ready to give Goldschmidt Tier 2 status after a modest 193 games. Don't hate the player, hate the price tag. - Pianowski

[Also: What's keeping Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in Seattle other than $175M?]

Edwin Encarnacion – Don’t swim in shark-infested waters. Avoid week-old Chinese food. And never, ever slap down greenbacks for a career year. These are hard and fast rules to live by. Encarnacion was nothing short of magnificent a year ago, but a regression to the mean is likely, making his top-40 ADP overvalued. Bank on a line around 85-30-95-8-.270. -Evans

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