Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Let's be clear from the start: every Yahoo! expert endorses Miguel Montero(notes), and we all endorse Matt Wieters(notes). None of us ranked either player lower than fifth at the position. Today, Mr. Pianowski and I are simply addressing a small difference of opinion, in the traditional 250 words or less. Let's play the feud…

Scott says: I realize I'm setting myself up for a fall as I publicly challenge the Legend of Matt Wieters. And it's not like I'm down on him; he's fairly high on my board, too. But there's logical roto theory that will probably keep him off my roster this year.

Generally, it's a mistake to pay extra for a player to the point that he needs to climb a level to justify the investment; you want breakthrough players, but don't shell out for the privilege. The higher you move up the skill level in fantasy baseball, the more likely you'll see a crazy markup applied to hotshot rookies and prospects. Everyone wants to play scout, everyone wants to stick their flag in the ground first.

Has Wieters become a value off his disappointing rookie season? Hardly. His ADP has jumped 34 spots; if you want Wieters, you'll have to part with a seventh or eighth-round pick. That's just bad business.

Miguel Montero represents how you want to invest in our game; last year he clicked as a post-hype sleeper, and this year he's settled in as a fantastic mid-round value (ADP 142, six rounds after Wieters). Montero's glove is no longer an excuse to keep him on the bench, and there's no question about his bat (.294, 16 homers, plus the backing of A.J. Hinch). You can pay a premium for growth seasons, but that's not my style; I'd rather get behind production we've already seen, especially when the price is so affordable.

Andy responds: OK, here's a point I've made before that I'm happy to make again: Wieters may have disappointed those of you who were expecting a full-season roto contribution, but if you owned him in a head-to-head league, the guy was a playoff MVP candidate.

He hit .362/.425/.511 with 13 runs scored and 14 RBIs in the month of September. He contributed in no small way to plenty of fantasy championships. Be careful not to overstate the extent of the disappointment.

At Wieters' current Mock Draft Central ADP (93.7), the downside risk really isn't so great. And you should all be familiar with his upside. Wieters was everybody's 2008 Minor League Player of the Year following a ridiculous .355/.454/.600 line across two levels. No, he didn't reinvent his position last year. But he did manage to hit .305 with five homers over 141 Triple-A at-bats, then .288 with nine homers in his introduction to the majors. That ain't bad, and he's only 23.

If owning Wieters in 2010 required, say, a fifth or sixth round pick, then I'd likely never draft him. That isn't the case, though. You're investing an eighth round pick in a player who has a chance to be great, not merely good. In a standard mixed league – where you can afford to take chances throughout the draft – Wieters is exactly the sort of player you should target. As much as I like Montero, the ceiling for Wieters is much higher.

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Photos via AP Images 

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