Using a mix of Yahoo’s average draft position (ADP) and staff rankings that create a composite score among three Yahoo analysts, we will present a road map through the first 100 picks to come off the board in a typical Fantasy Baseball draft.
By breaking things down into segments of 10 picks at a time (as part of a larger three-part series) to highlight the safest bet, plus an underrated and overrated player, you are sure to come away with a more streamlined and less overwhelming way to plot out a course for a successful draft. While unexpected twists and turns develop in any draft and league sizes vary, walking in as prepared as can be is the best way to come out with a competitive squad.
All staff composite rankings and ADP data are to date, and subject to change.
Safest Bet: Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox (ADP: 36 / Staff Composite Ranking: 36)
Feels a bit like a cop-out to select the reigning American League MVP as the safest pick amongst picks 31-40, but all you have to do is look at Abreu's stats the past few years to realize just how good and consistent he's been.
No, really — go look. At a young 34 and hitting in the middle of the exciting, potent White Sox lineup, Abreu is one of those players I'll happily select in any format.
Underrated: Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (ADP: 37 / Staff Composite Ranking: 31)
Rafael Devers is 24. TWENTY-FOUR. This means that, by nature of a young, talented player's healthy progression, Devers' 2019 output of .311/.361/.555 (32 HR, 129 R, 115 RBI) isn't guaranteed to see the very best we'll see out of him.
I want to be front and center for when he reaches that next level.
Overrated: Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox (ADP: 33 / Staff Composite Ranking: 33)
Luis Robert is inarguably one of the most exciting young players in MLB, but his strikeout-rate potential frightens me.
Andy Behrens put it best: "Fantasy-wise, Robert probably has the widest range of possible outcomes. He might go 35/35 with an average north of .280, or he might swing-and-miss his way to a 20/15 season and a .225 average."
That unpredictability puts the uber-talented Robert in the overrated column for 2021.
Safest bet: Starling Marte, OF, Miami Marlins (ADP: 47 / Staff Composite Ranking: 35)
No one wants their hitters on the Marlins, but Starling Marte isn't just any hitter. He's a perpetual 20-30 threat, and he delivers a sparkling batting average, too.
Keep in mind, Marte's BABIP has been at least 15 points lower than his career mark the last four seasons. Imagine what he'll deliver when it finally levels out again.
Underrated: George Springer, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (ADP: 44 / Staff Composite Ranking: 39)
Give me all the home runs. Springer is about to rake with the Jays, hitting in the heart of their potent lineup and in the friendly hitter confines of the AL East (whether the Jays play in Toronto or Buffalo doesn't matter; either has proven to be a hitter's boon).
I wouldn't be surprised if the 31-year-old finally reaches the 100-RBI mark with his new team in 2021.
Overrated: J.T. Realmuto, C, Philadelphia Phillies (ADP: 48 / Staff Composite Ranking: 58)
The decision to place Realmuto is as much a personal one and it is one based on fact. I usually am never the one to grab the first catcher off the board, not when there's value to be had at the position later, and not when there are more important positions to add at this point in drafts.
Realmuto's thumb injury this spring just further cemented that thought process. Not to mention that the likes of Salvador Perez, Yasmani Grandal, Gary Sanchez, and Christian Vazquez are all going well after Realmuto.
Safest bet: Josh Hader, RP, Milwaukee Brewers (ADP: 53 / Staff Composite Ranking: 64)
As much as one might want to wait on a closer, grabbing Hader pretty much solidifies the position for you. Even with his 2020 struggles — which can mostly be attributed to the nature of the season and a fly-ball percentage six points higher than his career mark — Hader still delivered a 3.79 ERA and a ridiculous 14.68 K/9.
I wait on closer too, but hard to go wrong with a Hader selection, as long as he remains healthy.
Underrated: Zac Gallen, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP: 51 / Staff Composite Ranking: 54)
Yes, at exactly ADP 51, I think Zac Gallen is underrated. Yes, I know he's only 25. Yes, I know he's only pitched 152 total Major-League innings.
But man, have those innings been good.
Not only has Gallen limited opposing damage and delivered admirable strikeout numbers, but he has possessed a fearlessness on the mound that goes well beyond his years (you have to be, especially when you've already been thrown into the fire of Coors Field twice in your young career and have come out of it with a 3.27 ERA). I expect Gallen to get even better as his career progresses.
Overrated: Tyler Glasnow, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (ADP: 57 / Staff Composite Ranking: 60)
I love Cillian Murphy — er, Tyler Glasnow. And full disclosure, it is VERY difficult trying to find an overrated player in this bunch of picks. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that this group of picks is where the most value can be found in fantasy drafts.
Anyway, I hate betting against talented, physical freaks like Glasnow, who have the electric stuff to be a Cy Young winner or strikeout king. I especially hate betting against them heading into their age-27 seasons; for all we know, Glasnow has another level to reach. But I can't ignore his injury history. I can't ignore the Rays limiting their pitchers' innings. 2020 was the perfect season for Glasnow to shine, what with the reduced schedule, and he ended up with a 4.08 ERA (with a very friendly .281 BABIP). I have a fear that Glasnow will end up being a "What could have been" pitcher; I hope I'm wrong.