Power Rankings Countdown: No. 4 Atlanta Braves led by potential top fantasy pick, Ronald Acuna Jr.

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Scott Pianowski
·2 min read
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Atlanta is the slight favorite in a very intriguing NL East. Four teams were pegged to win between 85-91 games in a full season (per Bet MGM) — and then you have the Marlins, shipwrecked at 64.5.

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The top three of Atlanta’s order is mouth-watering: Two MVP candidates and the broad skills of Ozzie Albies. Marcell Ozuna slots in nicely as a cleanup man; maybe the 2017 career year is unreasonable to dream about, but his three-year average is .281-81-30-100. The Braves will split time at catcher and be strong from a per-game standpoint, but you have to accept modest at-bat upside.

As for Ronald Acuna’s draft slot, take him as high as you want. Mike Trout, Acuna, and Christian Yelich are the Top 3 on most boards; I am not hung up on the order. Trout probably has the highest floor, but Acuna’s age and willingness to run could present the highest upside. No wrong answers here.

Atlanta Braves projected lineup (Photo by Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)
Atlanta Braves projected lineup (Photo by Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)

Dansby Swanson is one of my favorite cheap targets; you can get him outside the top 240 in Yahoo drafts. Part of that is the depth of shortstop talking, but with Swanson you get category juice, prospect pedigree (he was the first pick in his class), and a solid 2019 semi-breakout that was eventually muffled by injury. His batting slot is a drain to the angle, but those things don’t have to stick all season.

Third base is still up in the air; unfortunately, Johan Camargo or Austin Riley will probably be buried in the order.

[Yahoo Rankings: Overall | C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Mike Foltynewicz is one of my late-round pitching targets; maybe it’s because I remember 2018 fondly, or maybe I’m just humble-bragging that I know how to pronounce it. Mark Melancon will probably cede some saves to Will Smith, a lefty who can also get right-handers out. Save striation is a fact of life in 2020, but it also means we can be more accepting of save-grabbers who don’t have complete ownership of their bullpens.

Likely Buy/Fade: Swanson; Melancon.

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