Yankees' DJ LeMahieu leads 2021 Fantasy Baseball fades

Yahoo Sports' Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don and Scott Pianowski discuss a few players who could see a dip in production, including a second baseman who hit 10 HR in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Video Transcript


ANDY BEHRENS: Welcome back to Yahoo Fantasy Baseball 2021. Getting you ready for your fantasy drafts. Today, we are talking about players that we're kind of fading in drafts, players that don't particularly interest us at their current draft price. Dalton Del Don, you have perhaps the spiciest take in your fantasy career. Who are you fading?

DALTON DEL DON: I don't think it's that crazy to fade DJ LeMahieu coming off a career season at age 32. I mean, he's a fine hitter. Batting average is often underrated. It's impressive what he's done getting outside of Coors Field. But last year, he had a .370 BABIP. That hit rate came with a barrel percentage that was in the bottom 10% of the league.

I mean, he's perennial been a mid-round fantasy pick for a reason. You need aces or bases. And he does not steal, he's not a pitcher, he hasn't hit 30 homers. I don't know, man. This is crazy to me to be drafting LeMahieu suddenly in the second round of fantasy drafts based off last year. No thanks.

ANDY BEHRENS: Tells us a little bit something about the depth at second base, I think, but I hear you there. Good points all around. I'm gonna go actually with Mike Soroka, and it pains me to say it. Wonderful pitcher. I don't really have anything bad to say about his arsenal, about his long-term prognosis, right?

But this could apply to almost anyone who's battling a significant injury right now. You don't have to embrace this at this point in the season. As Scott Pianowski has often said, don't run to trouble because trouble eventually is gonna find you. I am concerned about him. Early in spring training, we're just talking about Soroka doing mobility drills.

Again, he's great. Down the line, I think wonderful career here. But, boy, if there's any National League starter who needed a universal DH, it's probably this guy. They don't want him on the bases. They don't want him running down to first. I don't like anything about this situation. I'm gonna be fully out on him this season.

Scott, who are you avoiding?

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, Devin Williams is my fade, but I want to add on LeMahieu. You know, last year, you don't want to buy his career year. If he does what he did in 2019, he will justify his ADP. And he plays multiple positions, including that second base position where it seems like there's like four guys I want to draft. So I'm in the pro-LeMahieu camp.

But you want a fade for me today, I'll give you Devin Williams. This guy was wiffle ball last year. Nobody could hit him. And that's great. He came out of nowhere. You picked him up off waivers. You made a great feast off of that.

And the year before, it was Nick Anderson. There's gonna be relievers this year that we haven't heard of who have added new pitches or they've scrapped pitches. New catcher, new pitcher, new pitching coach, or spot on the rubber. My advice to you is let Devin Williams go. The ADP is now bloated.

Wait three or four weeks, go to your waiver wire, look at the walks and strikeouts. Those ratios solidify themselves very quickly in the season. And look for somebody you've never heard of who has one walk and 11 strikeouts. I guarantee you'll see four or five of these guys. Try to find the next Devin Williams. Try to find the next Nick Anderson. Try to find the next fire-breathing reliever who came out of nowhere.

It was Blake Treinen a couple of years ago. These guys do grow on trees. They're not that hard to get. You just have to know what to look for. And, again, the stats that are important for them stabilize early in the season. Williams is really talented, but maybe he just caught lightning in a bottle for one year. Do not pay the upgraded price in 2021.

ANDY BEHRENS: Dalton, do you want a rebuttal? Do you want additional time so you can defend the LeMahieu call a little more?

DALTON DEL DON: I don't even have him as a top-five fantasy second baseman on my board this year. I think he's by far the most overvalued fantasy player this year, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. I mean, again, doesn't get you bags, not a ton of power. Buying a career year in round two, to me, is crazy.

ANDY BEHRENS: Oh, welcome back, fantasy baseball. We're fired up about DJ LeMahieu. You love to see it. Folks, get yourself signed up for a Yahoo fantasy team today. It's Again, sign up for fantasy baseball right now.