As you sit down to make a list of players to target on fantasy draft day, studying the positions themselves becomes integral to the process. How deep is the position? How big of a drop-off is there from the top tier to the bottom? Do I need to attack the position early or can I wait?
Though many will preach “position scarcity,” even just a cursory glance at the catcher position will tell you this is as barren a wasteland as there is in the fantasy game, and reaching early for a top backstop is not the way to go.
It basically is a consensus within the fantasy industry: The top catchers are Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy — and that’s it. Each one can hit you close to .300 with 20-25 home runs. Nice, right?
But each will cost a third or fourth-round draft pick. Is that a wise investment? Is that more important than landing a 30-homer outfielder or a 20-20 second baseman? Not when you can get 18 home runs and a .265 average 10 rounds later. It is about value during the draft, and the higher you take good-but-not-great numbers, the more value you lose.
Even the great Gary Sanchez is losing value rapidly where people are drafting him. He had an amazing half-season last year, but his chances of sustaining that level for an entire season are not good. Not with below-average contact rates, a 25-percent strikeout rate and an insane 40-percent home-run/flyball rate.
Pitchers will adjust, and it will be up to him to make the necessary adjustments back. Invoking the name of Kevin Maas might be an extreme, but Yankees fans should know better than to get overexcited. Sanchez is more Brian McCann than he is Mike Piazza, and though that isn’t bad, it is not worth that high a draft pick.
Do yourself a favor: Be sensible. Wait to draft your catchers. From a value standpoint, a 12th round Yasmani Grandal will serve you better, especially when you’ve used that high draft choice on a true stud like a fantasy champion should.
Howard Bender is a senior writer at FantasyAlarm.com and the host of “Overtime” on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio each Saturday from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy. For more from Fantasy Alarm, listed weekdays on SiriusXM from 4-6 p.m.
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