Razzball is hosting this week’s Fantasy Roundtable. Well, last week’s but I’m tardy in posting it. Scroll to the end for my post. Feel free to add your story in the comments.

THE TOPIC: Which player(s) did you deliberately not draft on any of your teams because you thought they were overrated and your assessment proved correct?

Adam Ronis – Newsday
I don’t want to select an injured player, but of all the players that went in the first five rounds, the guy I clearly thought that was overrated and overvalued and wanted no part of was Eric Byrnes. You want to make the argument he was finally emerging into a solid player now that he was getting a chance to play everyday, maybe. But to draft him that early coming off a career year in a contract season I couldn’t fathom. He had 50 steals in 57 attempts last season, and his previous high was 25 in 28 attempts two years ago. Most people drafted him that early because of his stolen bases and I didn’t see 50 steals again. The hamstring injury played a role, but he wasn’t doing much before going on the disabled list. He was hitting .209 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 206 at-bats and was 4 of 8 on stolen bases attempts.

Double Down – Fantasy Baseball Geeks

My preseason Bust prediction displayed on our site was Eric Byrnes. Obviously the season ending injury was not what I was predicting, but the performance that owners received during his 206 at bats of active duty were the basis for my correct assessment. Byrnes hit .208 with 6 HR and 4 SB’s. In fact the 21 HR and 50 SB effort of ’07 will likely be the absolute peak Byrnes value will ever have going into a draft. His status as a clear Top 100 pick for the remainder of his career is in serious question. He seemed to wear out his welcome in Oakland a few years back and will not land on any of my squads at any point. If you are banking on a 20/20 type season then expect your downside risk to outweigh any upside (50 SB’s for example). The owner of him in my main league heckled my late round selection of Rich Harden, so I guess it feels kind of ironic that his early round selection turned out so bad.

Tim Dierkes – RotoAuthority

Back in March I believed the following players were being drafted too early: Brandon Phillips, B.J. Upton, Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Travis Hafner, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Pena, Robinson Cano, and most top starting pitchers…it is easy to cherry-pick though. But I am in five leagues and did not draft any of these players. I went with power/speed players I felt were safe in the early rounds, such as David Wright, Lance Berkman, Corey Hart, Russell Martin, and Carlos Lee.

Brett Greenfield – Fantasy Phenoms

Fantasy Phenoms did not advocate the selection of Ryan Howard in the first round. He is a three category player. He gives negative value in batting AVG and SB’s. He’s certainly lived up to that this season. Last year his contact rate was close to 60%, which was amongst the worst in the league. Of course he has value in fantasy leagues, but I could think of about 20 players that provide more overall value than he does.

Our Razzball player that we avoided in draft day was Barry Zito. He’s simply become the worst pitcher in baseball yet because of his name, gets drafted and rostered annually.

Mike Podhorzer – Fantasy Baseball Generals

I will never deliberately not draft a player because I think he’s overrated. Although I’ll assume I won’t end up with him, I’d still draft him if he falls to me in a straight draft or I could purchase him at my value in an auction. With that said, who did I consider overrated and have been right about?

Jarrod Saltalamacchia– Being drafted as the 7th highest catcher according to Mock Draft Central’s pre-season ADP, he wasn’t even assured of the starting job, as Gerald Laird was still in Texas. That, along with contact rates below 80% and really only one good year in the minors, meant he was a prime bust candidate for this year and possibly even for his career.

Derek JeterDrafted 37th overall on average, his speed and power were in clear decline, and as the owner of a high BABIP each and every season, his age and speed decline would eventually affect his ability to sustain such a high hit rate, making even a .300 average no guarantee.

Yunel EscobarDrafted as the 16th SS, I have no idea why he became such a trendy sleeper. Actually I do- he hit .326 last year. But we know better, as his BABIP was .367. He has little power and isn’t a base stealer, so in essence, you have basically a 0 category player who might have a little value if he hit atop the Braves order, which he ended up doing…but still hasn’t resulted in much roto value.

Justin VerlanderSurprise, surprise. A popular pre-season Cy Young favorite and 10th drafted SP, I was one of the few dissenters it seemed. As a neutral GB/FB pitcher with just mediocre control, his only real above average skill, albeit the best one to have, was a very good strikeout rate. He would have had to greatly improve his skill set to achieve some of the lofty expectations some had of him this year.

Fausto CarmonaHe probably made many pre-season bust lists, so I might not be the only one mentioning him. He was drafted as the 21st SP, but his low K/9, low .281 BABIP, and high 77% strand rate were all red flags. And let’s not forget the huge burnout risk as he pitched over 100 more innings than in 2006.

Brad PennyThis one was obvious. Last year’s “brilliant” 1st half was simply the result of great fortune and his “poor” 2nd half was just regression. His 3.03 ERA was a mirage as his xERA was over 4 and he posted one of the worst skill sets of his career, with a career worst K/9 below 6 and BB/9 above 3. Penny should have thanked the luck gods for all the luck he received as he finished last year with a 77% strand rate and a ridiculously low 4% HR/F.

Rudy Gamble – Razzball

I said whatever you do stay away from Lance Berkman, Carlos Quentin, and Brandon Webb. Oh wait….I should look smart. Okay, here are the guys who were drafted in the top 75 that I had 20+ picks below their average draft position: Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Alexis Rios, Magglio Ordonez, Manny Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, BJ Upton, Travis Hafner, Justin Morneau, Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Pena, Rafael Furcal, Chris B. Young, Ichiro, Ian Kinsler, Eric Byrnes, Derek Jeter, Brad Hawpe. There are definitely a few misfires in there (especially Kinsler) but I’d say my Point Share-driven approach proved pretty well in identifying some inflated values in the top rounds.

  1. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    Rudy… Is your point share driven approach based on std 5×5 Roto?

  2. Kevin says:

    “…deliberately not draft on any of your teams …”

    Poleagueamy: Participation in more than one fantasy league where success can not be fully appreciated or risks being tainted when multiple opportunities of a similar nature for said success are provided.

  3. @IowaCubs: Yup. I did it for 5×5 Roto for 10 team and 12 team leagues.

    @Kevin: I like the glossary term. Will have to work on the definition. Seems like it should involve having multiple leagues, having preferences for the teams that look the best and resent the ones that need more attention…

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