When Jay(Wrong) first presented me with the opportunity to write about trash and treasure, I was confused and possibly even somewhat indifferent about tackling those subjects moving forward. I mean, who would be interested in reading about Duke “The Dumpster” Droese and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase on a weekly basis (besides those who enjoy watching a disastrous car wreck unfold)? I finally shook the seasonally-inspired Wrestlemania cobwebs loose and realized that he was referring to the long-running Razzball series that Mike handled last season, which focuses on the most added/dropped players in the fantasy baseball universe. Crisis averted (for now).
The concept of this column is pretty straightforward: identify the players who have experienced the largest change in ownership percentage over the previous week and determine which of those players are deserving of their sudden gains or declines. Since our beloved RCLs are found under the ESPN umbrella, I’ll reference that data in this column.
Throughout the offseason, the main focus has been on your own preparations and player evaluations prior to draft day. In this series, we’ll take a look at how other teams/owners value certain players. Each week, we’ll look at two players: one from the most added list and one from the most dropped list. I’ll be taking a contrarian viewpoint on each player. The highlighted player on the most added side will be one who I feel is actually trash, while the player from the most dropped list will be someone who I consider to be a treasure.
This week’s post will be slightly different from what you can expect to see during the regular season though. We’re going to look at a couple of the biggest risers and fallers in ADP over the past week since fantasy drafts are still ongoing, and the majority of leagues that have already drafted aren’t nearly as active on the waiver wire prior to the start of the season as they will likely be in-season.
Let’s use Joc Pederson (+32.1, 163.7 ADP) as an example. Over the past week, his ADP has risen by more than 32 picks due to his impressive performance during spring training. Is this drastic rise up the rankings warranted? This is a player who produced a 33/30 season in AAA last season while managing a .303/.435/.582 triple slash as well. He’s followed that up with a .389/.421/.796 line this spring, including 6 home runs and 2 stolen bases. The 12 strikeouts in just 57 PA are mildly concerning, as is the 26.9% K% that he produced last season. However, his power/speed combo is increasingly rare these days, and he looks to have locked up the starting CF job for the Dodgers. Pederson looks like the real deal. Here are a couple of other big ADP movers over the past week in fantasy baseball:
Jayson Werth – +13.7, 159.0 ADP
Werth has been an extremely valuable and consistent fantasy asset over the past seven seasons. From 2008-14, he averaged 22 HRs and 14 SBs per season with a .281/.375/.480 triple slash line, which includes his injury-shortened 2012 campaign. Last season, however, he produced his lowest HR and SB totals over that stretch (excluding the ’12 season) and experienced a 51 point drop in his ISO from .214 to .163. Factor in his offseason shoulder surgery and the fact that he’ll be turning 36 in May, and he’s better left for someone else to deal with this season. TRASH.
Brandon McCarthy – -29.2, 260.0 ADP
The 260 ADP mark is actually quite misleading since it’s ESPN’s lazy cutoff mark that they prefer to use for any player who’s drafted with the 260th overall pick or anything below that number. A more accurate indicator of the general consensus on McCarthy is his paltry 10.9% ownership mark, which means that he’s currently unowned in almost 90% of all ESPN leagues. Should that be the case? Anyone who’s read my piece on him earlier this offseason knows that I think he’s being undervalued this season. While his spring performance has not been stellar (23 BB+H and 11 ER in 14.2 IP), he’s kept the ball in the park (just 1 HR allowed) and has displayed good control (only 3 BBs). Most importantly, he’s healthy and ready to take advantage of the vastly improved defense that the Dodgers should be producing this season. Don’t let another owner scoop him up off the wire and reap the rewards. TREASURE.