Finding draft day bargains is the best way to break out of the starting gates. Well, I guess the best way is to have a solid core of keepers, but in a redraft league, everything starts with the draft. Or does it start with the draft prep? So like Jesus Jones sang, does it start right here, right now? I think it might. Maybe not with this exact post, but somewhere here on Razzball. With every draft day bargain, you gain on your league mates. If you need a refresher on what a draft day bargain is, I will tell you. A draft day bargain is when you draft a player later than his actual value. For simplicity’s sake, drafting Juan Soto in the second round would be a prime example. Soto is an easy top five pick, so drafting him with the 12th pick means you’ve gotten Soto with a draft pick in which he shouldn’t have been available.
Determining a player’s actual value in points league can be tricky as player rankings will vary based on the league’s scoring system. You all know how much I’ve stressed the importance of knowing a league’s scoring system when trying to compare players. The other confusing data point is average draft position (ADP). ADP can be misleading because it most certainly does not represent a player’s true value, just his current market value as it represents where a player is being drafted by the masses. The problem is that ADP is contagious. What this means is that when someone is trying to determine who to draft with their next pick, they often refer to the remaining players’ ADP to see who they should be picking before someone else selects the player. So if Aaron Judge has an ADP of 23, he’s not going to be available when you pick at 40. This is true even if Judge’s actual value is the 45th best player in your league. Unfortunately, there is always going to be at least one person in your league that will draft based on ADP.
Let’s look at some players that have an ADP greater than their actual value.
Corbin Burnes – There are a few that have Burnes ranked ahead of Gerrit Cole. I have Cole as the top ranked starting pitcher and Burnes as number two. However, Burnes currently has an ADP of around 30. That means if you draft him around his ADP of 30, you will be making a great pick because his actual value is top ten.
Max Scherzer – Scherzer is reliably one of the best pitchers in fantasy baseball. Until he proves otherwise, we have to keep believing. His ADP is also around 30 and his value is late first round.
Brandon Woodruff – Another starting pitcher. I think I see a trend here. In points leagues the top starting pitchers are very valuable as they produce a lot of points. Woodruff’s ADP is in the 4th round, but his true value is round two.
Alex Bregman – It’s important to remember that every player has the potential to be a draft day bargain. Even if you are not high on Bregman, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draft him if you can draft him at a spot where the pick makes sense. In fact you need to be willing to draft almost any player if, as Bob Barker often said, the price is right. Bregman’s ADP is round six while his draft value is round three. Draft him in the fifth round and be happy.
Pete Alonso – Bombs away. ADP is round four and value is early round three. This one’s not such a big deal, but it’s worth pointing out that even drafting a player one round later is still providing value. So if you were to select Alonso in round four you are making a good pick. Unless of course Manny Machado is still available.
Jose Altuve – Don’t hate on the little guy. His ADP is round five and his true value is round three.
Corey Seager – This is one guy I am going to have a bunch of shares of. His ADP is round six, but I have him valued as an early round four pick.
Dylan Cease – This is a good example of a player this really isn’t on my everyday radar, but his ADP is round eight and I’ve got him pegged as a 4th rounder. I can definitely see myself snagging him in the 7th or 8th round.
Marcus Semien – He semiens to be a good pick late in the 6th round since he could very well be a 4th round player.
Yordan Alvarez – Here’s a third round pick commonly being drafted in the fifth.
Jesse Winker – I’ll be winking at myself in the mirror if I draft him in the 8th round considering he could be 5th rounder.
Jonathan India – ADP 85, Value 55
Josh Bell – I’m going to have to keep an eye on projections, but with what I’ve got today Bell’s value is somewhere in the 6th round. His ADP is 193. There’s a huge gap here resulting in plenty of opportunity buy Bell at a bargain.
Ketel Marte – Here’s a guy with 2B/OF eligibility that can be gotten in the 7th round instead of the 5th.
Justin Verlander – I’m going to put Verlander in the same category as Sale. An ex-super ace that could very well pitch awesome. His ADP is round 10ish and his approximate value is round 6.
Sean Manaea – ADP 180, Value 68
Jake Cronenworth – ADP 115, Value 75
Jose Abreu – Abreu is like the gift that keeps on giving. I feel like he is consistently underrated. His current ADP is round nine and his value is round seven.
Anthony Rizzo – Ok, so we’re not sure where he will end up. But I’m relatively confident on what his approximate stats will be. I have him as a seven rounder with and ADP of round 14.
Anthony Rendon – ADP 145, Value 80
DJ LeMahieu – ADP round 13, Value 85
Giancarlo Stanton – I am not a fan on Stanton. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever owned him in a points league. But if I can draft him in the 12th round, I will have to strongly consider pulling the trigger since I have him valued as an eleventh round pick.
J.D. Martinez – ADP 130, Value 88
Alex Verdugo – ADP 180, Value 100
Jordan Montgomery – ADP 225, Value 125. If you can get a player 100 picks after where you have them ranked, you have make a great move.
Justin Turner – ADP 161, Value 1105
Joey Votto – ADP 150, Value 108
Yuli Gurriel – ADP 250+, Value 145
Nelson Cruz – ADP 200, Value 138
C.J. Cron – ADP 214, Value 165
These ADP values were taken from CBS and the scoring system I used to rank the player is as follows.
RUN (+1), RBI (+1), 1B (+1), 2B (+2), 3B (+3), HR (+4), BB (+1), KO (-1), HBP (+1), SB (+2), CS (-1), SF (+1)
WIN (+5), LOSS (-5), IP (+3), K (+1), BB (-1), HA (-1), ER (-1), HB (-1)
Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney