Gotta start this with another quick RCL pitch; I have my first RCL draft Friday evening and I cannot wait! As much as I love me my deep leagues, I have become quite enamored with the RCL format and I think those teams provided the most fun I had playing fantasy last year. One of the side benefits I wasn’t even expecting, was getting and giving what felt like a ton of free advice: I suspect all of us in the ‘Perts League last year were paying attention to who was picking up whom and using that knowledge to improve our other teams, including some in completely different formats. As I write this, there are just two spots left in my $100 RCL that drafts next Wednesday evening March 23rd, so if you’re interested, click that link and jump on in!

I can’t believe it’s only been a week since my last post, which I wrote just as the lockout was ending. As we all predicted, we’ve been deluged with news, notes, transactions, and some absolutely team-crushing injury updates. At Rolling In The Deep, though, we aren’t here to talk about Fernando Tatis’s dangerous off-season hobbies or even to discuss how far Ranger Suarez may be behind after having VISA issues. Instead, we’ll take a look at a handful of players further off the fantasy radar (outside the top NFBC 300 for now, most of them well outside the top 300) who may have had changes in value during this first week since the new CBA was announced.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa.  Here’s what I said about Falefa all the way back on February 11th (which, granted, does seem like a completely different era now): “If he ends up with a starting shortstop gig on a team like the Reds or Yankees, I’m pretty sure his draft value will take a big leap.”  IKF’s ADP was 361 at that time, and over the last week of NFBC drafts, it’s 296. I’m not sure we’ll see any further leaping, but I do think he’ll continue to get drafted closer to #300 rather than outside the top 350. If his price does keep rising, I’m probably out around #275. Sure, I’ll grab him near pick 300 all day long if I’m looking for a deep league middle infielder with speed and a plus average… but even if the Yankees don’t make more moves and he ends up playing every day, he’s not going to suddenly turn into 2004 Jeter just because he’s wearing pinstripes.

Jose Iglesias. Another classic Rockies move, signing Iglesias to presumably take over every day at shortstop while the rest of us were wondering how the playing time would shake out between Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson, and even hearing rumors about moving Ryan McMahon to short. Even a move to Colorado of course won’t make Iglesias a fantasy stud, but looking things over I’m more interested in him in NL-only than I realized. If he plays every day he could hit 12 to 15 homers and chip in a few steals, which is meh at best, but I think he could be a sneaky source of average (.277 over his career and that should have a good chance to be higher in 2022 given his new ballpark). Also, we’ve all been talking about how deep SS is this season, and I hadn’t really looked at how much of that is concentrated in the AL.  Omitting Tatis now, and if Story and Correa wind up in the AL, can you guess how many of the top 15 shortstops based on NFBC ADP are in the NL? It’s three!! Trea, Lindor, Jazz. That’s it.

Ha-Seong Kim. Speaking of NL shortstops, I suppose Kim should be on our deep-league radar. It did sound like the Padres were happy with some of the adjustments Kim has made at the plate since he first joined the team, and it looks like there’s a decent chance he’s handed the starting shortstop gig to open the season.

Tylor Megill. Boring even as a deep league flyer, but now he’s slightly less boring to me than the CubsAdbert Alzolay, who I took towards the end of multiple drafts, and who now will be opening the year on the IL due to the dreaded shoulder tightness. Anyhow, Megill’s stock took a hit with the Mets signing Chris Bassitt, but since then we’ve learned that Tajuan Walker had knee surgery during the off-season and may or may not get a late start in 2022. Megill has basically dropped off of even my NL-only rankings for the time being, but if you already drafted him, it may be worth holding on a bit longer to see how the Mets’ rotation shakes out for the early part of the season.

Alex Colome. He’s getting paid over 4 million dollars to pitch for the Rockies this season. One would assume he’ll get a shot at the 9th inning, especially since he’s a “proven closer,” the kind of unimportant label that the Rockies like to drool over. You’d think that instead of just looking at Colome’s career save totals, they’d take into consideration the fact that he was pretty horrible last year, with a 4.15 ERA/1.40 WHIP and some underlying metrics that suggest it should have been even worse. Either way, he will be off my radar completely, because for the first time in my fantasy baseball life I’ve stuck to my “life’s too short to draft Rockies relievers in even the deepest leagues” mantra this season and plan to continue to do so with my teams that haven’t drafted yet.

Odubel Herrera. Many thought it was just a matter of the lockout being lifted before we heard Kiermaier to Philly news, but instead, Herrera has been re-signed in Philadelphia and is looking like he’ll be on the strong side of a Matt Vierling platoon. I suppose either of these fellows could theoretically have deep-league value compared to their investment price since the Phillies have plenty of room in their outfield even after signing Kyle Schwarber, but this feels to me like a situation I’ll avoid completely wherever possible.

Nick Solak. I wrote the following blurb two days before Texas made that blockbuster Brad Miller signing: “I’m not ready to commit to a ranking for Andy Ibanez until we see if the Rangers make more pre-season moves, but when it comes to Solak’s value I am kind of thinking that it is what it is at this point whether or not the Rangers make more moves. His starting 2nd baseman ship seems to have sailed off into the sunset permanently, but his utility man life raft is still floating safely on the water. While he’s only eligible at 2nd heading into the year, word on the spring training street is that he’s getting reps both in the outfield and at first even as we wait to see what the Rangers’ plan for third is. He’s not exciting, obviously, but has just enough pop and speed (11/7 last year in 511 at bats) to keep his name on my list of end-of-super-deep-league-draft options.”

Speaking of Brad Miller, this is a deep-league column, so let’s discuss further. I’ve drafted him a few times already in deep leagues that have bi-weekly lineup moves, and now that he’s landed on a team I feel like Texas is a pretty good but not outstanding spot for him. The biggest negative is the ballpark, but he may get decent playing time since for the moment it looks like he’ll play some third base for them on the strong side of a platoon. Just checked to see if I drafted him in the RazzSlam; I did… not sad about that as I don’t mind Miller at all late in a best ball draft since he already qualifies at 1B and OF and may add 3B to his eligibility as well.

With actual spring training games starting and MLB parts still moving as I submit this, it sounds like we’ll have plenty to talk about next week as well. In the meantime, happy spring and happy drafting!

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Joe Asher
Joe Asher
4 months ago

Let’s get that RCL filled for the draft on Wednesday! Come on people only 2 spots left!
4 months ago

I am in a NL only auction league with 10 keepers. As you can imagine the inflation at auction is very high for the top and middle tiers and then bargain hunting at the end. My pitching staff has a keeper problem I have 5 poition players who I feel are locks. Pitching: F Peralta $8, C Morton $16, LCastillo $14, D Floro $3, G Marquez $1 and J McGee $6 When I look at various rankings and est. salaries it would seem McGee is the one to drop although Marquez has always been undervalued by my fellow owners, meaning I could reacquire him cheaply. The others (sans McGee) not so much. What is the smart play here?