Is it weird that there are only seven days of spring training games this year that will actually take place in the spring? Maybe. Do we care? Nope, because as much as I appreciate the vernal equinox, my mind is consumed more with the fact that we’re finally in the thick of fantasy baseball drafting season. It’s time to take another look at players who may not be on the radar of our “normal” fantasy brethren (and five or so sistren*), but could come into play for those of us happily skulking around in the world of NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues. (*thought I made this word up, but I guess not. Turns out it was used back in the 12th to 15th centuries, then disappeared, and then according to the Oxford Living Dictionary, “it has recently been revived, typically by feminist writers, with the new meaning ‘fellow women’.” I bet your wives, girlfriends, mothers, and sisters won’t believe you when you tell them your favorite fantasy baseball website is now shoving a feminist agenda at you while it tells you who you should be aware of in your 11-team NL-only league!)

NL

Brandon Belt. Here’s a fellow who I left off my original NL-only draft sheets completely, but now am at least throwing his name down as a deep-league option. The fact that he’s having a productive spring is news not because I think he’s going to turn into a monster this year, but because he seems to have fully recovered from last year’s concussion. Guys that get at bats and have at least a chance to not completely suck are the stuff deep-league rosters need to survive. We all know Belt’s injury history is checkered to say the least, and I admit I was surprised to read that he’s never had a 20-homer season, because it seemed like he was really rolling there for a while back in the day when I used to draft him on purpose.

Eric Thames. Staying at first base, I recently found myself drafting Thames in a couple of leagues because I felt like he was just slipping too dang far in deeper leagues to not be worth a flier (current NFBC ADP has Thames as the 15th NL first baseman off the board). Sure, there are serious playing time concerns now, and sure, it’s obvious that whatever the heck he had going on in the first few months of 2017 was a mirage that will not be reappearing again. But his 1B/OF dual eligibility doesn’t hurt in a deep league, and one thing that made me just intrigued enough to give him a look at this bargain-basement price was the fact that he hit .327 with a .426 OBP in September last year. That may well mean nothing, but I’m willing to take a low-risk chance.

Lewis Brinson. Current NFBC ADP: 298. Many of us are still feeling the burn of holding Brinson last year just so he could finally get promoted and absolutely tank. Many are feeling the future burn of the dumpster fire that we are imagining the 2018 Miami Marlins offense will be. But many of us just want a player with upside to have in our back pocket as we’re heading to the home stretch of a grueling, deep-league draft. I’m not going to get into a situation where I’m counting on him to produce, but I will happily draft him at the right price.

Colin Moran. Now I’m remembering why I didn’t completely panic when I realized that I’d accidentally punted my CI spot in my first NL-only draft this season… just too many possible escape hatches near the end of a draft or auction to keep things from reaching disastrous proportions. Word out of Pittsburgh is that Moran will pretty much be the every day third baseman (and even if he ends up in a platoon with David Freese, Moran would be on the strong side). There’s nothing in his profile to suggest that he’ll ever be a fantasy stud of any kind, but in the deep league world, sometimes we’re just looking for non-cringeworthy at bats in a lineup that might end up being better than some give it credit for.

AL

Marcus Semien. He’s just not getting quite enough ADP love (currently 270 overall in NFBC) in my opinion for a guy that every major projection system thinks will have at least 30 homers + steals and at least 150 runs + RBI. I haven’t drafted him yet and I don’t know why.

Ryon Healy. I don’t like drafting injured players in deep leagues since they are often hard/impossible to replace, but I’m going to grab some shares of Healy if given the opportunity at his current price, #212 overall per NFBC ADP. (I am tempted to move him down a few notches for spelling his name with a freaking “O,” but then I’ll move him back up since he qualifies at both first and third). March has found Healy doing things like taking grounders and hitting off a tee as he recovers from bone spur surgery on his hand, and if he doesn’t experience any setbacks, it’s starting to sound like he may be back much sooner than many expected. He was far from a sure thing even before getting injured, but I’m liking the amount of potential upside that comes with his current cost.

Logan Morrison. It seems like the fantasy community has been just as scared of LoMo this year as the MLB community was, but he has a real job on a real team now, and I’ll take him as a deep-league corner infielder if I’m looking for some power. (And he’s another 1B/OF qualifier, for what it’s worth). No, we’re not going to see a repeat of last year, but if he can hit around .250 with 20-25 homers, as most project him to do, I’m okay with that for what I’d need to pay to get it… Morrison’s current NFBC ADP is a thrifty 295.

Derek Fisher. I’m hearing a lot of things about a lot of guys in Houston (including the legitimately interesting A.J. Reed), but this dude gets so little attention that I completely and totally forgot about him despite the fact that I own him on my longstanding AL-only keeper team. Talk about a late, low-cost investment: he is currently being drafted all the way down at #414 in NFBC, one spot behind Jarrod Dyson (who isn’t a crazy pick himself at that point) and Adam Frazier. We’ll see how playing time shakes out, but even part-time at bats in the Astros’ mecca of a lineup could be a thing of deep-league beauty. ZIPS projections are particularly bullish: they think he’ll have 22 HR, 72 R, 75 RBI, and 17 steals in 131 games.

   
  1. BJFOHOHL says:
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    Laura,

    We tried to get you into our NL only dynasty league. Or at least I commented days later in your post about it. I am in the thick of an NL dynasty draft and just started an AL dynasty draft. Yeah I know I said I wasnt going to play but being dynasty its not like playing playing. I need some deep starters for both leagues. You’re my only hope…who is a lady.

    JFOH

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @BJFOHOHL: Sorry, just saw your post. But getting into a dynasty league with Ralph seems like it would have been a terrible idea. The minor league end of the 2 dynasty-ish leagues I’m in is absolutely the worst part of my fantasy game — I just don’t have the interest in/patience for it. In fact, I could really use some help before my farm drafts next month (we basically pick 5 minor leaguers once a year and that’s it, so if you whiff it’s pretty disastrous)

      • BJFOHOHL says:
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        @Laura Holt: Ask Grey for his email. Or tweet at him, we’ll help you out.I even know enough to help

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Help who? She beats everyone every year ever!

          • BJFOHOHL says:
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            @Grey: You’re so bitter. Have you tried arm wrestling her yet to gain a win?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I’d lose that, too… cmon!

              • BJFOHOHL says:
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                @Grey: I know, I can be your proxy and beat her. Ive seen Over the Top like 100 times

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Can I tag out to you?

                  • BJFOHOHL says:
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                    @Grey: Like the British Bulldogs?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      More like Little T and Big T

                    • BJFOHOHL says:
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                      @BJFOHOHL: Big J and little J

        • Laura Holt

          Laura Holt says:
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          @BJFOHOHL: Ha! I’ve known Grey since before email existed. I have ways to contact him that you kids reading this can only dream about.

          • BJFOHOHL says:
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            @Laura Holt: He’s only a year older than I am

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @BJFOHOHL: Oh, and I’ve pretty much declared that there are no decent deep starters this year. I’m not really kidding; it is an absolute cesspool. I have a couple deep leagues where I’m just taking middle relievers rather than 5th & 6th starters even though the league format doesn’t really support that and it may be a disaster. The lowest ranked pitcher I’ve drafted is probably Chatwood, oh, and I did draft Musgrove recently. I REALLY don’t know what I’ll do pitching-wise at the end of my AL-only 12 teamer.

      • BJFOHOHL says:
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        @Laura Holt: NO!!!!!!! I passed on elite arms and now have a staff of Godley, Hill, Montgomery, Shark and Wacha. Of course I have some sexy young offense for days (its OBP league) Bryant, Bell, Albies, Meyers, Chris Taylor, Alfaro, Souza, Brandon Crawford, Jose Martinez and Verdugo. We have no Util. Should be fun. I can’t mention my later targets for fear they will be seen but considering I didn’t play last year I’m doing okay. Draft is still going on so I can still salvage the pen arms, its sv+hlds.

        Hope all is well on your side of LA, hope you can bring Mr. Holt with you when we catch a Doyer game with Grey. Im even more charming in person

        • Laura Holt

          Laura Holt says:
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          @BJFOHOHL: Fair warning, he is a Reds fan, so it may have to be a Reds game. Which actually works out, since it gives the Dodgers an extra good chance to win. Do you play cards? We used to have a weird but fun poker game that Grey was involved in back in the day that I keep thinking about trying to resuscitate… though now that I’m thinking about it, maybe it still exists, and Mr. Holt and I just got kicked out years ago because we were the first weirdos to go off and get married and have kids.

          • BJFOHOHL says:
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            @Laura Holt: marriage? kids? weirdos! I have a kid but never got married. I hate funerals.

            I love cards, not the greatest at it but its fun. Im not rich so I dont do high limit. I used to go play with my dad and his old guy friends but they played low limits and funny little games. What about Dominoes? Get a group to slap some bones.

            But lets not get off track. The Reds are in town on May 10-13. we can go that Saturday, its cap night, and grey doesnt have to “work” the next day.

            You didnt judge my team, how dare you! My whole life is nothing but a series of random events centered around moments when women judge me. My spirit just died a little more

            • Laura Holt

              Laura Holt says:
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              @BJFOHOHL: Didn’t have you on a kid; the mystery deepens! May 12th sounds totally doable. And I was just taking my time to comment on your team. In fact, I was going to wait until you were finished drafting. For now, I’m just going to say that a lot will have to break right with your starters, but if all goes well that could be a pretty nice little group. I am surprised at where I’ve gotten Godley this year… thought he would be way overdrafted, but Luis Castillo (who I like, but not necessarily at his current price) seems to have taken on that role. Also love potential value of Hill this year — even 150 innings at where he’s being drafted could be sweet, anything more would be gravy.

              • BJFOHOHL says:
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                @Laura Holt: Yes I have a kid, proof that I’m not a virgin. Speaking of not being a virgin, waiting til the draft is done to judge the team is like waiting til after sex to ask her how it was instead of being a third of the way in and asking her “is this okay?” “am I doing this right?” “are you bored?” which is even funnier now that I think about it because according to what I read in the post me too movement you need to be constantly asking the woman during sex if she is still okay doing this to maintain a chain of sex permissions. Wait where did this go….Im lost….. Yeah I’ll be there on May 12th. mark it down, tell Grey to buy tickets and your husband to be uncomfortable as other men ignore him to talk to you

  2. Mike says:
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    Would you keep Brinson for $6 in a 12-team 5×5 auction league. Unlimited keepers with $5 elevator to keep someone, and the elevator increases by $5 each year.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Mike: I feel like Brinson shouldn’t go for more than about 6 bucks (maybe less?) in a 12-teamer, so not sure you’re getting any value there. Unless it’s one of those leagues where damn near everyone of potential value will be kept, in which case that might make some sense.

  3. The sportsguy says:
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    10 team Al 5×5.

    Assuming Cobb eventually signs with Al team this week, Cobb or Bundy as a keeper?

    At this point Cobb might not pitch until almost May even if he signs In the next couple of days

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @The sportsguy: I can’t say I’m hopping up and down about Bundy this year, but yeah I’d take him over Cobb. Even if Cobb signs imminently and ends up in a good situation, his strikeout numbers (or lack thereof in this case) are kind of a dealbreaker for me.

  4. Mike says:
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    Right things fall into place and the stars align Moran is a 30 HR guy me thinks

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