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Online Draft Sleepers in Yahoo & ESPN Leagues - Hitters

Everyone that has done a live online draft knows the panic-inducing moments when you realize your time is down to 30 seconds ... 20 seconds ... 10 seconds to make your pick and you are frantically searching for a player to draft before you get stuck with the dreaded autopick. Often, that panic-induced owner ends up taking one of the players default ranked by the website near the top of the remaining players. Or, after the first 15 rounds many owners get lazy and take one of the top default ranked remaining players rather than searching for diamonds buried throughout the website's default rankings.

For these reasons, the website's default rankings oftentimes result in the ADP of a player tracking the default rankings, particularly after the first 150 picks in a draft when some owners are on auto-pilot mode taking the top default ranked remaining players. So, a good strategy is to identify players that are buried in the default rankings that may slip through the cracks of online drafts because of the website's default rankings. You can also place these players in your "queue" during the draft to avoid forgetting about them. This week we will look at hitters from free fantasy baseball providers Yahoo & ESPN that are default ranked by these websites too low and could provide draft bargains since they will not appear near the top of the list of available players sorted by default ranking (position eligibility is based on Yahoo and ESPN eligibility):


  • Yahoo: Ryan Doumit (331) should see regular ABs as the primary DH and A.J. Pierzynski (338) gets a boost in value hitting second in the White Sox lineup. Both of these players are ranked extremely low and make nice second-catcher targets at the end of the draft.
  • ESPN: All catchers are ranked lower on ESPN than other websites, so catchers will fall in ESPN drafts. In two-catcher leagues, excellent value can be found in Buster Posey (127; compared to 75 on Yahoo) and J.P. Arencibia (274; compared to 184 on Yahoo).

First Basemen

  • Yahoo: Adam Dunn (251) has looked excellent in the spring and will be off the radar of owners following Yahoo default rankings. Gaby Sanchez (196) also makes a good target. Mat Gamel (1177) only qualifies at CI and for unknown reasons is ranked so low. Put Gamel in your "queue" for the last rounds of your draft and hope everyone forgets about him.
  • ESPN: Paul Goldschmidt (182; compared to 98 on Yahoo) and Kendrys Morales (249).

Second Basemen


  • Yahoo: Alexei Ramirez (149; compared to 86 on ESPN), and stash to DL immediately after draft Stephen Drew (221).
  • ESPN: Troy Tulowitzki (6; compared to 4 on Yahoo) went first in the RotoAuthority Mock Draft and I would be very happy taking him at 6. Otherwise, ESPN has its shortstops ranked high, but Zack Cozart (319) is an excellent end draft target.

Third Basemen


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