The idea of ranking fantasy baseball players in a preferred order seems fairly simple, but it is also a very valuable practice. As my drafts get into the later rounds, I’m often left looking over the scraps that remain at a certain position. It makes me sad until I see that there’s one player in there that is ranked highly in a list of fantasy rankings, and I realize that I may have found a diamond in the rough. Usually, at that point, someone else drafts him before I get a chance, but player rankings are valuable tools to have at your disposal regardless.
I started publishing my own rankings a number of years ago. In order to construct them, I rely on using some advanced statistics, expected stats (xStats) from the prior year, and referencing my sleeper articles. I then start diving into my projections to find outliers in there as well. When that whole process completes itself, I’m left with a nicely ordered list of my preferred players that season.
I’ve been publishing my rankings at FantasyPros for five years now, and taking part in their draft expert accuracy challenge. In three of those years, I’ve finished in the top 10 in the nation with my rankings and I currently stand at #6 over the past three years there. According to those multi-year rankings, I typically preform well when it comes to starting pitching in comparison to my peers. I say these things not to brag, but just as a reminder to you that my special little rankings have some proven value to them.
Outliers In My Rankings
There are about 50 other experts on FantasyPros with published rankings at the time of this article. Based on those consensus rankings, there are a number of players that I ranked quite differently than the pack. Let’s discuss some of them:
- Franmil Reyes and Ryan O’Hearn are two that I like a bit more than the typical fantasy baseball expert here. I talked about both of them in my sleeper hitters article, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. I think that the 6’5″ Franmil Reyes has a great opportunity as the Padres cleanup hitter and I’m excited to see what he does. I said that Ryan O’Hearn needed a strong spring to earn a role with the Royals and he is doing just that.
- Chris Archer, Eduardo Rodriguez, Ross Stripling and Masahiro Tanaka are just a few of the pitchers that I have higher up in my rankings than other folks. Once again, these pitchers were mentioned in either my sleeper pitchers article or my undervalued pitchers article. While these pitchers may not become front-line aces of your fantasy squads, they seem destined to deliver more value than others expect.
- Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner represent two pitchers that I am more sour on than others. In my article about undervalued pitchers, I also mentioned certain high-priced pitchers that may be destined to disappoint at their price tag this year. Wheeler and Bumgarner were on that list, and just may not be worth the price of admission for them this year.
- Aside from that, there are players that got boosts in my rankings because my projections seemed to think they would have a better-than-expected year. Players like Rougned Odor, Randal Grichuk and Max Kepler fall into that group. I’ll have an article in the near future to highlight some of these players that the projections like more than the typical fantasy expert.
Luke is better known as Mr. Cheatsheet despite his last name not being Cheatsheet. He makes spreadsheets, writes blog posts and his rankings were in the top 10 accuracy among FantasyPros experts in 2014, 2016 and 2017. When he's not doing fantasy baseball things, he can be found playing board games or rating beer.