Taking an early look at the NFBC ADP, I found some potential auction bargains that can make you think twice about spending up on some players and potentially using that savings elsewhere. The auction values used are my projected prices based upon a 12 team/23 player/$260 budget with a 65/35 split between hitting and pitching. Each player’s projections are the average of the following projections found on FanGraphs: BAT, ATC, Steamer and Depth Charts.
Let’s start at first base where I have Edwin Encarnacion priced at 18 units. His current ADP in the NFBC is 123. Seattle traded for him with the intention of trading him, but that seems to be going nowhere and it appears he’ll be starting the season in the Emerald City. He’s been very productive over the years, but we have started to see a decline. Added to that is the uncertainty of what this season will bring in regards of playing time and a potential trade.
Looking at his projections, you are paying for his power. He has hit over 30 dingers for 7 straight years and could possibly do it again. However, the risks are there for regression. The other player, who is available for 66.6% “off”, does not offer as much in the way of power, but will offset that with a better batting average and similar numbers in runs and RBI. He is not an exciting player, and he did have a relatively off-year last year, but Eric Hosmer has to be considered at this price.
In an auction format I believe the savings is greater. I don’t see him as a high priority for any team and this will suppress his auction price. In a draft format, the ADP difference isn’t tremendous, but it’s there. Hosmer has been up and down, and based on his “cycle” he is due for an up year. This will be his second season in San Diego which may bring him more in line with his previous production as he may not be pressing as much as a lot of players do in their first year after signing a big contract. He’s not a superstar nor very exciting, but he deserves a lot of consideration at that price.
Moving along to second base, Brian Dozier is an interesting case this year. Was last year’s dip in production solely due to his bone bruise? He was so brutal that the Dodgers hardly played him down the stretch. Dozier has been a staple in my fantasy lineups the last few years. His power and speed combination made him a valuable asset that was usually obtained at a reasonable price. Last year he had a career low BABIP of .24o, but his K% and BB% were at his norms. His BAVG suffered and his power was well below expectations. Will the power and speed return this year? The Nationals are betting they do. The questions are reflected in his auction price of 11. You may have to pay a little more than that in your league depending upon if there are any Dozier believers, but this seemed to be a fair price.
The other player at second base is available at a 91% discount and almost double the ADP. He’ll be playing for a new team this year and has been named a starter. He has multi position eligibility at three positions to boot. Let me introduce you to Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera has been very consistent over the years, and the Rangers are banking on him providing a steady presence in their lineup as he replaces future hall of famer Adrian Beltre at third base. He has been drafted in all but one of 12 and 15 team NFBC drafts since January 1st. His ADP falls in the 18th round of 15 teamers and 22nd round in 12 teamers. I have him priced at a dollar, although you may have to pay 2 or 3 for him if someone else needs a corner, middle or utility player. His eligibility makes getting him for a buck a little tougher in reality. You can take a chance that Dozier returns to full health and production, or you can use those 10 units to bolster another category like saves at the cost of some potential stolen base production.
I saved the next one for last as I believe I will have a tough time convincing anyone to forego the star for the discounted player, but when you look at the numbers, you have to at least pause and think about it. The Phillies were lauded for the trade they made to acquire Jean Segura. He is a top shortstop, and only because the position is so deep that he’s the 11th SS eligible player off the board. I have him valued at 16 units which is a bargain in my opinion. To save valuable units at a deep position is how you should be approaching an auction.
The way I was describing Segura you would think he was the discounted player in the chart. On sale for 94% off is a starting shortstop on a team with an improved lineup for 2019. He missed half the 2018 season due to suspension and is none other than Jorge Polanco of the Twins. He’s only 25 and his projections look pretty damn near Segura levels to me. Segura has a slight edge in SBs and average, but that’s not enough to warrant that difference in price and ADP. As draft season gets into full swing, you may see the difference in ADP dwindle a bit. In auction formats the amount of dollars don’t change. Polanco will definitely come at a steep discount when compared to Segura.
As you prepare for your auctions, looking at the corner, middle and utility positions, make sure you find value in these low unit players. Getting production similar to that of higher priced players at the same position allows you to possibly afford two tier one starters and gain an edge over your competition.