Yogi Berra is purported to have said “When you come to the fork in the road, take it“. In fantasy baseball, the outfield position is one where there are many roads to success. The position runs deep even with each team required to take 5 outfielders in many leagues and at least 3 in all leagues. When preparing for an auction, mapping out your team is essential. There are so many ways to fill out your roster that you must have a plan A, B and C going into the auction.
The beauty of the auction format is that you don’t have to obey the snake draft “rules” of joining a run on closers, taking two starters with your first 4 picks, or filling a position at a certain point in the draft. An auction is about getting the best price for players that will fulfill your needs category-wise as the auction develops.
The outfield offers players at all price points and is usually full of bargains as the auction winds down. A one unit outfielder is almost certainly going to be more valuable than a one unit catcher. There is nothing wrong with filling your OF slots with high-priced players, but you’ll most likely be scraping the bottom of the barrel at corner, middle and utility which may not offer the value that low-priced outfielders can.
Before we jump into things, remember that the outfield values are based on a 12 team, 23 player roster, 260 unit budget and a 65/35 split between hitting and pitching. I only list players at one position, but if they are eligible at more it is noted in parenthesis next to their name.
My “values” are what I expect to pay for these players during an auction, and if you add up all my values it will come out to $3,120 (12 teams x 260 units). This is in contrast to other rankings where the auction values presented are based upon projections and what that player will return in “value”. I will be covering this topic in another article coming soon.
|M. Trout||LAA||42||A. McCutchen||PHI||7|
|M. Betts||Bos||42||B. Buxton||MIN||6|
|JD Martinez||BOS||38||E. Inciarte||ATL||6|
|C. Yelich||MIL||35||H. Bader||STL||6|
|B. Harper||FA||34||D. Peralta||ARZ||5|
|K. Davis||OAK||33||N. Mazara||TEX||5|
|C. Blackmon||COL||32||B. Hamilton||KC||4|
|G. Stanton||NYY||32||J. Winker||CIN||4|
|A. Benintendi||BOS||32||R. Laureano||OAK||4|
|R. Acuna Jr.||ATL||31||R. Braun||MIL||4|
|J. Soto||WSH||26||S. Ohtani||LAA||4|
|N. Cruz||MIN||23||F. Reyes||SD||3|
|S. Marte||PIT||23||D. Santana||SEA||3|
|N. Castellanos||DET||15||O. Herrera||PHI||2|
|Y. Puig||CIN||15||T. Mancini||BAL||2|
|G. Springer||HOU||15||M. Gonzalez (MI/1B)||MIN||2|
|M. Haniger||SEA||14||K. Schwarber||CHC||2|
|L. Cain||MIL||14||R. Grichuck||TOR||2|
|E. Rosario||MIN||13||A. Eaton||WSH||2|
|M. Conforto||NYM||13||K. Pillar||TOR||2|
|M. Brantley||HOU||12||M. Kepler||MIN||2|
|AJ Pollock||LAD||12||J. Bruce (1B)||SEA||1|
|M. Smith||SEA||11||S. Choo||TEX||1|
|D. Dahl||COL||10||A. Meadows||TB||1|
|V. Robles||WSH||10||C. Taylor (SS)||LAD||1|
|E. Jimenez||CWS||10||A. Jones||FA||1|
|A. Hicks||NYY||8||J. Bradley Jr.||BOS||1|
|S. Souza Jr.||ARZ||1|
Note: Auction values were updated on 3/8
There are a few players I’ll highlight here as the auction “price” may not be in line with what you may be seeing elsewhere, starting with Ronald Acuna, Jr. I have him ranked as my OF 11. With a current first round NFBC ADP, I have his price probably 6-8 units below other sites. I’m taking into account his position in the lineup this year, which may or may not be in the leadoff spot. He is a talent, but will pitchers catch up to him this year and cause him to regress in his second year? The sophomore slump isn’t fictional. I may be in the minority, but I’d rather spend a little less on Soto unless you want to take the chance on continued success.
I have seen Mike Trout and Mookie Betts “valued” at over 50. I have been doing auctions for over 25 years, and I have rarely seen a player go for more than 50. Yes, Trout and Betts have the best chance at returning this type of investment, but most high-priced players do not meet expectations when it comes to their production. These higher priced players do anchor your team, and you’ll have a few, but don’t overpay as this will leave you shortchanged later in the draft. Prices in the low 40’s for these two is as high as I’d go.
Targets in the 10-20 unit range offer value. Justin Upton and Nick Castellanos are not sexy names, but at this price range you are getting solid production. Puig has been an ADP darling so far, moving up the board. Depending upon your league’s love for Yasiel, you may have to pay up for him. Michael Conforto could be on the verge of a 30/100 season and is someone I’d hold off on putting out for bid until a little later in the auction so that some money comes off the board. If you’re drafting in the NY area, expect to pay more.
At the end of the auction you’ll probably need to fill an OF slot or two. Inevitably, an owner in your league will nominate someone not on your list. Don’t bid on him unless you realize you just missed someone who should have been there. In this end game, a few names I like are Rafael Laureano, Domingo Santana, Corey Dickerson, and if you need to add some stolen bases, Kevin Pillar offers some consistency here.
Again, the values here may seem “depressed” compared to other sites, but when you are in your auction, there isn’t enough “money” to go around to have everyone have a value of 25 or more. Use those inflated values as a guide to help you determine if you are getting a bargain. If you don’t take the time to predict what the prices in your auction will be, you’ll be floundering when deciding which player valued at 25 is actually worth spending the 25 units on.