Back in November I ranked the Top 100 Players for Dynasty Leagues. A lot has happened since then! Rankings can be very fluid not only as new players like Tanaka enter the player’s pool, but each day brings with it (hopefully) increased knowledge. I’ve gone to 150 this time because quite frankly I couldn’t stop this list without including Drew Smyly and Nick Castellanos. I was aiming for Steve Lombardozzi, but I had to draw the line somewhere!
The players are ranked based on their dynasty league values. For example, if I’m trading Gerrit Cole in a dynasty league, I want more than David Price. There are absolutely times when making that trade makes sense, but over the course of the next 5-10 years I suspect Cole will out-produce him. This is a very inexact science, but I’ve done my best to give you a good rankings list for your dynasty leagues. Enjoy!
Fifteen outfielders rank in the top 50 players for dynasty leagues. While the position may be relatively shallow for 2014, there is quite a bit of young top talent. In a new deep dynasty league, I’d target this position. Jason Heyward who checks in at #26, is just one month older than George Springer. There is plenty of time for him to join the elite outfielders of the game.
Fourteen starting pitchers are in this group as well. There is a unique opportunity to acquire Matt Harvey this year. While his stock may still be relatively high, even the savviest of owners may need to move him in order to win in 2014. You want to win too, but if he was healthy, he’d rank in the top 15, and these players are not acquired easily. Gauge the Harvey owner’s tolerance for holding on to Harvey for the entire season.
Middle infielders are often the key to fantasy championships and you’ll find just eight of them here. Of those 8, Cano, Hanley, and Tulowitzki are entering the back half of their careers, leaving only 5 young elite MI options in the Top 50.
You won’t find any catchers here, as thirteen corner infielders round out the Top 50.
A lot of young pitching comes up in this second group. Wacha (52), Teheran (54), Gray (61), Miller (62), Salazar (67), Walker (68), Syndergaard (75), Bradley (78), Moore (87), Cobb (91) and Wheeler (96) are the next generation of top pitching talent. New international signees Tanaka and Abreu also make it into this group.
On the hitting side, we have our first two catchers present with Posey (53) and Santana (83). Santana started at 3B in the first spring training game and although I like his value best at catcher, I’m intrigued by what if any boost to his bat may occur without such wear and tear on his knees. Albert Pujols is ranked at 69 as the 11th first baseman for dynasty leagues. I think he has great value for 2014, and will have some good years ahead.
Our next 4 second basemen come off the board here with Pedroia (51), Carpenter (71), Rendon (77) and Gyorko (98). I do like Rendon’s hit tool an awful lot and expect some more power to come this year. Gyorko will come off the draft board well before Rendon will this year, but there’s a real opportunity here to acquire the higher talent before he breaks out.
I’m really not big on relief pitchers as keepers or for dynasty leagues, but the big four fall in place in this range as well. The elite strikeout rates are what sets them apart. Kimbrel, Rosenthal, Jansen and Chapman are such game changers for fantasy teams that a premium can be paid to acquire them.
The next two big shortstop prospects check in here with Addison Russell and Carlos Correa. Both will likely approach the top 50 by year’s end as they get closer to the big leagues. For Russell, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him in September in Oakland.
This last group consists of those young players who haven’t quite broken in to the top 100 yet:
Gausman, Rizzo, Lindor, Arenado, Smyly, Martinez, Cingrani, Bundy, Castellanos, Hamilton, Ventura, Soler, Giolito, d’Arnaud, Paxton, Stephenson, Zimmer and Cecchini
and those that are hanging on, providing enough in the next few years to still hold their places:
Molina, Zimmerman, Mauer, Gonzalez, Lester, Iwakuma, Kinsler, Shields, Hamilton, McCann, Pence, Fister and Holliday.
Cingrani (113) has the potential to really increase this value in 2014. While he may still blow opponents away with the fastball next year, the concern that long term he may need to have three pitches increases his risk for dynasty leagues. I would bet on him, and I struggled with his placement here. While Carlos Martinez has a much more complete arsenal, his lack of a clear role put them neck and neck for me. It will be interesting to see how these two arms progress.
Billy Hamilton checks in at 121. In 5×5 leagues he gets a boost, but I think we’re looking at someone who will hurt you in average, HR, RBI and significantly in OBP, OPS and points leagues. Lucas Giolito checks in late at #134 considering I ranked him as my overall #14 prospect. He’s at least a couple of years away from making any impact at all. He’s the name that will rise on this list the most between now and the 2016 list. He could move up 100 spots by then!!
You won’t find players such as Ortiz, Butler, and Beltran on this list. It is not because they aren’t worthy of being owned, they are just not the players that I hold to a high value in a dynasty league. These players are either aging or on a decline and their value is better suited for short term use as opposed to being useful pieces for the long haul. I do have a handful of players in my rankings like Cliff Lee that may fall into this category, but I feel strongly enough about their overall production for the next 4-5 years that I’m confident enough to recommend them.
I also tend to believe that it’s better to be one year ahead forecasting players dynasty values than one year behind. While this may add subjectivity, forward thinking will prevent you from holding on too long to a veteran as well as missing out on the next group of talented young players. This is why some players (ie Danny Salazar) are ranked aggressively while others (Matt Holliday) are not. Today this may look skewed, but in 2 years I believe one will hold significant value while another is near the end of their fantasy value. This is a ranking for the next 5-10 years.
Thanks for reading and hopefully this helps you with player values for your dynasty drafts and trades. I’ve looked at trade offers for Wil Myers lately as an example. There are some players below him that will out-produce him in 2014, but his ability to put up big numbers now combined with the likelihood of even bigger numbers from 2015-2020 make him a highly ranked dynasty player. Feel free to disagree in the comments. These lists ebb and flow as A) news happens B) time passes and C) players improve or decline. In other words, this is not a definitive list for 2014 dynasty leagues, rather a snapshot in the ever-changing and evolving landscape of player values. I hope you enjoyed it.