2015 Top 200 for Dynasty/Keeper Leagues

Over the past two months we have been bringing you our dynasty / keeper league positional rankings.  This is the culmination of all that hard work, our top 200 players for dynasty/keeper leagues.  Players are ranked with the next five years of 5 x 5 category production in mind by each of our 6 experts with over 100 years combined fantasy baseball experience.  Existing teams can use this to gauge the value of players in their league while newly formed leagues can use this as a draft guide for what to look for and where players will likely go off the board.

Positional Rankings.
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldStarting PitchersClosers

Rank Player Position Ron Paul Will Kevin Tommy Jim
1 Mike Trout OF 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 Clayton Kershaw SP 2 3 3 2 5 3
3 Giancarlo Stanton OF 3 2 2 7 3 4
4 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 5 6 4 4 2 5
5 Miguel Cabrera 1B 7 4 6 3 6 2
6 Andrew McCutchen OF 4 5 5 5 7 6
7 Jose Abreu 1B 6 10 10 8 4 7
8 Felix Hernandez SP 9 7 9 11 8 14
9 Anthony Rendon 3B 14 9 15 6 9 8
10 Carlos Gomez OF 13 12 7 10 11 10
11 Troy Tulowitzki SS 15 14 18 9 12 18
12 Anthony Rizzo 1B 19 30 13 21 10 11
13 Adam Jones OF 12 20 24 14 23 15
14 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 23 18 16 33 13 9
15 Chris Sale SP 10 11 19 35 14 24
16 Madison Bumgarner SP 8 15 14 36 15 28
17 Justin Upton OF 32 16 8 16 26 21
18 Robinson Cano 2B 25 22 20 13 20 22
19 Ian Desmond SS 16 24 25 15 32 12
20 Stephen Strasburg SP 22 13 17 30 24 33
21 Bryce Harper OF 11 8 12 38 58 17
22 Freddie Freeman 1B 18 28 31 40 27 13
23 Josh Donaldson 3B 27 32 33 20 21 25
24 Yasiel Puig OF 31 27 11 39 33 19
25 Jose Altuve 2B 24 37 22 22 29 31
26 Buster Posey C 35 36 30 25 22 35
26 Max Scherzer SP 21 17 26 45 30 44
28 David Price SP 37 23 45 26 25 37
29 Jose Bautista OF 34 26 34 29 36 38
30 Nolan Arenado 3B 53 25 54 27 17 23
31 Hanley Ramirez OF 39 46 27 17 42 40
32 Carlos Gonzalez OF 30 68 23 18 53 20
33 Jose Fernandez SP 20 19 43 93 18 26
34 Michael Brantley OF 33 38 46 48 35 27
35 Evan Longoria 3B 52 34 36 12 65 34
36 Yu Darvish SP 36 43 32 54 44 30
37 Craig Kimbrel RP 44 45 56 50 31 41
38 Johnny Cueto SP 60 35 55 37 37 55
39 Corey Kluber SP 61 39 41 31 28 81
40 Xander Bogaerts SS 38 40 73 62 43 39
41 George Springer OF 17 56 21 124 19 60
42 Jacoby Ellsbury OF 42 84 28 47 57 47
43 Manny Machado 3B 26 29 78 65 56 58
44 Jordan Zimmermann SP 59 55 53 52 41 57
45 Aroldis Chapman RP 48 50 60 70 39 51
46 Matt Harvey SP 46 47 38 101 34 53
46 Todd Frazier 3B 28 76 129 19 51 16
48 Adrian Beltre 3B 54 58 52 74 38 49
49 Kyle Seager 3B 55 103 39 23 64 46
50 Adam Wainwright SP 89 31 47 44 50 71

These are the elite and basically represent the first four rounds of a 12 team draft.  Pitchers comprise the highest total from the top 50 with 16; 14 starters and 2 closers.  The next highest is outfield with 14 followed by third base with 8.  6 first basemen were ranked and all of them in the top 25 so you’ll have to act quickly if you want one of them.  That leaves 6 combined players taken at second, shortstop and catcher. 

Rank Player Position Ron Paul Will Kevin Tommy Jim
51 Zack Greinke SP 58 44 48 56 66 62
52 Billy Hamilton OF 29 78 50 58 90 29
53 Cole Hamels SP 47 57 64 46 67 56
54 Masahiro Tanaka SP 45 62 96 55 54 43
55 Kris Bryant 3B 103 21 85 82 16 50
56 Hunter Pence OF 68 77 81 32 49 54
57 Matt Kemp OF 43 48 110 42 52 80
58 Yoenis Cespedes OF 70 49 57 43 96 66
59 Greg Holland RP 49 75 65 83 47 69
60 Ryan Braun OF 54 129 42 61 40 63
61 Albert Pujols 1B 81 73 69 34 61 74
62 Jon Lester SP 72 53 59 57 73 82
63 Kenley Jansen RP 63 60 93 69 48 68
64 Joey Votto 1B 64 64 49 120 45 70
65 Jose Reyes SS 51 91 66 76 98 32
66 Gerrit Cole SP 79 65 62 105 55 52
67 Starling Marte OF 41 89 75 67 84 64
68 Starlin Castro SS 117 67 35 24 95 90
69 Jonathan Lucroy C 77 63 87 68 69 67
70 Brian Dozier 2B 158 85 29 41 71 48
71 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 82 100 70 66 62 72
72 Alex Cobb SP 87 66 84 53 63 101
73 Jeff Samardzija SP 62 69 71 79 68 108
73 Dee Gordon 2B 85 97 51 64 72 88
75 Ian Kinsler 2B 56 127 79 91 78 36
76 Gregory Polanco OF 69 41 68 142 82 77
77 Julio Teheran SP 57 70 37 71 N/R 61
77 Chris Davis 1B 80 118 119 49 75 65
79 Carlos Santana 1B 65 79 44 113 79 128
80 Christian Yelich OF 67 52 61 133 74 126
81 Corey Dickerson OF 95 106 116 94 59 45
82 Sonny Gray SP 74 88 72 92 119 79
83 Nelson Cruz OF 71 112 127 28 81 115
84 Jason Heyward OF 91 51 40 156 104 94
85 Tyson Ross SP 140 98 86 51 83 84
86 Yordano Ventura SP 73 61 98 117 120 78
87 Garrett Richards SP 86 74 102 127 77 97
88 Mookie Betts OF 102 42 88 123 76 141
89 Jay Bruce OF 66 116 91 98 97 106
90 Victor Martinez 1B 83 80 63 138 46 165
91 Devin Mesoraco C 90 93 90 148 70 87
92 Prince Fielder 1B 99 111 147 87 101 42
93 Jason Kipnis 2B 157 146 58 63 105 59
94 Javier Baez 2B 116 54 97 147 60 119
95 Alex Wood SP 109 94 92 80 114 107
96 Michael Wacha SP 104 105 67 159 91 91
97 Gio Gonzalez SP 78 143 77 107 123 92
98 Alex Gordon OF 92 102 112 96 93 127
99 Hisashi Iwakuma SP 108 117 101 130 124 103
100 Wil Myers OF 146 104 105 78 157 95

Numbers 51-100 represent rounds 5-8 in a 12 team draft.  Pitchers dominate again with 18, 16 starters and 2 closers.  Combine that with 15 players taken for the outfield and that’s 33 players taken at two positions, 63 total out of the top 100.  Simply put, 2/3 of the top 100 are pitchers and outfielders.  7 more first basemen come off the board bringing that total up to 13.  With 5 more second basemen off the board the position gets a little thinner, but there is still talent to be had in the later rounds.  Only 5 players taken at catcher, third and shortstop in this group; that makes 9 total players for third in the top 100, but only 5 shortstops and 3 catchers.

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A combined effort of the greatest fantasy sports minds money can buy. Maybe that is an exaggeration..... but it sounds good.

153 thoughts on “2015 Top 200 for Dynasty/Keeper Leagues”

    1. Thanks, Max. It’s really fun to see where people end up on lists this long. I seem to have quite a few variances from the group. But then, if I look closely at their ranks, I’m sure it’s the same thing. You can debate players and positions and rankings till you’re blue in the face, and that’s why I enjoy the work!

    1. We ranked players with the next 5 years in mind. Lucas Giolito will easily spend the next two years in the minors and Might see time in the majors sometime in 2017. Given the pitching talent already in the majors and the minor league arms that are close to contributing, Giolito is only someone to consider if you are in a major rebuild mode.

  1. Agree with alot of this list, but Teheran, Tommy, not even top 200 , i mean i know the numbers show regression but can’t imagine he’s not still a top 30 SP unless you’re taking into account that the Braves will have nobody but Freeman hitting there for next two years after these crazy deals.

    1. I’m assuming that was just an oversight on his part. Teheran was ranked right before Tyson Ross on Tommy’s top 75 SP list, that would have placed Teheran in the high 70’s someplace for him and moved Teheran’s overall value up about 15 spots next to Lester.

  2. Ok no problem I assumed that Tommy, i’m a big fan of your rankings and was a little confused by the “hate” for Julio, glad to see it was a typo.

  3. Love this! Good read…and will read again!
    You like trading my Trout (3yrs) for Springer (4yrs) and TWalker (5yrs)?
    Or do you like Ventura better..looks like the case based on the ranks.
    Thanks again!!

    1. I like Springer more than anybody, and this move way work out for you in the long term, but it would have taken another established star along with Springer, or another elite prospect for me to move Trout. He is head and shoulders more valuable than anybody else in a keeper league. If Walker becomes an ace, then you win this deal. Otherwise you may regret it.

      1. Thanks for the insight! I was offered Kyle Zimmer too, but I’m just uncertain. As good as Trout is the H2H difference each week cant be more than a HR and an RBI or so. That’s why I considered the trade cause I figured Walker’s production wouldn’t hurt. I appreciate you thoughts….its tough, you know!

  4. Will,

    As a Twins fan I am really interested why you have Dozier at 29. I have watched him on a consistent basis the past couple of years and he dramatically improved, but I just don’t see how he he is better then Donaldson. His first half stats were fantastic, but I think what he did this year is about his ceiling. I hope that you are right though! Very nice job overall to everyone as I have tried doing this and it is really hard. What I have done is ranked all of the positions and then compared the top players in each position to each other. Is that how others do it, or is there an easier way?

    Thank you!


    1. Hi Matthew,

      I’m the second highest on Dozier, so I thought I’d put in my two cents. Dozier is a nice age for fantasy keepers, and there are fewer 20/20 players in the game right now. His BA isn’t amazing, but there’s potential for more if his BABIP gets up to league average. Also, he walked a lot last year, which helps in some formats and also results in more runs.

  5. What are your guys’ thoughts on Allen Craig? I am very surprised that he didn’t make the list, and was just offered a trade where I give up Jason Heyward ($35) for Craig ($22), would you accept it? Categories are R, HR, OBP, SLG.

    Thanks again for all your hard work!

    1. no….no….and NO. Don’t get me wrong, I like Craig and think he is a good candidate to bounce back. That said, he had too many things go wrong last year, is on the wrong side of 30 and plays at a position that is deep enough that you don’t need to gamble on a player like him. I might want him as a speculative add as a CI or fourth outfielder (if he qualifies), but that is about it.

      Heyward will only be 26, has upside that Craig doesn’t and is going to a new team that knows how to get everything out of a player. Maybe he doesn’t improve, but there is a better chance Heyward improves and takes a step forward than there is for Craig to stay relevant for several more years. At $35 Heyward is an expensive option so trading him is something I might look into, but you can do better than Craig (just like Atlanta could have done better than Shelby Miller).

    2. Heyward is over-priced at $35, but Craig for $22 is nothing but an anchor. He may not be a full time player this year. If you can get him for $3 or $4 it could be worth it, any more and it is not worth the risk.

  6. This is really interesting. Thanks for putting it together. I didn’t see Cliff Lee on the list. Did he lose all his value so fast or is he on the list and I missed it? What is the thought about him?

    1. Thanks Joe, glad you enjoyed it.
      I think for Lee, you’re looking at a guy returning from an elbow injury at 36 years old.
      While I personally think he could be a great value pick in 2015, I’m not sure he’s someone I’m going to target in dynasty leagues. There is a ton of pitching in baseball; so if I’m looking at the next 5 years, I’d prefer to gamble on some younger arms.
      It does seem a bit hasty to drop him completely, but I think that’s likely where his trade value would be in these types of leagues.
      Thanks again.

  7. Love the list. im in a league where you keep players for 2 more years. I need to keep 6. need some help. who should I keep between these guys?

    kluber, tanaka, g. Richards, gattis, aabreu, arenado, bogaerts, p.fielder, machado, k.bryant, j. bruce.

    it is a 2 catcher league that’s why I’ve included gattis. some are pretty obvious (aabreu)
    thx a bunch keep up the good work

    1. Hi Rob,

      If aabreu is Jose Abreu, yes, he’s a definite. Also Kluber, Bryant, Gattis, Arenado. That leaves three slots.

      Richards is going to miss time in 2015, so probably not worth it. Tanaka “should” be healthy, and he’s elite if not hurt, so I think you have to keep him, even if you use him as trade bait. Fielder a big risk, and with Abreu you don’t need to gamble. Bruce was good for 30 HR until last year, but I don’t think I’d roll the dice since he’s older and coming off a bad year. Machado not amazing, but someone who could be used as bait. Bogaerts should be a decent SS eventually, so I’d take him.

      I’d add Tanaka, Bogaerts, and Machado to your keepers list. But if you can trade now, move anyone I didn’t name in your top-5 for upgrades. Demand a lot for Tanaka, otherwise gamble on him being healthy if no one wants to bite.

  8. Ron,
    Why such a dislike for Dozier? Not enough track record and/or streaky-ness? Would you rank him higher in points leagues since walks are more valued and steals not quite as important? I’m trying to decide between him and Reyes as my 8th keeper.

  9. MrFantasyFreak.com has most of the pitchers you’ve mentioned a lot lower in their lists. Care to explain why why you’re high on pitching when power is scarce?

    1. I can’t speak for the others, but for me, it was a function of our rules. In this set of rankings, we are looking at the next 5 years. A lot of veterans who would normally be drafted in the first 3-4 rounds of redraft leagues (Pujols, Ellsbury, Beltre, Bautista, etc.) end up losing value because of their age.

      On the flipside, young established aces like Strasburg, Sale, Bumgarner end up gaining value. If you give me a keeper decision between Bumgarner and Donaldson, I will take Mad Bum every time. In re-draft, however, give me Donaldson and I don’t think it is particularly close.

      I suspect you will find that our 2015 re-draft list will look much different.

  10. In a 12 team keeper league would you trade Kris Bryant for Cory Kluber?
    10 Keepers
    Current keepers:
    Hanley Ramirez
    Jose Abreu
    Jose Fernandez
    Matt Holliday

    Fringe Keepers: Segura, Cobb
    Minor leaguers: Swihart, Kris Bryant, Giolito, Taillon, Stephenson, Hunter Harvey

    1. Tough call Amos.

      Personally, I would have a really tough time letting Bryant go. I believe he will be like the Goldschmidt of 3B in a couple years, but he is unproven. Dealing for Kluber absolutely helps you today, so if you want to go all in with an already very strong keeper core I would not blame you. It looks like you have a great chance to contend now.

      Kris Bryant though, wow. I still think I would keep Bryant, but I am irrationally high on him and this deal is very close for me.

      1. I’m with Tommy on this one, but I am also irrationally high on Bryant. Overall I am for trading prospects for established ML talent if they are in the right age bracket, but Bryant appears to be what could be one of those special prospects I can see having regrets over once you move him.

      2. I am having a hard time pulling the trigger. In another deal I give up cargo, Bryant, segura and a high draft pick for price, votto, and a draft pick. I think I like that deal less. Either way, hard to part with bryant

  11. Amos,

    Personally I would not part with Bryant. If he sees the majors even by September he may already be more valuable than Kluber. The key is may. I think that Matt Holliday on the other hand may not be as valuable a keeper as Alex Cobb. Holliday looks to be on a downward turn whereas Cobb would give you another pitcher with Jose Fernandez and this would be good since Fernandez won’t pitch the first couple of months. Do you keep all of your minor leaguers or only the 10 keepers? If only the 10, I would keep Bryant over Profar as well.

    In the other deal I think Cargo and Price could even out based on your need for pitching but I would rather have Bryant twice over Votto and although I don’t see Segura as a real breaking point at all, you giving up a higher draft pick on top of this just makes it worse.

    1. Minors don’t count towards our 10 keepers. We can keep up to 7 minors. I’m likely going to keep Cobb over Holliday as you mentioned. I’m trying to deal holliday for a draft pick. Basically, there is 120 players kept plus minor leaguers, so the draft basically starts in the 13th round but there is some nice players available. Unfortunately, Profar is only 3 AB’s over the limit where he loses minor league eligibility and has to count towards one of my keepers. We can keep our keepers indefinitely. That being said, I should keep Profar over the likes of Segura, Homer Bailey, Rick Porcello, Cashner? If not, which one should be my final keeper? Thanks

      1. Kluber owner just made another offer. I give up Giolito and my 2nd pick of 1st round(basically the 2nd pick in 13th round after keepers) and I get Kluber and Round 7 pick. I hate giving up the pick and Giolito has great potential but already has had TJ surgery. My last keeper would be between Cobb, Profar, Segura, Bailey, Porcello, and Cashner. Basically between Cobb and Profar if I take the deal. What do you think?

        1. I would do that in a second. The value of that pick is not nearly enough to sway me there. A second round pick sounds nice, but after all those keepers the difference between a 13th rounder and an 18th rounder really is not that much.

          Giolito could be very good, but Kluber already is. I think you are stealing here.

        2. I have Giolito and if the owner with Kluber came to me with Giolito and Wily Peralta for Kluber and Ervin Santana I would take that in a second. Peralta and Santana are just examples in place of the picks because we don’t have picks and they have about a similar gap in value (which isn’t that big).

  12. I agree. Cobb over Profar for sure. He is still a couple years away from being fantasy relevant, and with those injuries he may not ever get back to what he was on track to be.

    1. I agree as well. Short term Profar may have to fight for his job with the emergence of Odor who has a very good chance of stealing the second base job come spring time. Even if Profar does get the nod, a hot start by Odor in AAA and a cold one by Profar could me a switch very early. With Elvis entrenched at SS, Profar will need a change of scenery or position to get another chance. If he moves to the OF, that will kill his overall value. I’d take Cobb but I would also consider Cashner over Profar as well.

  13. We keep 6 players. 3 pitchers and 3 batters.
    Please rank: I’ll list them in my preference

    Gomez. Altuve. Arenado. Springer (3 and 4 are tough). Soler( to early to keep) others are longo betts Braun

    Kulbler. Harvey. Tanaka. Degrom. Cobb. Ross. I can only keep three guys. Closers are hard to come by so I would like to keep k Jensen

    1. You’ve got the hitters right in my book, although tough call with springer. I put both Springer and Gomez ahead of Braun. Betts isn’t worth it (at least for this year) with Hanley, Rusney, Victorino and Craig all fighting for 3 OF slots. I have Longoria ahead of Arenado for 2015 but ranked him ahead of Longoria in Dynasty. 2B is very deep so Springer ahead of Altuve is an option (and even Arenado), but my thinking is lock up the 2 IF slots since you’re already keeping 1 outfielder.

      As for pitchers, Kluber is the one lock. I love Tanaka but the injury risk worries me. He could have healed with rest over the winter or just headed things enough to last through the summer. I can see TJ surgery in his future. Harvey is coming off TJ surgery and there is no guarantee he will pick up where he left off. deGrom won the ROY but could regress.

      I would wait as long as possible to hear every scouting report on Tanaka. If all sounds good then he’s the #2, but if there are doubts and conflicting reports I’d let him be someone else’s problem.

      Harvey would be my #3 only for the fact that his upside is higher than the rest. He will probably have some rust the first month or two so don’t panic if he starts out cold.

      If Tanaka is a no go come spring, I think the third choice comes down to deGrom or Ross. I might go Ross just because I wouldn’t want two Mets at the top of my rotation and Ross now has an offence behind him to get him some wins.

      I know closers are hard to come by in your league, but the only two closers I would consider keeping or taking early would be Kimbrel and Chapman. If the owner of one of these men has a weak pitching staff, any chance of packaging Jansen and a SP for one of them. If this is an option, explore it since you have some quality arms to throw back so maybe take advantage of it.

    2. Tough one Brian. I LOVE both Springer and Arenado. Springer has the higher ceiling, so I think I would go that route unless you only start 3 OFs. If so, I would rather lock up an IF position than use two keeper slots on the OF.

      Any chance you could swing a deal?

      For the pitchers, I think Harvey and Kluber are both musts. From there, it is personal preference, but I think I would be choosing between Cobb, Tanaka and Jansen. Jansen is one of the 4 closers who does have substantial keeper value due to his talent level and job security, so I don’t think that would be a bad choice.

      As good as Tanaka is, it would be difficult for me to choose him ahead of Cobb because of the injury risk. Even if he is ready to go come spring, how long will that last for? Cobb seems durable and safe to me.

      1. Deals are tough pre draft. No one has show revealed keepers yet. We basically start drafting in round 7. Second year in league so I’ll need to find out pre draft trade rules

        It’s a 5 x 5 roto head to head league.

        I’ll be drafting in the 8th in a round of 12. I love the power of springer and I was getting 2 runs with every home run with Altuve on base.

        Losing sleep over Arendo vs springer

        Do u see altuve regressing. He can’t hit for that high of avg again but his runs scored will go up. He was stranded a ton last year

  14. Oliver deal went through. Question now is with limited keepers and my team is a win now team is it worth the risk of keeping Jose Fernandez in hopes he will bounce back to his old form. Should I keep Holliday, cashner, segura, bailey over him?

    1. Absolutely not Amos.

      You have quite a nice roster shaping up, but your team is good enough to stay in the hunt while you wait for Fernandez. Even when he returns, I don’t expect him to be anywhere near as dominant as he was, at least not this season, but none of those guys moves the needle enough to justify giving up on a pitcher who has the skills to be every bit as good as Kershaw.

      Fernandez is a must keep.

  15. I’m in a league with five keepers. I am struggling with my last two spots. I’m keeping Miggy, McCutchen, and Bautista for sure. I also have Fernandez, Arenado, Frazier, Kimbrel, and Machado. I feel like Machado is the easiest cut but I gave up Strasburg for him straight up last year thinking I added 1997-2000 Alex Rodriguez.

  16. I think your easiest cuts are Frazier and Kimbrel
    I would keep Fernandez first and I guess if push came to shove, I’d keep Arenado over Machado. I feel your pain… I wouldn’t want to cut him either.

    1. I put Fernandez in the must keep category. I agree with Paul that your decision comes down to Machado vs. Arenado. I too would keep Arenado. Machado’s ceiling is higher, but not by a lot, and Arenado seems closer to realizing his.

      1. Make that 3-3 with keeping Arenado over Machado. Manny may one day be better, but currently Arenado has shown more consistency and improvement and their overall long term value isn’t that far apart. Given that fact, I’ll take the guy who is producing now over they guy that may (or may not) improve.

  17. I’m in a 12 team, 10 keeper, keep forever league. It’s a 10×10 league with standard cats plus H, XBH, TB, BB, and OPS for hitters and BB, CG, SO, and K/9 for pitchers. I’m thinking about dealing Fernandez to get Xander. Thoughts?

    1. It’s possible that I’m the biggest Bogaerts supporter of our team so I’ll chime in 🙂
      While I’d suggest targeting him, this would be an over-pay. Yes there’s risk associated with Fernandez, but he has already shown ability to be an elite fantasy performer. I like Bogaerts to eventually do the same, but there’s a considerable gap there as far as their current value goes.

    2. Paul tends to value Boegarts at roughly double the market consensus, so if he says it is too much, then it is too much. There are not many players I would deal Fernandez for straight up in a keep forever league. He is really good and really young, also really injured :).

  18. Thoughts on trading Cargo for Arenado? I would likely have to add in Holliday(who I am not keeping anyways) and a prospect(not name bryant). third base is really thin and although i am giving up a lot, i have to given Cargo’s injury history.

  19. ok, so I could trade Holliday(who I’m not keeping) and Bryant for Arenado. This is close for me and I think I may take it. Bryants power potential is great but Arenado should be a 25-30 hr with at least 90 rbi’s a year and doesn’t strike out that much. Bryant will strike out a ton. This gives me a young 3b as I don’t think bryant stays at third. Thoughts?

    1. Other than Arenado’s lack of road power, he’s a great young third baseman. Bryant could be good and as an owners I’m keeping my fingers crossed he sticks at third. As much as I love the potential and upside, if I had a chance to flip him for Arenado I would. Holliday is no loss long term in a keeper league and if you weren’t keeping him anyway he doesn’t matter.

      I would check to see if you could get Rendon first (just my personal preference), but if you can’t then get Arenado. Bryant may turn out to be better, but you will still be getting a top 3B guy who will perform at a higher level the next few years.

      1. I think I may hold off on this trade. Bryant could be up in May and I’ll just need a stop gap at 3rd till then. If I trade for arenado I won’t be able to keep Cobb leaving me with Fernandez and Kluber as pitcher keepers. With Fernandez missing part of the year I want another solid pitcher to go with Kluber. there may be a run on pitchers and I don’t have a pick till the end of second round. Tough call
        Abreu, Bautista, encarnacion, cano, Cargo, Brantley, Ramirez, Kluber, jose Fernandez, Cobb
        Bryant, swihart, taillon Stephenson, hunter Harvey.

        Thank you

        1. Nobody would fault you either way regardless of which 3B guy you choose, just keep in mind that even if Bryant comes up his average might not be there (see Springer).

          If you did make the trade, is there a way you can package Cargo away with another of your keepers for a bigger upgrade? This would allow you to keep Cobb and might be something to explore; unloading an injury prone Cargo might be in your best interest.

          1. after the keepers there is little left at 3B, I think I have to make this trade. then perhaps unload cargo and another keeper for an upgrade

          2. I’m kind of mixed on this one. I’ve always been hesitant on Jones due to his lack of walks, but I can’t complain about any of his other numbers. Brantley definitely overachieved last year but should still put up solid numbers. Cargo is an accident waiting to happen but is still capable of producing solid numbers if he can stay on the field. I just don’t trust him to do that but in the same breath, I wouldn’t undervalue him.

            That said, I think it’s a slight overpay, but the peace of mind is worth it for me. My personal preference would be McCutchen or Carlos Gomez for those 2 players. If you can’t land either for Cargo & Brantley, Jones is right in line with them. Maybe the Jones owner has a prospect he can throw in as well (can’t hurt to ask).

        2. I love Arenado, but I don’t think you need to force a trade to get him. You already have your long term solution at 3B, so I would not try to acquire one via trade unless it was a no-brainer value wise (like Cargo for Arenado).

          As for that Jones trade, I honestly do not think that Jones is an upgrade over Brantley (and I am an Orioles fan). Jones has the more proven track record for sure, but he is not without flaws. I think it is a coin flip as to which player is more productive in 2015, and Brantley’s skills may actually prove more sustainable long term.

          1. Update:
            I acquired Arenado and a 2nd round rookie pick for Holliday, Profar and the second overall pick in upcoming rookie draft. What do you think?

            Swihart, Bryant, Taillon, Hunter Harver, Robert Stephenson
            Current Keepers-
            Jose Abreu
            Edwin Encarnacion
            Robinson Cano
            Jose Bautista
            Hanler Ramirez
            Jose Fernandez

            This trade drops Cobb from my keepers. He is the right player to drop right? With not having a pick till the end of the second round I would really like to keep Cobb because Fernandez is out till June. Should I still try to trade Cargo and Brantely for an upgrade and if so what players should I target? Thanks

        3. Cobb is very good, but he is not a must keep. I think you have it right.

          While trading Brantley and Cargo sounds good, I am not sure you will find a suitable deal. Brantley is the real deal. Unless you can turn those guys into Trout, Stanton or McCutchen, I don’t think it is enough of an upgrade. Maybe the McCutchen owner would bite, but I doubt the other two would. Worth a shot I guess.

          1. McCutchen owner wouldnt budge. He also owns Stanton so I wont try. I will stand pat and hope that a good pitcher falls to me with my first pick(23rd overall after keepers). I probably should fill that need first unless there is a position player that has no business lasting that long, still available.

          2. Maybe consider trading Cargo and Cano and try to land Rendon (along with maybe some kind of pick)? I know you have Arenado but Rendon will qualify for 2B for one more year. You unload an aging Cano before it is too late and Cargo before he breaks again.
            And next year, Arenado or Rendon will be much more valuable trade chips given the lack of higher end talent at third.
            Just my 2 cents…keep the change.

  20. Surely it’s time to put Aaron Sanchez on this list, no?

    22 years old and in the bigs to stay.
    Playing for a team with immediate opportunities for starters AND closers.

    Outstanding MLB debut last season, along with a strong minor league track record.

    Dynasty-wise, grabbing a Scott Kazmir or a CJ Wilson over an Aaron Sanchez would seem like a mistake.


    (Great list though, as always!)

    1. Thanks for reading, Mark. I wouldn’t be upset if Sanchez made the list. I’m normally harder on prospects than most on this site, so although he’s starting his career now, there are a lot of veteran SP who have been proven reliable (if not as exciting) that would rank ahead of him for me. When you look at the next 5-7 years, there has to be a balance between “produce now” talent and “future potential.” However, I give more weight to players who are already performing at the MLB level. Granted that the guys you mention, Wilson and Kazmir, may not be the best choices if you’re drafting a new dynasty team this year. I’d go for Sanchez’s potential value over them. But I’d probably take someone like Porcello over Sanchez, because Sanchez’s role isn’t known yet, and Porcello is a youngish, proven commodity.

  21. I’m in a 7 keeper, 15 team 5×5 league. What is a good return for Trout (1st rd, 2 years left)? I’m looking at Rendon (9th, 3 years) and Dickerson (25th, 3 years). Other possibility could be Springer (15th, 2 years) and Bryant (24th, 3 years).

    1. With 2 years left on Trout, I would hold him for one more year and enjoy the return.
      If you are intent on trading him Rendon is a good start but the second players should be someone in the top 4 rounds. If they aren’t, then it better be a package of players to make it worth while.

      I love Springer and Bryant and both have big upside. Unfortunately neither will live up to Trout over the next few years and won’t reach their peak value until their contracts are up with you.

      When it comes to Trout, don’t settle. Go big or go home.

    2. I respectfully disagree with the good rev on this one.

      Trout for 2 years is great, but he will cost you a first round pick. He is certainly worth that, but I think you could easily make the case that Rendon in the 9th is worth as much or more than Trout in the first. The fact that you get an extra year on Rendon and also can get Dickerson in the 25th would sway me to make this deal.

      Remember, in this deal, you are not just getting Rendon and Dickerson for Trout. You are getting Rendon, Dickerson + your first round pick.

      I also think that the other deal is interesting, but you are not getting quite as much value there unless you can re-sign players when their contracts expire.

      1. Wow, tunnel vision on this one as I totally missed the rounds you would be keeping them in; nice catch Tommy. I reverse my original statement regarding Rendon and Dickerson. Having Rendon and your first round pick (plus Dickerson) is good value for Trout. I still might prefer someone other than Dickerson, but other than that I really can’t complain.

      2. That was my thinking on the deal with Rendon/Dickerson. I’m concerned with Bryant/Springer since their floors could be low.

  22. 6 player keeper but only 3 offensive players. I have interest from cano’s owner for Altuve. I’d keep Gomez and springer/areando. Pros / cons short term and long.

    I can see cano having a better than last and Altuve taking a step back in Avg. Ops is in play

    1. If you’re keeping Gomez, Springer and Arenado, I really don’t see the need in making this trade. From the sound of it, the Cano owners is looking to upgrade his keeper and you’re getting nothing in return. You would have to throw back one of your hitters to keep Cano and I’m not sure I would keep Cano over any of those 3 given the depth of the 2B position. Also you only keep 3 offensive hitters so you’ll have plenty of players to choose from for 2nd since not many will be kept (Rendon, maybe Cano, outside chance Kinsler).

      If anything, see if the Rendon owner will trade you him for Altuve and Arenado. If you can get that, you’ll start the draft with 3 potential 20/20 hitters. If his hitters are deep but he lacks arms, maybe you have a spare one to package with Arenado or Altuve for Rendon.
      Even if you don’t go for Rendon, these are the type of trades you should be looking to make, packaging Altuve (who you are not keeping) with one of the players you are keeping for an even bigger and better player.

      I like Cano, but in a keeper league with limited number of offensive keepers and a deep 2B pool, it makes little sense to make this trade.

        1. Tough call, but I think I would prefer Cano. You already have a ton of steals with Gomez and Springer. I think Cano offers more overall statistical balance for your keeper core.

          Also, Since you only keep 3 hitters, the long term value for Altuve is minimized. Only the truly elite bats have significant long term value. Like Jim mentioned, the difference between Altuve and the best available hitters in the draft is insignificant. For that reason, I do not consider him to be a great value as a long term keeper and I prefer Cano for 2015.

  23. I can keep 8 guys from the list below…There’s no limit on years that I can keep them. It’s a traditional 10 category head to head league…

    Justin Upton
    Nolen Arenado
    Ryan Braun
    Starlin Castro
    Jay Bruce
    Starling Marte
    Kris Bryant
    Jorge Soler
    Max Scherzer
    Corey Kluber
    Yu Darvish

    Any advice is appreciated…

  24. Tough cuts are coming; I’m in a 12 team H2H league that keeps 8 so I feel your pain.
    I would probably cut Braun first. He is 31, has had two years of injuries and is coming off surgery that should help but there is no guarantee. Plus at his age you’re not going to see 30 stolen bases again let alone 20. Let him be someone else’s problem.

    Next would be Castro. There are a number of up and comers that could give you similar or slightly lesser value. Don’t wait too long to grab another shortstop though, the position is thin.

    The third I would say is between Bruce and Solar. Bruce is only 28 and depending on who you ask is either on a downward spiral or just had down year. Solar is the up and comer with tons of potential, but potential doesn’t always pan out. Both are a risk although Solar is a risk with upside. Since you are already keeping 2 good options for the OF, cutting both and keeping Castro is another option.

    Between the 3 pitchers, Arenado, Upton and Marte, you’ve got a solid core that can potentially win this year. Brayant is a long term investment who may not put up great numbers this year but could be huge in the future.

    If you league has off season trading, I might see what I could get for Bryant considering you have Arenado. Bryant could be huge but his value will never be higher than now. If you could get back a young ML ready player it might be worth it. You could try and package him with Braun, Castro or even Solar. Check around and see what people will offer. You might get a prospect hungry owner to part with someone you weren’t expecting.

    1. I agree with Jim on Braun and Castro but I’m absolutely dropping Bruce instead of Soler. To me, Soler has the potential to crack into the top 10 OF (Yep, I said it) Bruce just doesn’t have that potential any more. He gave us a good run, but his profile isn’t encouraging at all to me.
      Nice group of keepers. Good luck and thanks for reading.

  25. Thanks for the feedback. Good stuff. I also have Gattis and VMart, so i may keep Gattis. I’ve been on the Bruce train since BA and BP had him their top player! It’s always tough to give up on the ‘next sure thing.”

  26. Update: I traded Bryant/Bruce/and Samardzija all for Rendon…I wasn’t keeping Samardzija, am keeping Marte instead of Bruce, and have decided that a I’m keeping Victor Martinez

    1. Dane, I like Davis quite a bit for the immediate future. However, he’s not a stud OF, and 3B is usually less deep. Depending on the rest of your team, you may want to gamble on Castellanos improving in 2015.

    2. I agree with Kevin about taking Castellanos, but wanted to add one more point. With Gerardo Parra in Milwaukee, Khris Davis is no longer an every day player. Although it isn’t likely to be a strict platoon, Davis as the right handed bat could wind up on the short end of the stick if he does not improve his offensive production. Parra is the far superior glove man.

  27. I’m in a 12 team, 10 keeper, keep forever league. It’s a 10×10 league with standard cats plus H, XBH, TB, BB, and OPS for hitters, and you play one player at each specific position. I’ve been offered McCutchen and a the top pick of the 4th (14th rd basically) for my Rizzo. Lord knows I love McCutchen, but 1b is basically a wasteland. I really want to pull the trigger badly, but the proposition of finding a replacement 1b scares me. Please help!

  28. I actually think that it may be harder to find a quality center fielder than it is to find a first baseman. There are plenty of good CF options out there, but McCutchen is young and a super elite option. The only way I wouldn’t take this deal is if I already had a stud CF who is getting displaced. The value is on your side and there are some pretty solid 1B options who will be available in your re-draft.

  29. Love the site! Thanks for the helpful ranks plus commentary!

    I’m a 6×6 12-team 12-player keeper league (extra cats = XBH, Ks/9), where the rights to the player and the round drafted remain forever. I have Springer at an amazing 30th round cost but am considering dealing him (and a bit more) for Goldschmidt at a 20th round cost. Options to pair with Springer (both my trading partner and I recognize that I’ll need to supplement to make the trade): Cobb (7th), A Russell (16th rd), Machado (12th), Longoria (13th), Santana (15th), Samardzija (19th), Lester (24th). Again, all round costs are forever.

    So, two questions: Should I even deal Springer @ 30th round value indefinitely for Goldie @ 20th? And, if so – who among this list would you pair with him? I’ve got strong position balance in my keepers (I haven’t listed them all) but lean a tad heavier on pitching. Thanks a ton!

    1. Evan Longoria is one of the most overrated fantasy assets out there, but he makes a terrific value in the 13th round. Alex Cobb in the 7th isn’t even a value at all. That is where he should be drafted and I don’t think he has much upside above and beyond that cost.

      Cobb is the guy to pair if he will go for it, and Addisen Russell would be next. If he asks for a different pitcher or Machado, then I think I would walk away.

      1. Based on 12 keepers x 12 teams we have, even 7th rounders are usually prospect gambles or low ceiling types. So, totally get your point – but, in my view, 7th round in this league is still a decent spot to retain Cobb. But, your ranking makes sense as does where you draw the line, too. Thanks for the input!

  30. Springer has some big potential for sure, but BA may always be an issue. He may be a 25/25 guy. That being said, OF is deeper, and I am all-in on Goldy any chance I can get him. Having him at 20th round value is a steal considering he’s potentially a top-5 or top-10 hitter when healthy. I say take him over Springer.

    As for what to give up, Cobb is good and may reach a new level, but as the highest pick his value isn’t necessarily better than Samardzija at 19th. The other one I’d consider moving is Longoria, who I still like but many on the Assembly crew are starting to fade on him. At 13th he’s a bit high compared to potential value of others, and you do have Machado for 3B moving forward.

    I’d probably see if you could offer Springer and Longoria for Goldy and a smaller piece. If he won’t bite, then go to Cobb.

  31. Inherited a roto 8 team NL-only auction keeper league where the team finished last. It is my last year of being able to keep Giancarlo Stanton at $15 then he becomes a FA. My only other good players really are Nolan Arenado, Starling Marte and A.J. Pollock. I need to rebuild the team.

    Good news is there are quite a few elite FAs available this year (Goldschmidt, McCutchen, Heyward, Scherzer, Lester and Kimbrel). I am flush with cash and realistically can get 4 of the 6 guys. I traded three expensive guys for Lucas Giolito to start the rebuild.

    Do I sell Stanton or go for it with a chance to have the top 3 NL players on my team?

  32. I would not be terribly excited about landing Heyward or Lester unless you get a deal, but those other guys could be great building blocks. As for whether or not to sell Stanton, that looks like a good price. I would wait to see who you are able to land in the draft and then make your decision. If you are not a realistic contender, then it is a no brainer to sell.

    If you land Goldy or McCutchen (or both) then I would have to think that you would have to be in the hunt and keeping Stanton would be essential.

  33. My questions as below:

    1. Addison Russell for Jedd Gyorko, A.J. Pollock or Daniel Murphy is a good idea?
    2. Trade Pujols for Votto and Latos to keep is a good idea?

    Please kindly give me some advices.

    Thank you

    1. 1. I think you should aim higher if you move Russell
      2. I don’t mind this at all if you have the keeper space for both. Really depends on who is available and depth of league. The shallower the league, the less this makes sense.
      Good luck

      1. Thanks!

        I’m in a 16 x 28 keeper league.

        Now my keepers of batters are XB, Carlos Gonzalez, Trout, Pujols and Addison Russell
        My keepers of picthers are Hyun-jin Ryu, Francisco Liriano and Shelby Miller.

        Therefore, if I trade Pujols for Votto and Latos, then I will give up Shelby Miller.

        1. I like Latos more than I do Miller, I worry about Miller’s walk rate and decline in strikeouts. He could put up a better ERA and WHIP than Latos, but with Latos you’re assured his numbers won’t get any worse than what we saw in 2011/2012. Miller should eventually straiten things out, but it may be another year of growing pains.

          That said, I would make the trade and throw back Liriano. He’s had success in Pittsburg, but the seasons prior to that are spotty. While there is better strikeout potential here, it comes with a higher WHIP. Also, with Russell Martin gone, you have to question how this will affect Liriano’s game since Martin elevated the entire pitching staff.

  34. Hi There – This is my first time posting and I have to select 10 keepers at no cost and here’s the list I’m currently going with in order ranked 1 through 10. Your insight on the 10 keepers you’d select would be very much appreciated before our keeper lock date this afternoon at 5:00 ET….thanks!

    1. Rendon
    2. Xander Bogaerts
    3. Carlos Correa
    4. Cole Hamels
    5. Wil Myers
    6. Mark Trumbo
    7. Marcus Stroman
    8. Yordano Ventura
    9. Leonys Martin
    10. Lucas Giolito

    Just missing the cut: 11. Joey Gallo 12. Shin-Soo Choo 13. Chris Archer 14. Brandon Moss 15. Jedd Gyorko 16. Sean Doolittle 17. Cliff Lee 18. Lance Lynn

    1. Welcome, coby. Part of the keeper strategy depends on whether you have CI and MI slots, how many OF, how many teams, etc. However, for some general advice, I’d perhaps consider removing Leonys Martin. I’m not super high on him, and I frankly feel 2014 is as good as he’ll ever get. If walks give you points, or if OBP is used instead of BA, then I’d keep Choo over Martin. Choo had a down year, yes, but he should rebound some, and his walk rate is a bonus.

      Also, just a thought, but Trumbo is coming back from injury, and Moss is healthy and walks more. They profile pretty similarly, and 30 HR power is hard to find these days. If you rank Trumbo 6th, then I’d have to consider moving Moss up. I’d probably keep him over Martin as well, unless you really feel you need the SB.

      I realize the high-ceiling potential all over your team, and it may depend on your format and the number of teams in the league, but you have a lot of guys who either have no MLB time (Giolito, Correa) or have very little (Stroman, Ventura, Bogaerts). Again, these guys all have great potential, but it could be a rocky 2015 if things don’t go well. The deeper your league is, the less this is an issue. But I may consider trading one of your two minors for proven, young-ish MLB talent if you can. I’d probably move Giolito because you have strong SP in Hamels, Stroman, Ventura.

      Good luck with your season!

  35. Love the content it is very helpful. I am in a 15 keeper league with no CI or MI spots. My keepers consist of Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Santana, Kinsler, Tulo, Rendon, Longoria, Braun, Cargo, Kershaw, Gray, Wainwright, Cole, Rosenthal and Chapman. I have won 4 straight titles and looking to make a trade. I have been very successful drafting over the years

    On the bubble looking in Holliday, Gordon, Ventura and Beltre.

    Would you trade Longoria, Santana and Holliday for Harper?

    I have a lot of injury prone players do I dare add another? if I make this trade then Beltre becomes m last keeper behind Rendon at 3rd

    Look forward to your thoughts

    1. Since Holliday is a non-factor,
      Would you prefer Harper/Beltre to Santana/Longoria?
      I would… and I still like Longoria a fair bit

      I think your OF is where your risk lies already. Adding Harper doesn’t make it more risky imo.. but helps cover some that’s already there.

  36. First off, let me preface my reply by saying that I am lower on Harper than the rest of the free world.

    Before I get into it, I would keep Beltre over at least 5 current keepers, and possible more. Gray, Rosenthal, Santana, Cargo and even Wainwright are all players I would strongly consider Beltre ahead of, with Rosenthal and Gray being the two least valuable.

    As for the deal, despite the age I prefer Beltre to Longo by a significant margin. Holliday is a non-factor and Santana’s value depends on his eligibility. If he is a first baseman, then he is a marginal keeper option at best. If he is catcher eligible, than his 2015 value increases exponentially, but he will likely only hold that eligibility for the upcoming season. Long term, Santana is not an elite keeper.

    I hate the price you usually have to pay to acquire Bryce Harper, but in this case, I think you are doing quite well. I think you may pay a small price in 2015 if Santana is catcher eligible, but long term this could be a huge win for you. Do it and don’t look back.

    1. Thanks for the advice, I made the trade and landed Harper so let hope the light turns on. Who would be the better keeper as my 15th McCann, Ventura or Gray?


      1. I think that Ventura or Gray would both be more valuable as a 15th keeper. I would choose Gray who I would consider a little more stable and established and a little less injury prone, even with Ventura probably having the higher upside.

      2. The only way I consider McCann is in a 2 catcher league. Between Gray and Ventura I’m going with Ventura. Unlike Gray, Ventura has the pedigree and much higher ceiling.
        Tommy Landseadel broke down Gray nicely here so I’ll let his words do the talking.


        There is an injury risk with Ventura, but injuries can happen to the best of them as Fernandez owners found out last year. If this were for just this year I would say play it safe, but in a keeper league I’d much rather gamble on the upside player.

  37. Awesome list and site. Think it’s helped me out a bit here. I am in an auction league that is $260 budget and I have Abreu at $12. My two choices are to sign him to a one year deal at that same $12 OR I can sign him for 3 years with an increase of $5/year. So on 3 year deal he’d be $17 this year, $22 next, and $27 in year 3. This list makes me feel like the three year deal is a no brainer but I am a naturally risk averse fantasy player haha. Any additional input appreciated

    1. Mike, considering I’ve seen Abreu go anywhere from the mid 30’s to low 40’s I think a 3 year investment is wise here. While first base is deep in talent, it is shallow in elite dependable players.

      Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Abreu, Encarnacion, Rizzo are all top options.
      Freeman, Gonzalez and Pujols are next with possibly Votto and Freeman included if they bounce back.
      After that, you’re looking at Belt, Hosmer, Duda, LaRoche, Santana, Moss, (insert power hitting first baseman with obvious flaws here). Players you would settle for, but not many names you would invest your future in.

      You may be risk averse, but the reward far outweighs the risk in your situation so don’t fear making the investment.

      1. Thanks Jim. Going to take the plunge. Had two other things pop into my head as well. Mesoraco at $3 bucks with the lack of talent at Catcher has to be a no brainer right? Or are you worried about injury bug?

        Also, do you think Xander breaks into top 5-7 SS this year?

        1. I like Bogaerts and ranked him in the top 5 for dynasty shortstops (everyone else was between 3 and 6), but for 2015 I had him at #15. While there is long term talent I can see continual growing pains in 2015. The rankings from the rest of the group for 2015 are 7, 8, 11, 12 and 16. As you can see, opinions are divided on his immediate future. I think 2016 will be the year Bogaerts starts to fulfil our prospect dreams and becomes that top 5-7 shortstop.

          As for Mesoraco, $3 is a great price to own him at and even a 3 year contract puts him at $9 for the third year which is still good. I’m not worried about injuries with Mesoraco, but I am worried about the batting average.


          If this were a standard league without contracts I might suggest throwing Mesoraco back, but in your case I would hold him. Catcher is not lacking in talent; in fact it is actually fairly deep compared to past seasons. I wouldn’t advise using a high pick on him, but if I already owned him I wouldn’t throw him back if the price was right, and it is.

          1. One more follow up on Mesoraco since keeper declaration is coming up and I’m having doubts. I am in a H2H points league so things like Ks, OBP, and saves matter a lot. I figured I would give you a little bit bigger piece of the picture so you can se what I’m getting overly stressed about. I can keep 2 of the following 5. And it’s a points league so that’s the only reason you’ll see closers on the list lol.

            McHugh $1
            Porcello $1
            Mesoraco $3
            Chapman $3
            Betances $1

            I just love McHugh and don’t think he’ll go for much in the auction but sort of don’t want to risk it. Just need a little help as I’m getting anxious and overthinking it haha.

          2. If this is a points league I’m keeping Chapman. Looking at standard CBS scoring he was in the top 6 in 2012 & 2013 and would have been there again in 2014 had he not missed the first month.

            Mesoraco drops off my list now that I have some more specifics and players to choose from. Don’t panic about the depth at catcher; I like Mesoraco for his contract but think you can still get a worthy replacement. Porcello I’m not keeping either. He had a good year but I’m not sure he’ll repeat and he doesn’t get enough K’s for me to consider.

            McHugh or Betances is the question. If Betances is the closer he could put up numbers to rival Chapman and Kimbrel. Problem is, before last season he had never done anything remotely like this. Without the saves his value is lower in a points league, especially a H2H one. McHugh has posted some decent minor league numbers but not good enough to make me believe that last years totals can be repeated despite the fact his xFIP wasn’t much higher. Streamers calls for regression and if that happens, he could put up similar point totals as Betances.

            McHugh is ranked at 51 on fantasy pros – ranked anywhere between 24 and 93.
            Our rankings which come out in a few hours have him at 56 – ranked between 42 and 83.

            Betances on the other hand is ranked at number 6 on fantasy pros.

            Using just pure logic here, you can probably get McHugh back easier than you can Betances, and more than likely cheaper than Betances. Also with pitching being deep and talented, you might even find a better option than McHugh. There is a risk Miller cuts into Betances save chances or Betances pulls a Rosenthal and his numbers balloon up (but still with high K’s).

            I would keep Chapman and Betances, don’t lose sleep over finding a catcher and worry about bidding on McHugh when the time comes.

  38. Thanks again. That’s sort of what I was thinking. I kind of want to gamble on Grandal at catcher now that he’s in LA too. Or Ramos b/c of the power potential. I don’t really want to spend the 20+ on Lucroy since Posey is owned/kept and those are the only two I really feel are “sure things.”

    1. Santana is a great option if he qualifies in your league despite the batting average. Gomes, Perez, Molina, Gattis, McCann, d’Arnaud and Ramos are all catchers I would be happy to have. You may not get Mesoraco numbers, but you get good power from most of them and a better average from half of them. Lucroy and Posey are the sure things, but there are so many in the next group that have so many similarities.

      Good Luck with your keepers and your draft.

    2. Mike,

      I wanted to reply with some alternative viewpoints to consider. You mention that you were considering Betances because you play in a points league, but I actually think that closers are significantly less valuable in points leagues. Ratios matter much less, so guys like Fernando Rodney are capable of posting as many points as “elite” closers.

      I would still keep Chapman, but Betances is not a better option than Mesoraco. He is not a lock to earn the Yankees closer job, and even if he does, you can easily find another RP capable of getting as many or more points. Check for my upcoming article on RP eligible starters to get some more ideas.

      I would keep Chapman and Mesoraco.

  39. Tommy, Thank you for the alternative line of thinking. I sort of think I’m more in line with where you’re coming from, but it is a really close decision for me. Don’t really feel like McHugh/Betances for a buck or Mesoraco for $3 are bad choices. If I pick wrong, they’re all cheap and shouldn’t ruin my chances for this year.

    I’m just hopeful I can get McHugh again for under 5 bucks. I thought his peripherals were awesome and think he gets overlooked bc of being in Houston. My only real worry about him is TJ since he throws so many benders.

    And Jim, unfortunately no Santana C eligibility in my league. Since it is a points league, I still want him at 3b because of his awesome OBP. Posey and Yadier being kept. So Lucroy will probably go for $20ish. That’s sort of what makes Mesoraco appealing but I am worried about the Ks and the fact that basically all his homers were pulled.

    Thanks again for the food for thought, gents. Love the site and will keep my eye open for that RP artcle.

    Happy Drafting,

    1. Hi again guys,

      Ended up swinging a trade on keeper declaration/prospect draft day that got me a $1 Tyson Ross, which I’m feeling pretty good about considering mesoraco has a concussion. But ended up throwing both mesoraco and betances back into the draft.

      I was hoping to get some draft advice though. As you can imagine in a ten team league with farm systems.and 7 kepers each.. the amount of talent out there is compromised.

      I have the second most money at $198 in a $260 auction. Again, it is a points league with some modified scoring. The best pitchers out there are Felix Hernandez, David Price, and Matt Harvey. The next best pitchers are Zimmerman and Shields which as I’m sure you know is a bigtime tier down. With the scoring in our league… pitchers Cueto, Kershaw, and Felix were 1, 2, and 4 overall in points with Trout coming in third. Price finished 11th overall. All of these guys had over 500 points each whereas a Shields had around 400. And the best available hitters are names like Cano, Beltre, Harper,Tulo, Santana, Votto, Fielder, Holliday, and Nelson Cruz who should all be in the low to mid 400s point wise.

      Sorry for all the detail, but wanted some insight on a draft strategy. I imagine Felix will go for around $45-50, Price around $40, and Harvey around $35. Do you think it’s worth shelling out for one of these studs given the high point total potentially… or do you think that’s too much risk? And maybe just pay moderate amounts for high upside guys like Carrasco, Wacha, Tanaka and fill offense out with more people like Lucroy, Tulo, Carpenter?

      It is also worth mentioning I already have Sale, Hamels, and Ross – so not like I’m hurting for high grade arm. I just want to make the most of the financial advantage I have in the draft on most of the teams coming into this draft.

      Sorry again for the extreme detail but wanted to put you in a position to give best advice. Thanks again for everything and still loving the site.


      1. Mike, if there’s a big difference between what SP can earn in points and what hitters can do, then you definitely have to take that into consideration. I’m in the same boat, where the top 1-2 SP can score 850 points, but Trout caps out at around 740. In points, it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you get those high points guys.

        That being said, if you have Sale, Hamels, and Ross, all of who must be cheap for you do be spending only $60, you have a core already. I’m not sure I’d spend $35 on Harvey if $40 gets you Price, because Harvey is still coming back, and though he should be fine, there’s no guarantee.

        If hitters are capped much lower than these SP — say, Tulo goes for $30 compared to Felix’s $50 — then I think you should get as many top-level hitters as you can, and rely on your 3 aces plus Zimmermann and Carrasco. If you can buy two top-5 at their position guys for the cost of just Felix, then the money is better spent on offense.

        I’m playing devil’s advocate here, just giving you things to think about, and here’s one more: You don’t want to leave money on the table, so if you feel like you’re going to have a lot of extra cash, go for broke and get Felix.

        1. Hi Kevin,

          Thanks for the reply. Definitely some food for thought. Just so you have the whole picture, I have: Abreu $17, Puig $11, Dozier $1, Sale $12, Hamels $17, Ross $1, and Chapman $3.

          It’s not that pitchers are automatically worth more than pitchers. The top top guys are about the same. Like Trout was basically same as Kershaw, Felix, and Cueto. And the other big hitters were right there too. I think the issue is the Cabreras, Trouts, Goldys, Cutches, etc. are already kept. So the top remaining position players are Tulo, Beltre, Cano (who i won’t chase since I have $1 Dozier).

          I feel like Zimmerman is a bit overrated in this league too because he is dfinitely a tier or 2 below Felix and Price but will go for a similar cost. I imagine he will go for $30+. I guess part of what I was asking too is if Felix is worth the risk. Because last year he was like 80% Kershaw and he’s only 28 years old… but in just 2013 Anibal was better than him in points. So if he takes a step back then that $40+ would look silly.

          I mean best hitters available are: Braun, Fielder, Ortiz, Santana, Beltre, Carpenter, Tulo, Lucroy, Harper, Upton, Pujols, A-Gon, Votto, and Cano. So some nice names, but I don’t know if any are potential top 10-15 overall or worth spending more than $25-30 on. Let me know if you think anyone (or ones) out of that group particularly worth targeting or if you think I’m off base. I also have a lot of upside guys I want to target like Soler as a hitter and Gausmann as an SP.

          The other thing too is we did devalue closers a bit this year thankfully but the top 3 closers should be worth about the same as a top 20-25 sp (so a holland worth about same as a tyson ross). So maybe spend the $15 to get holland or kimbrel to pair with chapman if I don’t spend the $ on felix/Price?

          I don’t know. A lot to think about and definitely keeping options open. Just love talking about the stuff and hearing other viewpoints.

          Thanks again,

          1. It’s true that Felix hasn’t been as amazingly consistent as Kershaw. But then, that’s an almost unfair comparison. What Felix does is give you a reasonably good chance at having a top-5 SP every year. It’s kind of like Miggy: 2014 wasn’t his best year of late, but you take him because he’s certainly capable of being a top-2 hitter in any given year. Therefore I think Felix is worth a few extra bucks.
            You may not be high on Zimmermann, but I am. He doesn’t possess the elite K to be a top-5 pitcher, sure, but his other numbers can’t be denied as elite. However, if he is overhyped in your league, best to pass if you’re not comfortable with him anyway. Between Zimm and Felix, definitely pay a bit more for Felix. If Zimm seems projected to be $35 and Felix is $40, go the extra $5.
            Hitters I like are C. Santana, Beltre, Lucroy (but not at a top-2 C price), Upton, Pujols, AGon. Abreu covers you at 1B, so a bit of risk in older Pujols could be worth it if. I’d target either Pujols or AGon, whichever you feel will be cheaper. Tulo always nice when healthy, but if he’s going for $30+, I bow out because you simply can’t guarantee health. If you had another good SS, then maybe, but not before. Harper’s hype will likely drive his price higher than I’d pay, considering he hasn’t been amazing yet. I would definitely target a 3B (Santana, Beltre), and if Santana can play C then I prefer him. I still think Upton has a big season in him, and if others discount him because of his move to SD, then get him at a nice price.
            Honestly, I’d happily pay $15 for a top-3 closer, without question. Even if they’re devalued slightly, if you can get a top-3 guy at a position for a half or a third of the cost of other positions, it’s worth it.
            I know there are a lot of strategies for auction nomination. Maybe you should try to wait on Felix and hope others spend budget elsewhere first. Then, because you’re one of the biggest purses, you can afford him easier with less battle. However, if he gets put up early, I’d stay in until it gets crazy. If he goes early and you pass, at least you know exactly what you have to spend elsewhere. Having more money than others means you can afford to bid higher on a big name and still be okay for the rest of the draft. I’m not a fan of sitting on my large stack and then simply outbidding people at the end of the draft when they’ve run out, and $5-8 wins everyone.
            I’m not as high on Gausman as some, but I would definitely love to get Soler if he’s not too expensive. I’d rather have him than Harper, assuming Soler will be cheaper.

        2. What would you consider a top 2 Lucroy price? $20? It’s a points/OBP league so I’m tempted to spend that much.

          Also, are you worried about Beltre getting older?

          1. Mike,

            Unless you play in a 2 C league, I would not spend more than $5 on a catcher that is not Posey. Lucroy is very good, but there simply is not enough separation between he and the rest of the field to justify the price. I would advise spending elsewhere and letting the values come to you.

            Russell Martin, for example is a pretty good OBP hitter who could be batting second in an elite lineup. I will take him for $2-$4 all day over Lucroy at $20.

  40. First and foremost, great job on this. Absolutely great. I read through the comments and see why you ranked pitchers so high. With that said, I am in a 5 man keeper league. While so many pitchers are in their prime, unless you are Kershaw and maybe Felix, there are so many pitchers that will put up similar numbers.

    Cueto, Mad Bum, Sale, Kluber, Greinke, Lester, etc. I could go on for another 10 pitchers maybe. It seems that pitching is deep, so why spend the time and keep the pitchers when you can just draft good ones again year after year? Hitters to me are more scarce. I read the comparison between Donaldson and Mad Bum. Why would you keep Mad Bum when you can get a Cueto or Kluber/Sale in the draft? With J-Do in Toronto now, I think he will have 30hr and 100 rbi’s. How many people can you get to replace something similar to that? I think Mad Bum is easily much more replaceable than J-Do.

    Just my two cents, but it speaks to how I just don’t value drafting pitchers high in drafts or keeping them overall. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    1. You can make a case for keeping or not keeping pitchers, drafting them early or waiting; there really is no right or wrong. I think it all comes down to the individual, the type of league they are in and whether or not it is a keeper or redraft league.

      In your case, with only 5 keepers I can see not wanting to keep more than one pitcher. Personally when it comes to keeper leagues I’ve never been one to keep pitchers, but there have been a few years in which I did keep pitchers; primarily to package them away for better hitters.

      In redraft leagues I’ve drafted pitching early and have also ignored it until rounds 12 or so. This is going back years when pitching wasn’t as rich, but I’ve always been able to scrounge for pitching. Like I said, it comes down to the individual. Some are good at finding value late or on waivers. Others have problems finding pitchers in which case it would be in their best interest to take some high profile guys early.

      In the league we are drafting now, I passed on pitching in round 2 and went with Donaldson who you mentioned. While I took some closers early, I didn’t draft my first starter until round 14. Last year I took pitchers/closers with 4 of my first 6 picks, and then traded my first hitter picked for another ace.

      The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter which strategy you choose. The important thing is, whichever strategy you choose – stick to it.

  41. Great content – but for deeper leagues, looking for some additional advice if you have it to give. AL-only, dynasty keepers, 6×6 categories (SLG & OBP no AVG, QS & H no W). Keeping Bautista, Longoria & Kluber. Need 3 more from the following (in order of my leaning so far):

    Eric Hosmer
    Marcus Stroman
    Brett Gardner
    Adam Eaton
    Melky Cabrera
    Luke Gregerson
    Alcides Escobar
    Lonnie Chisenhall
    Matt Moore
    Joe Smith


    1. I like Stroman the best of all those players, and if he qualifies as a RP in your league his value goes even higher.
      I’m not a fan of Hosmer since you use OBP & SLG, but it is an AL only league and odds are you won’t find better in the draft so keep your fingers crossed he returns to 2013 (or even 2011) form.

      The final spot comes down to Gardner or Melky in my opinion, but I’m going with your choice of Gardner. He may have a little less power than Melky and a slightly lower SLG%, but the 20 or so steals should make up for it. Given the fact your other 3 hitters have no speed, this is a safe bet. Melky would get you more RBIs, but keeping him means you put yourself in a hole for steals.

      As for the rest:
      Escobar is in the bottom half of the top 12, you might be able to find better.
      You’ve got Longoria so no need for Chisenhall.
      You only keep 6 and 2 of those are pitchers so no Moore for me.
      Smith doesn’t get saves and you can get him back later if you want him.
      Gregorson is a decent draft target but not a keeper.
      Eaton’s average was BABIP driven so I can see some regression which could be a blow to his slugging. He could keep most of his OBP, but considering the two combined I would rather have Melky or Gardner.

  42. FA Team,

    Love the content as always. I need to submit my keepers by Tuesday night and the latest Yu Darvish injury has put me in a bind. Mixed league, H2H, 12 team, scoring categories for hitters are R, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, K, SB, BB and for pitchers is QS, W, L, SV, BSV, ER, K, IP. I’m in year 2 of a rebuild and we have to keep 14 guys, of which 1 must be a minor league hitter and 1 must be a minor league pitcher. These were my selections before Darvish got hurt.

    Josh Donaldson
    Kris Bryant
    Carlos Correa
    Addison Russell
    Justin Upton
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Christian Yelich
    Joc Pederson
    Gerrit Cole
    Jose Fernandez
    Marcus Stroman
    Madison Bumgarner
    Julio Urias
    Yu Darvish

    Being as how I need to make a decision, likely before he gets a second opinion, what would you recommend? My other options for keeper considerations were Eric Hosmer, Javier Baez, Rusney Castillo and Craig Kimbrel. We do start a MI and we have 4 RP starting slots. Should I keep Darvish or let him go? The window for trades is closed and I have the 3rd pick in the draft so I can re-draft at least one of my excess.

    1. I think I’d let him go and keep Kimbrel.
      While he doesn’t fit your rebuild mode, he’ll have huge value to someone during the season. You should be able to score a good young bat for him (one better than Baez as an example).
      You’ve got a nice core there. Keep with your plan… swapping Darvish for Kimbrel won’t cause a big deviation from it. Plus, it’s safer.

    2. Part of me agrees with Paul on keeping Kimbrel. I would have said Rusney if not for the presence of your other 4 outfielders.

      The part of me that doesn’t agree with Paul see this. Fernandez will miss the first 3 months, Urias will be lucky if he contributes in the majors this year and the same goes for Addison Russell and Carlos Correa. Joc Pederson will (should) start in the majors and Bryant will only be in the minors for a matter of weeks if he’s sent down at the start, but mostly all rookies struggle and go through growing pains so there is no guarantee with either of them. You’re already starting out behind the 8-ball so to speak with 6 players that will not contribute or their contributions are in question.

      Keeping Kimbrel over Darvish is potentially wise, but this move will not make or break your team. Since the team is built for long term success, hold Darvish as a DL stash until next season is a realistic option I might consider, especially if you have 3 or more DL slots – Only 2 makes this a coin flip since Fernandez will start the year in one of them.

  43. I’d try to flip some combo of Darvish\castillo/ Baez for another big bat like Rizzo, Freeman or Abreu. You could always sweeten the deal with one of your two young SS’s.

  44. In a keeper league where you retain the round cost forever – how would you rank the value of the following players/round costs: a. Ellsbury in the 4th, b. Longoria in the 13th, and c. Kimbrel in he 20th?

    Thanks, as always fellas – for the quality info on the site!

    1. Kimbrel, Longoria, Ellsbury.
      Kimbrel can go anywhere from late in the third to the fifth round. Longoria is not an elite choice anymore but still a 4th/5th round pick. Ellsbury is ranked right around where he should go – 3rd or 4th round – still a good player to own but no value as far as savings go for the round.

  45. Hi guys, been really going back and forth about who my last keeper should be in a 15 PLAYER keeper league.

    My keepers
    Rizzo, Goldshmidt
    Beltre, Rendon
    Braun, Cargo, Harper

    Kershaw, Wainwright, Cole


    I can only keep 2 out of Rosenthal, Y. Ventura and S. Gray

    which 2 you keeping?

    thanks guys am I making this harder than it has only be?

    1. I like Ventura the best out of the 3, and with 3 aces on your staff already he is a luxury you can gamble on but not someone you need in your every day lineup when he potentially struggles.

      Between Gray and Rosenthal, I’m going with the closer. Other than the fact you need the closer more than a 5th starter, Gray was somewhat luck last season so I can see some regression in the future. He also lost some defense behind him which further adds onto the possibility of regression. Rosenthal took a step back in 2014, but remember he was a highly touted starter in the Cardinals systems so he should be able to improve upon last season. At the very least you’ll get a ton of K’s and saves out of the deal.

  46. Love this site for its data and interaction keep up the great work!

    I have a 13 player keeper league that you can only keep player 3 years then he goes back in draft. We’re heading into year 2 and I was not very successful

    My keepers are

    3B- Machado
    DH- Zimmerman

    Fernandez, Tehran, Cobb, and toss up between Ventura, Wacha or Doolittle

    My question is do I trade Perez, machado, Tehran, kemp and Rondon (Cubs closer) for Encarnacion and Scherzer?

    Is this too much ? Again everyone listed here is going Into year 2 so I can keep them only this year and next

    I think I needed number 1 SP and big HR bat

    Thoughts ?

    1. Nick,

      Since you can only keep guys for 3 years, this is a no brainer for me. You are giving up a lot of nice pieces for sure, but returning 2 elite players. If you could keep players long term, then I might say no, but since you will can’t hold Machado and Teheran forever, I think you win this deal going away.

      Perez and Rondon are fringe keepers with little trade value, so their inclusion does not hurt you at all. You are basically dealing Machado, Teheran and Kemp for EE and Scherzer. Accept now before he re-considers!

  47. Twist on an earlier question, but at the final stages of a trade that has taken 3 weeks to get to the finish line. As always, super appreciative of your opinion and insight.

    In a 7×7 league where the round drafted remains that players cost forever – and where there are between 10-15 keepers per roster… would love your thoughts on this trade:

    I give up:
    G Springer – round 30
    A Russell – round 26
    A Cobb – round 7
    (I’m also giving up a draft round, but that’s a minor detail)

    I get:
    P Goldschmidt – round 20
    C Kimbrel – round 20

    Thoughts? I’ve been flip-flopping perspectives on the prospect of acquiring the massive + proven talent of Goldschmidt for the massive upside, but unproven potential of Springer and Russell at such incredibly low round costs – forever. (And, yes, I prefer to get Kimbrel for Cobb – esp being that I’m deep at SP – but this trade is really about the offense swap.)

    Thanks again, fellas!

    1. I would do that deal.

      Goldschmidt in round 20 is worth about as much as Springer in round 30, IMO. The fact that Goldy already has proven 5 category ability and that he plays an infield position make him worth the 10 round gap.

      If I have to choose between Kimbrel in round 20 and Cobb + Russell at their respective prices, I am taking Kimbrel all day. You can find a pitcher close to Cobb’s ability in the 7th round, but good luck finding the next Kimbrel in round 20.

      Russell is the wild card for sure, but you can always draft another top prospect in that range. Given the MI log jam in Chicago, who knows when we will actually see Russell at the MLB level.

      Nice deal!

  48. 12 team H2H auction keeper points league
    Scoring slightly favors SP and RP.
    Just finished auction and my team is thin on pitching(losing Stroman doesn’t help).

    C- S. Perez
    1B- Goldy
    2B- Altuve
    SS- Segura
    3B- Arenado
    MI- Gyorko
    CI- Belt
    OF- McCutchen, Yelich, Gordon, Bruce, Saunders
    U- Plouffe, Pompey, Brad Miller
    SP- G. Cole, Cobb, Latos, E. Santana, Cingrani, Happ
    RP- Melancon, Papelbon, K. Jansen, B. League, Gregorson

    Notable Minor leaguers who may make an impact this year include Addison Russell and Micah Johnson.

    Would you trade both Joey Gallo(minor) and Julio Urias(minor) for Tyson Ross and a scrub minor leaguer(kyle freeland)? Tyson is a nice addition at a minimal price($10, will go up to $25 next year). Price seems steep. Same team also has Alex Wood(same price) and Carlos CArrasco($5, can be kept for $10 next year). If I am giving up so much I would rather carrasco. thoughts? thanks

  49. Cabby,

    I think you have some nice pieces, but will really have to work hard to improve that pitching staff. It is difficult to answer your trade question without knowing more about keeper costs for minors players, but if I had to choose between Ross, Carrasco and Wood, I would take Carrasco all day. The fact that Carrasco is cheaper makes this one a pretty easy call between the three.

    One potential pitfall though, Carrasco may be capped around 180 innings or so. He may not be available when your fantasy team needs him most this season.

    Be sure to continue to check in with us throughout the season, and maybe we can help you unearth a couple free agent pithing gems.

    Best of luck!

    1. Basically once activate from minor league roster, a player has a salary of $5 against a $300 cap. Can be kept first year for $5, second, for $10 and 3rd for $25. With word that cingrani will be in pen, I have to make a move. I might try a counter for a lesser prospect. Out of Gallo and urias, which one should I try to keep and replace with a lesser prospect

      1. One more thought though Cabby….

        Because costs for minors players escalate so quickly, I would trade any minor leaguer for an established MLB player basically any time. Most rookies are unlikely to produce at a $5 level in their first big league season, and since you have to pay up to $25 in year 3, you will likely overpay for at least two out of three seasons in most cases. $25 is a top 30 player.

  50. Yes Tommy, thats right they do escalate quickly. The only thing is the owner decides when they activate them and the price doesn’t escalate until they are activated. The owner just made a new offer.

    I get Carrasco($5), Ross($10), Castellanos($5), Singleton(minor), Josh Bell(minor), and Kyle Zimmer(minor).

    I give Russell(minor), Gallo(minor), Urias(minor), Plouffe($3), and Melancon($10).

    I like getting both Carrasco and Ross and I am getting some decent minor leaguers as well. getting Castellanos and singleton gives me some depth. I don’t like giving up Melancon because it only leaves me with Papelbon, Gregorson/neshek, evan marshall and brandon league(until Jansen gets back) at RP. Thoughts? thanks again

  51. Tough giving up an established closer like Melancon, but you are getting enough back to pull the trigger. Best case you get 3 years of use out of the prospects, and not necessarily at bargain prices. I would keep Singleton as a minors player until he proves he can be a productive regular.

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