Happy Thursday, everyone! It's an especially happy day for me as I'm now one day closer to Saturday -- my biggest draft of the year: A 14-team auction draft from scratch -- Roto scoring -- a league I joined two years ago that has been running 26 years straight! I'm pumped. There's nothing quite like an auction draft for me. Snakes are cool, but the enjoyment level that comes from auction format can't be matched by the most competitive, creative or most anything snake. Every bid, every nomination -- you're locked in the entire time and crafting your roster how you want to.
But enough about me and my big Saturday draft. This is about YOUR teams. So today we're not wasting any more time and cutting right to the chase. We'll be diving into the players Scott White can't stop and won't stop drafting. We'll recap a H2H Points mock draft and we'll run through some more breakout candidates.
Also, make sure you didn't miss out on The Fantasy Baseball Today Printable Draft Guide. It's absolutely, 100% FREE.
The guide includes top-300 rankings sortable for both Roto and H2H formats. Each top 300 includes every player's ADP and our auction/salary cap values for said player. You'll get tiers for a tiers-based drafting system. You'll also get position-by-position rankings, a lineup chart where you can fill out your rosters as you go for snake drafts and a salary cap tracker for cap drafts. And the best part -- it's all printable.
If you click the link above, you'll find a widget where you can type in your email address and get the printable guide sent directly to your inbox. Please reach out to me on Twitter (@DanSchneierNFL) if you type in your email and do not receive the guide. I'll work to get it to you ASAP.
Players Scott can't stop drafting
When you roll into late March you can be sure of a few things: Your March Madness bracket is busted, the weather is hopefully turning in your favor and Scott White has drafted 1,732 teams. OK, it's not exactly 1,732, but Scott has drafted an incredible number of teams so far this draft season. With all of that draft data at our disposal, we had to do something with it, so Scott decided to compile it all and come up with a list of players he simply can't stop drafting.
These are the value plays based on ADP that should stand out to you. And here are the ones that stood out most to me:
We'll start with a player I haven't drafted much myself, but Scott continues to grab:
Juan Soto, OF, Padres
From Scott: "So I've settled on Juan Soto as the true No. 6 behind the obvious top five in categories leagues (Aaron Judge, Jose Ramirez, Ronald Acuna, Julio Rodriguez and Trea Turner) and ahead of any other outfielder I might consider taking in that spot (namely, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker or Mookie Betts). This means that if I'm drafting anywhere from six through nine, I have a reasonable chance of getting him, and well, it's happened a few times. I hold to this position even with his recent oblique tweak, by the way. Prior to it, Soto was saying he's finally righted the mechanics that were wrong all of last season, and indeed, he's brought the hammer to both the World Baseball Classic and the Cactus League."
If you've listened to Fantasy Baseball Today at all this offseason you'd know that Scott is obsessed with the idea of getting his third basemen in Round 2. Scott is fully subscribed to the positional scarcity argument as it pertains to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball season. For a while, Scott was also drafting a second baseman -- usually Jose Altuve -- in Round 3. Obviously, he had to pivot there. So you probably won't be surprised to hear the next player he can't stop drafting..
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals
From Scott: "The aforementioned Arenado is of course who I'd rather get late in Round 2 than (Paul) Goldschmidt, with the presumption that Jose Ramirez (duh), Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, Austin Riley and Bobby Witt are already off the board. Arenado's Roto ADP is actually lower than where I target him, but I'm not willing to skip out on that large but very costly tier of third basemen. Anyone halfway decent after that is almost certain to be a much bigger reach. I'm not sure it even matters who else is available Round 2. If Arenado is there (and I didn't already take Ramirez in Round 1), he's mine."
And then, of course, a draft season that goes by without Scott smashing the button on these next two players wouldn't be a draft season at all. So these next two players should sound familiar as Scott has been drafting them in every draft not just this draft season but last year too.
Corey Seager, SS, Rangers
From Scott: "Certain players stand out as singularities, capable of doing things no one else at their position can do, and I typically gravitate toward those players. Corey Seager, for instance, is the shortstop most likely to deliver both a .300 batting average and 30-plus homers. Trea Turner, Fernando Tatis and Bo Bichette have other contributions they make, but they're less likely than Seager to meet those two specific thresholds, and they come at a much higher cost. Seager's own cost keeps creeping up, such that I can no longer count on getting him in Round 5, but once Francisco Lindor is off the board, I'm on it."
Salvador Perez, C, Royals
From Scott: "Speaking of singularities, Salvador Perez is a notable one at the catcher position. Yes, I'm onto him again even after he burned me as my most-coveted player last year, but notably, the cost is much lower this time around. What crushed Perez last year were his attempts to play through a torn thumb ligament. His 162-game pace in the 57 games after returning from surgery came out to 34 homers and 119 RBI, along with the exit velocity readings to back it up. He remains the best bet to lead his position in home runs and the only catcher with a realistic shot at 100 RBI. I should note that my interest in him is higher in categories leagues than in points leagues."
Here's the complete list of 25 players Scott can't stop drafting.
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H2H Points draft recap
We're wrapping up mock draft season and with the end of mock season comes the listener league. Earlier this week, Scott, Frank and Chris live-streamed a H2H Points mock with FBT listeners -- the 14th annual Podcast Listeners League!
The draft is always so interesting to me because of exactly what Scott describes in his intro: "You ever wonder what drafting against yourself would be like? Well, I don't thanks to the Podcast Listeners League, a 12-team Head-to-Head points contest now in its 14th year. The thing about the Podcast Listeners League is that the participants ... well, they listen to the podcast (i.e., Fantasy Baseball Today). They know what Chris Towers, Frank Stampfl and I are looking to do in drafts, and they try to do it before we can."
Here's how Scott's team played out:
|1||1||A. Judge CF NYY|
|2||24||S. Ohtani DH LAA|
|3||25||P. Goldschmidt 1B STL|
|4||48||J. Realmuto C PHI|
|5||49||C. Carroll LF ARI|
|6||72||Z. Gallen SP ARI|
|7||73||R. Ray SP SEA|
|8||96||C. Sale SP BOS|
|9||97||G. Kirby SP SEA|
|10||120||D. Swanson SS CHC|
|11||121||T. Ward RF LAA|
|12||144||F. Bautista RP BAL|
|13||145||J. Ryan SP MIN|
|14||168||J. India 2B CIN|
|15||169||A. Rendon 3B LAA|
|16||192||A. Volpe SS NYY|
|17||193||T. Gonsolin SP LAD|
|18||216||L. McCullers SP HOU|
|19||217||J. Jung 3B TEX|
|20||240||K. Hayes 3B PIT|
|21||241||S. Barlow RP KC|
Some of Scott's key takeaways about drafting in this format:
- Drafting three third basemen left me without a healthy starting pitcher on my bench, which is an odd choice for a points league, but I think my top five is high-end enough to make do for now. I'll eventually be able to IL Tony Gonsolin and Lance McCullers, freeing up two spots for free-agent pickups, and if I really get in a bind, I can shift Shohei Ohtani over from utility to starting pitcher. He's who fell to me with everyone reaching for a third baseman in Round 2.
- Two picks that will immediately jump out at you are Dustin May in Round 3 and Brandon Lowe in Round 6. Turns out we had a bit of a wild card in Tom Koppe, team name Hamelins Hammers, which is bound to happen in some of your home leagues as well. No, I wouldn't recommend either pick, even acknowledging the breakout potential for May and the bounce-back potential for Lowe, but hey, if Tom ends up winning the league, he'll have no one to credit but himself.
- Not a single starting pitcher was taken until Round 2, and overall, I'd say we went pretty light on pitching for a points league. I think it's because it's a league of podcast listeners, and well, that's a strategy I've been promoting on the podcast all year. Normally in this format, pitchers as good as Zac Gallen and Robbie Ray wouldn't be available to me in Rounds 6 and 7.
- "Get your guys" was a common refrain during the live stream of this draft, with the idea being that certain players are rising too quickly to be reflected by ADP. Picks made with this sentiment included Corbin Carroll (49th overall, to me), Jordan Walker (95th), Lars Nootbaar (128th), Miguel Vargas (133rd), Riley Greene (134th), Reid Detmers (156th), Jarred Kelenic (167th), Oscar Colas (182nd), Anthony Volpe (192nd, to me), Matthew Boyd (202nd), Kyle Bradish (209th), Clarke Schmidt (213th), Jared Shuster (226th) and Gabriel Moreno (234th).
- Among the fallers were Jose Altuve (71st overall) and Vaughn Grissom (244th), though to be honest, neither fell quite as much as I expected. (I didn't think Grissom would be drafted at all.) You can afford to take bigger chances in a league this shallow, and interestingly, the same guy who took Altuve also took Bryce Harper three picks later. This comes amid increasing speculation that Harper could beat his initial timeline by a couple months. The pick was still too early for me, but that was the rationale for it, I'm sure.
- Two positions that delivered surplus value late were catcher (most notably, William Contreras in Round 20) and first base (see Nate Lowe, Christian Walker, Rowdy Tellez, Josh Bell and C.J. Cron). It tends to happen in leagues where everyone has only nine hitter spots to fill, including one per infield position, and is part of the reason I'm pushing the concept of position scarcity so hard (though I wasn't able to adhere to it so well in this particular draft).
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Scott also recently dropped his latest breakouts. The main concept for this version was trying to locate the players who have the biggest room to grow at their current ADP. These are players that can outkick their ADP the most. With some of these players, we're talking about a multiple-round jump. If you're looking for the 2021 version of Vlad Guerrero you might find it from this group. You'll also find your 2022 Justin Verlander from the middle rounds. At least that's the plan. You can find all of Scott's breakouts here.
Spoiler: Scott is in this year on the buzziest player in Fantasy Baseball and that's not common for him. I'm open to the idea, but I feel like the buzz has surpassed the value at this point. Having said that, it would be very fun to have him on your teams. You probably already know who we're talking about..
Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks
FantasyPros ADP: 74.0
From Scott: "In a recent social media survey conducted by myself, Carroll was the leading vote-getter (tied with fellow breakout Oneil Cruz, actually) for this year's must-have player, so I may be preaching to the choir with this pick. But watching him play again this spring, it's just abundantly obvious to me that his best-case outcome is also a relatively high-probability outcome. And that best-case-slash-high-probability outcome would make him, in fact, a stud."
Find his complete breakdown on Carroll here.
Patrick Sandoval, SP, Angels
FantasyPros ADP: 215.2
From: "Sandoval was also on my breakout list last year, and though he improved his ERA from 3.62 to 2.91, I still consider it a miss on my part. His WHIP rose from 1.21 to 1.34. He turned in only a 6-9 record, a product of him failing to go six innings in more than half of his starts. Most critically, he didn't morph into the superhuman bat-misser I thought he would become, his swinging-strike rate actually dropping from an exceptional 15.2 percent to a still-good 13.3 percent.
"Early this spring, though, Angels manager Phil Nevin offered a pretty good explanation for why Sandoval's strikeout numbers (and the effect they'd have on his other numbers) fell short. "His bread-and-butter has always been that changeup," Nevin said, "and he kind of lost the feel for that for a few months during the season and relied on the slider, which turned into just an electric pitch." Indeed, Sandoval ended up throwing his slider more than his changeup last year, in a total reversal from 2021, and that slider turned in a pretty good whiff rate, if not the exceptional number his changeup is capable of."
For the rest of Scott's breakouts, find them here.