With the National Fantasy Baseball Championship coming up, I thought I would take some time to look at the current draft flow in March. I’ve put together the top 400 or so players drafted in 168 drafts in the NFBC to get help get a feel for each player’s value. Completed drafts are a great tool for Fantasy owners to get a feel for a player’s average draft position or ADP. By knowing the potential round a targeted player may go in, a Fantasy owner may be able to add a few more pieces to the puzzle with a good feel for drafts flow and timing.
The key is finding the drop-offs at each position plus knowing when there is a huge step down at a position if you miss a targeted player. Each owner at the draft table will have a different start to their roster leading to different paths to their team development.
To help get a feel for the player pool, I’ve highlighted some players at each position to show their possible value in 2017. Here is the table that shows what each color means:
Here is a list of the top 24 third basemen in 2017 based on ADPs in March from the NFBC:
In these ADP groups, I’m putting a player that qualifies with multiple positions at the position in which he’ll offer the biggest edge. So for example, Manny Machado qualifies at shortstop, so he’s not listed as a third base option here.
The front end of the third base position has three stud options with Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and Josh Donaldson. Fantasy owners are giving Bryant the slight edge due to his extra value in speed. Donaldson has been battling a calf injury in March, but the injury appears to be minor.
Kyle Seager continues to improve. He looks like one of the steady second tier options with Evan Longoria and Maikel Franco expected to have similar value. A couple of times in 2017 I’ve seen drafts where I’ve had a choice between Longoria and Franco. I’ve taken Franco each time as his game looks to offer more upside in my mind. I would put Adrian Beltre in this tier as well. He has a long resume of success, but age is becoming a factor.
If you want to fade batting average, Todd Frazier will offer a nice combination of power and speed. I’ll put Miguel Sano in the same bucket with Frazier due to his boom or bust swing.
As much as like the upside of Alex Bregman, he’s being drafted in an area with players with an established floor. Alex has the talent to break through with a big season, which will be needed for him to hit in a favorable part of the batting order.
I have Nick Castellanos as my breakout hitter at Scout in 2017, so I expect big things from him. He has a huge range for his ADP (130 to 276). Possible .300 with 30+ HRs and 100+ RBI. Yoan Moncada has breakout potential as well, but he’s not a lock to make the major-league roster. I’d like to own him, but I don’t want to overpay if he’s going to be in the minors for a couple of months.
Ryon Healy, Brandon Drury, and Yulieski Gurriel all offer upside while all players have a chance to get full time at bats. Pablo Sandoval has the skill set to fit in this group if he regains his previous form.
Mike Moustakas is a solid major league hitter who minimizes the damage in Ks. His lack of health last year lowered his draft value this year. I expect him to hit in a favorable part of the batting order. He may even match the Kyle Seager group in production.
Both Jose Reyes and Jose Ramirez have misplaced skill sets for the third base position while offering an edge in speed.
I’d like to know how many games Jung-Ho Kang will be suspended before rostering him. He could work himself into a cleanup opportunity for the Pirates. I view him as value as long as he doesn’t miss more than 30 games.
Third base is an interesting position as there seems to be enough talent to go around while offering a clear edge to three owners in the first round. Just like first base, a Fantasy owner waiting on the third base position needs to be aware that teams will attack this position by adding a second strong power option if a value presents itself.