Most of you, like me, are probably in a few fantasy baseball leagues, and most of you, like me, are in leagues with a lot of Chicago fans. The most difficult part of being in these types of leagues is knowing when to draft players from your favorite team, because you know your opponents are going to be looking to draft the same players you want. My initial advice to you is don’t draft any Cubs players or Sox players. They are going to be drafted too high in most cases, because people will overdraft in order to get their favorite player, or players from their favorite team. If you are playing for money it is specifically important to think with your brain not with your heart. Why would you take Mark Buehrle in the 12 round when you can get Derek Lowe in the 18th? Why would you take Marmol in the 6th round when you can get Mariano Rivera in the 10th?
But if you must draft some players from your favorite teams I am going to give you a list of players you should avoid at all costs, and players that might give you some value. Also note these are all for H2H league formats.
Avoid at all costs:
Tyler Colvin: We aren’t even sure if Colvin will be getting the majority of the at bats in RF this year. Colvin may be a Chicago darling, but there is no reason to draft him in any fantasy draft let alone one with other Cubs fans in it. Watch him get drafted in your league and be happy that your opponent just wasted a draft pick.
Proceed with extreme caution:
Starlin Castro: I know everyone loves Castro and that’s exactly why you should think extremely hard and long before drafting him. In CBS leagues Castro has been drafted as high as 102nd yet is only being drafted in 59% of leagues. I am not saying you should leave him undrafted but if he is going to be going in the 10th or 12th round you are much better off with someone like Ian Desmond, Marco Scutaro or Miguel Tejada way down in the 18th round. Or hell a player that will probably give you similar production for a last round pick try Ryan Theriot who will have dual eligibility at 2nd and SS.
Aramis Ramirez: Another player loved by Cub fans but he is just too much of an injury risk. He has only played more than 135 games twice since 2005, and really struggled last year. 3B is extremely thin, but if you don’t get one of the top 5 just be patient and take one of the lower tier 3B, but take them later on. Aramis has gone as high as 69th this year, and there is no way you should be drafting him in the first 7 rounds. He averages in the 10th round, but even there seems a bit of a risk. Pedro Alvarez or Pablo Sandoval could give you similar production for cheap, and another player that seems to be slipping is Michael Young, which I am not sure why. I know that he is unhappy, but he is going to get his AB’s.
Potential for a bargain:
Alfonso Soriano: Soriano is only being drafted in 27.2% of CBS leagues, and in those he is being drafted at an average spot of 201st. To me that screams value. At that point you are drafting your backups and we are not all that far removed from Soriano being an MVP caliber player. Soriano could easily be a 3rd of 4th option for you going through the season, and there is no reason he shouldn’t be drafted. Now I am not saying taking him in the 10th round, but once you fill your roster spots with starters and are looking for value on the bench I would strongly consider taking Soriano.
Carlos Zambrano: Z has been a great fantasy pitcher for quite a while, until Lou decided to jerk him around and put him in the bullpen. While it killed his value last year, it could give you some serious value this year. Zambrano will have RP eligibility this year and that could really be in your favor. Zambrano is currently being drafted 108th overall which puts him at the tail end of the 8th round. If you can get him in the 7th round and plan to use him as a RP I think he can definitely be of some serious value to you.