During the next two weeks, we are going to identify players I like and don’t like based off of their average draft position. We will be using FantasyPros.com, as this is the consensus draft position from many different sources.

As mentioned before, news changes by the day and it was evidenced again July 11, as the New York Yankees lost closer Aroldis Chapman for the “foreseeable future” due to testing positive for COVID-19.

Zack Britton is now in line to become the closer and gets a big boost in fantasy value.

Players I Like:

Philadelphia Phillies First Baseman Rhys Hoskins — I was high on the first baseman before the shutdown and my opinion hasn’t changed. Hoskins has proven to be a legit power hitter, but his batting average dipped to .226 in 2019 after hitting .246 in 2018. The lack of batting average has dropped Hoskins to an average draft position of 108th overall and the 12th first baseman. The Phillies disappointed last season, but they should be in position to bounce back and contend for a playoff spot. I believe this offense is going to score a ton of runs. Hoskins is going to hit in the middle of the lineup and be in prime position to help in multiple categories.

Houston Astros Shortstop Carlos Correa — In March, I would have told every fantasy owner to stay away from the shortstop. Correa has failed to play in more than 110 games in his last three seasons, and it’s hard to trust him for a full season. However, we are now in a situation where Correa only has to stay healthy for 60 games, which is very possible. And fantasy owners are down on Correa, as he is now being drafted as the 15th shortstop and 95th overall. For a player who has hit .270 or better and 20 home runs or more in four of his five seasons, he’s being overlooked.

I was also worried about the Astros if there were going to be fans in the stadium, but since there won’t be, the distractions of their cheating scandal are gone. We want to limit risk in the shortened season, but when there’s this type of talent at the value fantasy owners are drafting him, we have to take advantage. I’m more willing to take a risk like this with a hitter than a pitcher.

Tampa Bay Rays Reliever Nick Anderson — Our approach this season is to not invest heavily in starting pitchers early in drafts or with a lot of our auction budget. This means we need legit bullpen arms, particularly those who can help in the strikeout department. Anderson checks that box, as he had an eye popping 15.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 2019 between the Marlins and Rays. He was a stud with the Rays after being acquired in a trade-deadline deal. In 23 games, he allowed just five earned runs with 17.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Anderson didn’t get any saves for the Rays after the trade, but there is talk he may be asked to close games this season. The Rays will use multiple pitchers for that role — the new norm in baseball these days — but we aren’t targeting Anderson because of the saves. That will be an added bonus. However, the team will lean on the electric righty in the shortened season, and he should be able to help fantasy owners with their pitching ratios. Anderson is currently being drafted 140th overall.

Phil Backert

See all posts by Phil Backert. Follow Phil Backert on Twitter at @PhilBackert