- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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These are my rankings.
As in ... My rankings.
They are done with all of my biases, likes, dislikes and theories built in. Most of which are on display in either my "Draft Day Manifesto" or "Love/Hate." I strongly suggest reading both before looking at these. That's right. My rankings have a syllabus.
In addition, here's some other things to note:
These were done on March 8, and probably will not be updated. If they are, I will note it here, but when the next Alex Gordon injury happens (and it will) it's not accounted for. This is done based on an ESPN standard 10-team mixed league. Which means, in a league like that, you can be a little more risky since the free-agent pool is so deep. That's among the reasons I have rankings like Rich Harden over A.J. Burnett and Chipper Jones over Michael Young (still not buying Young's power from last season).
Speaking of risking, toward the latter part of the rankings, I went for much more upside and much more risk, the feeling being that I'd rather take a gamble on a Francisco Liriano or Erik Bedard than just grabbing a Mark Buehrle type. Players of that ilk will always be available on the waiver wire.
If you've read me for any amount of time, I "never pay for saves," so pretty much every closer is lower than you'll find them elsewhere, though I did try to put them in places where I felt, if they dropped that far, you had to take them. They are often lumped together; that's to show what I feel is a tier of similar players, and it's really only personal preference that separates them.
As I wrote in the "Draft Day Manifesto," speed is more plentiful this year than ever before and as I mentioned in "Love/Hate" under Chone Figgins, you can't avoid speed in the outfield. Power is actually a little more scarce than speed this year, especially considering you're gonna need about 100 more home runs than steals to win the category in a standard 5x5.
So I tended to shy away from "one category" guys, especially speed guys. It's among the reasons Carl Crawford is out of my top 10 and I'm lower than most on Jacoby Ellsbury. It's why I always gave a bump to outfielders with power (they are more scarce) and power-hitting infielders and why I am so down on Figgins (you must get power from your corners, if nothing else).
I believe you get a stud pitcher early to anchor your staff and then you can wait on pitching. The rankings reflect that along with the scarcity at third base. Kevin Youkilis and Pablo Sandoval are two guys who got bumps due in part to third-base eligibility. The scarcity at third base is also reflected in first basemen being ranked higher than some folks do it. Yes, there is tremendous depth there, but you're gonna need to go to first base for your corner infield spot, so that's among the reasons why I'm higher than others there.
I discussed Halladay over Lincecum with Buster Olney on Monday's podcast. I am down on Dan Haren because everyone now knows about the second-half swoons, so I don't buy the whole "draft him and then deal him at the All-Star break," thing many have suggested. You won't be able to trade him for anywhere close to full value.
Also, I think Joe Nathan is done for the year, I really truly love Kyle Blanks, I am down on Matt Cain, I've written in "Love/Hate" about John Lackey but, like Carlos Zambrano, I think he's gotten so much hate he's now turning into a sleeper. Apparently, I'm down on Cain this season.
Remember, rankings are a guide, not an end all be all. You must build your team in accordance with the rest of your team, how the draft/auction is going and how you expect it to go afterward. So if you're in need of a second baseman and there's been a run, I got no issue with you jumping Ben Zobrist up 10 spots or something. Remember, rankings are a guide to help show value relative to other players in the league, that's all. Some of the numbers simply reflect personal preference and hopefully, if you disagree with some rankings (and you will), it will help you consider why you don't like it and better help you decide what you do like, to help you build your team on draft day.
Matthew Berry's Top 250
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- feels sorry for anyone who drafted early and is stuck with Joe Nathan. He is also the creator of RotoPass.com, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend
13hEric D. Williams