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7 Underrated MLB Fantasy Targets Based On Current ADP

Underrated Fantasy ADP Targets

After sifting out all of the noise regarding sleepers, breakouts or bold predictions, those who draft effectively use average draft position (ADP) as a guide to player’s values. While these should not be indicative of when to take a player, it provides a basis of relative cost. Using the premise of a 12-team draft, seven targets were identified contingent upon meeting the criteria of proving worth the plunge of a pick after the 20th round, so an ADP above 240. These players will appear in order of their respective MLB Fantasy ADP with synopses of why they could be worthy late round fliers.

Brandon Drury – Arizona Diamondbacks,

Fantrax ADP 258.4

Brandon DruryBursting on the scene with a strong first two months with the Diamondbacks, fantasy owners added Brandon Drury last year. However, those who were fickle may have given up when he cratered to a .223 average between June and July. This created another opportunity to buy low on him since Drury finished the second half with seven home runs, a .296/.352/.469 slash line.

For the season, Drury hit 16 home runs with 53 RBI’s in 134 games for Arizona splitting time at third base and the outfield. Take note of his ability to make adjustments from the hot start to the low point preceding his bounce back in the second half.

Playing in an optimal home ballpark along with adding second base to his resume in the first month of the season should provide even more optimism. Targeting players late who add versatility with upside to a roster can be game changers for season-long formats. Injuries will happen, so flexibility within a team defrays wasting precious waiver spots or free agent budgets chasing replacements.

As long as Drury can carry over the gains in the second half with power potential at second base, fantasy owners stand to benefit in the long run, especially in formats with middle infield and corner infield spots where Drury will be eligible to fill five spots in a lineup.

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Jarrod Dyson – Seattle Mariners

Fantrax ADP 275.09

Scarcity of stolen bases continues to inflate the values of players who provide for the category. This can be seen with the ascension of Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton in ADP’s this preseason. Whether or not one makes steals a priority in drafts, knowing late round options exist to make it easier to pass overreaching for Hamilton to build a solid roster.

One potential late round steal may be Jarrod Dyson. His trade to Seattle creates a path to more playing time since Dyson’s career high only reached 120 games as a Royal. Despite this, Dyson finished with at least 26 bases in each of the last five seasons. Potentially moving to leadoff for the Mariners along with being on the positive side of a platoon could portend a career year.

Dyson improved his walk percentage to 7.7 last year with a career rate of 8.2 while lowering his strikeout rate. He’s maintained an 86.2 contact percentage and it spiked to 8.3 percent in 2016. While Dyson can be limited to runs, steals and an average which should sit in the .270’s, his upside late offsets taking a “one-trick” pony earlier in drafts.

Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays

Fantrax ADP 275.4

[the_ad id=”384″]On the opposite end of the spectrum, those looking for late round power upside should not forget about Corey Dickerson. It’s easy to say last year’s statistics were a disappointment, but Dickerson battled a thumb injury which seemed to affect his total power production. Most planned on a drop in his OPS moving from Coors Field to Tampa Bay, but Dickerson finished with 24 home runs in 148 games.

However, Dickerson’s hard contact rate dropped almost six points last year. His second half did provide hope along with a .260/.302/.481 slash line and .782 OPS. Early reports in spring suggested Dickerson changed his offseason training regimen to lose weight and add muscle. So far, the spring numbers reflect it as he’s hitting over .400 with three home runs. This provides a small sample size, but Dickerson makes for a perfect post-hype player to target due to his depressed price in drafts. Call me crazy, but 30 home runs could happen in spite of his platoon role with the Rays.

Cesar Hernandez – Philadelphia Phillies

Fantrax ADP 289.27

On the surface, Cesar Hernandez turned in a solid campaign last year with 67 runs, six home runs and 17 stolen bases with a .294 average. One does need to take note of his 13 caught stealing attempts, but Hernandez did try 30 times to steal a base last year. Another caveat, he could be the leadoff hitter for the Phillies for the season. Hernandez led off in 68 of his 155 played last year and scored 39 runs when hitting first. Extrapolating this number out, if he hit leadoff in all of his games last year, this pace would result in 89 runs. More interested?

Spring training reports also noted Hernandez working with Mickey Morandini to learn how to steal bases more efficiently. Again, it’s a small sample size, but Hernandez has stolen four bases in as many tries this spring. Of more interest, Hernandez showed tremendous growth in the second half last year. In 70 games, he slashed .298/.413/.411 with 11 steals and weighted runs created plus of 127. His OBP ranks sixth of all qualified hitters, and only seven finished with a total above four hundred. As for stolen bases, Hernandez finished tied for 16th with Brian Dozier, Mookie Betts, and Elvis Andrus after the All-Star break.

The most encouraging part of the second half breakthrough lies in his spike in walk rate from 5.5 percent in the first half to 15.7 percent in the second. He also cut his strikeout percentage slightly in the process. A permanent spot atop the lineup along with improved stolen base conversions points to Hernandez far outperforming his present price point.

Mitch Moreland – Boston Red Sox

Fantrax ADP 320.11

Moving from Texas to Boston may not allow Mitch Moreland to improve his home run totals this year, but could he develop as a hitter overall? Last year, Moreland’s BABIP collapsed 50 points resulting in a .233 average to accompany his 22 home runs and 60 RBI. He also became more aggressive at the plate, potentially to overcompensate for his slow start, increasing his swinging strike percentage, lowering his contact rate and Moreland’s chase rate spiked as well.

How does this make for a late round target? Happy you asked. First, take a look at his batted balls last year with Fenway Park as the backdrop (courtesy of

Moreland would lose three home runs to his pull field in right shifting to Boston, but there’s 11 doubles or fly outs which could fly over the Green Monster. So far this spring, Moreland’s hitting .375 with one home run and 12 RBI in only 32 at-bats. His OPS sits five points below one thousand. Many have soured on taking a chance with Moreland, but this move could be a sneaky good on for the Red Sox and fantasy owners alike. Especially if the power potential to the opposite field ensues.

Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners

Fantrax ADP 335.99

[the_ad id=”567″]Wait a minute, another Mariner? This does not mean the whole team could be a bargain, but Mitch Haniger across two levels of the minors finished with a combined 79 runs, 25 home runs, 94 RBI and 12 stolen bases with a .321/.419/.581 slash line last year. Of course, being 25 years old may have helped his cause. Blocked in Arizona, Haniger not only should start in right field for Seattle but wants to make the most of his chance to play.

This along with the team’s newfound aggressive philosophy on the bases makes for an interesting flier for this season. Haniger’s strong OBP tendencies in the minors along with his power and speed blend make for a strong late round target. Of course, his present spring numbers of two home runs with three steals a .412 average, and 1.151 OPS will not quell the helium as draft day approaches.

Take note of Haniger’s present ADP and if one would like to roster him, move up a round or two to avoid being sniped. His background does not ensure success, but the opportunity coupled with the skill set makes him intriguing, to say the least.

Tony Wolters – Colorado Rockies

Fantrax ADP 432.2

Last but not least, a catcher in Coors Field must be relevant in two-catcher leagues. While many chase the upside of Tom Murphy’s power, the team’s focus on defense this year should translate to Tony Wolters being drafted higher than his ADP. Wolters used to be a middle infielder who shifted to catcher and hit .259/.327/.395 during his 71 games last year. While power will not be a part of his game, he did finish with three home runs and four steals last year.

Fantasy owners should view him as a J.T. Realmuto-lite type catcher with a solid floor of production as a member of the Rockies. If Wolters can start strong, his ability to frame along with making contact could keep him to the positive side of a potential platoon when Murphy returns. Due to his price and home park, the rare bargain on offense in Colorado exists but behind the dish.

If his spring numbers provide any indication, Wolters could be a very sneaky late play as a second catcher who will not hurt a fantasy roster. Through 23 at-bats, Wolters has four runs, eight RBI’s, a .478 average and a 1.267 OPS. This will not fully translate, but a catcher who could provide power like Molina, cheap steals and an average near .270 after pick number 400 could be who Wolters morphs into for 2017.

Be sure to stay up to the minute with the varied Fantrax blogs and support my friend Andy Singleton who puts out great content with video player profiles. If you enjoyed the article, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gjewett9) for more fantasy baseball content.

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