Fantasy Baseball: ADP Bargain Buys

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As spring training begins, for us degenerates it means another fantasy season is upon us. Fantasy drafts have been taking place for a couple of months now.  Using the Average Draft Position (ADP) data from these drafts I find can be a useful way to strategize for my own personal fantasy leagues.  One way to do this is to look for overvalued or undervalued players.  In this article I would like to highlight three starting pitchers I believe are being undervalued based on ADP data used from fantasypros.com.

Photo courtesy of nysportsday.com
The three starters are Zack Wheeler, Nick Pivetta and Tyler Skaggs.  I think all of them are steals where they are currently going in drafts.  Depending on how a draft is going I’d also be willing to pick any one of them a few rounds early, as I think they still will bring a ton of fantasy value.  We will run through them in the order of their respective ADP from highest to lowest.

Zack Wheeler (ADP: 27 SP, 98 overall)

Coming into the 2018 season, Wheeler was entering his second season post Tommy John Surgery.  2017, his first season back, was shaky at best for Wheeler.  He finished the year with only 17 starts.  Last season he proved not only that his health issues are behind him, but he still has the talent that made him the number 6 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft.

Like most pitchers coming off TJS it took a season under Wheeler’s belt to get his velocity back.  His fastball sat at 95.88 mph. through his 29 starts.  His control also returned as he improved his BB/9 from 4.2 in '17 to 2.7 in '18.  Probably his most important improvement was keeping the ball in the park.  His 0.69 HR/9 ranked him fifth amongst all starting pitchers.  The Mets starter will head into this season looking to build off his breakout year, and hopefully be the under the radar fantasy ace I envision.

Nick Pivetta (ADP: 50 SP, 185 overall)

Unlike the first big right hander we touched on, Nick Pivetta’s 2018 season was about as up and down as you can get.  Pivetta posted big strike out numbers with 188 punch outs in 164 innings.  Another skill we saw last season is his ability to induce ground balls.  Sporting a 46.17% ground ball rate which placed him fifth amongst qualified starters.  He posted some other big numbers as well,  like his 4.77 ERA.  Actually, over 58 career starts Pivetta has a robust 5.33 ERA.  So what is he doing on this list?

It has been talked about around the fantasy community of how unlucky Nick Pivetta was last year.  A league leading .326 BABIP.  A lumbering DH playing left field.  The BABIP should drop.  The Realmuto, McCutchen and Segura additions should help sure up their defense.  Another way Pivetta could increase his fantasy value is by becoming more efficient.  He only lasted an average of 4.9 innings per start.  The improvements to the BABIP and defense should naturally bump his innings up.  If so, the right hander could see a 200 plus strikeout season and maybe even flip that 7-14 record around in 2019 for the much improved Phillies.

Tyler Skaggs (ADP: 63 SP, 230 overall)

The beginning of Tyler Skaggs 2018 season appeared to have all of the makings of a breakout campaign.  Before injuring his groin, through Skaggs first 19 starts he managed a 2.62 ERA. His 5 starts post injury that number ballooned to 14.05.  If you’re familiar with his career to this point you know he has a long list of injuries.  Most of them have been injuries to his throwing arm.  The fact he is coming into the 2019 season with no issues with the groin that slowed him down in '18 and, more importantly, no issues with his throwing arm have me paying close attention to him this draft season.  While I am not expecting him to repeat a 2.62 ERA, I do believe Tyler Skaggs flashed the skills required to finish as a top 40 SP this year.  His health will always be a question, but what he showed last season along with being picked outside the top 200 players makes the Angels southpaw a target for my teams.

Using ADP data from whichever hosting site you’re playing on can help you pinpoint players other people may be sleeping on.  In this article I hit on a few pitchers I think are being under drafted.  In my next article, I will touch on a handful of starters I believe are being over drafted.  Knowing guys to stay away from can be just as important as knowing who to draft.


Follow me on Twitter @brandoduff to hear when my next piece drops.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fantasy Baseball: ADP Bargain Buys
Fantasy Baseball: ADP Bargain Buys
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