2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders: Corresponding Calculations

by Greg Benson
2018 fantasy baseball overvalued outfielders

Everyone who has played fantasy sports in their life has been in the war room believing they are getting an absolute stud off the board. Then, two months later, the realization hits you that you reached too far for an overvalued name.

There are a couple reasons players can be overhauled in drafts. A big second half from the previous season or just plain hype from the baseball community usually leads the charge. For example, after breaking onto the scene in 2016, Mookie Betts vaulted up drafts boards in 2017 leagues. He regularly went among the top five players selected overall. He did have a solid 2017 season, as he was in the top ten at his position on the player rater. However, he did not return top five overall value.

The biggest drawback when it comes to overvalued guys is determined by repeatability. Can what they did last season, or even in some cases for a number of years, yield similar future results? Using a pick too early on a guy who does not return the proper amount of value for that pick is detrimental to your squad's overall success.

Below I give you some names that I believe to be overvalued heading into 2018 drafts. This does not necessarily mean I am not drafting these players. However, I will not be grabbing them at their current average draft position.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders

Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (FantasyPros Rank: OF12)

This one may seem a little obvious to some more savvy fantasy owners. However, it still warrants a mention for those still intrigued by Hoskins. Justifying a fourth-round draft pick on a guy with 170 career at-bats is something that just doesn't do it for me. The California native broke into the big leagues towards the end of last season and immediately went on a tear. Hoskins mashed 18 home runs in those mere 170 plate appearances.

While those numbers are eye-popping and could lead some owners to snatch him up amongst the top 15 outfielders drafted, I would advise slowing your roll. With Carlos Santana moving to the heart of the Philly line up, this does give Hoskins a bit of protection, but still does not merit a top 50 draft choice for the young slugger.

Drafting him ahead of household names like Justin Upton, Nelson Cruz, and a guy I talked about in my undervalued piece, Christian Yelich would be an unwise decision. Hoskins still needs to prove he can sustain that ridiculous pace at the highest level. Another thing working against the youngster is pitcher and catchers have watched film on him all offseason, working on ways to expose any holes in his swing.

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins (OF19)

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I'm as big of a Buxton fan as anyone, trust me. He has been on multiple teams of mine over the last two-plus seasons. The hype surrounding the speedy outfielder was never really seen until the end of last season. Buxton was marked down as the top prospect in all of baseball for a few years in a row and rightfully so based on how he finished out last season.

He was awarded the platinum glove award in centerfield, a very impressive accomplishment for such a young player. However, fantasy baseball doesn't factor in fielding in a majority of leagues, so it's the offense that worries me with Buxton. He is an extremely high strikeout-prone player and has a good amount of holes in his swing. Buxton was seventh amongst all outfielders in strikeouts last season, doing so with almost 100 fewer plate appearances than each of the names ahead of him.

The experts over at FantasyPros rank him as the 19th outfielder. While this is not too crazy, I would venture to say he does not crack the top 25 of the position by the end of the season. Draft the streaky former mega-prospect at your own risk.

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds (OF20)

Coming in right behind the previously mentioned Buxton on the average draft list for outfield is another speeder, the Reds Billy Hamilton. The 27-year-old center fielder has spent parts of five seasons at the big league level and has been quite up and down.

The steals are always going to be there for him and every owner is aware of that fact. The problem I have with drafting Hamilton in the top 20 outfielders is justifying a selection that early on a player who has never topped seven home runs or 50 runs batted in in a season.

I am not usually a sucker for steals as a category for my teams. That fact tends to push me even further away from him. When Yoenis Cespedes and Lorenzo Cain go three rounds later than Hamilton, your pick is better used waiting rather than paying up for this speedster.

Eric Thames, Milwaukee Brewers (OF53)

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While Thames is not a true outfielder, he will have eligibility there in the majority of fantasy leagues. When he returned to the big league stage last year, it was a sight to see. The bigger question with the slugger is was it more 'flash in the pan' or sustainable long-term.

I believe he falls somewhere in the middle, as he does possess raw power - more than most outfield eligible players. The issue I have with drafting Thames is playing time. Like, is he even going to play at all?

With the arrival of Yelich and Cain, two outfield spots disappear. Domingo Santana is a hard bat to keep out of the lineup, which puts Ryan Braun at first base more often. Since the Brew Crew play in the NL, there is no DH role available for Thames.

When you can get everyday players like Avisail Garcia or Jackie Bradley Jr. at much cheaper costs, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to lock in on Thames.

That concludes my list of overvalued outfielders going into the 2018 Fantasy Baseball season. Make sure you are using logic when drafting your teams this year, and good luck!

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1 comment

Friday March 2, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com March 2, 2018 - 9:57 am

[…] names some of the overvalued outfielders to avoid on draft day […]


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