2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

2021 Fantasy Baseball Early March ADP Movers

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Average draft position can be a very useful tool in your draft preparation. Studying the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Early March ADP movers as the draft season progresses will help you to understand how the drafting universe views certain players.

By no means should you count on ADP as your default ranking, but knowing the trends of who is rising or falling can be a very useful tool. Understand, however, that rising does not always mean good. Falling certainly does not always mean bad. You have to read the tea leaves and see what is going on.

The first item to consider is the timeline to look at. For our purposes today, we will be comparing February 15th until the current date, versus the prior two weeks. Often, a player may see their ADP rise due to changing teams, some positive coach-speak, or receiving a clean bill of health. There is also the “I’m in the best shape of my life” comment. ADP may fall due to injury, also changing teams, a negative lineup outlook, or simple draft fatigue.

An angle to also be aware of is actually who is drafting. Early in the winter, the majority of drafters are sharps who are working through their rankings. As Opening Day draws nearer, the general public joins in more frequently.  This creates a different dynamic that you have to pay attention to. I’ll identify who’s moving where, as I dive into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Early March ADP Movers.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Early March ADP Movers

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Risers

Marcus Semien, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays (ADP – 131, +7)

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Marcus Semien has seen his ADP rise seven spots to 131. Landing with the Blue Jays just might be the best-case scenario for the 2019 American League MVP Finalist. What is not to love? Early indications are that he will bat second in that stacked lineup.

He should approach 100 runs while giving nice baselines of 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases. He is being drafted as the 15th overall shortstop and will add second base eligibility early in the season if your league rules allow. Draft him with confidence in the middle rounds.

Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees (ADP – 173, +9)

Clint Frazier is a popular riser, moving up nine spots to 173. According to manager Aaron Boone, Frazier is written in pen as the starting left fielder for the Yankees. I believed the re-signing of Brett Gardner would have scared drafters off, but it hasn’t. The Yankees’ lineup is very right-handed heavy, so there will be plenty of opportunities for Gardner to spell Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, along with Frazier. This situation just screams that an injury will fix it.

Frazier offers enticing upside with his speed and power tools. He showed quite well in the short sample 2020, smacking eight Home Runs and swiping six bags with semi-regular playing time. If you play in an OBP league, bump Frazier up near the top 30 outfielders, as his 15% BB% was among the league’s best.

Brad Hand, RP, Washington Nationals (ADP – 115, +6)

Upon signing with the Washington Nationals, Brad Hand moved up six draft slots to 115. Despite diminished velocity, Hand remains one of the better relievers in the game. His 33.7% K rate and 4.7% BB rate are among the top ten percent of all pitchers. He brings control and a high strikeout number along with a fairly comfortable amount of job security on a good team. I have moved him up to 7th in my relief rankings and draft him after round ten fairly often.

Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, Chicago Cubs (ADP – 123, +6)

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It may quite possibly be my fault that Kris Bryant has moved up six spots to 123. I am playing in EIGHTEEN leagues this year and I will have Bryant on at least 60% of them. The former National League MVP enters his age 29 season looking to score a big contract. He offers 30 Home Run, 100 RBI  upside while helping you in batting average.

Bryant’s BABIP in 2020 was a whopping 75 points below his career average, this simply will not repeat. Perhaps the rumors that he may be traded have kept his ADP down, but as the season draws closer he is creeping up. Bryant might just be the best value in drafts, as he could outperform that ADP by more than eight rounds.

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Kansas City Royals (ADP – 214, +12)

Somewhat surprisingly, the trade which sent Andrew Benintendi from the Red Sox to the Royals made him a big jumper up 12 spots to 214. Despite a negative park shift and worse lineup support, Benintendi has begun to move up draft boards. Granted, he is going about a hundred spots later than we all thought he would be at this point. The media was never kind to him in Beantown, and the change of scenery should suit him well.

Benintendi figures to hit second, knocking Adalberto Mondesi out of a premium lineup spot. Perhaps with Kansas City’s propensity to run, we could see Benintendi return to the 20 stolen base level. As a late-round selection, I am quite happy to add him as my fourth outfielder.

James Paxton, SP, Seattle Mariners (ADP – 230, +22)

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James Paxton saw his ADP climb 22 spots upon signing a free agent contract to return to the Mariners. After four straight quality seasons, Paxton just could not get healthy in 2020. The biggest downfall with Paxton is that he has never pitched more than 160 innings. The upside is that, when healthy, he can be one of the most dominant strikeout pitchers in the league.

At an ADP of 230, he is one of my favorite adds in formats with a deep bench. You will have to replace him in your lineup at some point during the season. If you go in knowing this in advance, you will be happy with the return on investment.

Fallers

Kenta Maeda, SP, Minnesota Twins (ADP – 53, -5)

Kenta Maeda has dropped five slots of late, down to 53 overall. Maeda is very hard to project for 2021. He has never approached 200 innings because the Dodgers always moved him back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen. Upon his trade to the Twins he broke out in a big way, posting the lowest BB% and highest Strikeout % of his career.

He finished second in the Cy Young voting. He accomplished this by changing his pitch mix. The four-seam fastball which he relied heavier on in Los Angeles became a secondary pitch. He threw his slider 38.6 % of the time, and for the first time in his career, let the changeup lead the fastball.

The results were outstanding in a short sample, but he is being drafted as the fifteenth overall pitcher. Despite a career-best 10.8% k/9, there just won’t be enough innings to approach the 200 Strikeouts I like to see from my SP1 or high SP2. Probably a pass for me in most situations.

Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP – 179, -23)

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Among 2021 Fantasy Baseball ADP risers AND fallers, Daulton Varsho has been on both ends of the spectrum. There was a ton of excitement surrounding him as he was looking to win the centerfield job while carrying catcher eligibility. That coupled with an ability to run made for an interesting low-end C1.

The recent news that Varsho may not break camp with the Diamondbacks has resulted in an ADP drop of 23 slots down to 179. The Diamondbacks signed Asdrubal Cabrera, who will likely play second base, moving Ketel Marte into the outfield. If this scenario plays out, the club may take advantage of Varsho’s three remaining minor league options. The severity of Kole Calhoun‘s injury could change this, so stay tuned. This may be the only year we see the catcher eligibility for Varsho, so draft in dynasty leagues with caution.

Victor Reyes, OF, Detroit Tigers (ADP – 234, -27)

The signing of Nomar Mazara with the Tigers has caused stolen base target Victor Reyes to see a 27 draft slot pitfall down to 234. If Mazara can pull regular at-bats, Reyes will be on the outside looking in. Robbie Grossman figures to be the team’s leadoff hitter with Jacoby Jones in center field. The promise of a possible 20 stolen base target in the later rounds has now turned into someone who should be stashed.

Some Pitching Help

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A few late-round pitchers I am very high on have seen an ADP drop over the last two weeks, opening up floodgates of value to help us win our drafts. Aaron Civale, John Means, and Nathan Eovaldi are all exciting options to fill out your pitching staff. With an ADP of 196, 224, and 241 respectively, you can feel comfortable drafting all three. It seems as if they are viewed by the drafting public as vanilla ice cream, but I see sprinkles on top!

Civale enters his age-25 season coming off of a disappointing 2020. He was excellent across three levels in 2019, with a sub 3.00 ERA at every stop, including the Indians. He closed out last season with a blow-up eight-earned run game, which brought his ERA from 3.77 to 4.74.  I am willing to forgive the one start and expect a sub 4.00 ERA with decent peripherals, making him an SP3 or SP4 candidate in 15 team formats.

Means and Eovaldi figure to add some stability amongst two pretty bad pitching rotations. The regular turns will be there, and you can expect around league average results. These are the type of pitchers to fill out your rotation. Be aware you will need some streaming options to avoid their bad matchups. If you can pick and choose which spots they will be in your lineup, you figure to piece together a solid rotation spot very late in your draft.

Understand that ADP is a very fluid situation. We will be seeing the amount of Fantasy Baseball drafts conducted more than double week-over-week through March. I will revisit this article in a few weeks to see how drafters are treating these players, as well as identify any March ADP risers and fallers.  Spring training is in full swing so there figures to be plenty of movement on both ends. Happy drafting.



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About Jeff Trela

Jeff is a 30 year veteran of fantasy sports as both a commissioner and player. He specializes in redraft, dynasty, and DFS. He plays in several NFBC Leagues and will be providing the DFS Pitching Primer this season. In 2021, Jeff will be taking his analytical and "game theory" approach to League 9 of the TGFBI. he is always available on Twitter @Jtrela20

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