I will start off by admitting that I am an Atlanta Braves fan, and therefore, I am an Ozzie Albies fan. One would be right in saying that I am biased in claiming that as a 2021 Fantasy Baseball manager, Ozzie Albies is a player you should draft.
However, I am going to give several reasons why drafting the star second baseman will help fantasy owners find success in their Fantasy Baseball leagues this season.
Before we get too far, I will note that our fearless leader, Joe Bond, has Albies ranked 32nd in his Fantasy Baseball redraft rankings. For dynasty players, Dave Eddy ranks Albies as the 19th best dynasty asset.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus mainly on redraft leagues and why Ozzie Albies will outperform his current ranking.
My goal is that by the end of this article, I can convince someone to draft Ozzie Albies because he will help win leagues this season if he stays healthy.
Here are three reasons why you should draft Ozzie Albies in your Fantasy Baseball league.
2021 Fantasy Baseball: Why You Should Draft Ozzie Albies
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Ozzie Albies Plays a Thin Position
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Anyone that is playing Fantasy Baseball knows this, but second base is pretty thin. After a certain point, the talent really drops off.
Fantasy players in deeper leagues could find themselves in desperation mode at 2B if they wait too long. That is why I recommend grabbing, in my opinion, the best second baseman in baseball, Ozzie Albies.
Ignore the lists that rank him as the 10th best second baseman. He is elite.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 2, 2021
Even as I write this in my Albies jersey, I have a hard time believing there are nine guys better than Albies at second base. I would have a hard time ranking him outside the top three.
However, this also illustrates the issue with 2B in Fantasy Baseball. It is thin. While there are a few guys that have 2B eligibility despite it not being their primary position, the issue remains that 2B can be a fantasy wasteland, especially in deeper leagues.
Drafting Albies provides teams with a positional advantage.
Ozzie Albies is Extremely Talented
I know that a .271/.306/.466 slash line does not scream fantasy stud. No one is going to get excited over a .772 OPS.
This may allow someone to grab Ozzie at a great value because that is not who Albies is. People may look at his 2020 season and pass up on him, which would be a huge mistake. One that smart managers can capitalize on come draft time.
Albies missed 31 games in 2020 mainly due to a right wrist issue. This sapped his power at the plate and prevented Ozzie from getting comfortable early in the season.
Before going on the IL in early August, Albies was batting .159/.196/.273 with 1 HR, Rs, 6 RBIs, and 0 SBs. His slow start turned many drafters off him for this season.
While it may cause some to pass on him, do not let this affect your decision on draft day.
Look what he did once he came back with a healthy wrist.
WELCOME BACK OZZIE ALBIES! ⚾️pic.twitter.com/Hr10nNN0cV
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) September 10, 2020
In September, Albies slashed .338/.372/.581 with 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, 17 Rs, and 3 SBs. That is more Ozzie-like.
Ozzie also played pretty well in the NLCS, getting the Braves to within one game of a World Series appearance. Ozzie may have been the NLCS MVP if the Braves pull off the series victory.
Ozzie Albies is 2-for-2 on deep passes to Mark Melancon this series. pic.twitter.com/UwsFwxm6ZA
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) October 14, 2020
In 2019, Albies slashed .295/.352/.500 with 24 HRs, 102 Rs, 86 RBIs, and 15 SBs. A healthy wrist and a talented Braves roster should allow for a strong bounce-back for Abies in 2021.
The talent is there for Albies to outperform his current ranking and his ADP. He could easily hit .290/.355/.510 with 25-30 HRs, 200+ runs and RBIs, and around 20 steals.
The Opportunities Will Be There
Something that cannot be overlooked when predicting fantasy performance is the team around the player. A player on a good team will get many more opportunities to create runs and RBIs for his team.
For example, I love Whit Merrifield. However, I do not think the Kansas City Royals will be good this year, and because of this, Merrifield loses some Fantasy value. He will not have as many opportunities to drive in runs and the lineup behind him is not as strong, which could make it difficult to score runs on a consistent basis.
Albies plays in a loaded lineup with Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and Dansby Swanson. Wherever Ozzie hits in the lineup, he will have opportunities to drive in runs and the lineup around him is strong enough to bring him home as well.
It seems simple, but the team a player plays on can greatly impact fantasy value. The Braves having a great offense makes Albies valuable at a thin position.
Coming off a season where he underperformed due to a wrist injury, Albies may be a player that some casual fantasy players shy away from just because of his pedestrian 2020 stat line. This could provide someone with an opportunity to really cash in on great draft value with Albies.
If he can stay healthy, I believe Albies can be a great contributor in any Fantasy format. He has the ability to be a solid five-cat contributor at a very thin position.
If given the opportunity to draft him in 2021 Fantasy Baseball, please, draft Ozzie Albies.
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