Winning in the NFBC involves not just selecting the right players to draft. You must also avoid the minefields, the fool’s gold, and the overpriced items. The goal of this exercise is simple. From each of the first ten rounds, select one player to avoid, because they will be a bust or perhaps merely overvalued.
1st Round - Kris Bryant – He’s currently going 9th overall (sometimes as high as 4th) and I don’t see him as the 9th most valuable fantasy player. I will concede that Bryant locks down a top tier third baseman and gets you double-digit steals. The stolen bases help to spread the speed risk if you consier that type of roster construction important. In terms of raw stats though, he falls short unless you have considerable growth built into your projections.
2nd - Buster Posey – Catchers get injured more than other position players. This leads to DL time, or even worse, they play through the injury and their numbers suffer. You also have to pay a premium for position scarcity, particularly with Buster, who belongs in the 3rd round, not the 2nd.
3rd - Todd Frazier – The former Redleg swooned towards the end of the season, hitting .220 with only ten home runs after the All-Star break. He was a late bloomer, so did the scouting reports and the league finally catch up with him? How long will it take him to adjust to American League pitching? His stolen base success rate has dipped to 62 percent. Does that mean he’ll run less? I’ll let others find out.
4th - Troy Tulowitzki – Every year, this former Coors Field slugger was a shadow of his Rockie self on the road. The Rogers Centre isn’t a pitchers park but it doesn’t have Colorado’s elevation. If that’s not enough, he’s managed to stay on the field for 140+ games just once over the past six seasons.
5th - Matt Carpenter – 28 home runs, with a previous career high of 11, at age 30? I have to see that again before I come anywhere near the 5th round (NFBC ADP: 68).
6th - Albert Pujols – The former MVP did his best Adam Dunn-lite imitation in the second half, culminating in a September below the Mendoza Line. The Angels brass blamed a foot injury for his performance and subsequent surgery that followed. It’s not clear whether on not the 36-year-old will be ready for Opening Day, and even if he is, are you willing to spend this much (NFBC ADP: 87) to secure his services?
7th - Jacoby Ellsbury – You never know what you’re getting with Ellsbury. This year, you finally get a discount, but for a player that relies on speed for much of his value at age 32, that discount isn’t enough.
8th – Ian Desmond – A declining contact rate two consecutive years and an isolated power at a four-year low do not inspire confidence. His .233 batting average was a career low and his strikeouts hit a career high of 187. What’s not to like?
9th - Andrew Miller – There are now three closers in New York, and Miller is the only southpaw. His ADP of 133 will certainly decline with Aroldis Chapman moving to the Big Apple, but it won’t decline enough.
10th - Jose Reyes – Coors Field is a nice place to call home, but it’s probably a mere temporary sojourn for "La Melaza." More importantly weighing in on the speedster’s value is the domestic abuse allegation. The league’s response to the issue lies in the wake of the NFL’s firestorm with Ray Rice. Tremendous pressure was placed on Roger Goodell to hand down a severe punishment and one has to assume similar pressure is already being placed on MLB. Until this is settled and the dust clears, I would stay away from this shortstop.