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God Help Us All

The fantasy outlook at second base is...well, pretty dire. That's a nice way of saying that it stinks. There isn't a single one worth drafting in the first round in all but the largest and deepest leagues, and there really aren't any players at this position I can say I trust. Everybody's got question marks and it's tough to get too excited about anyone - especially the three players below, given their price tags.
 

Jose Altuve (13.5 ADP)

In the auction league I run, Jose Altuve went to an owner who got caught price enforcing and didn't actually want him. Seeing that I had come away from the draft with only Jurickson Profar as an option at the keystone, he pushed Altuve on me pretty hard. I declined without a second thought. We all know what happened next - Altuve won the NL batting title, swiped 56 bases, and totaled almost twice the WAR that he had in his first three seasons combined.

Altuve was basically Jeff Keppinger with wheels before last year, and now he's being drafted as a borderline first-rounder. Positional scarcity be damned, that's bonkers. Altuve had never hit above .290, slugged above .400 or stolen more than 35 bags before 2014, and it wouldn't surprise me if he fell back below all of those marks.
 

Dee Gordon (58.5 ADP)

Imagine Altuve with less power, more strikeouts, and even less of a track record of success. That's Dee Gordon. Gordon batted .289, scored 92 runs, and stole a league-high 64 bases in 650 plate appearances last season. In his previous 670 PA, he hit .256/.301/.312. Which is the real Gordon?

Steamer thinks it's closer to the latter, and I don't see any reason to believe otherwise. His peripherals barely budged last year, so even with his blazing speed, that .346 BABIP smells funny. And without a high BABIP, Gordon can't hope to deliver much value outside of steals. Is that really somebody you want to draft in the top 60?
 

Jason Kipnis (82.8 ADP)

Full disclosure: I was driving the Jason Kipnis bandwagon last year. And why not? He was coming off an impressive 2013 in which he'd hit .284/.366/.452 with 17 HR and 30 SB. It looked like he'd figured out how to hit lefties. Plate discipline, pop, speed, youth...Kipnis seemed a smart bet.

Alas, he was a disaster last season, managing only six homers and a putrid .640 OPS. Am I overreacting to a lousy season? Maybe, but remember that in 2012, Kipnis was merely a league average hitter going by wRC+. Of course, a league average bat with 14 HR and 31 SB still made him one of the better second basemen in fantasy. God help us all.