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There are many paths to success in fantasy baseball, but one of the simplest is to nail your draft. To do that, you need to find productive players with low price tags. Doing so carries the added benefit of bragging rights.

Who doesn't love paying peanuts for the next big star and then getting to lord it over your rivals? Terrorists, that's who.

As we draw closer to the start of the season, I'm offering my thoughts on potential 2018 fantasy baseball draft bargains at every position. Today we're covering National League outfielders.

Editor's Note: Our friends at RTSports have best ball leagues with no in-season management. Just draft your team, and that's it! Use your phone for this casual draft by getting emails or texts when you're on the clock. Sign Up Now!

 

Senior (Circuit) Discounts

Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

They say chicks dig the long ball, but fantasy owners are less impressed by power than they used to be – particularly if it comes with a leaden .211 batting average like Schwarber produced in 2017. But his 30 home runs came in under 500 plate appearances, and the attendant 30 percent strikeout rate was always the cost of doing business with Schwarber. He’ll never run a high BABIP, but there’s no reason to think last season’s .244 is his baseline. And, oh hey, check out the second half line (.309 BABIP): .253/.335/.559, 17 HR, 64 R+RBI in 61 games.

Steven Souza, Arizona Diamondbacks

Like Schwarber, Souza will never be an asset in batting average. He is, however, productive in the other standard cats. He was one of only eight players to hit at least 30 home runs and steal at least 15 bases, and managed 156 R+RBI despite playing for one of the lowest-scoring teams in MLB. Souza is now employed by one of the league’s better lineups and in a much better park for offense, even with the humidor being installed for 2018. Also worth noting: In 2017, Souza cut his strikeout rate by five points while posting a career-best walk rate. (Editor's note: Souza suffered an injury late Wednesday. If he's out for an extended period, Kyle suggests Lewis Brinson of the Miami Marlins as a post-300 ADP option with 20/20 potential.)

Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies

Herrera had some fantasy buzz around him last spring after posting a solid four-category season in 2016 (.286 AVG, 87 R, 15 HR, 25 SB) but an early-season slump led many owners to cut bait. Those who weathered the storm were rewarded with a .318/.361/.526 line from June 3 to season’s end. Herrera catching fire at the plate didn’t lead to eye-popping run production, and he basically quit stealing bases (just 8-for-13 a year after going 25-for-32), which makes the post-200 ADP easy enough to understand. But he’s penciled in between Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins in what could be a pretty good Phillies lineup, he’s not far removed from 15/25, and he’s a career .288 hitter in an low-average environment. That’s a worthwhile bet as such a modest price.

Dexter Fowler, St. Louis Cardinals

Fowler has managed to suit up for at least 120 games just once in the last five seasons, but has generally been a useful fantasy outfielder when healthy. He’ll bat leadoff in a top-heavy Cardinals lineup, and his plate discipline (career 12.7% walk rate) should lead to plenty of runs. Despite logging only 491 plate appearances, Fowler’s 18 homers last season were a career high. Toss in double-digit steals and you’ve got a rock-solid contributor available in the late rounds.

Victor Robles, Washington Nationals

Robles was optioned to the minors on Tuesday, but he likely won’t be there for long. With Adam Eaton coming off a major leg injury, Bryce Harper’s durability questions, and Michael Taylor’s allergy to contact, there are plenty of plausible paths to playing time for the Nats’ top prospect. He’s just 20 years old and has fewer than 200 plate appearances above A-ball, but it’s hard to argue with the kind of upside Robles offers outside the top 300 ADP.

 

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