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Take a quick look at the NFBC ADPs of third basemen. What do you notice? Is Manny Machado going too high? Is Joey Gallo the boom-or-bust pick of the year? Is Josh Donaldson the best early-round value pick?

Third base might just be the deepest infield position in fantasy this year, so it's important to assess who’s being overvalued and who’s being undervalued. This group of 2018 third basemen is the perfect mix of consistent production, youth, growth potential, ADP value, and high floors.

Let’s take a look at where you can find these guys on draft day.

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Undervalued Third Basemen

These 3B are excellent value picks and should be targeted in all drafts.

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (NFBC ADP:15)

You can bet that this will be Bryant’s lowest ADP for the next three-to-four years. Bryant had career highs in these categories last year: 14.3 BB%, .409 OBP, .399 wOBA, .946 OPS, 0.74 BB/K, 77.7 Contact%, 64.7 O-Contact%, 85.0 Z-Contact%. Bryant had career lows in K%, O-Swing%, Z-Swing%, F-Strike%, and SwStr%. What more needs to be said? Bryant is a former NL MVP with plus-power and an improving approach at the plate. If you’re lucky enough that Bryant is available in the second round, don’t hesitate to pick him. Bryant is the value pick of the season.

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (NFBC ADP: 29)

Sitting at ADP 29, Donaldson is being priced around where he was a few years ago before he really popped off and became a 35+ HR, 200 R+RBI player. Would a return to that level be unprecedented or surprising? When you look at his profile, you’ll see that a huge comeback is absolutely possible. There were no extreme dips or surges in any of his advanced stat categories, suggesting that Donaldson's 2017 was more a result of an extended cold streak and bad luck than an impending decline in skill. Steamer likes Donaldson this year, too. Can you imagine a fantasy team with Stanton-Bryant-Donaldson or Scherzer-Correa-Donaldson? His late-second-early-third round ADP offers fantasy gamers an unbelievable value proposition.

Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (NFBC ADP: 115)

Gallo hit 41 HR in 2017 while sporting a face-melting .320 ISO, which was higher than Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Khris Davis, and Nolan Arenado’s ISO rates. Still just a pup at 24-years-old, Gallo’s batting average should even out at around the .220-.235 range in 2018, assuming Gallo has been working on making contact this offseason. Oddly enough, Gallo was a fantastic baserunner in 2017, evidenced by a 4.6 BsR, Fangraphs’ all encompassing baserunning statistic. Gallo's baserunning improvements resulted in a higher 2017 BsR than Elvis Andrus, Whit Merrifield, Mike Trout, and Jose Altuve, but you’re really just drafting Gallo for the power you know he’ll offer. 

Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks (NFBC ADP: 118)

At ADP 118, Lamb is the perfect pick for fantasy owners who passed on a third baseman in the early rounds. Flashing 30+ HR potential and improving plate discipline skills, Lamb should be on everyone’s sleeper radar in 2018. We’re looking at a potential 35-HR, .260-BA, 100-RBI season here. He'd be a nice addition to an ace-heavy team aching for power bats. Concerns over the humidor being installed in Chase Field may suppress his value even more.

Adrian Beltre (NFBC ADP: 159)

Are we sure Beltre should be going this late in drafts? Are we really sure? His 159 ADP isn’t outrageously low considering his old age, but this is a guy who hit .312 last year with a 138 wRC+ and .384 wOBA, both of which were top-30 in the league. Beltre will continue to be a powerhouse in 2018, so why not hop all over that value on draft day?

Todd Frazier, New York Mets (NFBC ADP: 288)

I looked into Frazier’s paltry 2017 in an article I wrote a month ago, and Frazier’s extreme BB% and Swing% immediately stood out in his profile. Frazier’s Contact% fell right in line with his career average last year, but he cut his swing rate by around seven percent. If 2017 was any indication of a new plate approach, then last year’s .344 OBP would be all the more repeatable this year. Frazier is not as washed up as you think he is, so be sure to target him in deep leagues that count OBP, as Frazier might’ve just unlocked a new aspect to his game.

 

Overvalued Third Basemen

These players are currently being drafted too high or over better players.

Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (NFBC ADP:18)

Machado and his 2017 league-average 102 wRC+ are going top-20 in 2018 fantasy drafts. That’s a “no, thanks” from me. How much of a rebound should we expect from Machado? .300+ BA? 40 HR? 110 RBI? Why draft a bounceback candidate when up-and-comers like Francisco Lindor and Freddie Freeman might be available? Machado is too much of a question mark to justify drafting in the second round. Take a reliable ace or Joey Votto instead. He turns into a value pick if he falls to the third round, though.

Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners (NFBC ADP: 136)

Seager’s slowly declining production pales in comparison to the intrigue of hot prospects like Yoan Moncada (NFBC ADP: 132) and Ozzie Albies (NFBC ADP: 138). Moncada and Albies are potential league-winning draft picks, so taking Seager over either of them would be the result of a faulty conservative draft approach. Seager’s 2017 marked near-career lows in wRC+, wOBA, WAR, and wRAA. His actual career lows were in his rookie year.

Ryon Healy, Seattle Mariners (NFBC ADP: 192)

Would you rather have Justin Bour or Healy this year? How about Jameson Taillon or Bradley Zimmer? These guys are being picked after Healy in drafts through mid-February. Healy’s advanced metrics were down across the board in a sophomore season that had fantasy pundits throwing their papers in the air in a fit of confusion. We’re looking at a low-ceiling, average-floor player here, and fantasy gamers would be wise to opt out of drafting Healy in favor of players with more promising profiles.

Evan Longoria, San Francisco (NFBC ADP: 198)

Longoria is an aging player who just came off the worst season of his career, so why would anyone draft him over players with higher ceilings? Mitch Haniger, Dinelson Lamet, and Blake Snell are all being taken after Longoria, per NFBC. His 36.8 FB% last year was the lowest of his career, he’s hitting more ground balls than ever before (43.4 GB% in 2017), and his career-high 49.8% 2017 Swing% and .313 OBP paint a grim portrait for Longo in 2018. He's is on the fast-track to fantasy irrelevance.

 

More 2018 MLB Rankings and ADP Analysis





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