The first month of the 2013 fantasy baseball season is in the books, and we've gotten a good look at which players are off to hot starts and which guys are struggling in the early going. RotoBaller has been updating our original preseason rankings, and today we're revisiting the outfield rankings we initially published in February. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs with the expert community and by how much. Check out our tier-by-tier analysis below the rankings, and let us know where you agree or disagree with us!
Tier 2: These are guys who were drafted fairly high and are performing at or around what they should. You have to love Zobrist's spot in the lineup, hitting third in front of Evan Longoria. This is invaluable for a SS in terms of possible RBI production. Castro owners need not worry about the young SS getting sent back down to AAA for development-- he'll provide a great combination of speed and power at shortstop.
Tier 3: Some of these are guys who were possibly undrafted in shallower leagues, but are nevertheless outperforming those who were drafted much higher. Segura and Cabrera lead all shortstops with 7 SB while Jed Lowrie has 19 runs scored to go along with a .333 batting average. If you reaped the benefits of these players while you wait for the likes of Reyes to heal or Andrus’ legs to wake up, you are a Rotoballer, and hopefully you are sitting atop your league standings. Jimmy Rollins currently has 12 runs scored and only 1 HR but he will go 20/20 when all is said and done.
Tier 4: The underperforming, drafted shortstops. All these guys were drafted, some higher than others, but all have expectations to be higher on this list. You spend a high draft pick with certain expectations. Anytime a guy sitting on waivers outperforms a high draft pick, it can be frustrating. Before you go and panic, understand that baseball is a long season and the law of averages applies. Martin Prado’s .217 batting average is a killer but he will post a .275+ batting average for the season. Josh Rutledge has been solid with a whopping 19 runs scored.
Tier 5: Here are some much deeper guys, some certainly undrafted, who are pulling their weight in your MI spot. While these guys are unlikely to keep up the pace for a full season, ride them while they are hot, and when they cool off, grab the next guy who’s heating up. They may or may not be owned but should be depending on their current performance. From J.J. Hardy’s HR potential to Erick Aybar’s stolen base potential, either can be plugged in for situational stats late in the season. Marwin Gonzalez has racked up 3 SB and 3 HR. Jeter is the all-time unknown: 1) when will he be back, 2) where will be hit in the lineup when he does and 3) has he healed enough to perform well offensively?