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H2H Points Leagues Outfielders - Overvalued & Undervalued

For those fantasy enthusiasts that love the head-to-head competition and being able to trash talk their friends every week, the points league is the ideal setup. For the casual player in this format, it’s common to unknowingly draft using a standard top-300 list from a magazine or website. These lists base themselves on roto formats, and depending on which league you are participating in, there is a contradiction in value.

For batters, the roto leagues value hitters more for their stolen base ability, while they generally disregard some aspects of plate discipline. Strikeouts and walks are crucial to recognize in a points league because they will count as a point for, or against your team. In a roto format, it’s irrelevant if a batter strikes out 200 times, as long as they attain their 40 homers.

There is a significant difference between these leagues, and today we’ll go through some outfielders who carry a very different value in a points format.

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Overvalued Outfielders - H2H Points Leagues

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) - 22 ADP

There’s no question Giancarlo Stanton’s power is worth salivating over. What we need to be aware of in points leagues is how much his home run and RBI numbers get downgraded because he strikes out so often. Stanton struck out 211 times in 2018, bad enough for a 29.9% K%, just slightly higher than his career average. He also showed his worst patience since 2012 with a 9.9% BB%, so if we subtract his free-passes from his punch outs, Stanton would have -141 points in this area. This number, in effect, cancels out his entire RBI production as well as about 25% of his HR total. Stanton is a top-10 outfield pick in a roto league typically, but this data doesn’t merit a top-10 selection in the outfield for a points system.

Starling Marte (PIT) - 38 ADP

What gives Starling Marte tremendous fantasy appeal is his power/speed combination. 20/30 players are hard to come by, but in a points format, his year-end number of points is easily attainable elsewhere. If your scoring settings reward a point for a steal, Marte can be treated as a bat with 28 HR without the extra RBI that come with it. Marte had a respectable 18.0% K% in 2018, but compared to his 5.8% BB%, it’s anything but desirable. These numbers slapped his 0.32 BB/K among the outfield’s bottom-12, right below Stanton’s 0.33 mark from a year ago. Marte doesn’t possess the entire skill set that would reward a top-15 selection at his position in a points setup, and he needs a downgrade by at least a couple of rounds.

Harrison Bader (STL) - 181 ADP

Another outfielder admired for his power/speed potential is youngster Harrison Bader. The 24-year-old made an impact in 2018 with the Cardinals, knocking 12 out of the park while swiping 15 bags in just 427 plate appearances. Volume could be a factor for Bader in 2019, as the Cards have several outfield options to fill in for him if he were to struggle at any point during the year. Bader also doesn’t profile as anything larger than a 20-HR bat, and to be seriously considered in a points league, he needs to make strides in plate discipline. Bader held a worrisome 29.3% K% as a rookie, which would have placed his 0.25 BB/K tied for fourth-worst in the majors among outfielders. Bader will also bat at the bottom of the St. Louis lineup, so the counting stats won’t provide enough point value to return his ADP cost.


Undervalued Outfielders - H2H Points Leagues

Michael Brantley (HOU) - 117 ADP

Michael Brantley may not move the needle enough in the HR or SB category in a roto format, but in a points league, his consistency and batted-ball skills play perfectly. Brantley’s 0.80 BB/K ranked sixth-best among outfielders a season ago, essentially letting him count all of his stats towards his year-end total. Brantley’s 17 HR from a season ago isn’t necessarily enticing, but his 36 doubles were admirable in his final season as a Cleveland Indian. Now a member of the Houston Astros, Brantley has even more of an opportunity to accumulate plenty of R and RBI numbers, batting in their potent lineup. Turning 32 in May, there’s plenty left in the tank for the left-handed bat as his contact and hard-hit ability have only increased with age.

Jesse Winker (CIN) - 197 ADP

If you were to draw a younger comparison to Brantley, it would surely have to be Jesse Winker. Also a left-handed swinger, Winker duplicates Brantley’s elite plate discipline numbers by selling out for contact instead of clobbering fence-clearing shots. His ceiling as a home run hitter is a number in the mid-teens, but his proficiency to get on-base considerably outweighs this in a points league. Winker was one of only a handful of players in 2018 to walk more than he struck out, and the only outfielder to perform such a feat. Winker is slated to bat at the top of a stacked Reds lineup in 2019, optimizing his points total. There is a slight playing time concern, but with Nick Senzel’s status in the air, and the aging Matt Kemp a liability in left field, Winker will earn the playing time he deserves.

Nick Markakis (ATL) - 328 ADP

A late-round gold mine for your points league comes by the bat of veteran Nick Markakis. He carries the same qualities as Brantley and Winker, dominating the BB/K category with limited power. Markakis swatted just 14 big flys in 2018, but his 0.90 BB/K ranked third-best among qualified outfielders. The journeyman managed to provide a silver lining for his lack of power by piling up 43 doubles, also third-best among outfielders. Markakis returns to an even more formidable lineup in Atlanta compared to what he was in a year ago. Slated to bat fifth for the Braves, Markakis is a points league steal at his ADP, and he’s certain to accumulate at least another 160 R+RBI in 2019.

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