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Points League Values: Outfielders Set to Outperform ADP in 2022

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This article will examine a few eligible outfielders for the 2022 MLB season that are being selected later than their Steamer projections suggest they should in points leagues and H2H points formats. RotoBaller's fantasy baseball points analyst Antonio Losada will be offering a few picks for both potential overperformers (sleepers) and shortcomers (busts) when it comes to the following baseball season at each of the six (C/1B/2B/3B/SS/OF) rosterable positions through the remainder of the offseason gearing up to training camps and the preseason.

In general, points leagues and H2H points formats are extremely underserved by the fantasy baseball community and fantasy baseball outlets. But in case you weren't aware, here at RotoBaller we really take pride in and specialize in points leagues. All through the preseason and MLB season, we'll be publishing rankings, tools, and analysis articles all geared for fantasy baseball points and H2H points leagues.

Before we get to the players themselves, let's quickly review points leagues and how they are different than other formats. Typically, points leagues have different league settings and scoring formats than other fantasy baseball leagues. Different MLB stats and categories are assigned different point values, and those can vary by individual league settings. Those different point buckets are then added up over the course of a scoring period or season. In many cases, hitters who walk more and strike out less are preferred for points leagues. Also, many league formats tend to give more weight to pitchers than normal as they can easily accrue points through categories like Innings Pitched. Without further ado, let's get it popping!

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Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates

ADP: 73.1 - OVR Rk: 36 - POS Rk: 11

The only Pirates projected to some viable fantasy production next season by looking at Steamer's numbers are The Bryan Brothers: Reynolds and Ke'Hayes. And hey, that could very well be the truth right there. Reynolds is currently projected to a rather bulky 660 PA, which makes all of the sense considering he is the no. 1 CF and also the no. 1 DH in most depth charts I've seen out there. In other words, Reynolds is going to fill feeds left and right batting wherever in the lineup he happens to get slotted--but rest assured he'll make the cut daily.

As young as Reynolds is (entering his age-27 season), he's thrived and never stopped improving in his short time around the Majors. Rookie year: 326 FP (2.43 FPPG) for a top-30 finish at the position and 90th overall (skipping 2020 because that was hella weird). Last year: 436 FP (2.74) for a top-three finish among OF and a top-16 finish overall. That's unreasonably bonkers, just saying. And the best of all is that the numbers back that production as a legit development. Was the BABIP high at .345? Sure thing, it was above-average, can't lie about that. That said, though, the AVG was great-not-outlandish at .302, the BB% went up for the third consecutive season to an 11.6 rate, and the K% dropped from both 2019 (22.2%) and 2020 (27.4%) to a very phenomenal 18.4% strikeout rate.

Check this out: Reynolds was one of only seven players with 400+ PA and a strikeout rate below 18.5%. That's good, right? Well, he's also one of three to do that and walk more than 9% of the time along with Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa. Not bad company. The ADP is surely nothing remotely low, of course, but that 73rd pick feels too low for what this man has done and what is ahead of him considering his age, underlying stats, all-around game, and the lone negative of being stuck in a putrid squad--make lemonade out of Pittsburgh lemons, though, and think about that as a boost to his playing time/batting order/rock-solid-and-guaranteed presence. Steamer has Reynolds projected to a "low/regressed" 84+83 R+RBI to go with 60 extra-base hits (22 HR) and a great .364 OBP with five SB on top of that. Draft this man. Way before the seventh, sixth, or fifth round. He'll be worth it.

 

Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds

ADP: 96.8 - OVR Rk: 35 - POS Rk: 10

Jesse is the poster boy for standard-league fades and points-league thefts. He's the Man in Red when it comes to Statcast charts, only his speed/jump/athleticism sucks. "He can't steal a bag for the love of god!" "He can grab a flyball to save his life!". Yeah, whatever. I'm not here for the steals, my men. Two on the year as Steamer has him projected to? Cool! Nice bonus! I don't need Acuña's 27 or Straw's 22 projection, honestly. Not when this guy is going to do it all on the rest of point-generating cats!

Winker is expected to finish as the 10th-best OF next season. 10th. Best. Yet, he's getting drafted nearly 100 picks into draft boards. Sweet Jesus. Winker had a monster BABIP last season going his way, compared to his prior two figures there (.324; .286 in 2019 and .283 in 2020; though he reached .336 in 2018 on bulky PAs too), but even if we shave 29 hits from his final tally to make it an even 100, that wouldn't be that bad for him. Why? Because of his ridiculous 0.71 BB/K ratio. 10.9 BB% and 15.5 K% were the rates. That walk-to-strikeout ratio is phenomenal, and the best of all is that Winker has posted marks above 0.61 for his five years doing it at the MLB level of play. I'm not making that up.

Winker just doesn't know how to strike out, boasting a career 17.5% only that high because of the fluky 2020 year and Winker's stupid 25.1% figure (remove that one and the average goes down to 15.6%). Perhaps the extra-base hits get, well, hit next year and Winker gets down to a more on-par-with-his-career average of 22 instead of reaching the 50s, but you have to acknowledge too that Winker has yet to play more than 113 games/485 PAs in a single season--Steamer has a projection of nearly 600 PAs for 2022. Definitely a top-10 outfielder for next season available at the price of a top-80 OF at most. Steal of a deal.

 

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

ADP: 92.6 - OVR Rk: 46 - POS Rk: 17

I don't know what to say about Yelich if I'm honest. Are we sure he will ever get back on track? Are we actually sure he ever got out of that track, all things considered? Yelich hasn't dropped from averaging 2.02+ FPPG since his rookie season in sunny Miami--he still posted a nice 1.94 FPPG, mind you. Of course, the OF37 and OF54 finishes in the past two years sucked, and there is no sugarcoating that. The thing is, Yeli Yeli was a top-12 OF in four straight campaigns from 2016 to 2019 while snatching one MVP award and a top-two finish in the 2018-19 span.

Yelich's strikeout rate has been going up and up and the 2020 figure of 30.8 K% was horrific. Do you know what is going up, too? The goddam walks that have come at a freakish 13.8, 18.6, and lastly 14.7 BB% in the past three seasons. That's fantastic, and that's one of the (if not the) main reasons to chase Yeli in points leagues. The perception might have you doubting greatness, but greatness hasn't left the building, folks. Six seasons in a row with a 0.50+ BB/K rate? Good! Three straight at 0.61+? Now, that's sublimely excellent.

2022 Yelich might not be 2018/19 Yelich. That said, this man is not--or shouldn't be--the 92nd player off the draft board either. I mean, the Brewer projects to 376 FP on the ESPN scoring system per Steamer's numbers. That's a top-35 finish right there among players with OF as their main position. The eye and plate discipline can't simply get any better, because they're already insane--peep at the chart above for a second. Yes, the walks cratered but the dropdown in K% is just nonsensical. Keep betting on this man, he ain't going--nor is he gone--anywhere.

 

Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox

ADP: 127.0 - OVR Rk: 68 - POS Rk: 23

The gem of the Mookie Trade, if that's even a thing. Let's not bring those memories back though, please, and thank you. Verdugo is already a fixture at any of the two corner-outfield spots on Boston's pastures and I just can be fascinated at everything he's done to date. For a young man, as this one is, he's already gotten further than many would hope to do over their full career. I don't value that 2020 odd year that much, but for Verdugo, it truly showed what was to come last season.

The average FPPG went all the way up to 2.32 in ESPN leagues, and not happy enough with that outcome, Verdugo improved it last year with a 2.36 average that, paired with a rather bulky 604 PAs over the season (146 games played), allowed Alex to finish as a top-58 player league-wide and top-18 OF in particular. That season, by the way, came on career-low (min. 100 PA seasons) .289 AVG and .777 OPS. So what did Verdugo do to get there? Let's see. Verdugo's BB/K rate was up to 0.53 after a stinking 0.38 in 2020 mostly because he was good to walk a hair more (8.4%) and lowered his strikeout rate nearly five points to 15.9% last year--pretty much on par with his early-career averages.

Verdugo is an above-.300-BABIP hitter career-wide, so the .327 isn't that concerning if you ask me. Verdugo has also stolen 4+ bases in three straight seasons (nothing incredible, but still), and his XBH has gone from 36 in 2019 to 47 last year. Nice, but not so nice considering what, once more, Steamer thinks is yet to come: 53 extra-base hits in 2022 to go with six more stolen bags, another 0.50+ BB/K, and a solid .351 OBP for a 112 wRC+. For someone projected to a top-70 finish overall in ESPN's points system to have an ADP of 127 these days is borderline malpractice by those tasked with drafting fantasy teams.



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Josh Reynolds - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Fantasy Football Week 4 Include Devin Singletary, Chris Olave, Josh Reynolds

Every week, I share some of my favored choices and players to go with when dealing with challenging lineup decisions. These selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a discount and get access to my ranks in all formats, plus... Read More