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Points leagues are less popular than the traditional rotisserie or head-to-head scoring formats. Consequently, most fantasy analysis is geared toward the latter styles. As anyone who’s played in a points league before knows, though, player values can be quite a bit different under those settings.

All week, I’ll be offering my thoughts on potential points league bargains and busts at every position.

Today, we're looking at some potential second base sleepers and busts, or draft targets and avoids in points leagues.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!

 

Overvalued for Points Leagues

Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers

Random interesting factoid: The only players in MLB history besides Odor to log multiple seasons with at least 30 home runs and 14 stolen bases before their 24th birthday are Alex Rodriguez and Mike Trout. Of course, neither of those guys ever hit .204 with a .252 on-base percentage, which is what Odor “accomplished” last season while accumulating his counting stats. He’s probably not going to run a .224 BABIP again, but even in 2016, when he had a .297 BABIP and batted .271, his OBP was just .296. Odor’s plate approach limits his ceiling in any respect, but particularly in points leagues.

Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

The slick-fielding second baseman hit .273 with 23 homers, 10 steals, and both scored and drove in 75 runs. That performance and his brand recognition have his ADP just outside the top 100 players. There are some concerning numbers when you look under the hood, though. In 2017, Baez lost all the gains he’d made in contact rate the prior year, and posted a higher SwStr% than any player in baseball who qualified for the batting title except Joey Gallo. He also benefited from a sharp uptick in HR/FB% despite pulling the ball less and putting it on the ground more often than in previous years. Only Odor and Tim Anderson have a worse BB/K over the past two seasons (min. 900 PA).

 

Undervalued for Points Leagues

Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals

While Murphy’s walk rate is nothing special, only Jose Altuve has hit for a high average over the last two seasons than Murphy’s .334. He’s also second only to Altuve in doubles over the same span and, despite not reaching 600 plate appearances in each season, ranks among the top 25 hitters in MLB in both runs and RBI. Oh, and only eight qualified hitters were retired via strikeout less often than Murphy in 2016 – 17. Assuming his recovery from microfracture surgery goes smoothly, he’s likely to be a points league monster yet again.

Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

Cano is underrated in general, not just in points leagues. The last (and also, only) time he hit below .280 was a decade ago. In the intervening nine seasons, he’s averaged – averaged – a .305-27-93-97-4 line. He also leads MLB in doubles during that time, with 361 (Miguel Cabrera is second with 326). Cano has posted a strikeout rate north of 15 percent only once. And while he’ll turn 36 at season’s end, the veteran’s 150 games last season was his lowest total since 2006.

D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies

LeMahieu has hit .300 or better in three straight seasons, and averaged 95 runs per year over that time. He occupies an enviable position between Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado in the Rockies' lineup. That’s helped keep him from being a complete zero in RBI; he’s averaged 64 in those three years. The decline in stolen bases is unfortunate– after swiping 23 bags in 26 attempts in 2015, LeMahieu went 11-for-18 in 2016 and just 6-for-11 last year – but doesn’t hurt his value much in points leagues. The 0.74 BB/K over the last two seasons (fifth amongst all second basemen), though? That moves the needle in a positive direction, as do the plethora of doubles and triples.

 

More Points Leagues Analysis & Draft Values





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