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As we’ve discussed before, points leagues are a bit of a different beast than the more popular head-to-head and rotisserie formats. One of the easiest and best ways to ensure that you’re making a smooth transition between these disparate styles is to identify players whose values change most.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to go it alone. This week, I’ve been offering my thoughts on potential points league bargains and busts at every position.

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

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Overvalued for Points Leagues

Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

I was in Denver (which I now call home) on vacation for the first week of the 2016 season and went to see the Rockies’ home opener, where Story homered twice in his major-league debut. It might have been the vibe of the crowd, or the copious amounts of weed and beer I’d consumed, but it sure felt like the birth of a superstar. He did nothing to dispel that notion as he raked for months before injury cut his season short. The hype was at a fever pitch, and fantasy owners bought in hard. Then Story ran a 34.4 K%, hit .239, and tallied fewer home runs than he had in his abbreviated rookie year. The current landscape does him no favors either, as low-average hitters with pop aren’t exactly tough to find. The only qualified hitters to strike out more often than Story did last season were Joey Gallo and Chris Davis. Yeesh. At least he walked at a decent clip, which is more than can be said for the next guy on this list.

Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals

In what's become an annual rite of passage, a player virtually no one was talking about prior to the season became a key contributor in St. Louis. After the 2016 model for this phenomenon, Aledmys Diaz, flamed out, DeJong took over at shortstop and hit .285/.325/.532 with 25 homers in only 108 games. The power is legitimate, but DeJong’s plate approach is a huge red flag; he struck out six times as often as he walked. He also is a slow runner who hits a ton of balls in the air. Suffice to say I’m not betting on a .349 BABIP again. Players can succeed with this kind of profile, of course, but their margin for error is rather thin. DeJong feels like an obvious bust candidate.

Tim Beckham, Baltimore Orioles

Being perfectly honest, I have no idea what to make of Beckham’s outburst last year. While he’s a former first overall pick, he’d shown approximately nothing before last summer. He pretty much had one insane month, which just happened to be the only month where he didn’t strike out at least 30 percent of the time. He obviously has pop, and enough speed to rank among the league leaders in infield hits (which along with a high number of hard-hit balls helps him run above-average BABIPs). I'm not bending over backwards to land his services in any league, let alone a points format.

 

Undervalued for Points Leagues

Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

It's a bit weird to be calling a guy who finished third in MVP voting as a rookie in 2016 and then followed that up with a six-win season "underrated," but here we are. While other shortstops are flashier and more exciting, Seager has established a remarkably high floor in his two MLB seasons. You know when you draft him that you'll be getting a guy who makes a lot of contact, racks up extra-base hits, and walks at a well-above average clip. He doesn't run much, but that's of minor importance in a points league. Seager will only be 24 in April, as well, so perhaps there's another level to his offensive game.

Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins

Polanco’s overall numbers aren’t overly impressive, but the way he arrived at them has him generating a bit of sleeper buzz. After struggling through a first half in which he hit .224 with a .596 OPS and just three home runs, he made tangible changes to his approach that clearly paid off. He hit .293/.359/.511 after the break, with 10 homers and seven stolen bases in just 63 games. While we can’t simply extrapolate that into a full season, Polanco is one of the more interesting players outside the top 200 picks. For points league owners, it's especially encouraging that Polanco was avoiding strikeouts even during his lousy first half.

 

More Points Leagues Analysis & Draft Values





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