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Points Leagues Third Basemen: Overvalued and Undervalued

Most fantasy baseball analysis is geared toward rotisserie and head-to-head formats. Given the popularity of those setups, that's understandable. But plenty of folks out there play in points leagues, and player values can change quite a bit in that format compared to the more mainstream variants. This series is aimed at identifying some of the players whose valuations move most, in either direction.

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 third base sleepers and busts, or draft targets and avoids in points leagues.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Overvalued for Points Leagues

Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins

Whether or not you believe the market has properly recalibrated Sano's value based on his coming off a major leg injury and/or the likely impending suspension (I don't), he's a tough sell in points leagues. Sano has now logged over 1,300 plate appearances in the majors, and his strikeout rate sits at an absurd 35.8%. Unsurprisingly, that's the worst mark in baseball during that time. You'll also note that Sano has missed significant chunks of the last two seasons with a variety of injuries. The power is awe-inspiring, he draws lots of walks, and when he does make contact, it's usually of the loud variety...but there are just too many reasons to stay away.

Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

As with Sano, there's plenty to like about Lamb. He hits for power, draws plenty of walks, and he keeps his strikeout rate at a manageable level. Unfortunately, the flaws are real and fairly glaring. The 27-year-old has cratered after the All-Star break in each of the last two seasons, and unlike in 2016, there wasn't an injury to pin as the obvious culprit. Lamb has also been one of the worst hitters in baseball against left-handed pitching over that time - only Max Kepler and Billy Hamilton have produced a worse wRC+ versus southpaws. The news that Arizona will install a humidor at Chase Field will also likely ding Lamb's production, at least a little.


Undervalued for Points Leagues

Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

Rendon has managed to stay healthy in three of the last four seasons, largely allaying fears about his injury proneness. There was never much question about his ability, as evidenced by his excellent work in those healthy seasons. Throwing out the injury-truncated 2015 campaign, Rendon has produced a .286-22-94-89-12 average line since breaking out in 2014. While his stolen base totals (both successes and attempts) have fallen during that time and he may be tapped out in terms of power, the Nationals’ overlooked star is still one of the better all-around contributors in fantasy. Rendon’s always been a high-quality hitter, but last season he was just one of five qualified batters to walk more often than he struck out. The others: Joey Votto, Mike Trout, Anthony Rizzo, and Justin Turner. Pretty great company, eh?

Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

Beltre will be 39 in April, and he failed to play in at least 100 games last season for the first time since his rookie year all the way back in 1998(!). When he wasn't dealing with multiple leg injuries, he was excellent as usual: .312/.383/.532 with 17 HR and 71 RBI in only 94 contests. The ageless wonder posted the best walk rate of his career, while maintaining his typically low strikeout rate. Time is, of course, undefeated; eventually Beltre will stop being awesome. There's little reason to believe the bottom will fall out this year, though, given the remarkable steadiness of Beltre's peripherals. Also, I would like to note that Beltre has stolen exactly one base in each of the last seven years - this is barely relevant to his value in points or any other format, it's just my current favorite random stat.

Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds

Suarez quietly put together a solid season in 2017, hitting .260 with 26 HR, 87 R, 82 RBI, and 4 SB. That wasn’t far behind Lamb (whose ADP is 75 picks earlier) and was better than Kyle Seager (55 picks earlier). Suarez isn’t flashy, but he can turn a nice little profit for you in the middle rounds. He may also pick up shortstop eligibility depending on how the Reds end up making room for Nick Senzel. Most intriguingly for our purposes here, Suarez bumped his walk rate up from eight to 13 percent last season,


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