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The Revised Top 9
Posted by David Martorano at 5/18/2008 12:45:00 AM
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I recently made a statement regarding my belief in Lance Berkman and went on to say that I would take Berkman over David Wright for the remainder of the season. My friend responded by reminding me that only a few months ago I had written an article proclaiming David Wright as the best fantasy player not named Alex Rodriguez. He then asked the question- “Had Berkman’s streak really changed my mind that much?” My answer to him was yes as I believe in Berkman and believe that we are far enough into the season where we can start taking statistics seriously.

After looking over top ranked players and their statistics, I have come up with a new Top 9 list for overall fantasy value. This list includes players who I believe are the 9 most valuable players from here on out.

For the sake of comparison, the following Top 9 list was from an article that I had written back in the beginning of February.

Top 9 List (From February)

9. Albert Pujols
8. Miguel Cabrera
7. Jose Reyes
6. Matt Holliday
5. Chase Utley
4. Ryan Braun
3. Hanley Ramirez
2. David Wright
1. Alex Rodriguez

Revised Top 9 List

9. Manny Ramirez- Looks like his off-season conditioning is paying dividends. Manny is back to his old form and barring injury, will reward owners who drafted him in a big way.
8. Carlos Lee- El Caballo always seems to fly under the radar but make no mistake about it, he is one of the game’s better power hitters.
7. Matt Holliday- Holliday owners are surely disappointed with his current line of .316 BA, .400 OBP, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 27 R, 7 SB. He is that good.
6. Carl Crawford- Crawford is one of the best multi-category contributors in fantasy baseball and is an elite contributor in the speed categories.
5. Albert Pujols- Pujols has managed to stay healthy and is playing like 2007 never happened.
4. David Wright- Wright is currently under performing but his upside, age, ability and track record of consistency require him being this high on the list.
3. Hanley Ramirez- Hanley is the premier multi-category contributor in all of fantasy baseball. The scary thing about Ramirez is that we likely have not seen his best.
2. Chase Utley- Utley is having an awesome year and plays at a scarce position. His age and track record suggest that his torrid start to this season is no fluke.
1. Lance Berkman- Berkman currently has a line of- .394 BA, .473 OBP, 15 HR, 43 RBI, 46 R, 7 SB. His start to this season makes me believe that 2008 could very well be a “special” season for Berkman and at the very least, a career year. Other factors working in his favor are his relative youth (only 32 years old), his track record and the favorable confines of Minute Maid Park.

A comparison of the two lists has led me to the obvious conclusion that preseason expert rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. Most fantasy sites had Berkman as a Top 30 or so player heading into the season. There is a great chance that he finishes this season as a Top 5 overall player. It follows that you should never feel guilty about reaching for a specific player on draft day. You could be reaching for an MVP season and a league championship.

Judging from the feedback of numerous fantasy players, it seems that there are more non-believers in Berkman than believers. I don’t understand it. It must have something to do with his playing in Houston and being 32. Fantasy leaguers seem to think that 32 year old players are in an unavoidable state that does not allow for MVP seasons. Berkman has a body of work, is only 32 and is playing at a super human level. My suggestion to owners of big name younger players like David Wright, Carl Crawford and Matt Holliday- approach a Lance Berkman owner near you and try to acquire the current number one player in fantasy leagues for your big name younger player. You will not be sorry.


I think Carlos Lee is a stud, but I can't see him in the top 9. I would value him third on his own team. Tejeda is back and needs to be considered.
Posted by joey'scookies at 5/18/2008 7:50:00 AM
It would be nice if the staff put out a new list of rankings every month or so. Just a thought.
Posted by joey'scookies at 5/18/2008 7:51:00 AM
It'd be best to shop Berkman if you own him for those players, especially Holliday.
Posted by kevinccp at 5/18/2008 8:35:00 AM
There is a huge difference between "not believing" in Berkman, and simply thinking he won't be the best hitter in fantasy baseball over the final 4+ months.

Incidentally, I'd also disagree that the difference in your lists proves that preseason expert lists should be devalued. To me it demonstrates that the margins between the top 30-40 players are narrower than we generally assume. It doesn't take much to send a player from the 20s into the top 10, or vice versa.
Posted by ESiegrist at 5/18/2008 10:10:00 AM
joey'scookies, check out the cheatsheets. They are updated as the season progresses.
Posted by MPStopa at 5/18/2008 10:11:00 AM
ARod is due back in a couple days. Why did he fall off the list? Is there a possibility his injury could linger?
Posted by bvg2723 at 5/18/2008 11:00:00 AM
ARod could definitely finish as a top 10 overall player but as of right now it looks like hes continuing his trend of following up a big season in pinstripes with a disappointing one.
Posted by djm1144 at 5/18/2008 11:13:00 AM
Ryan Braun's been pretty hot recently and is on pace for something like .290 45 125. I recognize that he hasn't been stealing bases like predictions may have hoped, but isn't he still worthy of being on a Top 10 list if he was pre-season?
Posted by obzen at 5/18/2008 11:45:00 AM
obzen- As siegrist pointed out, a comparison of the two lists reveals that there isnt a ton of separation between Top 30 or so players and its no injustice that Braun could have slipped from 4 to outside of the top 10. But part of the problem was probably that I ranked him as high as I did- Most preseason rankings had Braun as a Top 15 player.
Posted by djm1144 at 5/18/2008 11:57:00 AM
"ARod could definitely finish as a top 10 overall player but as of right now it looks like hes continuing his trend of following up a big season in pinstripes with a disappointing one."

If you think four seasons of work are enough to establish season-to-season trends, you're being delusional. In fact, if you were following your logic, he's only had 1 poor season with the Yankees after a good season (2007), as if you were counting his 2004 as a "disappointing" season (.286/.375/.512 with 36 HR and 106 RBI), it didn't follow any previous season with the Yankees (he spent 2003 in a Texas uniform).

So your argument basically boils down to the fact that A-Rod seems to have alternating superstud and stud seasons with the Yankees. Show me how those few seasons are statistically relevant and I might agree with you.

I would trade any one of the players on that list, with perhaps the exception of Ramirez and Utley due to positional scarcity, straight up for A-Rod. Even Berkman.
Posted by bscwik at 5/19/2008 7:10:00 AM

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