The fantasy drafts are done, but your work is far from done.
It’s time to see if your bet on that under-the-radar outfielder you picked three rounds above his average draft position pays off. It’s time to see if that veteran pitcher you’ve given a key spot in your rotation still has a stellar season in his aging arm. Will this late sleeper get the escape you were hoping for, or just become another name added to the waiver thread?
It’s time to get those answers. It’s time to play ball.
But before the season begins, it’s time for Roto Rage’s eighth annual overrated/underrated fantasy team. Here’s a look at this year’s team:
Overrated: Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles
Enters the season widely considered one of the top 10 fantasy first basemen, but finished 2021 with the 17th-worst strikeout percentage (27.5%), 15th-worst on-base percentage (.309) and the second-lowest walk rate (7%) among qualified players at his position. Although Mountcastle has proven he has power (33 homers), it’s hard to believe he’ll replicate that performance – especially as 22 of those bombshells came to Camden Yards where they just rolled back the fences 30 feet. Take all that and mix that with a mediocre supporting cast, and you’re stuck with a player relying almost solely on power output. No thanks.
Underestimated: CJ Cron, Rockies
After a lackluster first half (.254, 12 HR, 35 RBI, .833 OPS), he finished with a solid second half (.307, 16 HR, 57 RBI, .974). There’s also the Coors Field factor, where he hit .326 with 19 home runs, 68 RBIs and a 1.073 OPS.
Overrated: Brandon Lowe, Rays
Being drafted as the fifth-best second baseman was overkill, especially since he offers few stolen bases and is a career .222 hitter with an almost 36% strikeout rate against lefties. Power is good, but there was plenty to find throughout the drafts.
Underestimated: Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
He’ll play every day, has 20+ homer potential and multiple position eligibility. His road numbers (.289, 12 HR, 30 RBIs, 25 R, .873 OPS in 51 games) were better than his home numbers (.280, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 24 R, .723 OPS in 51 games) , so this is not a decision based on Coors Field.
Overrated: History of Trevor, Red Sox
While with the Rockies, he was a .241 hitter with a .752 OPS in 370 road games while hitting .303 with a .972 OPS in 375 games at Coors Field. Enough said.
Underestimated: JP Crawford, sailors
Double-digit home run and stolen base potential, finished in the top 40 in runs last year and should be the leadoff hitter for an improved formation.
Overrated: Adalberto Mondesi, Royals
Primarily a shortstop, he is eligible for third base. It makes no difference. Played over 75 games in one season once in six-year career.
Underestimated: Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
Tied for the league lead in doubles while hitting .271 with 16 homers, 67 RBI, 75 runs scored in 2021. Hit .282 with 11 homers, 43 RBI and an .882 OPS in the second half. An improved range could help with a potential breakout.
Overrated: JT Realmuto, Phillies
Did you know his batting average has gone down every year since hitting .303 in 2016, while his strikeout rate has gone up? Well, now you know.
Underestimated: Austin Nola, Padres
Injuries are behind a disappointing 2021, but Universal DH should help him stay on the pitch.
Overrated: Byron Buxton, twins
Having all the talent in the world means little when you can’t stay healthy.
Underestimated: Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
Among NL batters, he ranked sixth in OPS, seventh in average, ninth in walk rate, 12th in runs, and 15th in RBIs. He also hit 24 homers and had the 22nd-lowest strikeout rate.
Overrated: Robbie Ray, Sailors
Not only did he allow a ton of hard touches and 33 home runs, but he had a 3.69 FIP. He also has a career ERA of 4.00. Expect the southpaw to come back down to earth after his Cy Young campaign in 2021.
Underestimated: Charlie Morton, Braves
Yes, he’s 38, but he was 61-24 with a 3.34 ERA, 10.6 strikeouts per nine (11th best in the majors) and a 1.13 WHIP from 2017-21 . He’s also armed with one of the best curve balls in the game, limiting opponents to an average of .127 and a 40% smell rate (127 Ks) last year. The fibula fracture he suffered during the World Series last year is nothing to worry about.
Overrated: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
The closest flame pitcher had the second-most strikeouts per nine (15.5) among pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings pitched, but he had the fifth-highest walk per nine (6, 07), and his xERA (3.87) and FIP (3.99) were well above his ERA (3.36). Not a good sign.
Underestimated: David Bednar, Pirates
Knocked out 32.5% of the batters he faced while maintaining a 2.23 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 60 ²/₃ innings.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Tor
- Freddie Freeman, L.A.D.
- Matt Olson, athlete
- Pete Alonso, NYM
- Paul Goldschmidt, Stl
- Trea Turner, DAL
- Ozzie Albies, Atl
- Marcus Semien, Texas
- Whit Merrifield, North Carolina
- Ketel Marte, Ari
- Trea Turner, DAL
- Bo Bichette, Tor
- Xander Bogaerts, Bos
- Tim Anderson, CFS
- Francisco Lindor, NYM
- Jose Ramirez, Key
- Raphael Devers, Bos
- Manny Machado, SD
- Wander Franco, TB
- Kris Bryant, Col
- Salvador Perez, KC
- Will Smith, L.A.D.
- Yasmani Grandal, SCF
- Willson Contreras, CSC
- JT Realmuto, Phi
- Juan Soto, Was
- Ronald Acuna, Atl
- Bryce Harper, Phi
- Kyle Tucker, Hou
- Mookie Betts, L.A.D.
- Corbin Burnes, Mil
- Gerrit Cole, NYY
- Max Scherzer, NYM
- Walker Bühler, LAD
- Brandon Woodruff, Mil
- Josh Hader, Mil
- Liam Hendriks, CFS
- Raisel Igelesias, LAA
- Emmanuel Clase, Key
- Ryan Pressly, Hou
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