One of the hardest decisions when planning out a draft strategy is to know which positions you are comfortable waiting on and which ones are worth using early draft picks. There is no right or wrong answers on this topic, but one of the positions you have to make a decision (even if it is during the draft) is shortstop. The difference between the best shortstop and the 20th (CCO leagues have up to 20 teams) is over a point per game. That is a big difference. But that is not the best way to look at the position. You have to look at the position in tiers to get a true sense of where the depth is for any position and when is the best time to draft your starter.
When looking at each position, I will divide the players into tiers. In theory, each tier should be filled with similar players. The ultimate goal would be to get the last player in each tier as that would mean you waited the perfect amount of time to draft that position and didn’t have to reach in the draft. Of course even within a tier we can have our favorites and preferences which are hard to ignore. Sometimes I have to force myself to take a player I don’t like or usually want on my team when they are the last player in a tier and they are clearly the best pick.
When doing your own tiers you should always ask yourself if you would be good with the next player, if not, that player goes into the next tier. Keep in mind that when deciding between players from different positions, if you set your tiers up correctly, you should not have any Super-Stars left to draft before going on to the All-Star tier, no more All-Star tier players before moving on to the Solid players, etc., etc. Within each tier names are listed in alphabetical order with their 2016 projected point totals from the CCO leagues on ESPN.
Carlos Correa (555)
Carlos Correa is in a class by himself, this year. The hardest part about Correa is when do you use a draft pick on him. Some people like having the best player at a position and the gain you get from having that one elite player, but it does come at a cost as you will have to use an early pick on him. Last year Correa came up and dominated the shortstop position by averaging 3.8 points/game clearly ahead of Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Crawford at 3.0. This year I fully expect him to run away with shortstop for the whole season.
Xander Bogaerts (488), Francisco Lindor (470), Corey Seager (487), Troy Tulowitzki (477)
A trio of young guns and the former best fantasy shortstop in Tulowitzki. If you want an elite shortstop and just can’t spend the high pick on Correa, any one of these guys will make you feel good how you filled the position.
Elvis Andrus (432), Brandon Crawford (437), Ian Desmond (445), Jhonny Peralta (447), Addison Russell (428)
A mix of players in this tier, from young to old make this a group that should provide decent production without using a draft pick that can be used to fill another position. There is plenty of upside in this group and some past top shortstops.
Erick Aybar (397), Asdrubal Cabrera (389), Jung Ho Kang (391), Brad Miller (412), Alexei Ramirez (396), Marcus Semien (410), Starlin Castro (385)
Not much to say about this group, nothing to really get excited about, but should give you decent production without using a good pick.
If You Wait (A)
Alcides Escobar (382), Eduardo Escobar (383), Jimmy Rollins (359), Jean Segura (364), Andrelton Simmons (364), Eugenio Suarez (371)
Well you waited on filling your shortstop and now are hoping to get lucky and pick the guy about to have a career changing year. Take your pick and good luck!
If You Wait (B)
Nick Ahmed (345), Didi Gregorius (354), Ketel Marte (353), Zach Cozart (330), Chris Owings (329), Adeiny Hechavarria (325), Freddy Galvis (316), J.J. Hardy (308)
Unfortunately you waited too long and for some reason guys are filling bench spots and you still need a starting shortstop. You will need more than luck to not make this position a huge deficit each week in your match-up.
My thoughts on shortstop are usually to wait, but it is getting more and more tempting to take one of the top players as the drop off is pretty steep, especially in a 20 team league. In my weekly H2H league on CBS, I did take Carlos Correa with my third round pick (21st overall) and would say there is no way he should make it to the 21st pick in most leagues.
CCO fantasy baseball leagues are on ESPN and we will fill up to 20 teams in each league. This year we will have 3 different styles of leagues.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching, auction draft and keepers.
- Weekly H2H with weekly lineups and no additional rules.
If you are interested in playing in one of these leagues, please send your email information to Neil at this link and he will forward it to me. Also include which league you are interested in playing. We have four leagues right now. Option 3 is the weekly H2H lineup league and has openings and takes less time than the other leagues as lineups lock at the beginning of the week. The style we used the last two years is option one and we have two different leagues that are full but I will take more names for a waiting list or even to create another league. Option 2 is the auction/keeper league and it is almost full.