Friday, March 16, 2018

Fantasy Focus: Choosing Keepers

My fantasy baseball league is adding a Keeper wrinkle this year.  We have to keep 2 pitchers and 2 hitters from last year's final roster, and we have to designate one of the Keepers as a "Franchise Player" who we have to keep for 3 years.  We cannot trade or drop our Franchise Player.  So, I have my 4 Keeper set:  Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, Madison Bumgarner and Wade Davis.

My question is, who should I designate as my Franchise Player?  Arenado or Harper?  I would like your opinion with your reasoning.


Around the League:

Ozzie Albies 2B, Braves- 2 for 3, 2 HR(2).  BA= .318.  Albies is the darling of the Breakout predictors.

Gregory Polanco OF, Pirates- 2 for 4, HR(3).  BA= .379.  Polanco battled injuries last year but should bounceback if he stays healthy.

Josh Bell 1B, Pirates- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .250.  Bell broke out last year, but I think there is still room for growth.

Jameson Taillon SP, Pirates- 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 2.79.  Hopefully Taillon is fully healthy and can reach his high ceiling.

Michael Wacha SP, Cardinals-  6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 4.20.

Jeimer Candelario 3B, Tigers- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB.  BA= .265.  Breakout candidate.

Nick Castellanos OF, Tigers- 1 for 3, HR(5).  BA= .278.  The 5 HR is catching my eye.  Is Castellanos breakout season still in the future?

JP Crawford SS, Phillies- 3 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .303.  The big question is whether Crawford will hit.  The rest of the package is elite.

Miles Mikolas SP, Cardinals- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 6.59.  Got knocked around early in the spring but seems to be settling in now.

Jaime Garcia SP, Blue Jays- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 2.00.  Has battled injuries for several years.  Can he stay healthy for a season?

Jake deGrom SP, Mets- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 2.35.  Elite SP.

Andrew Cashner SP, Orioles- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 1.01.  Cashner was surprisingly good last year with the Rangers.  Not a lot of K's, but solid in W's, ERA and WHIP.

Shohei Ohtani SP, Angels- 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 3 K's.  Great tools but has a lot to learn.  Don't expect much from him in 2018.

Chad Green RP, Yankees- 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.25.  Multi-inning reliever who has fantasy value.


  1. I would keep Arenado because while Harper probably has a little higher ceiling as far as stats he can put up, Arenado has been far more durable and consistent which as you know is critical in fantasy sports. It seems Arenado has been going around #3 or 4 in my single season mock drafts while Harper is going a couple spots later, so it seems people are a bit higher on Arenado at least as of right now.

  2. I don't know your scoring so it's kind of tough. But since most fantasy leagues love the big-bopper, I'd go Arenado because only one player has hit more HRs than Arenado over the past three years. And it isn't Harper who is 13th and has only hit 30+ HRs once while Arenado has gone 42, 41 and 37 the past three years.

    Also, Harper seems to miss more time. That's part of why his HR totals aren't as good as Arenado's. I think if you could rely on Harper to be 100% healthy and get 650+ PAs, I'd go with him. But he's only done that once and when he did he only hit 29 HRs. Whereas Arenado has been the picture of health the past three years.

    Harper does some advantages depending on scoring though. In my league we have an OBP category. Harper is #4 over the past three years in OBP. Arenado is not even Top-30. So he helps you win that category as well as some minor help in the SB category (he's good for 10-to-12 SBs a year, Arendo... Not so much.)

    1. I am in a 6X6 league with offensive categories R, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG%, SB's. My heart says Bryce Harper. My head says Arenado. It probably does not matter as I think there is a high probability I will keep both for 3 years anyway.