First Half Fantasy All-Stars: Buy, Sell or Hold?
by Eno Sarris //
Fantasy managers should be taking a
good look at their teams and deciding where they have surpluses and
weaknesses. If you’ve got the Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools, it’s a great time to look at the rest-of-season projections for your team, and do some trade analyzing.
in the first half, you’re looking for players who are not only great
producers, but also those who deliver the best return on investment.
A fantasy All-Star brings in the question of how much was spent on the player. Yes, it’s nice that Evan Longoria is playing well, but he cost first-round prices. Meanwhile, how many people got those 20+ home runs from Jose Bautista
for virtually free? Those managers are probably rolling in power
numbers, and benefiting quite nicely from their fantasy All-Star.
Use these fantasy All-Stars as your template for what great ROI looks like.
C Miguel Olivo
has a .319 batting average this year and a .249 career average. He’s
given his owners a great batting average and 12 homers at a tough
position to fill. He’s definitely a fantasy All-Star. But the gravy
train will most likely not continue. Olivo sports a .391 batting
average on balls in play for the year, which would be the
second-highest figure in the game if he qualified for the batting
title. It’s also almost 100 points above his career number and the
major league average. Yes, it’s nice that he’s walking at a career-high
pace, and that he’s cut his strikeouts down to one of the better rates
of his career. But Olivo’s batting average, and therefore his fantasy
value, will likely come way down. Then you’ve got Rockies backup Chris Iannetta, who has a BABIP (.214) that’s ready to go the other way. This is one All-Star that must be sold, almost at any price.
1B Paul Konerko
home runs and a .301 batting average plays at any position, especially
when they come from the late rounds of a mixed-league draft. Konerko is
a first-half fantasy All-Star, and he’s actually one that might stick.
Don’t assume his higher-than-normal batting average will fall. HIs
BABIP is not at all out of whack with baseball norms (.306), even if
it’s a little higher than his career number (.283). Even if the batting
average comes down a little bit, his power will be useful. His .560
slugging percentage looks a little high (.494 career), but he’s also
hitting flyballs at a career-high rate (46.5% this year, 41.3% career).
To top it off, his home runs per fly ball rate this year (17.6%) is not
at all strange next to his career number (16.6%). Unless you can full
proper value for Konerko, he’s a hold.
2B Rickie Weeks
This could really be Martin Prado, but he was covered recently
– and excellently – by Tommy Rancel in this space. So instead, it’s the
Brewers’ surprising spark plug who gets the award. If one All-Star so
far was a hold, and the other a sell, this one is right in between.
Weeks’ BABIP looks a little high (.335) but just last year he put up
a similar batting average (.272) with a slightly lower BABIP (.313). Of
course, he got hurt last year, and health has always been Weeks’
weakness. If you think he can avoid the injury bug, though, this
breakout looks legitimate. Weeks has already reached a career high in
homers (17) and we’re just past the All-Star break. Even if you tried
to sell, your leaguemates would probably want to pay a reduced price
because of Weeks’ injury history. So you’re best off holding, and
hoping the breakout continues.