Here's a first world problem: I don't know if Ian Desmond will be one of my fantasy baseball keepers next season. The Texas Rangers outfielder has been reborn this season at a new position on a new team. My fantasy baseball team has thrived thanks to his presence. However, I'm still not sure he'll return next year.
This season was a great one for Desmond who last year with the Washington Nationals struggled mightily. Aside from questioning if he can keep it up I also have to factor in his position eligibility and if he is better than my other outfield choices. Starting from scratch, yeah I want him. But I need to make sure I have a well-rounded team. There are other positions to fill and with only 15 keepers I need to make sure enough positions are filled and my starting pitchers are deep.
Is Ian Desmond a fantasy baseball keeper pick?
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In my league we have all 8 positions plus a utility man in our starting lineup. This means it's probably best to only keep four outfielders at the most otherwise one of your keepers is always on the bench. Outfielders are also attainable in free agency after the draft as each real team has three and we often witness many have breakthrough seasons. This season I used Desmond as my primary shortstop once Trevor Story went to the disabled list after flip-flopping him as an outfielder and shortstop in the early part of the season. Next year, because he only played the outfield in 2016, Desmond will lose the flexibility that helped guide my team through injuries. This drops his value tremendously.
There are a lot of questions for Desmond that we all have to ask ourselves. The most important when selecting keepers is whether he is the best choice available on the current roster. Additionally, can you replace him?
I'm honestly not so sure right now. He is a guaranteed top three round pick in the draft next season among the non-keepers. While Charlie Blackmon, Mookie Betts, and George Springer are guarantees to return, I’m faced with the choice between Desmond and Adam Jones.
In some ways Joc Pederson has had a better sophomore season than rookie campaign. In others, Pederson has weakened. When it comes to fantasy baseball I have to say he has grown.
Pederson comes into Sunday hitting .243/.338/.476. Only the OBP is worse than it was last year. His batting average is up 33 points from where it finished in 2015 and he is already 2 RBIs away from tying last year’s total of 54. The only place Pederson has really not matched is in walk total as he is currently only at half of the total he had last year. Pederson is swinging more regularly and thankfully they are turning into hits.
Does Joc Pederson belong on your fantasy baseball roster?
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Additionally, Pederson has cut down on strikeouts. He won’t come close to matching the 170 he had last season. He also will fall short of the 26 home runs he hit in 2015 although, as you may remember, a large bulk of them came in the first half before a late season slump. Pederson has already set a new career high in doubles with 24 and should continue to add to the total before the year is through.
Fantasy baseball players are likely a little confused when to use Pederson. He regularly only starts against righties and it’s clear why. Pederson is hitting only .087/.204/.174 when facing southpaws this season. He has been limited to only 55 plate appearances against them too, but of course we know it is impossible to completely protect him. This will only really affect your thoughts in daily fantasy leagues based on the bullpens he could potentially face. Dave Roberts would probably pinch hit for him in the later innings against those left-handed specialist, which basically means if Pederson starts the numbers say he can do well.
Fantasy baseball playoffs are beginning soon and daily fantasy baseball players have only about a month left to waste hours of time at work researching their lineup. September is a great month for fantasy baseball players to capitalize as many people’s attention has been diluted into studying up on fantasy football instead. Keeping this in mind, when you can find sleepers like Keon Broxton you’ll have an edge.
Broxton, a 26-year-old rookie on the Milwaukee Brewers, has put together a very solid year through 180 plate appearances. He is hitting just .235, but owns a .363 OBP. Broxton gets fantasy baseball points in very unorthodox ways as he gets on base regularly via the walk then has no problems stealing a base. Through 58 games he already has 19 of them this season. Broxton has only been caught once too making him a big, bad threat to run.
Does Keon Broxton belong on your fantasy baseball team?
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I am also satisfied with Broxton’s power. While 6 home runs is nothing amazing, it would translate into the mid-teens during a full year. Broxton’s legs are his fantasy baseball weapon nd as long as he can get on base your team should benefit.
When it comes to Broxton I would pay attention to more than the pitcher he is facing. Research the catchers too because those with weak guns behind the plate should help Broxton in getting eve more points.
Not a long-term guy I see even getting drafted next year, Broxton is a splits fantasy baseball player that with some careful calculations can pay off.