5 Players I’m Removing from My Draft Board by Paul Sporer February 7, 2022 A strategy we are hearing more and more about in the fantasy community is paring down your draft board by not just highlighting your targets, but actively removing players you won’t draft. Sure, everyone has a price you would likely pay, but if you won’t even pay the max pick price on someone, you can safely remove them from your sheet. A lot of this comes down to your team building and how different players fit into it. Do you just take “the value” on someone who fell two rounds past ADP even though it doesn’t fit your team, or do you stick with the plan? And I put value in quotes as it can be a bit of a fugazi because if you aren’t putting together a cohesive squad, what good is this perceived value? In recent years, I have read and listened to fantasy managers discuss this process, so I have started doing it myself. Here are some early round guys that just don’t fit what I am trying to do in 2022: Salvador Perez | C, KC, 35 ADP Last year was awesome but I just can’t pay this price. I don’t even think I’d pay his max pick of 55 at this point. He will remain a power force behind the dish, but even as a high-volume catcher, there is no shot he is logging another 665 PA. The projections are very robust, ranging from 34 to 40 HR, but that seems really aggressive. Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza are the only catchers with multiple 40+ HR seasons and I don’t see Perez joining them. (Edit: 1st version said 30+ HR seasons… pardon the typo. There are several Cs w/2+ 30-HR seasons.) Wander Franco | SS, TBR, 56 ADP This is more about the depth of shortstop than anything else, but also the fact that I don’t want to pay a premium for player with 70 MLB games (admittedly 70 great games with his 127 wRC+) that didn’t feature the most bankable fantasy skills: power and speed. His carrying fantasy tools at present are his AVG and runs, two unheralded categories, but also two volatile ones. I’m not convinced on him being an SB contributor this year, either. The interesting thing is that his projected lines (high-.280s/low-.290s AVG, high-teens HR count, 8-10 SBs, 80ish RBI, and 90ish R) generally justify his ADP, but I just prefer the power-speed players available at the position a lot more. If I don’t already have a shortstop when he is drafted, I am passing and waiting for Bobby Witt Jr. (so it’s not JUST a youth thing with Franco because Witt hasn’t even debuted), Javier Báez, or Jorge Polanco going soon after or even later for the likes of Carlos Correa, Willy Adames, Dansby Swanson, or Luis Urías. This ADP just puts a huge burden on Franco to deliver immediately and be great. Tyler O’Neill | OF, STL, 50 ADP I know, I’ve beaten this drum plenty already, but I still had to include him because he is definitely someone I’m not getting this year. I wrote about it here and discussed it here. It’s interesting to have him on this list right after Franco since O’Neill has the carrying fantasy tools that I generally love with his power and speed, but I am just too afraid of the plate skills making this a profile I just don’t want to pay full price for this year. I could be wrong, and O’Neill is more Javy Baez than the 2017 Domingo Santana/Steven Souza Jr. comps I’ve hinted at (not saying they’re 1:1 in terms of skills, but rather comparing the statistical profiles), but that pick range – low of 36, high of 68 – just doesn’t allow any margin for error and I see a wide range of outcomes for O’Neill. Kevin Gausman | SP, TOR, 71 ADP Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf have their wonderful SMART system that guides their drafts and has led to a ton of success. One of their key tenets coincides with one of my favorites: avoid year 1 of big FA signings. I used to bang this drum in my old SP guides with starters specifically before I was aware of the SMART system so I’m not trying to bite Colton & The Wolfman, I just happened on something that two legends were already doing and they expand it to everyone, not just starting pitchers. Allow a transition year and don’t buy the hype. Gausman is going back to the AL East where he consistently underwhelmed despite the obvious talent and I’m not willing to dive back in until I see something. I hope Gausman is great as he is someone I have been a fan of since the Orioles days, but I can’t pay the premium. He was 18th in my initial SP rankings, but he has been moved down and you will see that on my second run of rankings (coming in the next few weeks). Myles Straw | OF, CLE, 127 ADP See also: Smith, Mallex. I just don’t draft rabbit base stealers. That is probably the one player type I have consistently crossed off my player lists the last few years after buying in on Billy Hamilton with a bit of regularity in the 2014-2018 range. My issue is the colossal hit in power these guys deliver. It’s not that you can’t find a winning build with these players, but they put such a burden on the power output from the rest of your roster and I don’t think it’s cancelled out by the SB upside. You need 22 HR per offensive slot to finish top 50% in the 12-team leagues at the NFBC. Not everyone plays in leagues with an overall component where balance is a must, but even outside of those setups, I still don’t have interest in these rabbits at the draft table. I find them much more useful as in-season acquisitions once you have an idea how much such a speed burst can help while also establishing your power base, though that is limited to trading leagues. There is no trading in NFBC leagues so you either get them at the draft or hope to pluck one off the wire. Dylan Cease | SP, CWS, Who cares… I won’t do it! Hi, Nick Pollack here and I’m here to talk to you ab— NICK!! Ahhh, he caught me. OK, PL7 is live tomorrow, check it outtttt!!! :voice fades as Nick is escorted off the premises: Sorry about that, y’all. Nick didn’t think 44 hours of blasting Cease was enough, so he tried to commandeer my article! For some reason I can’t even delete the part he wrote, either! Anyway, Cease is not on my DND list and you should absolutely check out PitcherList 7.0 going live on February 8th!