Chad Young’s Ottoneu Points C Ranks

With auction season upon us, it’s time to start looking closer at positional rankings and auction targets. Throughout February, I’ll be sharing my positional rankings for Ottoneu, focused on points leagues. We’re starting today with catchers, but first a few notes on my methodology and what to expect.

Other Ottoneu Rankings: 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF|SP

I am focusing on points leagues because those are the most common and most unique Ottoneu format. Plus, the two points formats (FanGraphs Points and SABR Points) use the same scoring for offense, so the non-pitcher rankings are the same for both. If you are playing 4×4, you can pretty much use these rankings. While 4×4 is not weighted the same as the points leagues, the things it values (getting on base, extra-base hits, power) are mostly the same. Both also value early lineup spots (4×4 because of increased opportunities to score runs, points because more PA means more chances to put up points).

If you are playing 5×5, you can use Justin Mason’s or Paul Sporer’s rankings to look as a baseline. Those are for re-draft 5×5, but both add great notes that will help you identify players with upside who may have keeper value. My ranks will also show you were I put top prospects and likely callups, which should help for long-term planning, regardless of scoring system.

To do these rankings, I start with each player’s points per game (P/G) based on Depth Charts projections. I pulled these projections when I started this process, and projections change over time, so some of the numbers you see in the tables may have changed. It’s worth going back to look at a guy’s projections more closely, especially if he has signed a contract, been traded, etc., in the last couple weeks.

While I start with P/G, you’ll notice that the order is not a pure P/G rank. There are a few factors that can move players around:

  1. Playing time – a backup like Willians Astudillo might project for more P/G than most others (and he does!) but if he doesn’t have a clear path to regular playing time, that doesn’t help you much.
  2. Future value – Specifically, future value at this position. If a guy is older, close to retirement, or likely to lose positional eligibility, his value will decrease. If he’s younger and has a lot of upside, he’ll rank higher than he otherwise would.
  3. My own adjustments – Sometimes I just don’t fully agree with the projections. I like Travis d’Arnaud and Austin Nola more than the projections do, relative to other catchers. I like Yan Gomes less. So they move.

It’s also important to note that I am looking just at one position at a time. That doesn’t matter much for C, where there isn’t much additional value for guys being eligible at other spots. But it will matter when we look at 1B. For example, Isiah Kiner-Falefa gets a bonus in the C ranks because he will play far more than any other C this year, but he does not get a bonus for being a SS. Similarly, when we get to 1B, Yasmani Grandal will be ranked as a 1B and the fact that he is also C-eligible won’t be a factor in my ranking.

I am not looking at value vs. cost here. I am not ranking guys higher because they cost less or are easier to add, nor am I ranking them lower because they are too expensive.

Lastly, don’t over-index on ranks within the tiers. If you like d’Arnaud better than Salvador Perez or Christian Vazquez better than Sean Murphy, that’s totally reasonable.

With that, here are my C rankings for Ottoneu points leagues.

Chad Young’s Ottoneu FanGraphs Points Catcher Ranks
Tier Rank Player Eligibility P/G per Depth Charts Notes
$20 1 J.T. Realmuto C 5.25 Easily the class of the position.
$15 2 Will Smith C 4.99 You can quibble with him at 2 vs. 3 for 2021, but the future is on his side.
$15 3 Yasmani Grandal C/1B 4.96 Forget 2020, look for something more like his 2018-19.
$10 4 Willson Contreras C 4.93 See note for Grandal.
$10 5 Salvador Perez C 4.97 Notorious slow finisher didn’t have to finish last year and I suspect he slips back over a full season.
$10 6 Travis d’Arnaud C/1B 4.70 Won’t repeat 2020 but doesn’t have to.
$5 7 Sean Murphy C 4.56 Only 63 MLB games but he has shown he can be a top bat at C.
$5 8 Gary Sanchez C 4.86 Still has big power and could finish much higher than this.
$5 9 Christian Vazquez C/1B 4.28 I doubted the 2019 breakout, and maybe I am still too low on him.
$5 10 Austin Nola C/1B/2B 4.13 Less valuable with SD, as he won’t get those extra starts arond the IF.
$5 11 Daulton Varsho C/OF 4.87 Would be higher if I thought he would maintain that “C” under position.
$5 12 Mitch Garver C 4.85 Not as good as 2019, not as bad as 2020, but now his job is in jeopardy and I suspect he gets less than typical C1 reps.
$5 13 Buster Posey C 4.08 The bat is fading and not sure he holds this job with Bart coming.
$5 14 Adley Rutschman Util 3.74 He’ll take the job this year and hold down your C spot for years to come.
$5 15 Alejandro Kirk C 5.29 The Jays need to find a way to get his bat into the lineup, but the projections love this guy.
$5 16 Joey Bart C 3.91 Just needs the job to move up from here.
$5 17 James McCann C 3.75 2020 was buoyed by an insane line vs. LHP, but he is going to have to do much better agianst RHP.
$1 18 Omar Narvaez C 4.27 If he bounces back to his pre-2020 form, this ranking will look low.
$1 19 Danny Jansen C 4.48 Still believe there is a breakout in this bat, but he’s on borrowed time if Kirk can hit.
$1 20 Ryan Jeffers C 4.42 He’d be higher if his path to playing time were more clear.
$1 21 Carson Kelly C 4.29 Just being a reliable starter at this position helps, but I suspect he bounces back from his 2020.
$1 22 Pedro Severino C 4.18 Solid fantasy C, but his hold on the job is tenuous at best.
$1 23 Sam Huff C 3.94 Talented young C, but needs to claim the job, and new addition Jonah Heim doesn’t help.
$1 24 Luis Campusano C 4.07 Padres showed faith by calling him up last year, then promptly buried him on the depth chart.
$1 25 Jorge Alfaro C 3.46 There’s more here than he has shown, but he may be running out of chances to show it.
$1 26 Francisco Mejia C 3.74 I want to see what Tampa’s player development team has done with him.
$1 27 Tyler Stephenson C 3.85 Best fantasy C in Cincinnati; also not the starter yet.
$1 28 Willians Astudillo C/1B/3B 5.08 I think he could put up top-10 C numbers on a per PA basis, but it might be like 75 PA.
$1 29 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/SS/3B 4.02 Not a great hitter, but will play 25 more games than any other “C.”
$1 30 Mike Zunino C 3.45 Hasn’t panned out as expected, but has a job in a solid lineup.
$1 31 Tom Murphy C 3.79 Big upside if he can return to his former form and take back the job.
$1 32 Wilson Ramos C 4.34 Reliable vet with a lot of downside risk and little long-term value, but he’ll help you this year.
$1 33 Yan Gomes C 4.26 Reliable vet with a lot of downside risk and little long-term value, but he’ll help you (slightly less) this year.
$1 34 Yadier Molina C 3.72 Reliable vet with a lot of downside risk and little long-term value, but he’ll help you (a lot less) this year.
$1 35 Kyle Higashioka C 3.93 If Gary Sanchez doesn’t earn the top ten spot I gave him, Higashioka might jump into the top 20.
$0 36 Max Stassi C 4.03 Injury concerns hold him down for me, but there is upside if he is healthy and has the job.
$0 37 Tucker Barnhart C 3.87 May just be keeping a spot warm.
$0 38 Kurt Suzuki C 4.33 Better than you think the last three years but 37 and unclear playing time.
$0 39 Jacob Stallings C 3.85 I expect him to look like his 2019 self and that’s not that exciting.
$0 40 Zack Collins C/1B 3.97 There’s real talent in the bat, but he’s going to be buried behind Grandal at C, Abreu at 1B, and Vaughn at DH.
$0 41 Chance Sisco C 4.26 If he gets traded, I might be interested, but as it stands he is a backup to a seat warmer.
$0 42 Roberto Perez C 3.43 If you play in a C ERA league, you should draft him, but he won’t do much with the bat.
$0 43 Victor Caratini C/1B 4.14 He was a guy I liked as a 2020 sleeper, but I think he’s a once-every-five-days guy now.
$0 44 Jason Castro C 3.47 Just not enough bat and hitting 9th he’ll lack the PA you need in a points league.
$0 45 Luis Torrens C 3.70 He appears to be the starter for now but I think Murphy outplays him and steals time.
$0 46 Chadwick Tromp C 3.94 Flashed power last year, but stuck between a legend and a future star.
$0 47 Keibert Ruiz C 3.65 Barring a trade, he won’t get to prove he deserves a higher ranking.
$0 48 Stephen Vogt C/OF 4.04 Catchers often breakout late and fade early, and Vogt has done both.
$0 49 Kevin Plawecki C 4.27 Really good in limited time in 2020, but not counting on that .400 BABIP repeating and PA will be limited.
$0 50 Andrew Knizner C 3.99 Yadi’s backup and won’t likely help you much if he plays.
$0 51 Manny Piña C 3.84 Solid last year, but if Narvaez bounces back, Piña won’t do much.
$0 52 Austin Hedges C 3.57 The defensive specialist backing up another defensive specialist.
$0 53 Andrew Knapp C 3.84 Stuck behind the best catcher in baseball.
$0 54 Curt Casali C 3.81 Not a bad hitter but he’s backing up Posey and if Posey goes down, he’s backing up Bart.
$0 55 Austin Barnes C 3.71 Another who is a back up and, if an opportunity opens up, may be leapfrogged.
$0 56 Martin Maldonado C 3.42 Part time role helps elevate his rates, but he isn’t doing much for you.

A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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CC AFCmember
3 years ago

Glad to have the Ottoneu content. Thanks!