How to Win Your Fantasy Baseball League Without Drafting a Catcher
You can build a fantasy baseball roster any number of ways - but can you be successful using a method that requires you to leave a starting spot blank for the entirety of the draft?
Deciding to go without a catcher, at least for the start of the season, is a bold strategy, but one that could pay significant dividends for a savvy drafter. Not only does it allow you to better round out the rest of your roster, but the volatility at the position means you're likely to find at least a serviceable option on the waiver wire.
Consider the top 10 catcher options in order of highest average draft position, along with the four non-catchers ranked directly after them (ADP provided by FantasyPros in brackets):
- Stephen Vogt (177) and Devin Mesoraco (178): Jhonny Peralta, Mark Trumbo, Ender Inciarte, Alex Gordon, Dexter Fowler
In almost every case, there's a better player available than the catcher you may be considering in your draft slot - at least where the top-10 mixed league options are concerned. Posey is good, but would you rather have him over multi-category studs like Marte or Blackmon?
Catchers provide the most limited fantasy benefit of any offensive position; few can steal more than five bases, and many can't hit for average. Schwarber is the only one projected to hit more than 25 home runs, and he's a decent bet to bat below .230 with close to 150+ strikeouts.
That all said, if you decided to fade a catcher at the draft, here are some steps you should follow:
- Don't give in to temptation. You might see a catcher drop a few spots relative to his ADP and consider picking him. But unless that catcher is clearly the best player available, you should opt for someone else.
- Use your last few picks on high-risk, high-reward players. If they hit, you're in terrific position. If they don't, you'll have an easy decision to make on which player to cut when it's time to add a catcher.
- Don't make a panic add - particularly if you have a high waiver priority. Having a gaping hole in your lineup may be unsettling, but remember that you drafted that way for a reason. Give your roster time to produce.
- Be open to streaming catchers. The position is rife with injuries, which opens the door for backups and prospects to get enough playing time - even in a short window - to be worth rostering.