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Beating Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Outfield Projections

CraveOnline helps you find the flaws of Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings — this time, finding all the outfielders that we think are mis-ranked.

Beating The Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Outfield Projections

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Take part in enough mock drafts in Yahoo and you’ll notice an interesting trend. You’ll want to skip the guys that are available at the “top” and start scrolling further and further down. At the same time, ‘bots’ controlled by Yahoo will take guys you see no value in.

While your real drafts won’t have bots drafting (if it’s an active league), you can count on some of your opponents drafting guys simply because Yahoo ranks them high or because they are relying on Average Draft Position, which is heavily impacted by the pre-rankings.

If you’re a smarter fantasy player, then you’ll trust other rankings and your own personal list. And if you’re reading me on CraveOnline then obviously you’re an uber-smartie.

This week I’ll be looking at great values based on rankings from sites aside from Yahoo that will help you take advantage of Yahoo's ADP.

Yesterday, we ran you through some of the infield anomalies.  Today we look at outfielders:

 

Josh Reddick, RF, Oakland A's Oakland Athletics

Yahoo ADP – 204
Yahoo Rank – 287
ESPN Rank – 182
CBS Sports – 136
ZiPS/Fangraphs – 137
SB Nation – 34 (OF only)


Reddick hit 32 home runs last year to go along with 85 runs and 85 RBIs. His only downside is a .242 batting average. ZiPs and Bill James have him projected between 22 to 30 HRs again with his runs and RBIs decreasing. That still puts him in line to be a great 3rd or 4th outfielder. While Yahoo draftees are taking him in the 20th, everyone else sees value in him going at least 3 rounds earlier. He is like mini-Hulk all clad in green providing that sweet, sweet power.

 

Alex Gordon, LF, Kansas City RoyalsKansas City Royals

Yahoo ADP – 103
Yahoo Rank – 92
ESPN Rank – 85
CBS Sports – 75
ZiPS/Fangraphs – 39
SB Nation – 23 (OF only)


Maybe people forget about Alex Gordon since he is lost in Kansas City; that is no excuse for anyone playing fantasy baseball. Alex Gordon is an across the board player. Last year, he hit .294, had 92 runs, 76 RBI and even contributed 14 HRs. Bill James is projecting him to repeat his numbers. Yahoo is taking him 2.5 rounds after ESPN and other projectors rank him.

Facts are facts, and Gordon is a stud. If he played in New York, they would already being building his bronze statue under the Empire State Building. Instead, the plains of Missouri will have to suffice.

 

Michael Bourn, CF, Cleveland IndiansCleveland Indians

Yahoo ADP – 87
Yahoo Rank – 83
ESPN Rank – 59
CBS Sports – 84
ZiPS/Fangraphs – 31
SB Nation – 20 (OF only)


CBS was more in line with Yahoo with Bourn, which makes this a bit less than an outlier. However, a 30 spot difference between ESPN and Yahoo is rather significant. With Alex Rios and Desmond Jennings being taken a couple picks before, Bourn becomes a question of how much you need the steals. If you’ve already gone power hungry or pitcher heavy in your first 6 or 7 picks then Bourn will be a steal (pun intended) with his projected 45-50 swipes.

 

Austin Jackson, CF, Detroit TigersDetroit Tigers

Yahoo ADP – 98
Yahoo Rank – 91
ESPN Rank – 63
CBS Sports – 134
ZiPS/Fangraphs – 41
SB Nation – 25 (OF only)


ESPN has Austin Jackson going a full 3.5 rounds earlier than Yahoo’s average! For good reason. Jackson is like a fourth place beauty pagent contestant. He isn’t the most beautiful of the bunch but he brings enough of everything to please the judges. He’ll hit near .300, 100 runs, near 65 RBIs and approach 20 stolen bases.

Of course, all of this goes out the window if you believe Yahoo is better at rankings than all of the other sites that I’ve listed. But, you’ll notice there is more consensus with non-Yahoo sites. Treat Yahoo as the outlier and take advantage.

Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch and at www.facebookcom/craveonlinesports.com.

Photo Credit: Getty