Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: When to draft key players

The 2007 MLB draft class has combined for 53 All-Star Game appearances and three Cy Young awards, but 10 years later, the group of players is having a collectively wacky and sub-par season.

As we wrap up fantasy baseball mock draft season, we’vehoned in on this year's trends and which strategies will seemingly be used headed into your actual drafts (where money and other crazy things are on the line).

Players have risen and fallen based on injuries and poor performance, amongother things, and I’vebeen there to tell you about them. For the final chapter, I’m going to compare players from Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army and NFBC’s mock draft average draft positions.

With the inability to trade in NFBC leagues, players are seemingly more often at a premium, especially at certain positions and even more so for players that do one thing particularly well. Let’s dive right into it!

GET IT NOW: 2017 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide|Draft Guide preview

Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft ADP

Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM (MDA ADP – 71.91, NFBC ADP – 61.55)

From one site to the other, the difference is pretty significant. deGrom’s arm issues are completely gone, and he’s shown up this spring and dominated like we’ve grown accustomed to him doing. He'sflashed 97-mph heat quite often this spring, which is seemingly why he’s shooting up the draft boards, especially over at NFBC.

Chris Davis, 1B, BAL (MDA ADP – 73.76, NFBC ADP – 82.87)

So, this time around comparing the two sites and how its participants drafted, MDA draftees selected Davis higher than NFBC’s did. It’s crazy how one “bad” year drops you from a second- or third-round grade last season all the way to a sixth- or seventh-rounder the following season.Davis' 40-homer potential makes him a potent option in any league and in any format.

Jean Segura, SS, SEA (MDA ADP – 65.17, NFBC ADP – 54.77)

The Mock Draft Army drafters clearly don’t believe in Segura nearly as much as those on NFBC. After a rock-solid 2016 campaign, a lot of people are expecting a big regression, myself included. But, like I mentioned in the introduction, NFBC doesn’t allow trading, so there is more of a need for specialists like Segura who can swipe up to 50 bases. He needs to prove that he can put together two quality campaigns consecutively before becoming a fantasy staple.

2017 SN RANKINGS:
Catcher|First|Second|Third|Shortstop|Outfield|Starter|Closer

Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN (MDA ADP – 77.94, NFBC ADP – 53.25)

The judge has seen all of the evidence he needs, and NFBC drafters are guilty of reaching for players with a special skill sets. Hamilton went nearly 25 spots earlier in NFBC mocks than he did in the Mock Draft Army. He’s the fastest player in the game, so reaching is warranted in specific situations -- and this is definitely one of them. Drafting Hamilton as high as 53 in MDA is almost criminal, however.

David Price, SP, BOS (MDA ADP – 60.54, NFBC ADP – 77.94)

It’s weird how depending on the person and which site you‘re drafting on ultimately decides how "serious" Price’s injury is. The Mock Draft Army doesn’t find it to be something that will be significant enough to pass on him when the fifth round comes rolling through, but NFBC drafters seem to be waiting for nearly two rounds longer.

MORE: Top 50 prospects| 2017 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide

Aroldis Chapman, RP, NYY (MDA ADP – 61.47,NFBC ADP – 46.57)

With a full season in store as long as he isn’t injured or accused of any other criminal offense, Chapman is the top fantasy reliever on the board, and that was very apparent on NFBC. Chapman had 39 saves in 52 appearances last year and should be ready for another year similar to that.

Yu Darvish, SP, TEX (MDA ADP – 40.63, NFBC ADP – 32.43)

The ADP margin isn’t as great as some of the other players I’ve mentioned, but where pitching is so valuable on NFBC, Darvish was drafted as high as 11th overall. Maybe a few years ago that’s a viable reach, but after all of the injuries I’m not so sure anymore. Darvish pitched in 17 games last season and was good, but not great -- nothing warranting an 11th pick for.

GET IT NOW: 2017 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide|Draft Guide preview

Gary Sanchez, C, NYY (MDA ADP – 57.63, NFBC ADP – 48.65)

Sanchez’s ADP is just one of many examples as to the difference in sites and where people are drafting. Catcher might be the scarcest position there is this season, so people are drafting him higher on NFBC than in the MDA. They went as far as drafting him 16th on NFBC, while nobody took him until 38 at the earliest in MDA. Sanchez’s power is a game changer, especially in a position, like I already mentioned, that flat-out sucks after three or four guys.

Khris Davis, OF, OAK (MDA ADP – 84.07, NFBC ADP – 101.66)

So speed demons and pitchers – both starters and relievers – are drafted with a sense of urgency on NFBC but not somebody with 40-home run potential. Davis has been selected significantly higher in the Mock Draft Army, which clearly put it’s stock in home runs more than NFBC drafters did. If Davis plays 150 games again in 2017, he’ll hit around 40 home runs again.

Wade Davis, RP, CHC (MDA ADP – 102.37, NFBC ADP – 86.93)

Davis’ two ADPs are very similar with Chapman. Davis is more valuable in NFBC where trades aren’t an your disposal, so landing top-flight closers are optimal. Drafting Davis as high as 49 seems crazy, but the constant struggle of NFBC drafting allows you to do things you wouldn’t do elsewhere. Davis should be near the top of the league in save opportunities thanks to the Cubs' winning ways.

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