FANTASY PLAYS: Depth at second base means draft options

Second base is a deep position in fantasy baseball this season. Like most positions it’s loaded at the top before the value drops, but when it comes to selecting your middle infielder in the later rounds of your draft, you are much more likely to take a second baseman than a shortstop.

Positional flexibility is always a bonus when it comes to selecting a player and several 2B are likely to qualify at other positions. You will need to check league rules to discover how many games a player either needs to play at a certain position this season or last year to qualify at a different position.

When it comes to a player that is eligible at multiple positions, this doesn’t mean that you should move that player drastically up your draft board, but you can move him up slightly and at the very least use this flexibility as a tiebreaker between him and another player. Jose Ramirez qualifies at third base, Paul DeJong at SS, Marwin Gonzalez at just about every other position other than catcher. Ian Happ qualifies in the outfield, Javier Baez at SS, Brandon Drury and Neil Walker at 3B to name a few.

Forget about Jose Altuve being at the top of everyone’s 2B rankings, he’s being drafted at no worse than second overall in an overwhelming majority of leagues. Yes, he is that good. Not only does Altuve lead what may be the best offense in Major League Baseball, but he is one of the few hitters that covers all five fantasy categories. It used to be that everyone was drafting Altuve because of his ability to hit for a high average, stolen base ability, and the 100-plus runs he would score each season, but then he had back to back seasons with 24 HRs. We may not be able to ask for much more from Altuve.

The Mariners acquired Dee Gordon as the Marlins were busy trading away every asset this offseason. Gordon will start out at 2B but will eventually be OF-eligible. Where you should draft him depends upon your strategy. If you want to lock up a top 3 position in steals, then you likely have to grab him in the third round and certainly no later than the fourth. Do you want to spend a top pick on essentially a two-category player?.

Daniel Murphy could end up being a boom or bust player this season. If healthy, he would likely be drafted on average in the third round, but a knee injury has his status for the beginning of the season in doubt. He could be ready for opening day or he could be out until May.

The depth at the position means you don’t have to reach or gamble. If you have some hesitation about a certain 2B when it’s your turn to draft, then wait, you might be able to get that player or someone extremely similar with your next pick.

TOP 20 SECOND BASEMEN

1.Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

2.Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins

3.Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

4.Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

5.Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners

6.DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies

7.Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles

8.Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals

9.Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals

10.Marwin Gonzalez, Houston Astros

11.Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

12.Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs

13.Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers

14.Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

15.Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels

16.Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins

17.Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians

18.Jonathan Villar, Milwaukee Brewers

19.Brandon Drury, New York Yankees

20.Neil Walker, New York Yankees

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com

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