Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Shortstop tiers for Draft Day 2014

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Stop me if you've heard this before: Shortstop is the weakest position in Fantasy this year.

Or maybe "shallowest" is the more accurate way to describe it. The average shortstop will still outscore the average catcher since the average catcher gets fewer at-bats, but in terms of keeping pace with the competition, you'll have a harder go of it at shortstop.

The Tiers Approach to Draft Day
Tiers are designed to deliver the most efficient draft possible by using player rankings to reveal the distribution of talent at each position. A new tier begins whenever the next player down in the rankings has a vastly different projected outcome from the one preceding him. Reducing a position to five or six tiers instead of 30 or more individuals gives you a blueprint to follow as your league's draft unfolds. Naturally, the position to target is the one whose active tier is closest to completion. -- SW

Tiers: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP

Print Scott's tiers for Draft Day!

Quite simply, there aren't enough to go around in a 12-team league, whether yours uses an extra middle infield spot or not. The top three tiers at the position -- the ones that might actually give you some kind of advantage in a mixed league -- go only eight deep compared to 13 deep at catcher, 19 deep at first base and 14 deep at second base.

In other words, if you don't fill your shortstop void early, within the first half of the draft, you're either hoping to get lucky with a player who has yet to meet the full extent of his potential or resorting to second-rate production at the position. That approach isn't necessarily doomed, but if the key to success in Fantasy is creating advantages over your competition, you'd rather not begin the year at a disadvantage.

So let's figure out how to avoid that.

The Elite: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez
The Near-Elite: Jean Segura, Jose Reyes, Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist
The Next-Best Things: Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera
The Fallback Options: Brad Miller, Andrelton Simmons, Jed Lowrie, Starlin Castro, J.J. Hardy
The Last Resorts: Asdrubal Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez, Jhonny Peralta, Jimmy Rollins, Erick Aybar, Derek Jeter, Stephen Drew, Chris Owings, Jonathan Villar, Dee Gordon
The Leftovers: Alcides Escobar, Javier Baez, Zack Cozart, Yunel Escobar, Rafael Furcal, Jordy Mercer

One complication at an already complicated position is the fact that so many of the best shortstops have obvious bust potential. Tulowitzki, Ramirez and Reyes are perennial injury risks, and Zobrist began showing signs of decline at age 32 last year. All are worth drafting at a certain point, but if you choose to play it safe in the early rounds and avoid them entirely, the position becomes that much shallower.

Get your Custom Draft Kits!
Download your Draft Kit for Draft Day 2014 that's customized to your specific league scoring system, format and player pool!
Download your Draft Kit today!

Where Ramirez and Tulowitzki -- or Tulowitzki and Ramirez, as I have them -- go off the board is pretty much set in stone: late in the first round or early in the second. So depending on where you pick, you won't even have a shot at them. Both offer legitimate first-round production when they're able to take the field, but because they so infrequently do, I anticipate getting better value from The Near-Elite.

Still, they go where they go for a reason. After a certain point in the first round, usually Pick 8 or 9, no one in the discussion is particularly safe, making gambling at a weaker position not really gambling at all. When saddled with one of those later picks, I usually take the bait and hope for the best, pairing whichever of Tulowitzki and Ramirez lasts to me with a low-risk second-rounder like Prince Fielder or Adam Jones. At least then I know I won't have to reach at the position later on.

Of course, the ideal approach is to land one of safe first-rounders -- the ones who go off the board with the first eight picks -- and then target one of The Near-Elite shortstops three or four rounds later, most likely Segura or Desmond. You'll know the time is right when Reyes goes off the board.

At ages 23 and 28, respectively, Segura and Desmond still have their legs under them, making them the safest of the high-end shortstops. And Segura showed in the first half last year that he may even have the potential for more. If you get one of them in Round 4 or, by some fortuitous turn, Round 5, you've done the one thing most likely to set your team apart on Draft Day, provided you didn't blow the picks leading up to it.

If you're one to avoid players coming off PED suspensions, Cabrera is out of the running for The Next-Best Things, further limiting your options at the position. PEDs or no PEDs, I think he steals bases either way, and considering Andrus doesn't stand out in any other area, the two are almost interchangeable in my mind. Of course, because the tier is so small, it could easily pass you by, making The Fallback Options your more likely target if you miss out on Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Segura and Desmond.

All three of Simmons, Castro and Miller have upside. All three could perform like the players a tier or two ahead of them if everything breaks their way. Drafting one as your starting shortstop is like drafting Jurickson Profar as your starting second baseman, which I don't mind if the value is right. But while Profar often goes in Round 14, these three could begin going as early as Round 8, given the lack of alternatives at the position. Clearly, that's a reach.

And clearly, you don't want to reach, especially if it's for something less than assured. But if you wait at shortstop, all too often that's what you have to do. Hold out any longer, and you might as well punt at the position, taking whatever remains of The Last Resorts in the late rounds.

Again, you can't expect Rollins or Aybar to bring much to the table at this stage of their careers.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Angel Pagan starts rookie-level rehab assignment
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:30 am ET) Giants outfielder Angel Pagan began a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday with the rookie-league Giants. He played the field for five innings and finished 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles.

Pagan has been out since June 14 with a back injury. It remains to be seen how many at-bats he'll need in the minors before rejoining the big-league club.

Jason Heyward could return Saturday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Braves outfieler Jason Heyward told reporters his back is starting to show some signs of improvement, according to MLB.com. He is not expected to play Friday and is targeting a return Saturday against the Padres. 

Addison Reed fans two for save No. 27
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:21 am ET) Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed struck out two and worked his way past a base hit in a scoreless ninth inning for the save Thursday night at home against the Pirates. He has converted 27 of 32 save attempts, with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 44 1/3 innings of relief.

Josh Collmenter settles for a no-decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter was not at his best but somehow managed to escape his outing with a no-decision Thursday at home against the Pirates. The right-hander gave up three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings of a 7-4 victory.

Over his last two starts covering eight innings, Collmenter has allowed nine earned runs. He owns a 4.07 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP over 119 1/3 innings of work. His next start will come Wednesday at home against Kansas City.

Jeff Locke gets blasted by Diamondbacks
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:16 am ET) Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke was blasted by the Diamondbacks on Thursday, dropping to 2-3 on the year. The right-hander permitted six runs -- four earned -- on nine hits and two walks while striking out five over 5 1/3 innings of a 7-4 defeat.

Over his last three starts covering 18 innings, Locke has allowed 13 runs. He owns a 3.77 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 11 starts (74 innings). He will make his next start Wednesday at home against Miami.

Chasen Shreve sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:12 am ET) The Braves optioned left-hander Chasen Shreve down to Triple-A Gwinnett following Thursday's game against the Dodgers. Shreve allowed one run in five innings of relief this season.

Julio Teheran pitches complete game in losing effort
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:10 am ET) Braves pitcher Julio Teheran went the distance but was pegged with a tough-luck loss Thursday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. The right-hander yielded two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out nine over eight innings of a 2-1 defeat.

Over his last three starts covering 21 innings, Teheran has allowed six earned runs. He owns a 2.69 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP over 23 starts (157 1/3 innings). He will make his next start Wednesday in Seattle.

Clayton Kershaw goes the distance in dominant win over Braves
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:06 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw turned in another dominant effort and went the distance on Thursday against the Braves, improving to 13-2 on the year. The left-handed ace allowed one run on nine hits and no walks while striking out nine over nine innings of a 2-1 victory.

Since June 1, Kershaw is 10-0 with a 0.94 ERA and a 104:8 K:BB ratio in 11 starts. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is somehow managing to improve his numbers from last season. He has four complete games and owns a 1.71 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP over 121 1/3 innings of work. His next start will come Tuesday at home against the Angels.

Andrelton Simmons playing through shoulder issue
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:59 am ET) Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons aggravated a right shoulder injury Wednesday, but is expected to play through the pain, MLB.com reports. He is hitting .254 with five homers and 36 RBI in 386 at-bats.

"It's not that bad, but it's definitely a nagging thing," Simmons said. "But it's not to where I can't play. If I need to put a little extra on my throws, I'll feel it a little bit."

David Buchanan likely to take rotation spot of injured Cliff Lee
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:55 am ET) Phillies pitcher David Buchanan will likely replace the spot of injured pitcher Cliff Lee in the rotation, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. Lee was scheduled to start Wednesday at home against Houston, but Buchanan will likely be called up before the game. The right-hander is 5-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 starts this season for the Phillies.

 
 
 
Rankings