Red Sox players to target, avoid in fantasy baseball drafts
By Sean Penney
These players seem unlikely to live up to their draft day price.
Craig Kimbrel, RP
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The fire-breathing closer at the back end of Boston’s bullpen will be fine, so the bust label is more about my philosophy of not paying for saves. Closers really only help much in one category and there are easily over a dozen options that could net 30+ saves. A lack of innings minimizes their impact on ERA and WHIP outside of the few elite relievers, while Kimbrel may not even still be at that level of dominance in those categories. His strikeout rate remains elite, but even a mediocre starter will pile up more total strikeouts in head-to-head leagues (push Kimbrel up a bit in roto leagues with an innings cap, where K/9 matters more and loading up on relievers is a viable strategy). It’s a volatile role, so injuries and performance issues always pave the way for saves to be found on the waiver wire during the season.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
This is a case of name value resulting in a player being drafted well ahead of where they should be. Pedroia bounced back in 2016 following a couple of injury plagued seasons, but counting on him as your second baseman means expecting the 33 year old to stay healthy again. If he plays 150+ games again this year he’ll remain among the top second baseman in baseball, but he’s far more valuable in reality than fantasy. Expect him to hit over .300 with tons of runs scored, but not much else. You can’t count on double-digit homers and he no longer steals many bases. That leaves him as a borderline top-10 option who will likely be viewed higher based on his reputation.