The popularity of fantasy baseball is growing every year. Whether you are a fantasy baseball veteran in multiple leagues each season, someone who plays casually or completely new to the game, there is a lot to know before creating your fantasy squad.
The New York Yankees often boast plenty of fantasy options, and this year is no different after some huge additions this winter. You can look at a player’s value on the field and how they help the Yankees a certain way, but should take a different approach when analyzing their fantasy value.
Fantasy players should take into account the size of their league, position eligibility, league scoring settings, position scarcity, injury history, playing time, ballpark and many other factors when determining whether a player is a prudent pick and when (or how much to spend) to draft them. As always, keep in mind who you are drafting with. If you are in a league with a ton of Yankee fans, you’re probably going to have to overpay for Yankee players.
When taking a look at the top Yankees, there are a few stark differences in fantasy values with some. A few years ago, guys like C.C. Sabathia and Carlos Beltran were some of the first few players taken in drafts. Now the two veterans can be had for cheaper, but can still provide plenty of value. Some players are more valuable than they ever have been thanks to new roles on the team, and some are making their debuts on the fantasy scene.
Over the next two weeks we’ll take a look at the top 10 most valuable Yankees in fantasy baseball. Counting down from 10 to 1, we’ll take an in-depth look at each player, what they can provide this year and when you should add them to your team.
We continue our list with the ninth most valuable Yankee in fantasy baseball:
Mark Teixeira, 1B (Auction Price – $2)
For the past decade, Teixeira was one of the top-hitting first basemen in the game and one of the first drafted in fantasy leagues at his position. He came into last year with 338 home runs and 1,101 RBI in 10 seasons and at 32 was still one of the best power hitters in the game. Then came the World Baseball Classic. In fact, the WBC hadn’t even started yet and Tex was simply hitting from a tee when he suffered a strained right wrist. It didn’t seem like a huge deal and many thought he’d simply miss the WBC and maybe a week or so of the season. Because of that, Tex was still drafted early in most fantasy leagues.
Unfortunately, it was worse than expected. He tried to rush it and returned on May 31. He even looked good for a short stretch with three home runs and eight RBI in a four-game span. Then he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn…and then suddenly, he was gone again. The wrist injury was re-aggravated and on June 26 it was announced that he was done for the year.
Now about eight months later there are still questions about his availability for the start of the season. Because of his age — he’ll be 34 in April — and injury concerns, Tex is a forgotten man in fantasy drafts. In early mock auction drafts he is going for around $2 and he’s a late-round pick in snake drafts.
While he’s no longer a sure thing and his low value is pretty justified, there’s still a lot to like about adding Tex to your fantasy team for such a cheap price.
When drafting him, you can expect a drain to your batting average. His average has been in a steady decline since joining the Yankees, and he’s a .250 hitter at best at this point in his career. Gone are the days of .300 averages for Tex. In fact, he hasn’t even sniffed .260 since his first season with the Yankees.
But before the wrist injury, Tex could still mash. He hit 24 home runs in just 123 games in 2012 and had 111 home runs in three previous seasons with the Yankees. With a revamped lineup,Tex should also have decent protection and plenty of RBI chances.
He himself has said his wrist is still a little bit tight, but that shouldn’t be too shocking given the fact that he’s still months removed from surgery and he was told it could be for up to a year afterwards. Nonetheless, he appears confident he’ll be the same player once he returns.
There are still a lot of questions and he has to make it through Spring Training. But if he does and stays healthy through the year, you’ll get amazing value for your minimal investment. If the issues flare up again, then you just forget about the small commitment you made to him and move on to another in what is a deep pool of first basemen this season. He is one of the better low risk, low reward options out there.