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 fourth most valuable Yankee in fantasy baseball:
David Robertson, RP (Auction Value – $13)
Of all the Yankees on the 2014 roster, David Robertson easily has the biggest shoes to fill. After establishing himself as one of — if not the best — setup men in baseball the past three seasons, Robertson looks to make the move to the ninth inning to take over for the greatest closer ever: Mariano Rivera.
Yankee fans and even fantasy owners have been spoiled by Rivera since 1997 as he racked up 652 saves just in the regular season with a 2.21 ERA in 19 seasons. Now Robertson has the unenviable task of following that up, but he looks to be the best man for the job.
Robertson has a career 2.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with a very impressive 11.71 K/9. He’s had no issue setting up, but the ninth inning is a whole different ballgame as many relievers have learned. There are plenty of concerns about his ability to close out games. The best closers keep runners off base, but Robertson has earned the nickname ‘Houdini’ for his ability to get out of jams that he often creates. His career 3.91 BB/9 is below average for pitchers and needs to come down in order to have success in the ninth. That rate was inflated in his earlier years, however, and he had a career-low 2.44 BB/9 last season.
He has also had his issues recording saves in the past. Robertson had a chance to become the closer in 2012 when Rivera went down, but he blew two chances and ceded the job to Rafael Soriano. He has just eight saves to his name, so he obviously has a lot to prove.
But given his track record as a fantastic reliever, fantasy owners have to take the risk and grab Robertson. He is the closer for the Yankees, a team that normally has more save chances than most evidenced by Rivera’s career total. He’s the man for the job right now and fantasy owners are going to have to pay for that. He is going for an average of $13 in auction leagues, which puts him in the second tier of closers in the top 10. As long as he gets the job done he’ll not only get you saves but plenty of strikeouts as well. Putting the concerns aside, he’s a safe pick as your top closer without paying for the elite guys like Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.