Fantasy Baseball Players To Avoid In MLB Fantasy Drafts: 2021 Fantasy Baseball Busts

Fantasy Baseball Players To Avoid: The Game Day asked some of its fantasy baseball writers to answer some of the biggest fantasy baseball questions ahead of the 2021 season. Read their submissions for their biggest 2021 fantasy baseball bust.



Who’s the biggest 2021 bust you’re avoiding in your fantasy baseball drafts?

FRANK AMMIRANTE: I’m totally out on J.T. Realmuto. While I still consider him to be the top fantasy catcher, his price is simply way too high, as he’s currently being drafted in the Top 50 in NFBC leagues. This is a player who will see fewer plate appearances due to the absence of the universal DH.

He’s also dealing with a broken thumb, which could keep him out of the lineup on Opening Day or suppress his power production. There are simply too many talented hitters and pitchers to take Realmuto at his current draft cost. For that reason, I’m out.


JUAN CARLOS BLANCO: This may be a bit of a random name, but Marcus Semien would be a good example of a player I’m good with passing on altogether. His 33-homer campaign two seasons ago seems like a complete outlier, considering the veteran hit between 10 and 15 round-trippers in four of the five prior campaigns. He slumped to a .223/.305/.374 slash in 2020 and has slugged under .400 in three of the past four seasons as well.

He’ll arguably enjoy more protection in the lineup in Toronto than in Oakland, but I still don’t see him offering anything that would come close being considered indispensable production.


KEV MAHSEREJIAN: Stephen Strasburg. No thank you, anyone else can have him. Strasburg is coming off of a minimally precedented surgery for pitchers to correct his carpal tunnel.

While the general success rate for recovery is high, the last pitcher to get this surgery was Jerad Eickhoff who obviously was not close to the talent of Strasburg but did struggle mightily upon return. This is just too much risk in the top 100, hell top 200 for a historically injury-prone starter in his mid-30’s. Pass.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg could be a fantasy baseball option to avoid in your upcoming draft. (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)


JOSH SHEPARDSON: I’m all out on Valdimir Guerrero Jr. I was already passing on him when his average draft position (ADP) was 55.8 on February 15, and I’m further off of him with an ADP of 50.2 as of March 9, according to the ADP consensus at FantasyPros. Vladito has to break out in full to return a modest profit at his ADP. To put things in greater perspective,

Anthony Rendon has an ADP of 31.6, and he hit .310/.397/.557 with 67 homers, 234 runs, 249 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 1,475 plate appearances since 2018, according to FanGraphs. Those totals amount to per-600 plate appearance averages of 27.25 homers, 95.19 runs, 101.29 RBIs and 2.85 stolen bases with a .310 batting average. I don’t believe he’ll sniff those totals, and he belongs in the next tier of third basemen.


TAYLOR TARTER: I don’t think Eloy Jimenez will be a top 35 player and that’s where he is being drafted. At that value, I’m going to pass. The upside is real, but so is the 25 percent strikeout rate, a 50 percent ground ball rate and a 40 percent chase rate.  He is not a disciplined hitter, and that may come with age and experience, but those are metrics I do not like.

I also worry that the HR rate isn’t sustainable. His HR/FB rate over the last two seasons has averaged 28 percent.  Most top power hitters average closer to 20%, so I think you’re looking at a 25-30 home run hitter rather than the 35 home run hitter in a lot of projections. Give me Marcell Ozuna, Starling Marte and George Springer, who are all going after him in drafts.


A lot of these 2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips apply to in-season play, too. Use this insight to create the best daily fantasy baseball lineups and picks for the 2021 MLB season.

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