Fantasy Baseball 2013: Ryan Howard Best Value at 1B

Kim Klement – USA Today Sports

 

Finding good value in your fantasy baseball draft can often make the difference between winning and losing your league. This week I will give you the best value for each of the positions. I will start with first base. Here you will find the best value to be Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Howard is getting selected around the 97 to 100 position in fantasy drafts this spring. This is a great value for a player who had more than 30 HRs and 100 RBI in six consecutive years, ending in 2011.

He grounded out to make the last out of the last game of the 2011 NLDS and tore his achilles tendon while running to first base. This injury cost him the first half of the 2012 season. And then he broke his toe late in the season. This year should be a turnaround for Howard. At age 33, we can’t expect him to return to his MVP year of 2006 when he had 58 home runs and 149 RBI. But another 30 HR and 100 RBI year can be in the cards. With speedster Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins getting on base ahead of him in the lineup, he should see a good supply of fastballs and have ample RBI chances. One challenge might be for the Phillies to find someone to protect him batting fifth in the lineup.

Many managers will be scared away by his .219 batting average last year, but don’t let that fool you. Bide your time and let others spend their early picks to get the elite 1Bs. Play your cards right, pick up Howard in the 8th or 9th round, and you will be happy that you did so.


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