2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Underrated Players You Should Consider Drafting

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Underrated Players You Should Consider Drafting

baseball
Derrick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In fantasy baseball, it is incredibly important to have done as much research as possible prior to your draft. Many times, an owner will find themselves a bit overwhelmed with the speed of the draft and how quickly decisions need to be made. So, being as prepared as possible can be the difference between drafting a championship competitor and drafting a dud of a roster.

There are plenty of MLB players who will go unnoticed in the average fantasy baseball league, and a good amount of lesser-known talent that can help you are passed on due to the fact that the players play on the unpopular teams. If I had a dollar for every time I have seen an Oakland A's or Cleveland Indians player go two rounds later than they should while Yankees and Dodgers were going two rounds earlier than they should, I would be a wealthy man.

The savvy fantasy owner will not fall for the popularity contest strategy, and knows that Edwin Encarnacion is a better first base option than Albert Pujols is currently. Yet when given the chance, the average owner will take Pujols simply because he is a bigger name. Don't be that guy/gal.

Identified in the following slideshow are five underrated players who are not household names, but can help you win a championship. Some are getting respect in fantasy circles, but are still being drafted a bit later than they should be, giving them some added value.

Timothy Downs is a fantasy sports writer at RantSports.com. You add him on Google or follow him on Twitter @Tidow1212.

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5. Jonathan Lucroy

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Lucroy is possibly the most underrated offensive player in the game. In 2013, he hit .280 with 18 HRs and 82 RBIs for the Brew Crew. His average draft position (ADP) is at 104, so those who pass on Buster Posey and the other catchers ahead of Lucroy can pick him up around the 10th round. He is also eligible at the first base position, increasing his value.

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4. Ben Zobrist

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Ben Zobrist is as solid and versatile as they come. He is eligible to play in the outfield, as well as second base and shortstop in fantasy baseball, making him a borderline must-draft player. He won't overwhelm with his statistics, but his aforementioned versatility will keep him in your lineup almost every day. He will be off the board by the ninth round and worth the pick.

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3. Josh Donaldson

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Oakland A's players almost always go unnoticed due to the fact most baseball fans are not very familiar with the team. In 2013, Josh Donaldson had a breakout season, hitting .301 with 24 HRs and 93 RBIs to go with a high .384 OBP. He should be a top-five third base option, although he is ranked as the eighth. Do not be afraid to take him over Ryan Zimmerman.

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2. Starling Marte

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Starling Marte does a bit of everything making him an excellent fantasy baseball option. The speedster hit .280 with 12 HRs and 35 RBIs to go along with 41 stolen bases in 2013. Out of his 143 hits, 26 were doubles and 10 were triples, making him a great option particularly in H2H points leagues. Pirates players are underrated in the same way A's players are, making Marte undervalued by many fantasy owners.

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1. Jason Kipnis

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The average fantasy owner might pass on Jason Kipnis due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with the Cleveland Indians, making his third round ADP (24) seem like a reach. However, you should not make that mistake. Kipnis is an incredibly balanced player who will hit 20 HRs and steal 35 bases. Terry Francona has an underrated team in Cleveland that made the playoffs last season, and they should continue to perform in 2014.

1 of 6

2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Underrated Players You Should Consider Drafting

baseball
Derrick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In fantasy baseball, it is incredibly important to have done as much research as possible prior to your draft. Many times, an owner will find themselves a bit overwhelmed with the speed of the draft and how quickly decisions need to be made. So, being as prepared as possible can be the difference between drafting a championship competitor and drafting a dud of a roster.

There are plenty of MLB players who will go unnoticed in the average fantasy baseball league, and a good amount of lesser-known talent that can help you are passed on due to the fact that the players play on the unpopular teams. If I had a dollar for every time I have seen an Oakland A's or Cleveland Indians player go two rounds later than they should while Yankees and Dodgers were going two rounds earlier than they should, I would be a wealthy man.

The savvy fantasy owner will not fall for the popularity contest strategy, and knows that Edwin Encarnacion is a better first base option than Albert Pujols is currently. Yet when given the chance, the average owner will take Pujols simply because he is a bigger name. Don't be that guy/gal.

Identified in the following slideshow are five underrated players who are not household names, but can help you win a championship. Some are getting respect in fantasy circles, but are still being drafted a bit later than they should be, giving them some added value.

Timothy Downs is a fantasy sports writer at RantSports.com. You add him on Google or follow him on Twitter @Tidow1212.

2 of 6

5. Jonathan Lucroy

baseball
Getty Images

Lucroy is possibly the most underrated offensive player in the game. In 2013, he hit .280 with 18 HRs and 82 RBIs for the Brew Crew. His average draft position (ADP) is at 104, so those who pass on Buster Posey and the other catchers ahead of Lucroy can pick him up around the 10th round. He is also eligible at the first base position, increasing his value.

3 of 6

4. Ben Zobrist

baseball
Getty Images

Ben Zobrist is as solid and versatile as they come. He is eligible to play in the outfield, as well as second base and shortstop in fantasy baseball, making him a borderline must-draft player. He won't overwhelm with his statistics, but his aforementioned versatility will keep him in your lineup almost every day. He will be off the board by the ninth round and worth the pick.

4 of 6

3. Josh Donaldson

baseball
Getty Images

Oakland A's players almost always go unnoticed due to the fact most baseball fans are not very familiar with the team. In 2013, Josh Donaldson had a breakout season, hitting .301 with 24 HRs and 93 RBIs to go with a high .384 OBP. He should be a top-five third base option, although he is ranked as the eighth. Do not be afraid to take him over Ryan Zimmerman.

5 of 6

2. Starling Marte

baseball
Getty Images

Starling Marte does a bit of everything making him an excellent fantasy baseball option. The speedster hit .280 with 12 HRs and 35 RBIs to go along with 41 stolen bases in 2013. Out of his 143 hits, 26 were doubles and 10 were triples, making him a great option particularly in H2H points leagues. Pirates players are underrated in the same way A's players are, making Marte undervalued by many fantasy owners.

6 of 6

1. Jason Kipnis

baseball
Getty Images

The average fantasy owner might pass on Jason Kipnis due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with the Cleveland Indians, making his third round ADP (24) seem like a reach. However, you should not make that mistake. Kipnis is an incredibly balanced player who will hit 20 HRs and steal 35 bases. Terry Francona has an underrated team in Cleveland that made the playoffs last season, and they should continue to perform in 2014.


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