ALTERNATIVE: 2012 Hitting Tiers in Points Leagues

When looking at batters in Points Leagues, you must immediately recognize a major difference from the Rotisserie format—steals are only minimally important. Therefore, you value players almost like you are punting steals from a Roto sense. Also, with no ratio categories like batting average or OPS, total bases and counting stats become your ambrosia.

For our exercise, we will utilize a simple formula for valuing hitters: one point for each total base, run scored, RBI, stolen base, and walk. We do this for a few reasons. First of all, a simple format lends itself to a broader base of players, so it becomes ideal for fantasy football owners and newer owners. Second, the points format lends itself to those who like to make their own definition of player values. You can endlessly add categories and weightings (positive and negative) to suit your style. With so many different variations, we need to provide a core of analysis which applies to most leagues. You can then utilize our Custom Draft Guide to enter all the specifics of your league's configuration.

Catchers

Here Carlos Santana (C, CLE) emerges fifty points ahead of the rest of the pack with 504 projected points. Rarely do you see this kind of gap. Remember, though, that catchers have a higher injury risk, so understand this is not a guarantee.

Miguel Montero (453)
Matt Witers (450)
Mike Napoli (443)
Alex Avila (442)

Brian McCann (420)
JP Arencibia (419)
Joe Mauer (410)

Yadier Molina (395)

Buster Posey (374)
Kurt Suzuki (371)
Ryan Doumit (364)
Chris Iannetta (362)

Geo Soto (349)
Wilson Ramos (341)
John Buck (336)
Russell Martin (332)
Jarod Saltalamacchia (325)

Nick Hundley (317)
Carlos Ruiz (314)

We would not draft JP Arencibia (C, TOR) so high,  as he has an increased risk of repeat performance with his low 70% ct% and Travis d'Arnaud (C, TOR) breathing down his back for playing time. Interestingly, Yadier Molina (C, STL) forms a tier of his own. Buster Posey (C, SF) has nice upside, but not as much as you think. Before getting hurt in 2011, he sported a .252 xBA with a 71 PX.

First Basemen

Albert Pujols (657)
Prince Fielder (652)

Miguel Cabrera (628)

Joey Votto (599)

Adrian Gonzalez (574)
Mark Teixeira (566)

Paul Konerko (533)
Michael Young (528)

Eric Hosmer (503)
Michael Cuddyer (499)
Mark Reynolds (494)
Paul Goldschmidt (487)
Michael Morse (485)
Carlos Lee (476)

Carlos Pena (450)
Ike Davis (449)
Freddie Freeman (446)
Adam Lind (442)
Lance Berkman (441)

Edwin Encarnacion (418)
Justin Morneau (409)
Gaby Sanchez (401)
Mike Carp (393)
Lucas Duda (391)
James Loney (386)
Adam Dunn (368)
Justin Smoak (367)

In the points format, you can see a clearly distinction between the top first basemen.The top six represent significantly more reliable points than the others. Don't pass them up in the name of scarcity. Michael Cuddyer (OF, COL) could exceed expectations moving from Target to Coors Field. Adam Dunn (1B, CWS) could be a nice rebound candidate with a fresh start in US Cellular Field.

Second Base

Robinson Cano (603)

Ian Kinsler (540)
Ben Zobrist (537)
Dustin Pedroia (531)

Dan Uggla (519)

Brandon Phillips (499)
Rickie Weeks (494)

Howie Kendrick (469)

Danny Espinosa (437)
Neil Walker (437)
Kelly Johnson (428)
Aaron Hill (425)
Omar Infante (417)
Dustin Ackley (411)
Jason Kipnis (408)
Jemile Weeks (403)

Ryan Roberts (385)

Daniel Murphy (369)
Ryan Raburn (367)
Chase Utley (358)

The reliability of Robinson Cano (2B, NYY) and Brandon Phillips (2B, CIN) raise their value even more compared to Rickie Weeks (2B, MIL). Understand the risk you take with the upside of Kelly Johnson (2B, TOR) and Aaron Hill (2B, ARI). Also, use PX to identify which players generate points from their power compared to those generating it with their at-bats.

Shortstops

Troy Tulowitzki (573) 
Jose Reyes (477) 
Alexei Ramirez (460) 
Starlin Castro (456) 
Hanley Ramirez (454) 
Asdrubal Cabrera (450) 
Jimmy Rollins (449) 
Derek Jeter (439) 
Jhonny Peralta (438) 
JJ Hardy (431) 
Elvis Andrus (420) 
Erick Aybar (420) 
Yunel Escobar (419) 
Ian Desmond (401) 
Marco Scutaro (394) 
Alex Gonzalez (381) 
Stephen Drew (380)

Notice that scarcity is not nearly the issue many perceive unless you play in more than a fifteen-team league. The second tier seems plenty deep to allow time to wait and still nab a proven contributor. Hanley Ramirez (SS, MIA) provides upside and multi-position eligibility by the end of April. The later tiers also provide plenty of similar targets, with few offering much upside.

Third Base

Jose Bautista (617)
Evan Longoria (612)

Michael Young (528)

Kevin Youkilis (517)
Ryan Zimmeran (509)
Alex Rodriguez (503)
David Wright (499)
Brett Lawrie (496)
Mark Reynolds (494)

Pablo Sandoval (485)
Adrian Beltre (480)
Aramis Ramirez (477)

Chase Headley (428)
Martin Prado (427)
Edwin Encarnacion (418)
Mike Moustakas (409)

David Freese (385)
Ryan Roberts (385)

Chipper Jones (371)
Daniel Murphy (369)
Scott Rolen (361)

If you don't get a shot at the big two, who would have thought steady Michael Young (1B, TEX) would represent a better point total than the riskier six below him? Beware the huge cliff after Aramis Ramirez (3B, MIL) in leagues with more than twelve teams. The upside of Edwin Encarnacion (1B, TOR) and Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) make them part of that tier.

Outfielders

This list will not include players listed at other positions, as those players will have more value at those positions than in the outfield. 

Ryan Braun (630)

Matt Kemp (606)
Curtis Granderson (600)
Carlos Gonzalez (593)

Giancarlo Stanton (571)
Justin Upton (563)

Matt Holliday (549)
Jacoby Ellsbury (539)
Shane Victorino (536)
Jay Bruce (525)
Hunter Pence (524)

Alex Gordon (512)
Andrew McCutchen (505)
Josh Hamilton (503)
Chris Young (498)
Shin-Soo Choo (493)
Adam Jones (493)
Jayson Werth (493)

BJ Upton (485)
Andre Ethier (478)

Torii Hunter (473)
Nick Swisher (470)
Dexter Fowler (469)
Michael Bourn (467)
Desmond Jennings (467)
Jason Bay (465)
Jeff Francouer (465)

Carl Crawford (456)
Matt Joyce (455)
Colby Rasmus (454)
John Mayberry (451)
Josh Willingham (451)
Peter Bourjos (447)
Nick Markakis (445)
Corey Hart (441)
Logan Morrison (439)
Delmon Young (437)
Austin Jackson (436)
Brett Gardner (435)
Alejandro de Aza (434)
Brennan Boesch (432)

Carlos Beltran (425)
Jason Kubel (424)
Cameron Maybin (423)
Nelson Cruz (421)
Ichiro Suzuki (419)
Luke Scott (416)
Yoenis Cespedes (413)
Jason Heyward (413)

Alex Rios (400)
Melky Cabrera (396)
Alfonso Soriano (396)

Drew Stubbs (387)
Allen Craig (384)
Raul Ibanez (384)
Marlon Byrd (383)

Vernon Wells (368)
Dayan Viciedo (368)
Bryan LaHair (368)
Angel Pagan (364)
JD Martinez (361)
Chris Heisey (360)
Mitch Moreland (357)
Coco Crisp (357)

Notice the dropoff in talent from #20, Andre Ethier (OF, LA) and #21 Torii Hunter (OF, LAA). The dropoff does not result from projected points, but upside. One can easily see a healthy Ethier returning to form while Hunter's BPI's reveal a career in decline. After Nick Swisher (OF, NYY), the next several options lack dependable power.

Corey Hart (OF, MIL) represents a great value play with upside, as we currently discount him due to his knee injury. If he gets a full year's at-bats instead of the 467 currently projected, that represents at least one hundred more points. Similarly, Carlos Beltran (OF, STL) and  Nelson Cruz (OF, TEX) have injuries projected into their totals. You can add a similar amount to them if they remain healthy. Also, you need to add in the points you may receive for the replacement player while they reside on the disabled list when determining their value. That should add about seventy points to their total if they are injured for the projected 150 at-bats.

Allen Craig (OF, STL) and JD Martinez (OF, HOU) present potential upside with a full year of at-bats. Be careful with the projection of Colby Rasmus (OF, TOR), whose performance varied widely in 2011.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.