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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

10 Overrated Fantasy Seasons

As a compliment to our earlier article, we here at REAL BBBB offer you the 10 most overrated fantasy seasons of 2006. These are players who most people think had good to above average seasons, but when the final numbers were added up, really weren't that good at all. People like Jason Varitek, or Brad Lidge aren't what we're looking for here because everyone knows that their seasons were bad. So here goes.

Brad Penny (SP): The 10-2 start Penny had at the All-Star break along with his 2.91 ERA had him as one of the top first-half pitchers. Unfortunately, like most good Orioles teams, he slowly sank to the bottom and completely fizzled in the 2nd half (6.25 ERA!). Overall, the 16 wins are nice, but his high ERA (4.33) and WHIP (1.33) in a NL Pitcher's park really weren't that good . He finished 96th overall and was the 34th best SP finishing behind Beckett, Derek Lowe, Millwood, Wang, and Freddy Garcia.

Adam Dunn (OF): Dunn pulled a reverse-holliday and stunk up August and September including .157/2/5 line from Sept. Although his HR total was right in line with last year, his runs were down (107 v 99), RBI's down (101 v 92) and his AVG (.234)/OPS (.855) were the lowest they had been since '03. Thus, he finished at 122 overall behind players such as Nick Johnson, Overbay, Byrnes, and Mike Cameron.

Todd Helton (1B): If I had been writing this list for the past 3 years, it seems that Helton would have been on it every year. Despite a rejuvinated Rockies offense, Helton suffered declines in every category except RBI (79 v 81) and steals (3 v 3). His average was only .302 and he only scored 94 runs despite batting #2 and #3 for a large majority of the season. His 15 homers were fewer than several light-hitting shortstops (Rollins, Furcal, Ramirez) and he finished 163rd overall. Players he was behind included Adrian Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Joe Crede, Adrian Beltre, and Corey Patterson.

Michael Young (SS): After having a solid 4 category season last year, Young went very high in drafts and justifiably so at a pervceived weak SS position. He finished 2nd in the AL in hits (217) and collected 100 RBI's (103) for the first time ever. However, this was more than balanced out by lower than usual run numbers (114 v 93), HR's (24 v 14), and AVG (.331 v .314). Young went from 8th in the league in runs ('05) to 50th this year ('06). Some of this was due to struggling by his supporting cast (cough cough..Teixeira), but his own lack of power didn't help any. He was only the 10th best SS (Glaus qualified in Yahoo leagues) and 95th overall finished behind Bill Hall, Carlos Guillen, Furcal, Michael Cuddyer, and Gary Matthews, Jr.

Chone Figgins (too many to list): Figgins is another player whose stats were partly affected by the struggling of his lineup, but he also contributed 20 fewer hits to lower his avg (.290 to .267). He was another well sought after commodity on draft day and he did deliver 52 steals, and comparable HR/RBI numbers to last year. But the lower AVG and runs were what hurt him as they both decreased significantly (20 runs, .23 BA pts). Although he as eligibilty at 6 positions, one must remember that he was only the 5th best 2B and only provided above-average numbers in one category.

Juan Pierre (OF): Pierre had a very similar season to Figgins except that he didn't have the benefit of being able to be filled in at almost any spot in your lineup. Pierre was again a one-trick pony getting you 58 steals (good for 2nd best overall) and not much else. He only scored 87 runs, terrible for a leadoff man and 66th overall. Granted this was due in part to the Cubs anemica offense (and Derrek Lee's injuries), but try using that excuse when your team finished 5th in the standings. He was never a great contributor in HR/RBI, so 3/40 was pretty much was most were expecting. While his average did improve 16 pts from last year (.276 v .292), Pierre was nowhere near a precious commodity as his 104th overall ranking (23rd among OF) indicate.

Chris Capuano (SP): Capuano was another player who had a post All-Star Break meltdown to turn a fantastic season into a truly average one. His 5.17 ERA and 1.34 WHIP post ASB, caused his ERA/WHIP to finish at 4.03/1.25 which would seem quite high for a pitcher that tied for the MLB lead in Quality Starts with 25. Capuano did provide excellent K totals (174), and overall his numbers weren't that much different than last year (2 fewer K's, slightly lower ERA, much lower WHP 1.38 v 1.25 and more Complete Games). This just goes to show how fluky win totals are as he dropped from 18 to 11 (including only 1 in the last 2.5 months of the season). Thus, Capuano finished 101st overall behind such other pitchers as Kenny Rogers, Penny, Beckett, Garcia, Millwood, and Pettite.

Edgar Renteria (SS): Renteria was another player who started off the year with a bang, but finished with a whimper (re: Adam Dunn). Although the dropoff wasn't quite as extreme, his overall numbers weren't that good even for a shortstop. The 100 runs were the only category he excelled in as his 14 HR, 70 RBI and 17 Steals were overshadowed by many other players (including several shortstops) and he didn't even hit .300 (.293) despite going into the ASB with a .318 AVG. Althought he might have been a value because he was taken so late in drafts, he finished 136th overall and was only the 12th best SS. He finished behind Bill Hall, Felipe Lopez, Ray Durham, Patterson, and Overbay.

Freddie Sanchez (SS): Freddie Sanchez won a batting title this year and for that he should be congratulated. However, his overall value to fantasy baseball was grossly overshadowed by this title. Sanchez's .344 AVG definitely carried your team in that category, but his 85 runs, 85 RBI's, and 3 steals did little to help you elsewhere. While the 85 RBI and .344 AVG are great for a MI, his 6 HR and 85 Runs were not. There were only 7 players who had a comparable number of at-bats to Sanchez and had fewer HR (Loretta, Vizquel, Pierre, Podsednik, Castillo, Kendall, Taveras). Thus, he was essentially a lead balloon in 2 categories (HR/Steals) which caused him to be ranked 144th overall. While it is nice to have someone with multiple position eligibility that can be plugged in anywhere at a moment's notice, he was no higher than 10th at any of the individual positions (2B, SS, 3B) and finished behind Nomar, Laroche, Dunn, Mike Cameron, and Lopez.

Ryan Zimmerman (3B): Ryan Zimmerman may win NL Rookie of the Year and like Freddie Sanchez, he should be congratulated for that. However, if you won your fantasy league this year, he was probably not the player you were congratulating for it. His 110 RBI's were impressive (especially on a low scoring NL team) and he chipped in 11 steals. But only 20 HRs, a .287 AVG (only .13 above the league average), and 84 runs weren't outstanding overall. Granted, he is a rookie, but Chipper Jones bettered him in 3 out of 5 categories despite playing in 47 fewer games. Zimmerman should have a bright future ahead of him, but his season wasn't all that spectacular as evidenced by the fact that he was 105th overall and only the 12th best 3B. He finished behind people such as Bill Hall, Figgins, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez (both ROY candidates as well), and Rolen.


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