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Short Season ADP Fallers: 60 Games Changes Everything

Following up Chris’s ADP Risers entry, here I’ll be analyzing the ADP fallers. I’ll be using the same NFBC ADP data. We are going with May 1 as our cutoff date for the new ADP. When I post the ADP data next to the player name, it’s the pre-May 1 ADP followed by the post-May 1 ADP and the difference.

There were a couple of interesting trends I noticed when doing this research. One is that catchers as a whole seem to be falling. Will Smith and Yasmani Grandal saw notable drops, in particular. Will Smith could see reduced playing time if the Dodgers decide to utilize Austin Barnes’ defensive ability more often in the short season. Yasmani Grandal shouldn’t be affected much by James McCann or Zack Collins, so I’m not sure why he’s dropping. He isn’t going to get a lot of extra plate appearances at first base or DH, but he’ll still be one of the best options at the position.

Also among the ADP fallers were a lot of the closer handcuffs. Spec pics such as Emilio Pagan or James Karinchak aren’t really worth drafting in most leagues with just 60 games. Conversely, the closers with the jobs heading into the season are getting bumped up – some dramatically. Adjust your boards accordingly.

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ADP Fallers Since May 1st

Aaron Judge – 42.28/61.90 (-19.62)

No surprise here as Judge’s timeline since May 1st has been bleak. His rib injury has had him sidelined this entire time, and we still don’t know if he’ll be ready to go by the end of July. In a short season, we all know that he could return first-round value. If he’s going to do that, however, he’s going to have to be healthy. His ADP might begin to rise again if we creep towards the end of July and get a positive prognosis on his availability. Until then, personally, I wouldn’t want to deal with the headache of wondering if my fifth-round pick is going to miss a chunk of an already very short season.

Shohei Ohtani – 113.76/131.81 (-18.05)

This one is more surprising. Whereas Judge is a huge question mark, we know Ohtani is going to be available as a two-way player immediately. Coming off Tommy John surgery, he’ll both DH and take the mound once per week as well. His ADP should still move around depending on your league settings, though. He’s going to be much more valuable if you have daily moves and can utilize him as both a hitter and a pitcher.

He has shown that he can be a high-end five-category bat as well as an elite pitcher. You aren’t going to get many innings out of him though, and he probably won’t be in the lineup the day before and after he pitches (and obviously not on the day he’s pitching, either). If you have weekly moves, it’s going to be maddening (Maddon-ing?) trying to figure out when and where to deploy him. If Joe Maddon gives a more optimistic quote on his usage before the season I might be more interested, but right now he’s looking like a headache I’d still rather avoid at 131.81.

Kyle Tucker – 159.05/180 (-20.95)

The Houston Cheaters Astros come into 2020 with another stacked roster. That works against Kyle Tucker, the high-end prospect with five-category upside many are still drooling over. Michael Brantley and George Springer have two of the outfield positions locked up, and Josh Reddick is still kicking around, doing Josh Reddick things. With Yordan Alvarez entrenched at DH and Yuli Gurriel manning first, there isn’t a lot of room at Hotel Astros-fornia for Tucker.

Personally, I don’t see Reddick as a giant roadblock. However, Tucker has underwhelmed at the MLB level and has been lackadaisical at times. The management shift in Houston makes it more likely that you get a handful of steals out of Tucker even if he’s platooning with Reddick, so that helps. Yet, again, I don’t really want to deal with a playing time question mark this big with only 60 games on the docket. We will need to maximize plate appearances to cash in on the offensive categories.

Yasiel Puig – 165.88/198.48 (-32.6)

This one is all about Puig remaining unsigned. Now that the season is a full-go, it’s only a matter of time before a franchise loses an outfielder either to injury or to COVID concerns. He’s been rumored to be headed to the Giants or Rockies, which could not be much more disparate landing spots for his fantasy value. He is a filthy steal around pick 200 if he lands a full-time job, no matter where it is. There is the risk that you get a goose egg from him if he doesn’t sign, of course. So, if I’m drafting on July 22 and he’s still unsigned I am probably looking elsewhere.

Caleb Smith – 226.77/250.62 (-23.85)

I can’t tell you why Caleb Smith is among the ADP Fallers at this point in the offseason. Perhaps the market just isn’t convinced that he was worthy of the earlier ADP. He wouldn’t be if you were drafting based on his 2019 second-half 5.42 ERA or Steamer projected 4.79 ERA. Neither of those factor in the hip injury that bothered him throughout the second half of 2019, however. He was having a huge first half (3.50 ERA, 11 K/9, 2.63 BB/9) when he was healthy. If he’s healthy and can get back to anything close to that, he will turn a huge profit from this ADP. He’s not without risk, but nobody is at this point in your draft.

Jo Adell – 231.08/292.52 (-61.44)

I wasn’t too keen on Adell’s ADP beforehand. At a cost that approaches 300, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the pick to draft a guy who might not get much (or any) playing time in 2020. A prospect who was anticipated to be called up around midseason beforehand, he might not get the chance at all anymore. The Angels might want to get him some at-bats to keep him sharp, but it’s a longshot at this point. You might be better off drafting depth rather than using a spot on a total stash, but that depends on your league format to an extent.

Luis Arraez – 244.65/285.33 (-40.68)

The massive drop for Arraez surprised me at first. The more I think about it though, the more I’m on board with the drop. There are a lot of question marks here. Namely, his spot in the batting order. Our friends at Roster Resource have Arraez batting seventh in that lineup. Rocco Baldelli switches up his lineup pretty much every day, so he’ll move around, but given the Twins abundance of power bats, he isn’t likely to hit in the upper half of that lineup too often.

There is also the question of just what he’ll give you statistically. He had just four homers and two steals over 92 games in 2019 and nothing about him makes it seem like he’ll improve on those numbers in a 60-game 2020. He’s pure late-round batting average, one of just six players (Jonathan Daza doesn’t count) Steamer projects for a .300+ average.

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If you’ve drafted a lot of batting average variance early on, Arraez could be beneficial. Otherwise, he isn’t going to help you out much, especially in a shallow league.

Miguel Andujar – 253.54/275.05 (-21.51)

Coming off shoulder surgery that cost Andujar basically all of 2019, I would have thought his ADP would be rising at this point. He is likely stuck in some sort of platoon if the Yankees offense is at full health, but that isn’t likely to be the case. The aforementioned Aaron Judge might not be ready for the season, and the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks have been known to miss a game or two. Andujar is healthy and ready to go and I’d consider him a bargain at this price point.

Willy Adames – 300.79/358.52 (-57.73)

While Willy isn’t the most exciting fantasy player, his massive drop is puzzling. Perhaps it’s the depth at the position. Perhaps some think top prospect Wander Franco is going to show up and steal his job right away. That isn’t going to happen. Adames improved over the second half and is still just 24, playing 152 games with very good defense for the Rays in 2019. He’s not much of an upside play, but this new ADP is incredibly low.

Are you buying into any of these ADP fallers? Let us know in the comments below.

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