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The Unwanted: Top-10 ADP Fallers

Written By: Howard Bender on 3/24/2014 2:15 AM

Looking at ADP risers and fallers in the NFBC is a great way to look at some of the trends from your more hardcore fantasy players, but it doesn’t always prepare you for some of those more-casual leagues where reaches tend to be a lot greater. Hardcore fantasy players usually have the good sense to not overreact to spring numbers or rumors and/or news coming out of either Florida or Arizona. The ADP over at Mock Draft Central often gives us a better look at what the casual fantasy players are thinking – who they like, who they don’t and who is gaining or losing in popularity amongst the masses. Earlier in the night we were taking a look at the top-10 ADP risers at MDC over the last two weeks; the popular kids, if you will. Now we’re going to pay some mind to that “loser” over there in the corner; to those kids who are shunned by the popular kids and are cast aside. With the help of the ADP trend report, we are now going to look at the 10 biggest ADP fallers.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B CHC

Current ADP: 437.38
2 Weeks Ago: 279.18
Trend: -36.20%

Right off the bat, this is where the masses just don’t know. While Bonifacio doesn’t have a full-time job in Chicago, there’s a good chance that either he finds one or, at the least, has value in a part-time role. There’s not a whole lot standing in the way right now as Darwin Barney covers second base and Luis Valbuena handles third. Neither is that strong a player and each, with the help from the right type of slump, could give way sooner than later. Sure, there’s the potential of Javier Baez coming up and playing second base, but that wouldn’t be until May as the club doesn’t want to start his arbitration clock early and he’s still learning a new position. And even then, there could be opportunities at third or even the outfield. His drop in ADP here may be fine for shallow leagues, but any league with some sort of depth, he shouldn’t be dropping this far.

Neftali Feliz, RP TEX

Current ADP: 314.34
2 Weeks Ago: 223.47
Trend: -28.90%

Well what did you expect to happen when you lose the battle for the team’s closer role? Actually, Feliz was trending downwards before the official announcement that Joakim Soria had won the closer’s job because the sensible fantasy owner could see the handwriting on the wall. Soria was having the stronger spring and just seemed better suited for the role in general. Both were coming off of Tommy John surgery, but this being Soria’s second go-around, he was better prepared for the rehab process. Feliz is still a strong talent and will be great in leagues that count holds, but if you’re just looking for a closer, he’s not one to use.

Tyson Ross, SP SD

Current ADP: 326.74
2 Weeks Ago: 242.14
Trend: -25.90%

While he’s slated to be the Padres No. 3 starter this season, it’s been a tough spring for Ross. He’s sporting a 4.63 ERA with a 16:9 K:BB over 19.1 innings. His command looks off and there doesn’t seem to be much life in his pitches right now. Perhaps some has to do with the fact that he is a strong ground-ball pitcher and the supporting defense isn’t all that strong right now. He’s not always playing in front of his starters and some of the youngsters just aren’t ready. His spring time FIP totals aren’t available nor would the casual fantasy player even look for that, so let Ross drop and take a late-round flier on him.

LaTroy Hawkins, RP COL

Current ADP: 341.22
2 Weeks Ago: 274.01
Trend: -19.70%

There’s little respect out there for Hawkins right now despite the fact that he has the closer’s job in Colorado. We all know he’s on borrowed time. Rex Brothers is the heir-apparent and most are just waiting for Hawkins to either implode on the mound or get traded somewhere to be a set-up man. But the fact remains that Hawkins is, in fact, a closer and he will accrue saves early on. Will manager Walt Weiss play the match-ups every so often and use Brothers who is a southpaw? Probably. But those moments aren’t likely to be abundant. Let him fall in your draft and once you reach the final few rounds, you can make your move. Use him as a complementary third closer to build up your saves, but dump him as soon as you see his value diminishing.

Alcides Escobar, SS KC

Current ADP: 297.79
2 Weeks Ago: 239.22
Trend: -19.70%

When Escobar’s batting average and stolen base plummeted last season, it was somewhat apparent that his 2012 numbers were more a product of his high BABIP than anything else. Once that was identified, Escobar was losing his luster in drafts and despite the ability to swipe 20-plus bases at the shortstop position, people were losing interest. There’s also the fact that he’s been dealing with an elbow issue for a fair amount of time and receiving cortisone shots for the pain and inflammation. The masses might be right about this one, so be careful and check his health before drafting.

Adam Jones, OF BAL

Current ADP: 10.91
2 Weeks Ago: 8.78
Trend: -19.50%

The drop within the top-10 overall is fairly negligible and has more to do with personal preferences than it does with Jones’ talent level. Once you get past the top four players, picks five through 12 tend to be a bit all over the place. The players are all the same but the order in which they come off has numerous permutations that we see. People are showing more faith in Ryan Braun these days, they’re softening on their stance that Robinson Cano is going to be a bust in Seattle, CarGo’s injury history, you name it. All of these are affecting ADP up top by a pick or two in either direction. But if you’re drafting in the bottom half of your league, at least you know that there’s a very good chance that Jones slips to you.

Manny Machado, 3B BAL

Current ADP: 197.45
2 Weeks Ago: 162.94
Trend: -17.50%

He’s been battling a knee issue all spring and while we expected it, we just learned that he will definitely be starting the season on the 15-day DL. The reports on him have actually been better lately, but the Orioles are wisely taking a cautious approach with their star third baseman in an effort to ensure that he doesn’t succumb to this particular injury again this season. But even though he’s supposed to be back no later than mid-April, the casual fantasy player sees injury and backs away almost immediately. Maybe it would be different if he were a bigger home run threat, but since he’s only sitting with average power, the masses are starting to steer clear so not to start off the season on the wrong foot…or leg as the case may be.

Carlos Ruiz, C PHI

Current ADP: 355.70
2 Weeks Ago: 293.66
Trend: -17.40%

Sure he can legally use Adderall during the regular season, but he’s still a 35-year old man living in a 82-year old man’s body. Between the knee issues and the plantar fasciitis, Ruiz is more likely to spend some time on the DL than most others in the league. He can be as gritty as they come, but his frailty is keeping him on the lower end of the spectrum for fantasy owners. Even with the ADHD under control, it’s hard to imagine him reaching that double-digit power we saw in 2012, so I can’t blame the masses for leaving him behind. Maybe he makes for an ok option in two-catcher leagues, but he’s much more the complement than the primary.

Gordon Beckham, 2B CHW

Current ADP: 340.19
2 Weeks Ago: 284.35
Trend: -16.40%

His days have been numbered for some time, but the strained oblique he’s been dealing with since March 15 could keep him on the sidelines on Opening Day. He swears he’ll be ready, but GM Rick Hahn seems to think otherwise. Regardless, his stock remains on the decline as few people even believe in him anymore and many are expecting either Marcus Semien or Leury Garcia to step in and poach most of the work. Let him pass by in your draft, even in the deep leagues, as his long-range plans are unclear. You don’t want to grab him as your middle infielder if he’s not going play regularly.

Carl Crawford, OF LAD

Current ADP: 289.52
2 Weeks Ago: 241.96
Trend: -16.40%

Maybe it was the shoulder inflammation raising a red flag or maybe people thought that by staying back in the States to be with his expecting wife would give Scott Van Slyke and Andre Ethier too much of an opportunity to steal away his playing time. Whichever the case may be, Crawford has dropped more than 40 picks in drafts and few people are believing in him these days. Considering where he’s falling to lately, he’s definitely worth a flier even if you don’t believe in him. A hot start for him and his name recognition could land you a favorable trade with someone less-informed than you.

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for nearly two decades on a variety of web sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him directly at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


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