Just finished updating my rest-of-season rankings for the first time in 2014. Feels good to get out of preseason mode.
Wait ... you didn't know we had rest-of-season rankings? Shoot, you've been missing out.
Despite the many avenues we have for delivering Fantasy advice, from podcasts to videos to columns to this very blog, we can only address so many players -- usually the flavor-of-the week types. The rest-of-season rankings help fill in the blanks by providing our take on every player in the most efficient way possible.
So how do they work? Well, for example, I just moved Clayton Kershaw out of the top spot at starting pitcher now that we know he'll be limited to light throwing for the next 2-3 weeks, which could result in him missing all of April. As of today, having some idea how long I'll be without him, I would trade him for, say, Justin Verlander in both Head-to-Head and Rotisserie leagues.
Now, when he actually comes back, I'll likely move him up again, perhaps all the way back to the top spot. At that point, he won't be projected to miss any more time than anyone else. Rest-of-season rankings leave the past behind.
So what other changes did I make?
Kendrys Morales drops out of the top 25 at first base. If he hasn't signed yet, I don't see it happening until June, when the signing team would no longer have to forfeit a draft pick. That's a long wait for a so-so power hitter.
Jonathan Schoop and Emilio Bonifacio are both now in mixed-league territory at second base. You'll still need a sizable bench to roster them, but both could continue to rise from there, particularly Bonifacio if he earns everyday at-bats.
Will Venable is now ranked more like the 20-20 player he has the potential to be. I had some concerns about his playing time since he's been a platoon player in the past, but his start against Hyun-Jin Ryu in the opener helped quell them.
Rotation newcomers who I didn't necessarily anticipate winning jobs in spring training are now ranked appropriately, with pitchers like Tanner Roark, Erasmo Ramirez, Jenrry Mejia, Tommy Milone and Taylor Jordan making the biggest jumps. My favorite of that group is Roark, who I moved ahead of trendy sleeper Rick Porcello. Check out what he did in five starts last September, and you'll like him too.
I of course addressed all the movement at relief pitcher, slotting Francisco Rodriguez, Jim Henderson, Jose Valverde and Matt Lindstrom just behind the still unanointed J.J. Hoover. Nate Jones remains ahead of him, though. Like Rex Brothers with LaTroy Hawkins, he's a near given to overtake Lindstrom in time.