Second base has long been acknowledged as one of the weaker positions in Fantasy. It certainly hasn't been top-heavy. Especially now that Robinson Cano isn't in peak form, there is no must-have first rounder at the position. Then once the top performers have come off the board, owners haven't typically been eager to go after the middle tiers of second basemen.
That said, after the likes of Cano, Jose Altuve and Brian Dozier were taken in 2015 drafts, it was only a few rounds before owners typically started to take a shot on players like Dee Gordon, Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia. A year later, Gordon should be drafted among the elites and Anthony Rendon and Rougned Odor could be in their company as well, but what about after that?
There is reason to wait on second base if you miss out on the top six, and it could pay to wait a long, long time. It's not that veterans like Kinsler, Pedroia, Ben Zobrist and Jason Kipnis did anything to separate themselves further from the elite. They just have a bigger cohort now.
Unlike shortstop, second base isn't laden with big-name prospects. The deepening of the second base pool has occurred mostly through the emergence of previously overlooked players. Last season, DJ LeMahieu went extreme in his opposite-field tendencies and boosted his batting average and stolen base total. Logan Forsythe and Joe Panik improved their plate discipline and found more power. Daniel Murphy led the National League in contact rate and had a power spurt of his own
Jonathan Schoop sent his batting average and Isolated Power soaring. Cesar Hernandez made a name for himself in the latter part of the season, batting .289 with 17 steals in his last 76 games. Cory Spangenberg wasn't as much of a speed threat, but he batted .301 in his final 63 games.
That's a hefty list right there, and when you add Kolten Wong and Devon Travis, who have yet to fulfill their promise, and Brandon Phillips, who had a resurgent season at age 34, you can see how second base got crowded with mid-range talent in a hurry. It's practically a given that some of these players will regress in 2016, and all are riskier than established Fantasy staples like Kinsler and Pedroia. Knowing that there are several fallback options with upside might make you look at those familiar faces a little differently when you're choosing between them and a player who you know won't make it back to you in the following round.
In a perfect world, I would have Altuve or Gordon on all of my teams without having to sacrifice any of my other positions. But in the Fantasy world that we actually inhabit, I would be perfectly happy to call LeMahieu, Forsythe, Travis or any number of less-popular players my second baseman.