Picking out the first-half Fantasy All-Stars
With the real All-Star teams set to be announced Sunday, let's get ahead of the game with a Fantasy All-Star roster for the first half.
Voting for the All-Star game starters came to a close Thursday night, and rosters for this summer's game in Minnesota will be announced Sunday.
Though we don't know how the rosters will stack up for the actual game, we can still have some fun with picking out the top players in the Fantasy world. I picked my lineup based on not just production so far, but also value based on where a player stood in the preseason; this is why Miguel Cabrera ends up just missing the cut, while a surprise face will be coming out of the bullpen for my team.
If you think that is crazy, let me know in the comments. This can't possibly be a comprehensive list, so I'd love to see who you would pick instead.
Fantasy All-Star roster:
This is a pretty easy call, as Lucroy rates out as the top catcher in both Roto and H2H formats. What makes owning Lucroy even sweeter is his Average Draft Position of just 95 means four catchers went ahead of him. One of the best values in the game.
Honorable Mention: Devin Mesoraco, Reds; Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks; Buster Posey, Giants
This is one of the harder positions to fill, with some of the game's best hitters all over the place. Encarnacion gets the nod for his 24 home runs and 54 RBI since May 1. Though his April swoon probably hurt, he has been arguably the best hitter in baseball since. Encarnacion is likely carrying plenty of Fantasy teams to first-place marks at the halfway point. The fact that he was the sixth first baseman drafted on average only helps his cause.
Honorable Mention: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks; Jose Abreu, White Sox; Victor Martinez, Tigers
There really isn't anyone who can compare. Sure, Altuve doesn't have the power numbers of a Brian Dozier or Ian Kinsler, but he is elite practically everywhere else. He has been a daily force, ranking second in the majors in average (.347, and climbing) and stolen bases (37). For someone who was a 10-round-pick on average, there are few better values.
Honorable Mention: Ian Kinsler, Tigers; Brian Dozier, Twins; Anthony Rendon, Nationals; Robinson Cano, Mariners
3B: Todd Frazier, Reds
It feels wrong not to find a place for Miguel Cabrera on this list, but Frazier has been a revelation after entering the season as an afterthought. The 21st third baseman drafted on average rates out as the top player so far in Roto leagues, and he only falls to third in H2H formats. His rare combination of power (17 home runs), average (.289) and stolen bases (13) at a position full of plodders gives him the slight edge.
Honorable Mention: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers; Josh Donaldson, Athletics; Kyle Seager, Mariners; Adrian Beltre, Rangers
It isn't particularly hard to find room for arguably the major's best hitter this season, especially since Fantasy owners don't lose anything because he plays at Coors Field. Tulowitzki might end up being one of the few players to end up as the top player at his position after starting the season there. He leads the majors in runs scored and batting average, while pacing shortstops with 18 home runs. This was an easy call.
Honorable Mention: Dee Gordon, Dodgers; Alexei Ramirez, White Sox; Starlin Castro, Cubs; Ian Desmond, Nationals
Like you expected anything else? Baseball's best player was also a consensus No. 1 Fantasy pick, and he has more than lived up to that so far. He ranks second among outfielders in RBI and runs scored, as well as third in home runs, and is in the top-30 in both batting average and stolen bases. But this is a pick that doesn't really need explaining.
Stanton is doing a heck of a Trout impersonation, with nearly identical Fantasy numbers across the board. The most important thing for the big slugger has been staying healthy, as he has appeared in every game for the Marlins so far. He has already registered a career-high in stolen bases, while leading the National League in home runs and RBI. Not bad for a fourth-round pick.
This is a stacked position, filed with some of the best sluggers around. McCutchen gets the third nod here for his all-around excellence, continuing the theme with Trout and Stanton. He ranks third in Fantasy scoring among all outfielders, and is a top-25 overall player in Roto scoring as well.
Honorable Mention: Nelson Cruz, Orioles; Carlos Gomez, Brewers; Michael Brantley, Indians; Jose Bautista, Blue Jays; Brandon Moss, Athletics; Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
SP: Felix Hernandez, Mariners
There are a lot of places you could go here with this, including rookie phenom Masahiro Tanaka, who leads the majors in wins and is top-5 in strikeouts and ERA as well. Hernandez has been the best pitcher in baseball, however, ranking at the top in Fantasy scoring. He has been a model of consistency, with 16 quality starts in 18 trips to the mound, and has a career-high strikeout rate. This season may be King Felix's crown jewel.
RP: Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
42 relief pitchers were drafted in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, and none were Francisco Rodriguez. As of Saturday, only one RP ranks above him in total Fantasy scoring, and that guy has a 60-plus inning advantage on him. To say this has been an unexpected revival for the one-time elite closer is an understatement. Rodriguez leads the majors in saves with 27 saves, has 49 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings, and has a 2.34 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Other closers might have been more dominant, but Rodriguez's dependability puts him on top.
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