2024 Fantasy Baseball: The most overrated players in Rounds 1-10 of drafts

One of the joys of fantasy analysis is finding a hidden gem, either through statistical analysis or via the eyeball test. Then comes the hype train that follows with plenty of positive spin (the other kind of spin rate).

But there is the other end of the spectrum. The fades. The downgrades. Yes, even the use of the O word: overrated. Earlier in this three-part series highlighting players for each of Rounds 1-10 using Yahoo ADP, we waded into the safe waters of the players who are the most reliable. Then it was time to give the underrated players a look, making recommendations for those being drafted later than they should be.

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Now, it's time to peruse the aisle of the store with the overpriced items. These are the players whose ADP might be a tad high — in some cases, very high. Or it just could be that these players are going in the range of the draft where others might be more valuable.

Some might look at this feature and wonder why so many pitchers are in here. Well, Andy Behrens isn't the only fantasy analyst who has strong feelings about taking pitchers in the early rounds. Pitchers outside of the small number of truly greats are quite unreliable. That was an attempt to be nice, as those who toe the rubber are still very important to fantasy baseball.

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

This feature will also take into account players recovering from or dealing with injuries, yet whose ADP has not dropped to match the risk that fantasy managers must take in selecting them.

Round 1: Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees (ADP: 8.8)

This one is no fun, because watching Judge hit high and long fly balls into the bleachers at Yankee Stadium is supposed to be one of the joys of following baseball. But there is an unsettling feeling in Gotham, as Judge already has talked about having to do long-term maintenance for a toe that was injured in a collision with a bullpen gate that knocked him out from June 4 to July 28 last year. Plus, he’s been slowed by an abdominal injury that made him sit during spring training.

For him to pay off a first-round ADP, Judge would have to go into the season as a lock to play at least 140 games. With two injuries to maintain/rehab before Opening Day, Judge’s teammate Juan Soto a few picks later could be a more reliable pick.

Round 2: Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox (ADP: 22.4)

Let’s do a quick comparison:

  • Player A hit 60 home runs with 188 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .282 average the past two seasons.

  • Player B hit 56 home runs with 196 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .279 average, also over the past two seasons.

Player A is Devers, while Player B is Nolan Arenado, who has an ADP of 79.0 that’s five rounds later. Devers is a very good player, but in this range, fantasy managers can invest in Pete Alonso or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at the thinner first base position, or draft a potential 30-30 shortstop in Francisco Lindor.

Many drafts have a Red Sox fan. Let them take Devers at this ADP.

Round 3: Corey Seager, SS, Texas Rangers (ADP: 31.6)

Seager is deservedly one of two position players to win multiple World Series MVP honors, so there might be some postseason juice to this ADP. More recent was Jan. 30 sports hernia surgery that has kept Seager from swinging a bat or any rigorous spring training baseball activities. Our amigo Scott Pianowski likes to forewarn fantasy managers against injury optimism at the beginning of seasons. There are other shortstops available later in drafts who have a better chance to play 145+ games, something Seager has done only three times in his nine-year career.

Round 4: Tyler Glasnow, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP: 43.4)

This is not me trying to reverse-jinx Glasnow so he makes 33 starts and throws 220 innings — though that would be fun. This designation is for two reasons: the Dodgers’ pursuit of October and the starters just below Cillian Murphy’s doppelgänger. The Dodgers make sure their starters regularly get more than four days of rest, and if it means sitting down Glasnow for a period of time midseason so he’s healthy and sharp in October, they’ll do it. And immediately below the 6-foot-8 hulking righty in ADP are Zac Gallen and Pablo López. Both pitchers will likely fly past the 21 starts Glasnow made last year and could match their 220 or more strikeouts from a year ago. Glasnow had a career-high 162 punchouts and pitching constraints may keep him in the same range.

Round 5: Emmanuel Clase, RP, Cleveland Indians (ADP: 60.1)

PSA: I’m big on waiting on closer. Clase has led the majors in saves the past two years, though his ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate went in the wrong direction last year. That should give people pause before drafting him. This range of the draft also still has power-speed hitters and solid starting pitchers available. Save totals aren’t sticky, so I’d rather pile up the numbers in other categories and pick my relievers later in the draft.

Round 6: Jazz Chisholm Jr., OF, Miami Marlins (ADP: 62)

A 26-year-old outfielder should be on the up escalator of his career. Chisholm, though, has been stuck between floors of his development because of injuries. He’s played more than 100 games once in his four seasons, and while his power-speed numbers are tantalizing — 19 HR, 22 SB in 352 at-bats in 2023 — last year’s walk rate of 6.8% and strikeout rate of 30.8% have remained relatively the same each season. Chisholm is one of a few injury-history potholes that fantasy managers must maneuver around in this round. Take it muy cuidado (very carefully).

Round 7: Jordan Romano, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (ADP: 77.3)

In 15 games to close out the season, Romano allowed runs in four games, blew a save and was dealt two losses. His batting average against went up from .189 in 2022 to .216 last season, and his walk rate crept up to 9.7% (up 1.6% from the previous year). Then look at how Will Smith, likely hitting cleanup for a Dodger offense that will form a conga line around the bases, is right behind him in ADP; it might be wise to bypass the closer. Also, closers on better teams (Raisel Iglesias) and in better ballparks+divisions (Camilo Doval) are a few spots down. Romano could be too high on the draft board.

Round 8: Joe Ryan, RP, Minnesota Twins (ADP: 93.1)

In his final 12 starts of the season, Ryan was hit around to the tune of a 6.41 ERA and allowed four or more runs in six of those turns. Not quite the finish to 2023 that should give fantasy managers good feelings on draft day. He’s also going in a range where rising young pitchers like Tanner Bibee and Jesús Luzardo are also available, as are a couple of power hitters and a handful of closers.

If Ryan is on the downslope, better to pivot to one of those other options instead.

Round 9: Ryan Helsley, RP, St. Louis Cardinals (ADP: 108.2)

Admittedly, this was a hard round to find a player who’s not a value. Helsley finished 2023 in strong fashion, saving seven games in his last eight appearances. The past two years, however, Helsley has shared the closer role with Giovanny Gallegos. This ADP presumes that Helsley is the clear-cut closer. Between Gallegos’ continued presence on the roster and Helsley’s health history — he’s been on the IL four of the past five seasons – it’s hard to pick him here when other solid closing options are further down the draft board.

Round 10: Ketel Marte, 2B, Arizona Diamondback (ADP: 120.0)

Fantasy managers keep looking at Marte’s 2019 season (.329 batting average and 32 home runs) but the results for Marte have been uneven since. His 25 home runs, 94 runs and 82 RBI last year were very good, though the previous two seasons he combined for just 26 taters. He also had a high average of .318 and a low of .240. Players with some pop and more speed like Bryson Stott, Andrés Giménez, Zach Gelof and Thairo Estrada are lower in ADP and could be more valuable than Marte.