Ryan Braun will not have to serve a 50 day suspension for performance enhancing drugs. While many ramifications may come from this ruling, I will get to the meat of the matter. How does the ruling affect his and his teammates fantasy value?
Ryan now jumps up from a late 2nd to 5th round pick with the suspension, to being one of the first players taken. Before the news was released, many people considered him the top pick in the draft. This high ranking should not change, but it may just a bit.
I do see some reasons for him dropping from a top 3 pick to maybe a top 6 pick. Some fantasy owners may hold some animosity against him. They may feel he cheated the system, whether true or not, and they want nothing to do with him. Another reason for him dropping would be owners viewing him as a risk for getting tested positive again. Finally, other owners may believe he was using steroids and his production will drop. When given the opportunity to pick between Braun and a similar player (Matt Kemp), the owner may take the other player since they see him as less of a risk.
The Rest of the Brewer Hitters
I didn’t see the rest of the Brewer’s hitters going lower in drafts because of the possible Braun suspension. They should not have dropped and here is why. Braun is about a 6 WAR player. Assuming Braun’s production gets replaced with a replacement level player, the Brewers would lose about 2 WAR (or 20 Runs) over the 50 games he was lost. The 20 runs would work out to 40 Runs+RBIs over a replacement player. Assuming Braun would get credit for half the total, only 20 Run+RBIs would be left to spread out among the rest of his teammates. It would be about a 3 Runs+RBI drop for each of the 6 players hitting before and after him in the lineup. The numbers would have been even less if the Brewers could have found a player with above replacement level ability.
A trend I could see happening is that owners assumed the rest of the Brewers were under valued and begin to value them more highly. I will look in a few weeks to see if any of their ADPs have moved since Braun was cleared.
Greinke has had motivational issues in the past. If the Brewers had struggled without Braun, Zack’s motivation may not have been 100%. With Braun in the lineup helping the team score runs, Zack is likely to be more motivated. A motivated Zack is a productive Zack.
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