The past couple weeks, we have seen a few players that ottoneu and other linear weights formats feel very differently about than the traditional 5×5 format. This week…not so much. Third base appears to be a position where ottoneu, in general, doesn’t have too many problems with Zach Sanders’s end of season rankings.
In fact, the top six in Zach’s rankings were the top six in ottoneu points. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few players who stand out.
ottoneu’s True Loves
The only player ranked at least five spots higher in ottoneu than 5×5 is Mark Reynolds. Near the bottom of the 5×5 rankings in 28th, Reynolds was arguably unworthy of a roster spot in most formats, but in linear weights leagues such as ottoneu, Reynolds jumps all the way to 20th. The primary reason? His .335 OBP, while not great, is head and shoulders above his .221 average. In 5×5 leagues, Reynolds provides decent power and some R+RBI, but gives you no help in SB and is an absolute anchor on AVG. In ottoneu, with stolen bases not near as important and OBP replacing AVG, the rest of his portfolio isn’t so bad. He was still, at best, a low-end 3B, but if you when you need a Util, or in leagues where there is a corner infield slot, that’s a big difference.
The most fantasy-relevant 3B with ottoneu linear weights mobility is Martin Prado. Prado, 11th in 5×5, jumps to 7th in ottoneu. 10 HR and 17 SB doesn’t seem like the recipe for higher ottoneu value than 5×5 value, but Prado makes it work primarily by playing an awful lot. 156 games and 690 plate appearances creates a lot of opportunities and in a points league, opportunities are the key. In points per PA, Prado ranks not 7th, but 17th among 3B. It brings up an interesting factor to consider in ottoneu leagues – sometimes the players atop these rankings are not actually the best players. Prado ranked seventh total, but pairing up 15th ranked Kyle Seager with 22nd ranked Chipper Jones would have given you almost the same number of points. This cuts both ways – on the one hand, you don’t want to overvalue a guy just because he plays everyday, but on the other, counting on a single player in a single roster spot, has some value.
The other three ottoneu loves with fantasy relevance are Daniel Murphy, Chris Johnson, and David Freese. The first two jumped four spots each (from 20 to 16 and 22 to 18, respectively), while Freese moved from up three spots (13 to 10). Murphy and Johnson come from the Prado school of value, ranking higher in total points than they do in points per PA. Freese actually moves up even higher on a per PA basis. His low SB in 5×5 hurts him at a position where 11 players reached double digits, but those come off the books in linear weights, and the rest of his stats play quite well.
ottoneu’s Worst Enemies
Owners across the fantasy-sphere were disappointed in the season they got from Brett Lawrie, but it was even worse for those in ottoneu. Ranked 19th in 5×5, Lawrie dropped eight spots to 27th in linear weights. His 13 steals provide something of a floor in 5×5, but don’t make much difference in ottoneu. He only managed 11 HR in his sophomore campaign and his BB% dropped to 6.2%, meaning that his decent .273 AVG wasn’t matched by his weak .324 OBP. His RBI totals were low, but 73 runs buoyed his 5×5 value without helping him in ottoneu.
Two players were ranked seven slots lower in ottoneu tha 5×5, but for very different reasons. Mike Aviles, 25th in Sanders’s rankings, falls to 32nd in mine. Like Lawrie, he loses credit for his stolen bases and his OBP is even worse, not even cracking .300. Jose Bautista, on the other hand, is sort of the anti-Prado. Ranked fifth on a per PA basis, Bautista’s injury kept him from climbing the total rankings any higher. Actually, that fifth ranking itself is interesting. It’s no surprise (or at least not a big one) that he ranked behind Miguel Cabrera, and considering the season Edwin Encarnacion put up, that shouldn’t be a suprise either. But seeing both Adrian Beltre and Aramis Ramirez ranked ahead of Bautista, even when you account for the injury, caught me off guard.
Finally, Chris Davis was a solid starter in 5×5 (ranked ninth), but dropped to 13th in ottoneu. He traded in 160 R+RBI and a decent .270 average, and instead posted a sub-optimal OBP (.326). His power (33 HR and 20 2B) is enough to protect his value in linear weights, and that OBP won’t sink him, but taking the runs and RBI off the board causes the drop.
A few final notes:
– Pro-rated to 650 plate appearance, the top six are still the top six…but they become seven with the addition of Bautista. Basically, Cabrera, Encarnacion, Beltre, Ramirez, Chase Headley and David Wright were, inarguably, the six best 3B in fantasy this year.
– Chipper Jones may not have played a ton, but when he did, the man produced – he would have ranked 9th if he played a full season’s worth.
– Ryan Zimmerman ranked 7th in 5×5, 8th in ottoneu, and 12th pro-rated to 650 PA, despite a bum shoulder and a weak first half – not bad.
– Hanley Ramirez was 9th in total points, and 22nd pro-rated to 650 PA.
|ON Rank||Sanders Rank||Diff||Player||Pts||PA||Pro-Rated to 650 PA|
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