It’s almost time for fantasy baseball season. And unlike years past, there are actually some Mets worth drafting this year.
You should never be that Mets homer in fantasy– the kind of guy who drafts Brad Emaus as his starting second baseman or Frank Francisco as his closer. But there’s a bit of a double-fanhood feeling when you see someone on your team– the real one and the fantasy one– drive in a run. It helps you twofold.
Lucky for you, there are a bunch of Mets worth drafting. The top-tier ones, obviously, are the four starting pitchers and Yoenis Cespedes. But the Mets are a very sleeper-heavy team, with a lot of players who are undervalued in both Yahoo and ESPN rankings.
Some, however, are a little undervalued. Here are seven of those guys that you should keep an eye on in your fantasy draft:
7) Addison Reed: With a Jeurys Familia suspension likely looming, Reed looks to serve as the Mets’ closer for the first month or two of the season. Jose Reyes was suspended for the first two months of last season, so Familia could be suspended for a similar timeframe this year. He’s ranked only 313th overall on Yahoo and 262nd on ESPN, so he could give you a chance at a solid closer if you don’t want to waste a high draft pick on a Craig Kimbrel.
6) Jose Reyes: Reyes is not even ranked in either ESPN or Yahoo. That means there’s a good chance he won’t even be drafted in your league. While he’s definitely not the player he used to be, he batted .267/.326/.443 with eight home runs, 24 RBIs and nine steals in 60 games– that would put him on pace for a 20-20 season had he played a full year. And if David Wright is not healthy, he could wind up becoming the team’s de facto everyday third baseman.
Another factor Reyes has working in his favor is that he’s on a contract year. And given the fact that he’s currently playing at a league-minimum salary, he might have a little more motivation to play well this year. You can also start him at shortstop or third base in Yahoo leagues, giving him more flexibility. Not a bad choice as a lower-end bench guy.
5) Matt Harvey: Harvey was a top-tier pitcher in 2015 (13-8, 2.71 ERA), but was awful in 17 starts last season (4-10, 4.86 ERA) before being shut down for thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He’s going to be a roll of the dice this year– especially with the injury. But at 120th overall in Yahoo (32nd-ranked starter) and 124th ESPN (33rd-ranked starter), he’s definitely worth a mid-round pick. He could win you your league if he pitches like he did in prior to last season. It’s a flip of the coin, like Harvey Dent said.
4) Jay Bruce- You wouldn’t know that Bruce had 33 home runs and 99 RBIs last year from his fantasy rankings. Bruce is ranked 207th overall in Yahoo (58th-ranked outfielder) and 152nd on ESPN (42nd-ranked outfielder). It’s easy to be pessimistic on Bruce because of how poorly he played in New York, but it’s worth noting that Bruce has at least 20 home runs in eight of his nine big-league seasons. At these rankings, he is a high-end bench pick with a very, very high ceiling. Worst case scenario, you can just drop him– it’s not like you’re taking him in the second round.
3) Lucas Duda- Duda is ranked 276th overall in Yahoo (32nd first baseman) and is not even ranked overall on ESPN, though they rank him 28th among first basemen. He’s another late-round (as in last three or so rounds) guy who has a major upside– if he plays anything like he did in 2014, when he hit 30 home runs and 92 RBIs, he could be the offensive steal of your draft.
2) Jeurys Familia: Familia’s fantasy value all depends on the length of his likely-incoming suspension. The rankings have not taken account of this yet, so he’s 177th overall Yahoo (17th overall among relievers) 107th on ESPN (9th among relievers). If he’s only suspended for a month, like Aroldis Chapman was in 2016, he’s definitely worth a bench stash– especially in Yahoo leagues. Even if he’s suspended for two, you can justify spending a later-round pick on an elite fantasy closer.
1) Robert Gsellman: The odds-on favorite to be the Mets’ No. 5 starter is not even ranked in Yahoo or ESPN. Despite this, he is definitely, definitely worth a pick in the last three rounds. Gsellman posted a 2.71 ERA in 11 starts last season, and has risen up the prospect ranks this year. He should be ranked at the very least, but the fact that he isn’t gives you a leg up in finding a fantasy sleeper. If you draft one player on this list, make sure it’s Gsellman.