Keeper Rankings 2016

Posted: February 17, 2016 in League News

By Ryan Main

Domination was the story in 2015 as Sean’s Etobicoke Crackheads set a new league record with 114 rotos to capture his 2nd Shooter Cup. Sean also set records for largest margin of victory (20.5 rotos), single season strikeouts (1603) and single season WHIP (1.10). The in season battle really came down to who would finish 3rd and 4th as Carey and his Super Sods also had a large margin win in the 2nd place slot. Cheese’ Tribe and Larry’s Dynasty locked down the last two spots, denying both Kim and Chris their first money finish. This year’s rankings show that there are at least 3 teams with a healthy advantage over the rest of the league right out of the gate. The top 3 keeper sets this year all have very different methods for managing their teams throughout the season…whether it be to trade, upgrade through waivers or ride their youth. While any one of these strategies can work, it will be interesting to see if one of these teams or any of those ranked lower will successfully combine all three strategies to knock the Crackheads back into a rebuild.

With our keeper deadline pushed back, this allowed me to pull multiple sets of rankings for both the current season and keeper/dynasty rankings. Each site was given a weight in the composite ranking and I decided for the first time to weigh these all evenly as I’ve found all to be reliable over the past few years.

From the great base these sites provided, I crunched some numbers, resulting in your keeper rankings…hope you enjoy!! All ranks are based on the sites above, so feel free to disagree with the top keepers highlighted on each team. I know we usually find several teams going off the board for players they love that have higher potential than current value suggests. To that end…here’s your top keepers for 2016 and how they rank against each other…

Dick
Well at least Dickie won’t have to stress over who he’s keeping this offseason. He may have to stress over whether Desmond will sign somewhere before keepers are locked in though. Dickie dealt several of his top keepers early in 2015 to pick up his newest keeper (Stanton) and was quiet for the remainder. In order to get younger and strengthen the back end of his keepers, he’ll need to continue dealing and hope for a solid draft, especially since he’s consistently quiet on the waiver wire.

Poo
Bobby’s keepers are always interesting to look at. I’m always surprised he’s ranked low when he always seems to be in the action for the money spots. Bobby’s past success indicates that he is very good at realizing who will exceed their rankings going into the season and his drafts usually back up that theory as he typically draft very well vs the rest of the league. Pitching will be a strength for this team with Arrieta, Harvey and Darvish leading them and Arenado could very well be in the MVP conversation if his growth continues in 2016. I’m sure Bobby will prove this ranking wrong again, but we’ll need to wait to see how.

sex
After several years in the league, Chris’ keepers are some of the oldest overall and while they are solid players, Chris may need to look at trading for younger players before his team starts falling apart. He did pick up Michael Conforto last season and while Conforto may not have been ranked in the top 200, he looked very good and would fit well onto this team. Another risky possibility may be to push Jackie Bradley jr into his set…Bradley ended 2015 on an absolute tear, but it will be tough to know if that was a short period of success or an actual turning point. Chris doesn’t value closers in his draft, so it’s very possible that Melancon could be dropped to fit one of these in.

Sods
Holy crap, would you trade us Mike Trout already! Carey finished in 2nd (again) in 2015 and continues to build his keepers around the always consistent Trout. It’s hard to argue with his process, but his overall team is now the 2nd oldest in the league. Carey made several trades in 2015, moving Adam Jones, Francisco Lindor, Dee Gordon and others, so while he won’t move Trout, he’s definitely trying to make things happen. There’s still a very solid team here, but without any RK assets, Carey will need to draft well to make the money or start looking to deal some of these keepers to build toward a better 2017.

Legacy
I love this team. It feels like Baller has been rebuilding for a while now, but the goal was always obvious…build a young set of high potential keepers in order to establish a long term champion or money maker. So here we are now, with Machado finally hitting his stride, staying healthy and still only 23. Fernandez alongside him is also impossible not to like. The RK’s are some of the best power prospects around and even the backend keepers have potential. If Baller can’t make a run in 2016 (will depend on a lot of youth being consistent), then he should look to move Ellsbury, Freeman and Kemp and should get even stronger for 2017. …but that only has to happen well into the season as he easily has a shot at a money spot in 2016.

Boats

Is anybody else confused on this one? Kim made a solid run in 2016, trailing off at the end as he hit is max starts, but it felt from the start like it was all happening a year too soon. While Kim had worked very well to build his keepers and had a good draft, he dealt McCutchen, Joc Pederson (3 yr RK), Brantley, Rendon, Familia, Rodon (3 yr RK), Soler, Heyward, Billy Hamilton…and on and on and on. The end result isn’t bad….there’s definitely a strong set of keepers here, but can both Tulo and Cargo stay healthy? Will Jones continue his decline? Will Yelich continue his growth? Kim has two extremely good and young starters in Gray and Syndergaard, so there’s no worry there. This team can easily exceed its ranking if the potential hits for all of the players, but I just feel like another year of patience would have had Kim setup better in 2016.

Tribe
Cheese’s team jumped 5 spots in the keeper rankings after a very strong building season where he finished in 3rd place. I know the money finish surprised me, but it’s hard to overlook these keepers now. Looking at the list, we can see Francisco Lindor lurking below and also that Cheese doesn’t have a SS keeper, but has 3 1B keepers…something tells me there’s a change coming there that will only make him stronger. There’s no doubt that Cheese will be challenging for a money spot, if not a shooter cup in 2016. With the overall age of his keepers, the time is now.

Balls
Holy RK’s! There’s plenty of depth here, and while some of the RK’s have tasted MLB time, many still have lots of questions to answer. When will we see Moncada, is Olivera going to be good, or just an old mess? Can Tomas hit for consistent power and play defense well enough to stay in the games? Will Rodon lower his walk rates? Can Bradley recover from being hit in the face? That’s a lot of questions already and that’s only the RK’s. For the keepers, what does the move from Coors do to Dickerson’s value? Can Stroman pitch a full season with the same consistency he’s had in short stints? Will Rendon stay healthy? This will be an interesting season to watch, but it’s hard to predict if this team will be a competitor or a hot mess.

Fury
Is that Hanley I see down below? Wow, how has his stock dropped so far! Conley has the youngest set of keepers in the league this year and, ranked 4th best, that’s very impressive. There are a few good players in the bottom, but it would be hard to substitute any of his top 8. If anything, we can be sure that Conley will be targeting some power bats in the draft and possibly as future keepers via trade. Conley may have some tough decisions to make as to whether he wants to build toward a real beast in 2017 or make a run in 2016.

Crackheads
Still ranked #3 after a shooter cup win is incredibly hard to do, but that’s where Sean sits right now. Will Pollock stay healthy and continue to grow in 2016? Will Blackmon get traded as Colorado continues to target pitching via trade? Can Cruz continue his senior tour of success and will Cano be there alongside him after a good finish in 2015? Some big questions, but Sean definitely has the keepers to make another run. The risk here, with the age of his team, is that he really needs to get younger soon. Without any RK’s, but a couple picks, he may deal them pre-draft to increase his chances to win or he may use those for in season moves. Goldschmidt on his own can bring Sean a wealth of depth if the need arises, but I’m sure he’d also rather hold him if possible.

Asshats
Looks like someone will get a lot of Saves this year. Oh…and is that both Harper and Correa I see? Wow…STUDS. Paul doesn’t do a lot of trading, but targets players that will stick on his team for a long time. Having never won a Shooter Cup, Paul has plenty of chips he could push into the pot if he chooses to make a run….he could do 2 full roster turnovers if he chose to deal those players to close any gaps on his team. This is a contender not only for 2016, but likely the next few years. I’m guessing Paul likely plays out his young team, content to take a money spot for years to come, but he may have other ideas…we’ll have to remind him frequently that he’s never won.

Dynasty
Heeeeeeeere’s Laaaaaary….primed for yet another money spot, if not another Shooter Cup finish. Larry is the only team that has 3 players in the top two tiers, or 4 in the top 3 tiers. His top end keepers are fantastic. He has a great mix of speed, with average and power as well as top end starting pitching and top tier RK’s. Larry is active on all fronts every season and will likely play all of this depth into a very difficult team to beat, but something tells me Chard, Paul and Con will have something to say about that. There aren’t any difficult decisions for Larry on who to keep, so his challenge will mostly be to stay healthy all season and just watch these studs carry him to the finish.

Good luck to all in 2016!

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