KFFL answers some important fantasy baseball questions for each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Texas Rangers?
Where does Adrian Beltre stand among third basemen?
Beltre wisely chose one of the best hitter's settings to continue his 2010 run. In a full season, he should rattle off 25 homers with a healthy RBI total. But health is the rub, along with his inflated in-play clip. It's backed up slightly by his line-drive increase, but that's not what you should bank on.
Instead, rely on him among the "best of the rest" third basemen. Some might overpay for an injury- and inconsistency-riddled profile in a fantastic situation. He can do it again, but how does your draft value his career year, part deux? Pay for 2007, not 2010.
Feliz remains (sort of) polarizing
What's Neftali Feliz's role?
The Rangers haven't laid forth a plan yet, but they'll stretch him out so they can decide. He might stumble a bit early on if he has to adjust to starting, but his talent can temper a drop-off.
The Brandon Webb signing decreased the chances that Feliz enters the rotation, but Webb has to prove he's ready to go - hardly a guarantee. If he does or if they find another starter, Feliz save owners can be ... feliz.
The organization will still aim to place their top young arm where they feel is best. Are you comfortable drafting tenuous saves that early? If so, you should probably target a handcuff situation with Frank Francisco or spend an extra speculation pick on saves.
How does the rest of the rotation look?
Colby Lewis' first year back from Japan was phenomenal, and you'll have to pay if you want him. He maintained his skills even as he saw some correction down the stretch. Lewis' showing wasn't a fluke and keeps him as a mixed middle-rounds target.
C.J. Wilson showed his arsenal can handle starter's work. His rough September was probably workload-related, and he hasn't shaken his control issues. He's capable, but don't overpay.
Webb is the wild card. When healthy, his ground-ball prowess generates Cy Young skills. But is his arm dead? He needs some heat to survive. Luckily, it won't cost you much to find out, and at that point, you can have ample backup plans.
Though Derek Holland still gives up a bit too many homers, his 8.48 K/9 and 2.25 K/BB in 14 games (10 starts) - along with his September GB/FB - sustained his sleeper foundation.
Tommy Hunter? Your league has a waiver wire, right?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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