Maybe it's cliché, but reader feedback over the years tells me you guys like this sort of thing, so it's time for the second annual Knights of the Round Table pre-season fantasy awards.
American League Fantasy MVP
MVP hype continues here
Tim Heaney: Evan Longoria with Yoenis Cespedes a close second - My disclaimer is I'm going to choose the fantasy value picks, so for instance, Miguel Cabrera isn't my choice.
Nick Minnix: Jose Reyes - If he hits 18, 20 HR (entirely possible in that division, especially with half of his contests in Toronto), he's your guy.
Greg Morgan: Yoenis Cespedes
Lawr Michaels: Miguel Cabrera - What has changed for him not to be this?
Zach Steinhorn: Miguel Cabrera
Ryan Carey: Yoenis Cespedes
Todd Zola: I'll join Tim using the value pick to add a different flavor with Jose Bautista being the choice. The power looks like it's back. He could lead the league in HR and RBI.
National League Fantasy MVP
TH: David Wright if he steals enough bags, with Jason Heyward right behind him.
NM: Ryan Braun - Fear the BioGenesis. Seriously, he's good. So is Joey Votto.
GM: Jason Heyward
LM: Matt Kemp - I really rate him #1 overall this year.
ZS: Justin Upton
RC: Allen Craig - A dark-horse candidate, but if he stays healthy, he's going to deliver as compelling a case as the favorites.
TZ: Justin Upton - Back to being a top-10 pick next season, maybe top-5.
American League Fantasy Cy Young
TH: Yu Darvish
NM: Brandon Morrow - All the tools are there, so I'll throw a dart that he puts it all together. Justin Verlander is a boring choice (but probably the correct one).
GM: Chris Sale
LM: Justin Verlander - Best pitcher in baseball.
ZS: Justin Verlander
RC: Yu Darvish - He's going to strike out a ton of guys and simply dominate.
TZ: Felix Hernandez - has made the transition to being a pitcher from a thrower.
National League Fantasy Cy Young
TH: Mat Latos
NM: Johnny Cueto - Think there was a legit argument that he deserved the real award last year. Clayton Kershaw is sick, but Cueto is a complete, mature pitcher (and adding back those fancy K's, I think).
GM: Adam Wainwright
LM: Matt Cain - Thought he would do it last year.
ZS: Clayton Kershaw
RC: Mat Latos - The Reds are going to be good. One of their starters will win 20 games. I am betting on Latos.
TZ: Cole Hamels - Was my choice before opening day, and I'm not going back on that now.
Firemen and Comeback Players....
About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com
Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.
Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.
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