Fantasy baseball nuggets: rankings, Neftali Feliz, Derek Jeter, etc.

      February 4, 2014 @ 12:03:00 PDT

Super Bowl XLVIII has long been over. (Like, 12 seconds into the Big Game, it was over. And, sorry folks, the fix wasn't in.)

New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter
Jeter not ready to lie down

Don't you just hate it when writers and the like say, "It's time to switch gears"? If you switch gears, you're going to go either faster or slower. Why, when they want to discuss a different topic, don't they ask you to change direction?

Anyway, if fantasy baseball is your thing, our rotisserie cheat sheets and rankings, complete with projected auction dollar earnings, are available. That, of course, means we've uploaded our projections, too. We'll be reviewing those, thoroughly examining playing time and rates as well as adding players, as the winter wears on, of course.

You'll find links to everything we plan to offer this preseason on our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide landing page.

Texas' forecasted closer to rise

One adjustment already in the works: A recent report on the condition of Neftali Feliz is extremely encouraging. The most exciting morsel is the fact that he's dialed it up, into the mid- to high-90s. If what the player reported is accurate, then Feliz is more than just the front-runner to close.

For this situation, I'd view the talk that Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers are also contenders for the back-end job as a way to keep Feliz's price down. Ron Washington is familiar with and has an affinity for Feliz, especially in that role, so if the right-hander is in, or close to, this kind of form, he won't lose. I'll target Feliz all winter under these circumstances.

The Captain isn't finished yet

Multiple times this past fall and this winter, Derek Jeter has gone on the record to say that he's pretty much having a "normal offseason." Assuming that's true, there's really no better indication that a player is healthy.

But fantasy owners are going to draft with the belief that No. 2 is toast. They'll base their acceptance on his lost 2013 campaign -- and of course the fact that he turns 40 frickin' years old in June, for cryin' out loud.

Most people don't realize how long the road to recovery is from a fractured ankle (which Jeter sustained in October 2012). He spent most of last year attempting to return sooner than he should have. Athletes more than a decade younger than him couldn't meet the kind of time table he followed. All the positive news stories and his optimism essentially misled people.

I'm not saying that Jeter will be the steal of 2014 or anything. But he'll have utility, even in mixed leagues. He's more susceptible to injuries at his age, and his abilities are nowhere near what they once were. But he's healthy. The New York Yankees haven't brought in an insurance plan, despite rumors of their interest in Stephen Drew. He'll probably be a money earner in AL-only leagues, at least, because of the playing time he should accrue.

KFFL has been heating up

By the way, to prepare folks for spring training and to provide a bit of a primer for fantasy baseball draft season, we've been rocking our Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions series for weeks. First entry: on the World Series champs.

Yesterday, Tim posted the Desert Snakes edition. Today, I'll put up a set on the Minnesota Twins! Exciting, I know. Hey, they're home to the player who'll be the most valuable catcher-eligible player of 2014, in my opinion.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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