2012 Fantasy Baseball Preview: 5 NL Players to Watch in Your Auction

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The aspect I think is great about the auction draft is being able to own exactly who you want, as long as you are willing to pay the price.  Essentially you can pencil in at least four guys onto your team’s roster before you even throw out the first player for bid – of course buying four $40-plus players could cripple the rest of your auction, but it is possible to do.

When approaching an auction draft you should have the players you are interested in owning “listed” in one of three categories; Targets, Willing-To-Go-An-Extra-Buck, and End Gamers.  

Targets would be those guys that you are going to get as long as the price is not too outrageous.  Defining outrageous is of course up to you, but I have found that you are going to probably have to overpay for a player or two throughout the auction, you might as well make it one that you like and want to own.  

End Gamers are those $1-$3 players that everyone throws around to just fill rosters.  These guys should either have high upside, a secure role on their team, or at least a definitive basement so you know what you are getting.  A great end-gamer if you are looking for speed this year in an NL-Only is Tony Campana.  He won’t hurt you too much in the average department because his at-bats will be limited, but any time the Cubs need a pinch runner he will be the first off the bench, giving him an advantage in the runs and stolen base categories.  Freddy Galvis of the Phillies would not be a solid end gamer.  He has never played well above double-A, he is very young, and his role will change throughout the year depending on the health of Chase Utley and the performance of Ty Wigginton.

The “Willing-To-Go-An-Extra-Buck” category are the guys that can make or break your team.  Now you may be okay with going an extra buck, or two, or three depending what your situation when these players are bid on.  Essentially going the extra buck on the right guys can win you your league, and here are some highlights from my Willing-To-Go-An-Extra-Buck list and why:


Alex Presley (OF, PIT) - A clear path to playing time with plus speed and did not appear overmatched in his 2011 cup of coffee.

Lucas Duda (1B/OF, NYM) – Good contact skills, nice pop and owns 1B eligibility - a position with limited draft day options.

Zack Cozart (SS, CIN) – He won’t light the world on fire, but there is more upside with him than other shortstops in the same price range.

Jordan Schafer (OF, HOU) – He is not the “sexy” pick for fantasy outfielder in Houston - has blazing speed that will come with the price of a low batting average.

Marco Scutaro (2B/SS, COL) – Could be argued as an empty batting average, but he will score plenty of runs; and what is wrong with owning 600 at-bats of a .290-plus batting average.


Mike Minor (SP, ATL) – Will be the work horse of the Braves rotation with a strong K/9.

R.A. Dickey (SP, NYM) – Dismissed by most because he throws a knuckleball, but has done it well two years in a row and can probably do it again this year.

Vance Worley (SP, PHI) – Surprised everyone last year, added a Roy Halladay coached change-up to his arsenal this season and has had a great spring.

Chris Volstad (SP, CHC) – Probably more of an end gamer option, but look for Volstad to put it all together this year, extending his flashes of good into periods of good.

Homer Bailey (SP, CIN) – I have no real reason for Bailey except that I can’t quite Homer Bailey.

Written by Nate Springfield exclusively for Check back weekly for Nate's NL-Only expertise, and follow him on his journey for a title of the State House League in 2012.

Follow Nate on Twitter @NateSpringfield, and follow us on Twitter @TheFantasyFix.

(September 27, 2011 - Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

Remember to check out our 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, with Ranks, Auction Values, Expert Mock Draft and tons of articles. Click here to learn more or purchase.

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