Popular Features

  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine
    February 28, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine

    Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft The 2019 NFL Draft is over 50 days away but the speculation on how the first round will go is in full swing. I have been waiting my whole football career to be in the position to do a first-round NFL Mock Draft and with so much intrigue, especially amongst the top…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    March 1, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Earlier this week, Anthony Amico published his pre-combine rookie WR rankings. Now that the NFL combine is upon us, here are my Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings. I have done them by position: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back and Tight End. These positional rankings are going to change for…

  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

    With the Combine only a couple of weeks away, now seems like a good time to start evaluating not just who to target in dynasty rookie drafts, but where those targets may go in your league. I got together with Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) to do a first round rookie mock draft. Our objective in this…

  • The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model 2
    March 2, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model

    Which 2019 RB Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? I’ve been doing a lot of modeling on the wide receiver side of things so far, but very little with running backs. There are some new modeling techniques I’ve been eager to try, with one of them being a logistic regression to find success probability…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama
    March 15, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama

    Josh Jacobs 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Josh Jacobs is not an easy prospect to evaluate. For most NFL scouts and self-styled NFL Draft analysts on the internet, he is either the best running back in the 2019 NFL draft class or at least in the conversation. I have a distinct feeling that…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
    March 25, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

    Trayveon Williams 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report As has been discussed to death by this point, this is not the most spectacular running back class. Josh Jacobs has an underwhelming athletic profile, scouts do not seem to be as high on Darrell Henderson as #DraftTwitter analysts are, David Montgomery is solid but not…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football premium
    March 25, 2019
    March Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Davis Mattek Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings: March Update Now that the dynasty fantasy football window is crystallizing after free agency and before the NFL Draft, I combed through my dynasty fantasy football rankings and made some significant edits. 2019 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyProsECR ™ – Expert Consensus Rankings To read the rest of…

  • NFL Draft: The 2019 NFL Post-Combine Wide Receiver Success Model
    March 25, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine WR Success Model

    Which 2019 WR Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? A couple of weeks ago, I released my post-combine RB success model, which gave the chance of success for the RB prospect group using logistic regression. It only makes sense to do the same thing with the WR position. Again, our goal is to find the…

  • Best Ball Fantasy Football: Players I've Invested In Early
    March 22, 2019
    Best Ball Fantasy Football: Players I’ve Invested In Early

    Best Ball Fantasy Football Portfolio: Players To Stock Up On Early I have already begun the process of drafting Best Ball Fantasy Football teams for 2019 (using our quite useful Best Ball fantasy football tools) and cannot wait to do more. A big part of our idea to launch the NFL365 package was to aid…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Miles Sanders, Penn State
    March 21, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Miles Sanders, Penn State

    Miles Sanders 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Miles Sanders is an interesting case study in how to evaluate prospects. Our general analysis weights breakout age and production as a true freshman as something that is fairly important. When evaluating wide receivers, this task becomes a little easier because no football team ever has…

Fill Your Team’s Need for Speed with These Base Stealers

RotoExperts Staff April 27, 2016 11:04AM EDT
When Yankees centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stole home against the Tampa Bay Rays last Friday night, it brought back memories of when the outfielder would steal 40, 50, even 70 bases without batting an eye. And that straight steal of home was actually the second time he accomplished the not-so-often seen feat.

The last time he did so was in 2009 while facing the Yankees as a member of the Boston Red Sox. In that same season, Ellsbury led Major League Baseball with 70 stolen bases. He did so again, four years later, with 52 steals in 2013.

While Ellsbury is no longer a league leader in stolen bases, he does remain a threat to steal nearly every time he reaches base. He proved that with the steal of home (his fifth stolen base of the young season), putting him on pace to easily top his mark of 21 in 2015.

pirates

If Josh Harrison puts in a full season, he could end up with 25 or more stolen bases. Photo Credit: Scott Michaels

That’s clearly a far cry from what Dee Gordon and Jose Altuve have done each of the past two seasons — leading their respective leagues in stolen bases. In 2014, Gordon led all base stealers with 64, while Altuve led the American League with 56. Then last season, Gordon again led all players with 58 steals and Altuve again led the AL with 38.

Now three weeks into the 2016 Fantasy Baseball season, the usual suspects sit atop their league’s list of stolen base leaders. Altuve is out to an early lead (nine stolen bases in 10 attempts) while Gordon (6-for-8) is tied with Starling Marte (6-for-6) atop the NL. All three finished in the top seven last season and were in an elite group of players who stole 30 or more bases.

Of the seven, these three are the only players who have been healthy through the first few weeks of this season. Other speedsters, such as Charlie Blackmon (43 steals last season), A.J. Pollock (39), and Ben Revere (31), are either currently on the DL, or, like Billy Hamilton (57 last year), simply missed time due to injury.

With so many of the top base-stealing threats dealing with injuries, many owners are left in search of an answer to their stolen-base problems. That need can be fulfilled with a widely available group of base stealers, who, much like Ellsbury, are on pace to shatter their stolen base production from last season.

Fantasy Relevant Former First Rounder

I mentioned Melvin Upton Jr. in an article last week telling Fantasy owners to wait it out for his younger brother, Justin Upton, to break out, and honestly didn’t think I’d be writing about the elder Upton again any time soon. But Upton has six steals and two homers through his first 20 games and looks more like the Tampa Bay version of himself, rather than the more recent and far worse Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres version.

Following a lost first season in San Diego during which Upton had just nine steals in 87 games, he is more than likely to end up coming closer to the 28 steals he averaged over the previous five seasons, in his second season on the West Coast. Look for Upton to rack up 25 to 30 steals while batting cleanup for the Padres and for the outfielder to retain sneaky power/speed value despite his career .244 batting average.

Former 50-Base Stealer

Rajai Davis is another player I’ve written about previously because I have trouble understanding why he continues to sit on the waiver wire in so many leagues. Owned in just over 10 percent of leagues, Davis already has six stolen bases in nine attempts through 17 games this season. In his first season in Cleveland playing for manager Terry Francona, the speedster has clearly been given the green light when on the base paths.

If Davis can keep up this pace, and matches his average games played over the past three seasons (118), then he would rack up more than 60 steal attempts and 40-plus stolen bases this year. I think he is more likely to end up with closer to 50 steal attempts, but the outfielder has averaged 38 steals per season since 2009. Expect similar results over the remainder of 2016.

Same Face in a New Place

Another player thriving in his new home is Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra. After spending five-plus seasons in Arizona, where he recorded a career high of 15 stolen bases twice (2011 and 2012), Parra already has five steals in just 18 games in Colorado so far in 2016. Last year, while splitting time between Baltimore and Milwaukee, he stole 14 bases, meaning he should surpass that total before the All-Star break.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss has clearly given Parra the go on the base paths, which could lead to lots of extra Fantasy value this season. The outfielder’s new 30-stolen-base potential, along with playing half of his games at Coors Field, make Parra a Top 100 possibility from this point forward (I mean, he is already ranked 56). If Parra is still a free agent in your league (25 percent availability), pick him up and enjoy the returns from the Rockies’ outfielder.

Sneaky Steal Potential

Josh Harrison is finally going to get to play out a season without constantly looking over his shoulder worrying about playing time. And so far this year that has made a world of a difference for the multi-position eligible player (2B, 3B, OF). He’s batting over .300 with four stolen bases, 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored through 20 games.

With a previous career high of 18 steals, Harrison is another player on pace to set a new single-season best. Taking his average games played over the previous two seasons and projecting it over this year, Harrison should steal at least 25 bases.

And looking at the players around him, it’s clear that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle gives his players the green light. Marte led the team with 30 last season, closely followed by fellow outfielder Gregory Polanco with 27. Look for Harrison to join his teammates in the 20 to 30 steal club in 2016.

Ready to Run After Return from DL

Jarrod Dyson isn’t on the stolen base leaderboard right now, but by season’s end he will be. Following an oblique injury, which forced the speedy outfielder to start the season on the DL, Dyson has two steals in three attempts over his first seven games of the season.

The outfielder has stolen between 26 and 36 bases in each of the past four seasons and finally has a guaranteed spot in the Royals’ lineup. He will continue to play right field and bat ninth as long as he is healthy, giving him a real shot to eclipse his already impressive career-high of 36 stolen bases in just 260 at-bats.

Last season, Dyson stole 26 bases in 200 at-bats (90 games) putting him in the Top 10 in steals. We should look at that as his stolen-base floor and expect closer to 40 steals this year.

Go out and grab one of these base-stealing threats, as they should help to fill your Fantasy team’s need for speed over the next few months of the season.

Popular Features

  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine
    February 28, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine

    Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft The 2019 NFL Draft is over 50 days away but the speculation on how the first round will go is in full swing. I have been waiting my whole football career to be in the position to do a first-round NFL Mock Draft and with so much intrigue, especially amongst the top…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings premium
    March 1, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Pre-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Earlier this week, Anthony Amico published his pre-combine rookie WR rankings. Now that the NFL combine is upon us, here are my Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings. I have done them by position: Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back and Tight End. These positional rankings are going to change for…

  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

    With the Combine only a couple of weeks away, now seems like a good time to start evaluating not just who to target in dynasty rookie drafts, but where those targets may go in your league. I got together with Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) to do a first round rookie mock draft. Our objective in this…

  • The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model 2
    March 2, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine RB Success Model

    Which 2019 RB Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? I’ve been doing a lot of modeling on the wide receiver side of things so far, but very little with running backs. There are some new modeling techniques I’ve been eager to try, with one of them being a logistic regression to find success probability…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Jacobs, Alabama
    March 15, 2019
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    Josh Jacobs 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Josh Jacobs is not an easy prospect to evaluate. For most NFL scouts and self-styled NFL Draft analysts on the internet, he is either the best running back in the 2019 NFL draft class or at least in the conversation. I have a distinct feeling that…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
    March 25, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

    Trayveon Williams 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report As has been discussed to death by this point, this is not the most spectacular running back class. Josh Jacobs has an underwhelming athletic profile, scouts do not seem to be as high on Darrell Henderson as #DraftTwitter analysts are, David Montgomery is solid but not…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football premium
    March 25, 2019
    March Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

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  • NFL Draft: The 2019 NFL Post-Combine Wide Receiver Success Model
    March 25, 2019
    The 2019 Post-Combine WR Success Model

    Which 2019 WR Prospects Have the Best Odds to Succeed? A couple of weeks ago, I released my post-combine RB success model, which gave the chance of success for the RB prospect group using logistic regression. It only makes sense to do the same thing with the WR position. Again, our goal is to find the…

  • Best Ball Fantasy Football: Players I've Invested In Early
    March 22, 2019
    Best Ball Fantasy Football: Players I’ve Invested In Early

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  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Miles Sanders, Penn State
    March 21, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Miles Sanders, Penn State

    Miles Sanders 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report Miles Sanders is an interesting case study in how to evaluate prospects. Our general analysis weights breakout age and production as a true freshman as something that is fairly important. When evaluating wide receivers, this task becomes a little easier because no football team ever has…