No Bullsh*t here, let's begin! These are the top 12 picks ranked by The Fantasy Man himself as he believes these are the "best available 12"..... in a traditional snake style draft...
1. Alex Rodriquez, 3B, New York Yankees
A-Rod is A-Rod! Plain and simple. Year after year A-Rod puts up impeccable numbers and even manages to steal a few bases in between. He'll be hitting in the number 3 slot this year in front of table setters Derek Jeter and new Leadoff man Johnny Damon so you can expect mucho RBI's. Expect .315, 40hr, 130+rbi, 100+ runs and 15-2sb. Actually, expect these numbers to be a bit higher, but I just didn't want to get too crazy. A-Rod will be hitting in the middle of what some experts call "The Most Dangerous Lineup of All Time"!
Fantasy Mans Advice: Pray you get the first pick!!!
2. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
**See above! Pujols projects to put up about the same numbers as A-Rod, if not better! Also, last year he found a way to steal 16 bases. Look for Pujols to continue to run and expect about 15 Sb's. In only his 6th year, this man has amassed 201 Home Runs, 621 RBI's, and 629 Runs. Thats unbelievable and he's only 26!
Fantasy Mans Advice: See my advice for A-Rod!!! But feel good with the 2nd pick as well.
3. Vladimir Guerrero, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Vlad's numbers dipped a bit last year but even then, he was still an elite fantasy contributor. Look for Vlad to bounce back to his normal production less the stolen bases. Although Vlad is always considered a stolen base threat, expect approximately 15 steals again this year. He is still a very dangerous hitter and projects to be a .320, 35hr, 100+rbi guy. His power will be there but a weak Angel lineup could decrease his runs and rbi's a bit.
Fantasy Mans Advice: I just can't put Vlad lower on the list, just can't. He will definitely go top 5 in your draft. He should be healthy this year and increase on last years numbers. Just don't get caught up in the SB hype, you'll be disappointed.
4. Mark Teixiera, 1B, Texas Rangers
Another young one who has made a huge splash in the majors. Tex is the new face for power of the 21st century! After this season, and maybe even now, he is and will be mentioned in the same sentences as the Pujols' and the A-Rod's! Although he doesn't steal bases, Tex has MONSTER POWER and talent. He's the guy you can trade away a pick just to get that 3rd pick to make sure you get him. Some people may rank him lower and be true to the veterans, but its a mistake! This guy is the real deal. Expect his average to increase and expect .300, 45hr, 120+rbi. He hits in a Whiffle Ball park in Arlington and has a great supporting offense.
Fantasy Man Advice: If he's available when its your turn, don't hesitate...Pull the trigger! Or, trade up and get that #3 pick!
5.Bobby Abreu, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
I moved Abreu down only because he is getting older, 32 to be exact. Last year his number slightly declined in every category believe it or not, but his stolen base total stayed consistent and that's why Abreu is number 5 on the list. Expect the same numbers as last year with about 25 - 30 stolen bases, .290 avg, 25 - 30 hr, 100 rbi.
Fantasy Man Advice: I'm personally not an Abreu fan. He will get you the numbers, but if you are looking for more excitement, pass him up this early in the draft a take a shot at the next two below!
6. Manny Ramirez, OF, Boston Red Sox
Unbelievable Power, Established Professional Hitter, a must have on your Fantasy Team. Thats what his resume should say. At first thought, you would expect me to say that Manny's numbers would drop a bit this year. Yes, his 45hr's were tied for his highest ever, but his rbi's were only his 3rd highest. The question is, is there room for upside for Manny? The answer is yes! Now, he loses his table setter to the Yankees but should have Mark Loretta hitting in front of him in the 2 slot which isn't a bad situation either. Somehow though, last year he had 20 less hits than the year before but increased his HR and RBI totals dramatically. Look for the same this year. Expect .290, 40+, 120+, 1 stolen base!
Fantasy Mans Advice: What do you need me to say...he's Manny!
7. David Ortiz, 1B/DH, Boston Red Sox
See Manny Ramirez. They will put up virtually identical numbers. They are the most feared 3/4 pair in baseball. He probably has reached his ceiling but still expect .290, 40+hr, 120+rbi and yes, 1 stolen base! He absolutely terrorizes the Yankees and gets too play them atleast 18 times so take that into consideration.
Fantasy mans Advice: Take your pick, Manny or David!
8. Johan Santana, P, Minnesota Twins
Have to throw a pitcher in here somewhere and this is where I made Johan fit. Easily can be a higher pick but I myself am a fan of a stud hitter first, then pitching thus an 8th place ranking. But Johan is a stud, virtually unhittable while most likely leading the league in K's and an absolutely low ERA and WHIP. He is your ultimate fantasy pitcher! Expect 18-20 wins, 200 + K's and a 2.50 era.
Fantasy Mans Advice: Will definitely give you top flight fantasy numbers and is worth a first round pick. He was unhittable the 2nd half of last season!
9. Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Lee's production last year lifted him up into the "fantasy elite". He put up career highs in runs, hr's, and rbi's while still stealing his usual 15 bases. Look for his numbers to remain about the same but keep in mind that Lee's numbers could possibly take a slight hit as it is possible that he hit a ceiling and the Cubbies might not be as good this year. Still expect .300, 35+hr, 110 rbi's, 15sb.
Fantasy Mans Advice: Still a dangerous hitter turning 31. I personally pick youth over veteran, but Lee does it all which makes him tough to pass up. Just look at his past numbers, at age 30 last year, he had career year numbers wise and was far from his averages....and thats a scary thought. The potential/power is there..... but I'm just not sure if he is 100% for real. I am 92% ...lol
10. Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, Houston Astros
Berk is my favorite pick this year. 23 of his 24 home runs came after june 1st. He missed all of April with an injury that he is totally healed from. Came back in May and took some time to get going but once that second half hit, I hope you had Lance on your team. I traded for him in July! Thank you Lance! He single handedly put me in the money last year. This year, expect Berk to capitalize on last years second half success. I expect .300, 35hr, 120rbi hitting in another Whiffle Ball park in Houston and in a pretty decent lineup.
Fantasy Mans Advice: I rank him a bit higher because we know he will put up the nice numbers. He hits in a hitters park and still has something to prove! ....and he's only turning 30 and just entering his prime! He should also be 1B/OF eligible.
11. Miguel Cabrera, 3B/OF, Florida Marlins
Capable of putting up Pujols like numbers. Has the talent and has the power! Unfortunately, he might not have the team and thats why he slides down to #11. However, don't read into this whole "he has no protection" stuff! Cabrera will have no trouble putting up a nice high average and hit for lots of power. I "still" expect .320+, 35hr, 110rbi. Remember, he will still only be 23 so he has major upside and room for improvement. He should also be eligible at 3B and OF.
Fantasy mans Advice: Don't let this guy slip into the second round! If you pick someone else here and he is still available, hope he lands in you lap for your next pick which should be only 3 picks away.
12. Miquel Tejada, SS, Baltimore Orioles
Its hard to believe that I am mentioning Miquel Tejada and #12 in the same sentence. But believe it! Look at this list, can anyone explain who on this list I should put Tejada in front of??? Exactly. However, Tejada is owed his due. He has immense talent at a shallow SS position. Miggy suffered a bit of a decline in power numbers last year but a rise in average as the Baltimore offense never really developed the way everyone had hoped. Look for his numbers to bounce back up and expect .300, 30+, 100+.
Fantasy Mans Advice: He's still the top power SS in the game. Grab Tejada here at #12 and then choose the next top flight pitcher! See the list below.
There you have it! The Fantasy Mans Top 12 Fantasy Baseball picks for the 2006 season. Remember, these are my rankings based on my own research, experience, and gut. Draft at your own risk! Below, you will find a list of second rounders. Again, these are the best available after round 1. Be sure to grab one of these guys on the way back and you will have yourself atleast 2 fantasy studs after the first 2 rounds.......
in no particular order
** Indicates a potential first rounder
What's Next: Wednesday
-2006's NYS....New Young Studs. The Fantasy Man will take a peek at this years studs to watch!
- What are all of these different style fantasy baseball leagues and which one should I play?
Also Wednesday, look for our first PODCAST to download here and at iTunes!
The Fantasy Man.....OUT!