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Astros in Fantasy: Ranking draft-worthy position players

Sep 21, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 21, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Fringe starters: Carlos Beltran, Evan Gattis, Brian McCann

Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis (11) hits a single during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis (11) hits a single during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Beltran defied age in 2016, finishing the season rated as the 83rd overall player. ESPN is expecting a big drop-off in his age-40 season, however, ranking him 157th, and 44th among outfielders. This will likely push him into the second half of your draft, making him either your last starting outfielder or first outfielder off the bench. The good news is he should be in the lineup nearly every day, either in left field or at DH. If he comes anywhere close to his 2016 numbers, he will be an excellent value in rounds 14-17.

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Gattis and McCann are pretty much in the same boat, largely because they will split catching duties. Because Beltran will also get time at DH, it’s unlikely either catcher is in the lineup more than five days in any given week, barring an injury. If you want one of them as your starter, you’ll need a solid backup to fill in the missed days.

However, one possible scenario is to draft both of them. They should both be available in the second half of your draft, with Gattis going before McCann. If your league allows you to switch your lineup each day, you could check the Astros lineup daily to see who to start. If both are starting, Gattis could be placed in a DH or Utility spot. Between the two of them, you’re likely to get solid, if unspectacular, production. ESPN rates Gattis seventh and McCann ninth among catchers.

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