Astros in Fantasy: Overvalued and undervalued players

Mar 12, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Which Houston Astros players are overvalued or undervalued to start the fantasy baseball season?

As we get closer to Opening Day, fantasy baseball leagues are taking shape. We’ve ranked Astros pitchers and position players and looked at potential waiver-wire pickups. With drafts underway, now is a good time to look at players who aren’t properly valued.

Keep in mind scoring projections and player rankings are based on ESPN fantasy baseball’s 2017 player rankings and may vary based on your league. Draft projections are based on standard 10 to 12-team leagues.

Carlos Correa: Undervalued

Despite finishing 2016 ranked 90th overall in ESPN’s player rater, Correa is commonly drafted in the second round. That might suggest he’s being overvalued, but I disagree. I think he will finish the season with first round value.

It’s a matter of when Correa will break out, rather than if. He’s entering his second full season in the majors and coming off a strong World Baseball Classic performance. With added depth in the Astros lineup, Correa will have plenty of RBI opportunities. If he increases his power to the 30-homer range, he will easily drive in 100-plus runs and push the top 10 in fantasy scoring. I’m betting on him to do it.

Alex Bregman: Overvalued

After an impressive 2016 debut, ESPN ranks Bregman 10th among players eligible at third base. This makes him a starter in most leagues, but I’m not sold on him being one quite yet. His value to the Astros is higher than his fantasy value because of his brilliant defense.

The question is whether he will hit enough to justify being in a fantasy lineup. I don’t think he will crater, but some sophomore struggles may be in the cards as pitchers figure him out. He also hasn’t had many at-bats this spring and may have a slow start. His high ceiling means some drafters will reach for him, but they could be reaching one year too soon.

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Carlos Beltran: Undervalued

ESPN ranks Beltran No. 157 overall despite the fact that he finished 2016 ranked No. 83. The reason for the drop-off is simple: age. Beltran turns 40 this year, and therefore a decline seems inevitable.

His numbers may dip slightly, but I don’t think they will fall off completely. Beltran has the added benefit of spending the majority of his games at DH and hitting behind the likes of Correa and Jose Altuve. He may be the team’s elder statesman, but he will still be a solid fantasy contributor with above-average power and RBI totals.

Dallas Keuchel: Undervalued

Yes, Keuchel is coming off a bad season that ended with an injury. That’s what prompted ESPN to rank him 42nd among starting pitchers. He is not just undervalued — he is glaringly undervalued.

Next: Astros in Fantasy: Potential In-Season Pickups

Before 2016, Keuchel posted two excellent seasons, including his Cy Young Award campaign in 2015. It may not be reasonable to expect him to replicate those otherworldly numbers, but he’s more than capable of getting within shouting distance. A healthy Keuchel is undoubtedly a top-30 starting pitcher, especially with a good offense and defense behind him.

***Rankings courtesy of ESPN***

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