MLB Fantasy baseball auction drafts have become the preferred format among some fantasy players in 2014. An auction draft allows you to get any player you want, at any time, as long as you’re willing to bid a high enough price. The catch is you only get a preset amount of fantasy dollars to spend, so there is a premium on finding value.
We like the auction draft format in fantasy baseball, because it allows us to put a payroll perspective on fantasy sports. Rather than just ranking the best players, we've ranked the most valuable players for your fantasy baseball team. We know Miguel Cabrera is better than Justin Morneau, for instance, but who is the better value? Morneau ranks No. 2 on our value list. He'll cost you $1. Cabrera, meanwhile, ranks 143rd, while he's the No. 3 best player, according to our analysis.
Our best value for hitters? Believe it or not, Marlon Byrd is the best value in the 2014 fantasy baseball draft. Coming off a season with 24 home runs and 88 RBIs, he's only $1 in a standardESPN fantasy baseball league. Our worst value among position players? Ryan Braun, coming off a suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs. Other big names at the bottom of our 2014 value rankings include Carlos Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Trout and Cabrera.
In terms of pitchers, unsung heroes such as Ubaldo Jimenez, A.J. Griffin and Mark Buehrle rank high in our value rankings. But don't overpay for our worst value, closer Craig Kimbrel. In fact, closers appear to be overvalued generally.
Of course, you're not going to win your league without spending in the right places, so when considering who to spend top dollar on here's some ideas:
Don't buy Mike Trout for $49 when you can get Adam Jones for $30.
Don't take Paul Goldschmidt when you can get Prince Fielder for $10 less.
Go after Matt Carpenter and Hunter Pence - you'll get great performance at a relative discount.
Daniel Murphy is in the top 50 in value and the top 10 in performance. We like our odds.
Skip Clayton Kershaw, go for Justin Verlander instead.
James Shields or Cole Hamels over Felix Hernandez.
Use our sortable charts for position players and pitchers to see all of our fantasy baseball rankings and find great values in your fantasy baseball league. Note: Stats are from the 2013 season.
2014's Best Fantasy Baseball Values (Position Players):