Steer clear of fantasy baseball players coming off career years.

That thinking appears to contradict the goal of detecting the most production possible on draft day, but chasing the previous year’s stars rarely provides anyone with proper value. When paying for a player’s peak, there’s nowhere to go but down.

Chris Davis won myriad 2013 leagues with his 53 home runs, but he cost just as many gamers the following year by hitting .196 as a first-round selection. Last year’s leader in homers won’t attract the same price tag this spring, but he’s also in line for a course correction. 

Be careful, however, not to treat this as a “Do Not Draft” list. Everyone has his price, and it’s possible all other drafters have adjusted their rankings for expected deflation. In that case, consider zigging as everyone else zags.

Just don’t expect a repeat of 2014, which will motivate eager players to overpay for outlier seasons. The goal is not to snatch up last year’s breakouts, but rather to identify the next batch.

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