When you get into an auction and want to place big bids on the likes of Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp, you will have to spend less money at other positions. Fortunately, these guys will be there for cheap, which will enable you to bring in an extra star at the traditional positions. 

Note: All projections based on standard 5×5 scoring numbers.

Hitting: Runs, HR, RBI, Steals, AVG.  

Pitching: Wins, Strikeouts, Saves, ERA, WHIP.


Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros

If, for whatever reason, you can’t get your paws on Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia or Ian Kinsler, do not reach for any of the second-tier second basemen like Brandon Phillips or Dan Uggla. Those players are all too one dimensional, and you’re much better off spending big on someone else and bargain hunting for Altuve

This kid can absolutely fly (136 minor league steals in 382 games), and he looks to be hitting at the top of the order in Houston, which will inflate any of the counted statistics. 

The National League Central is still full of good hitting parks, so don’t think that the extra at-bats will dramatically alter his batting average, which was .276 in limited time in 2011. 

Altuve will cost you nothing more than about $5-$10 in a standard auction, which is dirt cheap given the numbers that will be there. Altuve‘s best numbers will be steals, but he’ll give you solid production across the board, allowing you to go hard after some other big-name players.

Dixon’s Projections

Hits    AB    Runs    HR    RBI    Steals    Average
168 603 72 10 59 27



John Buck, C, Miami Marlins

Catcher is really a position with two key numbers. One is 15 homers, and the other is a .230 batting average. Those may not seem massive, but that’s a position with so few great players that anyone you can bank on to get those numbers is someone that will work well on your team. 

When it comes down to it, even the elite catchers don’t get too many at-bats. So their power numbers won’t be much better, and while the average of someone like Brian McCann will be much better, the lack of at-bats will limit the impact that makes on your team. 

The Marlins just don’t have a catcher that’s going to take playing time away from Buck. The additions the Marlins have made will increase Buck’s RBI numbers, and the depth that someone like Jose Reyes gives their lineup will make the runs better.

Even if Buck is at the bottom at the order, Reyes’ addition will put everyone in a more natural spot. The trickle down will get Buck better pitches and men on base to drive in.

Dixon’s Projections

Hits    AB    Runs    HR    RBI    Steals    Average
114 472 72 21 64 3 .242

Vance Worley, P, Philadelphia Philles

First of all, the Phillies are going to win a lot of games. By extension, their pitchers are going to have a lot of wins on their record. Worley‘s numbers will be rounded out because of his stuff, specifically the cutter. 

His ESPN Fantasy Profile described Worley perfectly:

What made the difference for Worley was the cutter; he picked it up from Cole Hamels and used it to neutralize left-handers to the tune of .201/.271/.299 rates last season. Between that and his slider, which frustrates right-handers, Worley is a more “complete” pitcher than people give him credit for.

Following that, he is going to be a strong pitcher all year this year. The fact is that, with Roy Oswalt out of the rotation, the chances will be there for Worley to grow, getting even more innings. His cutter/slider duo gives me a lot of confidence that the extra innings will not hurt the “average” categories of ERA and WHIP, while the wins and strikeouts will be there. 

Dixon’s Projections

IP      H      ER      BB     K    Wins    ERA    WHIP   
183  174 76 61 151    14 3.74 1.28

Dixon’s Top 15 Fantasy Players

Pick  Player   R   HR   RBI   SB   AVG.   K    ERA   WHIP
1. Matt Kemp, OF 98   34 103 41 .304
2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B 108   34 114 2 .328      
3.  Albert Pujols, 1B 102 41 111 7 .317        
4. Robinson Cano, 2B 107 29 108 6 .324        
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF 118 26 91 39 .319        
6. Jose Bautista, 3B/OF 107 42 103 6 .292        
7. Troy Tulowitzki, SS 93 31 98 9 .303        
8. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B 107 36 115 1 .309        
9. Joey Votto, 1B 109 35 107 6 .312        
10. Ryan Braun, OF 98 29 107 37 .317        
11. Prince Fielder, 1B 110 41 121 2 .289        
12. Roy Halladay, SP   22 212  2.13 1.08
13. Dustin Pedroia, 2B 112 23 82 23 .316        
14. Justin Verlander, SP           21 226 2.21 1.04
15. Evan Longoria, 3B 95 33 97 8 .280        

Note: Saves are also a category in standard fantasy leagues, but no closer is included in the top 30, so they are omitted from the projections. 


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