Catcher. Yes. Not exactly an explosive way to open fantasy baseball coverage for the 2020 season, but still a necessity.
If fantasy football is your traffic jam, the easiest way to show the catcher position in baseball is to equate it to the close end position in the NFL. You have one or two at the top of the leaderboard who make valuable contributions, then a whole lot of yuck. Sure, you can put on a few and feel good if you use them throughout the season, but overall, this position is your disposable item in fantasy baseball designs.
At the top of the ranking are J.T. Realmuto and Gary Sanchez. The former is the rounder player who usually gives you decent strength, a little bit of speed and a solid batting average. The latter offers great performance and a strong production run, but in the typical modern stroke type a weak stroke average. They cost you a relatively large selection of designs or require a strong bid in an auction, but similar to Travis Kelce, they offer you a distinct advantage in position.
If you move down the leaderboard, you will come across good, if not great, opportunities. The Cubs' Willson Contreras is promising, but has uneven stretches and plays in a team that doesn't offer much protection today. Yasmai Grandal has power, but is changing leagues this season, and that always requires an adjustment phase.
Mitch Garver and Will Smith have promises of power, but like their NFL counterparts like Austin Hooper and Evan Engram, it doesn't seem necessary to get them. If you're playing in a two-catcher league, you may invest a little more to land one of them. In a one-catcher league, however, it is highly recommended to wait.
If you're looking for a sleeper who has the potential to break out even though no one has him on the radar – a Darren Waller appearance, if you like – then check out Jorge Alfaro, the Miami backstop , He is routinely overlooked when he plays for the Marlins living in the basement, but has shown strong performance over the past few seasons. At 26, he is on the way to an even stronger production.
His strikeout sums are a bit much, but he puts the ball into play so many times that his average is still above the 0.260 mark. Like Waller, it is ignored by far too many fantasy owners and, if not yours, is the hottest waiver in April.
Again, the catcher position is no reason to stress on the day of the draft. You can certainly make this early move for Realmuto or Sanchez, but it's far from necessary, especially in the single-catcher mixed league game. Don't get caught sleeping in a two-catcher format, but it will be a mistake to make this a priority. The overall position is weak enough to give you time to draw a more important position.
Howard Bender is Vice President of Operations and Head of Content at Fantasy Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him in the award-winning "Fantasy Alarm Radio Show" on the SiriusXM Fantasy sports channel on weekdays at 4-6am. On FantasyAlarm.com you can find all your tips on fantasy sports, MLB lineups and DFS weather updates.