So, young baseball fan, you are about to embark on another season of the ol’ rotisserie comissiery and want to know: Who of these fabled South Side ball-playingmen might be up to task of turning real home runs into imaginary victory? The answers are all around, young baseball enthusiast, but before we impart this knowledge to you, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does my league value offense? No, of course it doesn’t, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking a White Sox blog for advice.
2. Could I reasonably describe any current White Sox player as “my favorite player?” Don’t draft them, as this will only complicate your fan-player relationship. (Note: If you are over the age of 22, you should always answer “no” to this question, unless your answer is based in non-baseball logic, i.e. “Scott Linebrink is my favorite player because of the excellent work he does with war veterans” or “Andruw Jones is my favorite player because he gives me hope of finding work in this abysmal local job market despite presenting no outward indications of value to prospective employers.”)
3. What do I really want out of my fantasy baseball season? If you answered “pride” or “fun,” you are in this for the wrong reason(s). Winning a debate on Gordon Beckham’s standing as a third baseman is not something to be proud of. Keeping tabs on abysmal teams in forgotten divisions in hopes they call up that hotshot outfield prospect is not a recipe for fun (“Mitch Moreland! WOOOOO!”). Play to win or don’t play. Except you don’t really win; even if you win, you lose, but at least you get to take other people’s money. Think of it like Dungeons & Dragons for the sporting set except, you know, D&D players don’t develop weird statistical man-crushes on Hanley Ramirez. Or, to keep things local, all-consuming hatred of Alexei Ramirez for single-handedly sinking their team early on in the season, only to watch him rain fire on the rest of the league after trading him to Big Bat And Balls (or some team with a name boasting similar intellectual complexity) in July.
So, all that business out of the way, allow us to help you mine this crazy South Side roster for fantasy gold:
Gordon Beckham, Carlos Quentin, Jake Peavy. No one else is worth getting excited over.
Paul Konerko will deliver exactly what is expected of him. If you don’t get any of the three-headed hydra known as Pujols/Gonzalez/Morneau, you could do worse than Paulie. Thirty or so homers, ninety or so driven in, 150 or so hits. Nothing wrong with that.
Mark Teahen seems like a really nice guy. But that’s still no reason to draft him.
Take Alex Rios before the fifth round. Yes, I’m serious. You think he’s going to be good? Fine, then put your money where your mouth is.
Johnny Damon, Jim Thome, Orlando Hudson, and Adrian Gonzalez will probably put up very good numbers at their respective positions. For someone else. This is not a comment on their value in fantasy baseball.
SLEEPER PICK: Andruw Jones. If he contributes absolutely nothing, he will still have done exactly as much as some jerk on the internet expects of him.
BONUS SLEEPER PICK: Gavin Floyd. At some point, Floyd has to become the monster 2008 suggested he can be. That point is now, or so hopes some jerk on the internet.
BONUS BONUS SLEEPER PICK: All of ’em because, come on, what do you have to lose?