Bust, like sleeper, is a dangerous term. Please understand, we aren’t necessarily saying the players below are frauds. We don’t like ’em at current draft prices. Buyer beware.
• Stolen bases have become scarce in recent seasons, but sometimes fantasy owners misunderstand the logical application of this fact. We now need fewer stolen bases to compete, not more. It’s the easiest 5×5 category to acquire on a budget, too. One good in-season acquisition can make a major difference.
Billy Hamilton is still fetching a pick in the fourth-to-sixth round pocket, at the expense of well-rounded players who don’t his tax the power categories or come with Hamilton’s batting-average risk. The first unbreakable rule in fantasy is “no unbreakable rules”, but Hamilton is as close to I get as a “no way” pick in 2018. Rethink the way you feel about stolen-base accumulation. — Scott Pianowski
• A.J. Pollock followed up a lost 2016 season with a lackluster .266/.330/.471 line in another injury-shortened campaign last year. He’s never hit more than 20 homers or reached 80 RBI in a season, and he’s eclipsed 20 steals just once. His career OPS is .806 despite calling home to Chase Field, which is likely to go somewhere from extreme hitters’ park to neutral or pitcher-friendly thanks to the introduction of a humidor. Pollock has missed at least 50 games in three of the past four seasons, yet he’s still costing a top-65 pick despite being one of the more injury prone players in the league and the drastic change in how his home park should play. — Dalton Del Don
• Ryan Braun is 34 years old, well beyond his peak, and he’s reached the stage where we have to expect one or two extended DL visits each season. He’s also coming off a year in which he slashed .268/.336/.487. At some point in your draft, he will of course be worth the risk; he’s still a useful power/speed combo player. But I’d want a much steeper discount than his current draft price (ADP 88.6, OF25), considering the depth of talent at outfield and first base. Braun is guaranteed to be a high-maintenance player for fantasy purposes even when healthy, because he’s going to need plenty of off-days. Milwaukee is loaded in the outfield and corner infield — Yelich, Santana, Cain, Broxton, Perez, Thames, Shaw, Aguilar — so there’s just no obvious reason for Braun to play more than 130-or-so games. — Behrens