Fantasy Baseball 2023: All-risk team to watch out for in drafts

The following players are relatively highly ranked and respected in the fantasy baseball community, but drafting them comes with a significant risk – a risk that needs to be addressed.

Except for his World Baseball Classic performance, Perez is on my do-not-draft list of 2023. He turns 33 in the second month of the season, which isn’t exactly the end of the road, but it’s not prime real estate for a catcher, either. Speaking of which, Perez being ranked so high strikes me as more of a deal with name prominence/how weak the catcher’s position is. His numbers plummeted last season after likely back-to-back above-average campaigns. I don’t expect another jump with him a year older and part of a weak Royals lineup. I’d rather risk it with a younger catcher on a better team.

Similar to Salvy (although I don’t have Goldy on my Do Not Draft list), I’m concerned that Goldschmidt’s age will catch up this season. This concern is compounded by the fact that he topped all his expected numbers in his NL MVP season last year; his .368 BABIP was the highest since 2014. I can understand why, even at 35, he’s an easy first baseman in the top 5, but as Scott Pianowski puts it, “Goldschmidt was one of baseball’s happiest hitters last year… I suspect Goldschmidt is having a modest year of regression and not earning enough to justify his top 20 Yahoo ADP.

Merrifield’s numbers plummeted across the board last season and he turned 34 in January. Sure, his BABIP has been low by his standards and he’s on a MUCH better team this season than most years of his career and is expected to start second for Toronto. But the Jays are loaded And deep. If Merrifield is struggling, whether from natural regression or some other reason, I’ll be surprised if Toronto is reluctant to move him down the lineup. And I can’t help but think his 40 stolen bags in 2021 was kind of a last hurray.

It’s risky to call Merrifield risky, which not so long ago was one of the safest options in fantasy. Still, I’m getting younger this season via Merrifield with 2B.

I firmly believe that Fernando Tatis Jr. is the best player in MLB. But I can’t ignore his injuries and problems off the field. I’m officially on stay-away mode unless he crashes in a draft.

That’s easy for me: I’d rather see Henderson put on a top-10 fantasy season before drafting him as such (and that’s knowing how weak third base is this year).

Alvarez’s risk goes hand-in-hand with Tatis Jr. Will injury derail a future Hall of Famer career? He’s missed games every season of his young tenure and I dread what that could mean. However, he is already struggling with a hand injury Alvarez himself expects to be done by opening day.

It’s no surprise that the naysayers point out to Strider that he only throws two pitches. And while those two spots have proven uber-elite in his first full season as a starter at the majors, how far will they take him? Strider is drafted early in the second round; a high price to pay for a pitcher who, no matter how talented he is and proves, has only played one real season in the major leagues.

Williams is being drafted as a top 10 reliever and I believe that’s the right thing for him. Its advanced numbers are *cook kiss* but I can’t help but look at his walking rates from last season. It was his second season with a BB/9 over 4.00, which begs the question: If he continues to lose control of this airbender – already putting him at risk of injury – what will happen? I’d rather let other artists figure that out.

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