by Sean Agranov
As fantasy owners we tend to always strive to obtain the new, up-and-coming players for our teams. We are like sponges that soak up all we can about prospects and rookies. This is especially true if you are in dynasty and keeper leagues. All this leads to one thing; we forget about the old standby veterans that have been there year in and year out and will continue to win you your fantasy league.
Should it comes as a surprise that the stars of Opening Day were two players:
- One a young star in the making in Dustin Ackley with the flashy home run and who has been rising up draft boards all Hot Stove Season;
- The other the old and quickly being downgraded Ichiro Suzuki only went 4 for 5 in the opener.
Polar opposites career-wise, but an important lesson for us to remember. Don’t forget the veterans are just as important as the younger players to winning your league.
Here are some aging veterans that might be passed by for younger players during your drafts but should have an impact on the winners of your fantasy leagues:
Ichiro Suzuki has proved on Day 1 of the Season that he can still hit, and is part of a much better hitting Mariners team this year.
Alex Rodriguez is being avoided in most leagues since he only had 373 at bats last season, hitting a career low .278 with 16 HR and 62 RBI. This year he had the Kobe Bryant off-season blood cleansing treatment and, if healthy, will easily improve upon those numbers.
Mariano Rivera is still the standard for Closers. He may be old but think of him as the Energizer Bunny. He keeps on ticking off those saves when younger guys like Jonathan Broxton, Joakim Soria, Ryan Madsen and now even Drew Storen are falling off to injuries.
A.J. Pierzynski is still the catcher that won’t hurt you. 500 AB with a .275 average and 10 home runs.
Chipper Jones will miss time to start the season due to his knee injury, but when he plays he still hits. If you can take advantage of getting his at bats into your line-up when they come, it will only benefit you.
Carlos Lee is still a force in Houston, slated to play full time at first base and able to play outfield if needed. Should have at least 20 home runs and a .280 average. Currently he’s being drafted a few slots below the valley fever struck Ike Davis and the pig roasting Yoenis Cespedes.
Marco Scutaro is 35 and slated to play second base for the Rockies this year. He will benefit from Coors field and also has shortstop eligibility.
Todd Helton is so old that he was the starting quarterback at Tennessee before Peyton Manning. However, he still delivers when he is able to play. Treat him like Chipper Jones, getting his at bats into your line-up when they come, it will only benefit you.
Scott Rolen is fully recovered from his 2011 shoulder surgery and has had one of his best spring training’s in years. Still a great late pick for third base in Cincinnati.
Vladimir Guerrero was worked out by the Indians earlier this week and still might sign somewhere. If given playing time, he should be a nice fill in if an outfielder on your team suffers an injury
Finally we have Jamie Moyer, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery and as of this writing is still battling for the 5th rotation slot in Colorado. Thus far he is pitching like someone twenty years his younger with a good stats and a 2-0 record. Did you know that Tommy John was still a pitcher in the big leagues when Moyer began his career? Not too bad for a guy who is 49-years old, and if he wins just one game this year will become the oldest pitcher to do so in major league history.
Got any more old “washed up” veterans you want to add to the list? Leave us a note in the comments.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: