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Defining catcher value by format

Nobody would be shocked if Buster Posey were to finish 2017 as the top fantasy catcher, but that doesn't mean you should rush to draft him. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I have nothing against the awesome Buster Posey, well on his way to a future Hall of Fame bid, or youngster Gary Sanchez, who, to listen to some over-exuberant fans, is already a lock for induction. However, the best value at the catching position in an ESPN standard format is actually Yadier Molina -- or Brian McCann, or possibly Evan Gattis, or Stephen Vogt, or maybe even Russell Martin. These are the catchers who seem to be sticking around until the end of 10-team, 25-round drafts on ESPN.com, and while none are likely to produce quite to the level of Posey, Sanchez, Jonathan Lucroy or others, well, the cost should be about as minimal as possible. That’s extreme value, and in any one-catcher format it’s worth trusting.

Of course, if one participates in a 12-team, NL-only auction in which two active catchers are required, as I did last week, that strategy has to change. It will also be different in my upcoming points-league draft, where certain catchers with certain skills become more valuable. Then there’s another 16-team mixed draft approaching in which one of my 12 keepers might or might not be a catcher, which also factors in. In other words, all the rules about catchers in fantasy are different, depending on what your league rules really are.

Still, because ESPN goes with a one-catcher format, that’s what tends to get the most coverage in our blog entries and on the Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast. We do know that some of you -- maybe many of you -- play with other rules on other sites as well. Hey, I’m no different. With that in mind, here are one writer’s thoughts on how to handle fantasy’s worst position, depending on the format. After all, the format could change everything.