#5 Ian Desmond: Fantasy Predictions for 2016
We've been telling you to draft Ian Desmond ahead of Troy Tulowitzki for three years straight, now, and we've largely been correct (due only to Tulowitzki's very-predictable, injury-plagued seasons). But this year, we're dropping Ian Desmond down a bit. For one, we've entered the Carlos Correa era. Aside from that, Tulo has the opportunity to DH in the AL, now, and Francisco Lindor an Xander Bogaerts are more-likely to help your fantasy team this season.
When Ian Desmond had his breakout year in 2012 at the age of 26, we saw that season as a sign of things to come. On top of that, while Troy Tulowitzki was lighting up the box scores just prior to spending extended time on the Disabled List, Ian Desmond was going about his business, steadily building up stats at the fantasy shortstop position. 70 Runs, 20+ HR, 20+ SB and 70-90+ RBI for three consecutive seasons out of your shortstop is a good road to victory in fantasy baseball.
What Worries Us About Ian Desmond in 2016
The biggest issue we see with Ian Desmond's stats over the past two seasons is his significant drop-off in batting average.
Ian Desmond Fantasy Stats and Indicators
Going from .292 in 2012 to .280 in 2013 wasn't a big deal, but going from .280 down to .255 was a bigger deal. Maybe it's a one-year anomaly, right? Happens to the best of 'em. But then he hit a dismal .233 in 2015.
Maybe the Nationals' clubhouse was too toxic for Desmond to be able to concentrate on hitting, but we're not interested in any ridiculous excuses like that. Te bottom line is that Ian Desmond is on an inexplicable downfall, statistically and fantasy-wise (for him), but you can still count on him for 15-20 HR, 60 RBI and 10+ stolen bases. We also don't predict his batting average will stay as low. We wouldn't be surprised to see him stay in the .250 range again, but regardless, don't be shy in drafting him. Chances are good you'll get him a lot cheaper this year than any other year. Take him accordingly and hope for a bounce-back season. He's only 30 years old this year, so we're not worried about his age being a factor.