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2014 Fantasy Projections: Philadelphia Phillies

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The Phillies are an interesting team when it comes to 2014 fantasy predictions. What we have here is a stockpile of fading veterans with almost zero talent coming up from the farm. Knowing the cards upfront though helps, as you can potentially buy low on injury-prone veterans, such as Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. While both these players can produce competitive stats at their positions, they’re both 35, on the decline of their careers, and have a major liability risk for injury. Still, since this will cause drafters to steer clear, there’s more upside potential if these guys fall to the later ends of the draft.

I expect regression from 2013 standouts Domonic Brown and Marlon Byrd, both of whom should see a decline in production (especially Byrd). Revere might be an appealing pickup for SB numbers, though he swiped a career low 22 bags last season and finished behind Juan Pierre, Daniel Murphy, and Nate McLouth due to injury. Ryan Howard presents a possible bounce back candidate, though after two lost seasons, I wouldn’t both until the waiver wire.

Pitching is the true strong point for the Phillies, as Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and A.J. Burnett all plan to factor as strong fantasy starters, while Jonathan Papelbon seems a lock for 30+ saves. My only concern is in the wins department, as this team will have some major problems backing up their strong starters. Lest we forget Cliff Lee’s 6-9 record in 2012, a year in which he threw 211 innings with a 3.16 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Still, these starters should thrive in most other stat categories, especially strikeouts where all three finished with 200+ in 2013.

Projected lineup:
Ben Revere - OF
Jimmy Rollins – SS
Chase Utley – 2B
Ryan Howard – 1B
Domonic Brown – OF
Marlon Byrd – OF
Carlos Ruiz – C
Cody Asche – 3B

Projected rotation:
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
A.J. Burnett
Kyle Kendrick
Roberto Hernandez

Closers/setup:
Jonathan Papelbon
Antonio Bastardo

ESPN Top 300:
Cliff Lee - #26
Cole Hamels - #73
Chase Utley - #100
Domonic Brown - #110
Jonathan Papelbon - #141
A.J. Burnett - #199
Jimmy Rollins - #202
Ben Revere - #233
Ryan Howard - #255
Marlon Byrd - #274
(ESPN Fantasy)

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