Do Not Draft: Tatis, Trout and others to avoid in fantasy baseball

While he'd be a first-round lock if he were healthy, the fact that he's not means you need to think long and hard before drafting Fernando Tatis Jr. in 2022. AP

When healthy, San Diego Padres SS/OF Fernando Tatis Jr. is arguably the top player in all of fantasy baseball -- a generational talent providing statistical goodness in each of the five roto categories, while also carrying managers in points formats. Despite persistent shoulder issues in 2021, Tatis smacked 42 home runs, stole 25 bases and in his 130 games was one of the top performers in the sport. So why would anyone not draft Tatis in 2022?

Well, Tatis fractured his left wrist at some point this offseason (he remains unsure of precisely when it happened) and he underwent surgery in mid-March. The Padres expect him to miss half of the season, and that is a best-case scenario.

There is nothing wrong with investing in a few injury risks on a fantasy roster, even one or two that may miss considerable playing time, but fantasy managers may not be discounting Tatis enough. Half of the season and best-case scenario are scary terms. Sure, it is easy to stash a player on your injured list, but what is the opportunity cost lost in whatever round (or with whatever auction dollars) spent on this injured player. Perhaps you can wait three-plus months, perhaps not. Whom else could you have selected in Round 7 or 10 or ... whenever?