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Avoid the Justin Upton Man-Crush Party
Cody Crosby, FantasyJuice.com

Alright. I'll agree with you that Justin Upton had a great 2009 season for a 21 year-old. His 26 home runs in 526 at-bats were beyond impressive and his 20 steals showed immense improvement over his rookie season.

I urge you to be careful when jumping on the Justin Upton bandwagon. It's not that I don't think he'll have a superb season in 2010, I just don't see him putting up numbers worthy of his rankings around fantasy baseball circles.

Prior to the 2008 season, fantasy pundits had high hopes for B.J. Upton (Justin Upton's brother.) Of course this love came as no surprise after he jacked 24 dingers and stole 22 bases in only 474 at-bats during his rookie season. B.J. was ranked as a top ten fantasy outfielder since most “experts” were expecting increases in power and speed from the youngster. Unfortunately, B.J. Upton didn't live up to his expectations, his speed increased dramatically in 2008 while his power evaporated. Many fantasy managers were left shaking their heads in shame after forming their team around hope instead of safety.

Man-crushes happen every fantasy season. Over time, fantasy pundits fall in love with players and tend to rank them too high and expect too much from them. B.J. Upton, while still a solid outfield option, was loved by too many in 2008 which drove up his draft price.

Justin Upton is falling prey to fantasy pundit man-crushes. His O-Rank at Yahoo lists him as the third best outfielder, above players like Matt Holliday, Carl Crawford, and Grady Sizemore. Yahoo! “expert” Brandon Funston has Upton ranked as second best outfielder heading into 2010. Since most fantasy managers don't take the time to research, they look at these rankings and draft accordingly.

Do not over-pay for someone else's man-crush. For one-season leagues, draft safely and do not pick the player of the moment or you could end up burned like B.J. Upton owners in 2008.


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