Getting caught up in the world of young, rising stars in fantasy baseball? That's fine, but often the prudent play is to take accomplished, reliable players instead. Here's a look at fantasy's top players in their thirties.
(Note: ADP references are from NFBC drafts.)
Catcher: Brian McCann, Yankees (age 32)
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McCann is our fourth-ranked catcher, and has been leaving the board near the top of the 10th round in 12-team drafts. Over the last 10 seasons, the consistent McCann has never hit fewer than 18 home runs or more than 26, which was his career high last year. Yankee Stadium will continue to boost McCann's power, and helps to offset his .232 BA since coming to play in the Bronx.
First Base: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (age 33)
Cabrera played just 119 games and hit only 18 home runs last season due to a calf injury, but he batted .338 and posted a .974 OPS, which ranked fifth in the majors. Maybe you're worried about Cabrera getting old and injury-prone, but keep in mind that last year's DL stint was the first of his career. For an ADP of 15th overall, he could provide pretty good value.
Second Base: Robinson Cano, Mariners (age 33)
Cano's Yankee Stadium power numbers might be a thing of the past, but he finished 2015 very strongly, batting .331 with 15 home runs over the second half of the season. Among second basemen, he ranked first in RBI (79), second in homers (21), and seventh in runs (82) and BA (.287). Cano is far from done, and looks just fine as the third keystoner off the board in Round 5.
Third Base: Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (age 30)
Donaldson is in his prime after winning the American League MVP award with 41 home runs, 123 RBI and 122 runs scored. We have him ranked fifth overall, which is where he's been going in early drafts. Another big season lies ahead.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Blue Jays (age 31)
Tulowitzki is still fantasy's No. 2 shortstop, but it's a long way down from Carlos Correa in the first round to him in the fourth or fifth. Tulo hasn't played more than 130 games since 2011, and last season's .777 OPS was his lowest since 2008. On the bright side, those negatives are factored into his draft price. As long as you don't expect the prime, Coors Field Tulowitzki, you should be happy with him.
Outfield: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (age 35)
Hey, it's another Blue Jay! Bautista currently carries an ADP of 26, and we have him as fantasy's fifth-ranked outfielder while drafters rank him ninth. His .250 BA from last season is worrisome (we think it should improve a bit), and another campaign of 35-plus homers seems likely. If you get enough speed with your first two picks, Bautista's top-notch power can be a target early in Round 3.
Also, if you draft Bautista you should follow him on Twitter (@JoeyBats19), because he'll probably follow you back. He follows EVERYBODY.
Outfield: Chris Davis, Orioles (age 30)
Speaking of power, this guy has plenty. Davis' prodigious strikeout rate always makes him susceptible to a bad BA (he's at .255 career), but his HR totals over the last four seasons have been 33-53-26-47, with the low season cut short by 30 games due to a suspension. As long as you resolve to construct the rest of your roster with strong BA considerations, Davis should be a fine choice at the Round 2/3 turn. We've got him ranked eighth among first basemen and 11th in the outfield.
Outfield: Nelson Cruz, Mariners (age 35)
Cruz seems to be getting better with age, as he's hit 40 and 44 home runs over the last two seasons. He has a history of injuries, but lots of time at DH should continue to keep him healthy and productive. Don't expect Cruz to bat .302 again - his career mark is .273 - but another season of 30-plus homers appears to be in the cards. At an ADP of 44, Cruz will be one of the last big power sources available in your draft. We've got him ranked as the No. 12 outfielder.
Starting Pitcher: Max Scherzer, Nationals (age 31)
Scherzer hit a bit of a rough patch last August and ... enough with the quibbling. He's clearly fantasy's best non-Kershaw starter after posting a 2.79 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and 276 strikeouts. The Nats' ace was already fantastic, and cut his walk rate in half to support his excellent season. If Scherzer pitches just as well in 2016 - he should be close - we promise that he'll win more than 14 games this time.
Relief Pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez, Tigers (age 34)
We had to dig deep to find a closer older than 30, as K-Rod has been the 13th reliever off the board in early NFBC drafts. He doesn't blow people away as much as he did in his early twenties, but his strikeout rate of 28.7 was in baseball's 10th percentile, and he posted terrific numbers in both ERA (2.21) and WHIP (0.86). Unless Rodriguez's skills fall off a cliff, he should cruise through this season as the Tigers' closer.