I never thought it would be the case, but in my league, Jeter was overlooked because every fantasy magazine and source says "avoid high-profile Yankees and Red Sox because their national hype will make their price higher than their production"...
Well, now it appears that we've overshot the mark. Jeter made a good value on my team, because everyone had other plans for shortstop on draft day - they thought they'd get good value on Reyes, Lopez or someone else they thought would be flying under the radar.. meanwhile, Jeter seemed to get lost in the shuffle.
He's having a heck of a season. He's 32 but I knew he wasn't anywhere near done. A player as athletic as Jeter tends to age gracefully, and Jeter has really sharpened his batting eye over the last year and a half. His OBP was nearly .400 last year and is over .500 so far this year.
He walked 46 times in 2004, then 77 times in 2005, and is on pace to walk over 100 times in 2006. He's also on pace for over 80 extra base hits. He hits in a great lineup. Jeter seems to be evolving as a hitter, and I like where this is going.
I heard a bit on him on YES that's really making me stick with Jeter for the year. They said in his career, he's always been a slow starter. But this year, because of the WBC, he had to start his ST earlier. Those who watched the WBC saw Jeter struggle with the bat, usually that's the beginning of the year, but now he's closer to his mid-season form. I know he won't bat close to .400 all year, but he has a legitimate chance to contend for the batting title this year.
Got Jeter in the 4th round, right after someone selected Reyes. Needless to say, I'm happy. I projected him to be the #3 SS behind Tejada and Young, despite people consistently taking Rollins, Reyes and even guys like Furcal/Peralta over him.
He's actually become quite an underrated player in fantasy circles.
I don't know, I still think he's overrated, especially for fantasy purposes. He's really only a strong 2 category contributer (average and runs). He does the other things ok (moderate power, a few steals, some RBIs), but nothing that sticks out.
I want to go one of two ways with SS. Power (Young/Tejada/Peralta), which would allow me take someone like Pods or Pierre. Or speed (Reyes/Rollins/Furcal/Lugo). Doesn't really matter which. I guess if you can get Jeter and a few other guys who will moderately produce across all categories you'll be ok...
Anyway, I'm not as high on him as others seem to be, and that's ok.
He went 4.3 in my league, and Rollins went 3.6. I think they'll put up similar numbers by the end of the year (Jeter better in average, Rollins better in SB, small differences in everything else), so, while Jeter is the better deal, I'm not sure I'd call him too underrated.
That was just my league though. If he's going several rounds later (as in fantasyfan's draft), I'd definitely agree. I just haven't had that experience.
He also happens to be one of the most consistent players out there, key for fantasy. People love to say he sucks in fantasy, but you know exactly what to expect from him. You'll get a high average, somewhere around 20-20, and 200 runs produced.