This will be my 4th year playing this craziness. Just finished my draft list cheat sheet. I rank players in groups..A.B.C.D. When its my turn I must draft a player from the highest group that remains.(w/in reason) My A&B groups for SP's and OUTF have only 8 players each!! Shocking!! This means plenty of mediocrity and therefore you must be wise in your picking. Tho the INF positions look to be deeper than ever.
Just for argument, I'll list my A&B groups.
A group-SP:RJ, Santana, Schmidt, Prior, CZamb, Oswalt, Clemens, Peavy
A group OUTF: Beltran, Bonds, Vlad, MRam, Ichuro, Abreau, MCabrera, Sheffield
B group OUTF: Dunn, Edmonds, CLee, Matsuii, Crawford, Pierre, GAnderson, Drew
Mulder/Hudson/Carpenter,Schilling left off because of poor 2nd halves and injuries.
Also, spring training results a player can move up or down.
Pitching has been thin for a few years. I would disagree with your OF as you are drawing the lines too tight IMO. There are always 8-12 superstars, a number of near superstars and then some medicority. I do not think you can say it is any better or worse this year. Sure things in pitching are very rare and a good draft has quite a bit to do with luck too. You show me one analyst that had Soriano as 8th round mediocrity last year. Soriano busted a lot of teams last season and cost a lot of people some fantasy titles I would think. You think he is a safe pick? Yet he will likely go round 1-2 this year? Shoe me one guy who had Beltre even in he first 12 rounds.
Also, Hudson and Schilling will be fine if healthy...their injuries are not career threating arm injuries. Carpenter is not an elite pitcher and it is most optimistic to think he will come anything close to last yea's numbers. Maybe, but hardly early round material. GA...above avg in the OF now.
The more I think about your title the more I think the opposite is true. If there is alot of quality then everyone will have good teams which would result in tight races, if there is a lack of good quality then it will be the good GMs who will probably run away with it in picking the best "mediocore" players. I just think if there is a lack in quality the best GMs will run away with titles, since inept GMs won't make good picks after the quality is gone.
I have to agree with J35J here. I think the exact opposite of your message titel is true. I think the quality is up from what it has been in the past, with a few position exceptions. I mean, look at the closers, this is the most settled group of closers I have seen in the 6 years I've been playing fantasy baseball. I also think the OF and SP are deeper than your rankings. The pitchers New Zealand Fan listed should be included in your top two tiers.