OK, lets take this from a statistical standpoint, since fantasy is about stats still, right?
The argument against Arod is that his stats from Texas were highly inflated because of the ballpark affect.
To illustrate this, lets look at his home and away splits since joinging the Rangers in 2001:
H - 71/26/65/13/.361 - 319AB
A - 62/26/70/5/.276 - 313 AB
H - 74/34/82/5/.323 - 313 AB
A - 51/23/60/4/.277 - 311 AB
H - 67/26/71/8/.314 - 309 AB
A - 57/21/47/9/.282 - 298 AB
Regardless of how much you love ARod, you have to realize that he played better at home - specifically his BA. This is the result of park effect. Now, to truly guage how well a player will do outside of the setting he is in, away splits are often used as the best indicator since the homefield park effect is mitigated. Clearly, it shows Arod will struggle to hit for as high an average as we had come to expect.
Now, how does the new park effect in Yankee stadium relate to Arod? Take a look:
H - 53/17/55/15/.280 - 311 AB
A - 59/19/51/13//293 - 290 AB
This was the first time since he moved to Texas that his away numbers were better than his home numbers. Now, as you can see above, the ABs were very similar in TEX, but in 2004 there was the biggest discrepancy between H and A ABs: he had 21 fewer away ABs yet still put up better numbers on the road. His power away from home reflected the slight decline we have seen, but its the home HRs and inflated BA that he and fantasy players truly missed.
Prior to 2001 he played in SEA, but he only played one full yr in Safeco - his contact yr, so to say he hit the same in SEA is very misleading - he did it once, and he had extra incentive.
Finally, its also very hard to believe that at 29 years old last yr his SB totals would have spiked by 10 from his highest SB total the previous 4 years. Granted, he did steal a lot more while he was in SEA, so much of that has to be considered managerial style, and Torre does let him run. Basically what you have to weigh is his age and historical trend for most baseball players is to run less once they hit 30ish against his 28SB spike he had last yr - can he really keep it up?
Basically he didnt finish in the top 10 for hitters last yr from the rototimes value calculator - ESPN's had him finishing 7th among hitters I think.
You can say "He's The Best!" "Greatest EVER" "He'll return to form" "best fantasy player period" or whatever emotional driven response you want, but from a statistical evidence standpoint he is very unlikely to ever come close to hitting the numbers he had prior to 2004. The fact that he is no longer SS eligible and now is in one of the deepest positions fantasy wise only drives that point home even further.
The fact that the Funstons and Karabels "experts" continue to rate ARod as the #1 overall pick is disturbing simply because Im sure they just dont know any better - and yet they get paid for it - amazing.