Fantasy Fox: Mock-draft simulation for the No. 11 slot

Here’s a dry run of fantasy expectations when holding the No. 11 slot in 12-team mixed roto leagues, specifically working off an ESPN mock draft from March 21:

Round 1, Pick 11 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: 1B Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
2nd option: OF Adam Jones, Orioles
3rd option: SP David Price, Tigers

RATIONALE: Ideally, I’d like to land Encarnacion — my No. 7 asset in all of fantasy — in Round 2, in hopes of getting a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez with the 11th pick.

But the Blue Jays slugger still represents strong value here … given his sterling three-year average of 37 homers, 104 RBI, 86 runs and a .916 OPS.

Round 2, Pick 14 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
2nd option: OF Michael Brantley, Indians
3rd option: SP David Price, Tigers

RATIONALE: This may be the last year of blindly earmarking Tulowitzki (21 HR, 52 RBI, 71 runs, .340 batting in 2014) for 140 games at shortstop — traditionally one of the scarcest positions in fantasy — given his wretched three-year average of 88 games played.

On the flip side, Tulo still registered a 1.035 OPS through 91 games last season … which is certainly worthy of a Round 2 selection in dreamland.

Round 3, Pick 35 overall: Motive — Best starting pitcher or outfielder

1st option: SP David Price, Tigers
2nd option: OF Matt Kemp, Padres
3rd option: OF Bryce Harper, Nationals

RATIONALE: Price can justify his No. 3 ranking, among starting pitchers, without approaching last seaon’s career-best tally of 271 strikeouts. With the Tigers, he’s still an easy-breezy lock for 16 victories, a sub-2.80 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 225-plus strikeouts.

In fact, you can bet the farm Price (45 victories since 2012) won’t post 11 outings of double-digit strikeouts — similar to last year — including five straight for the entire month of June (54 Ks in that incredible span).

Round 4, Pick 38 overall: Motive — Best outfielder or starting pitcher

1st option: OF Matt Kemp, Padres
2nd option: SP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
3rd option: OF Corey Dickerson, Rockies

RATIONALE: Kemp’s preseason ranking among outfielders (8-12 range) seems fair, given his move to a more expansive home park (PETCO Park) and the staggering annual reductions with runs and steals.

However, let’s also remember his absurd splits for September/October … when the (then-Dodgers) outfielder racked up nine homers, 25 RBI, 21 runs, a .322 batting average, .700 slugging rate and otherworldly OPS of 1.047.

At age 30, a highly motivated Kemp can still be a dominant force among fantasy stars.

Round 5, Pick 59 overall: Motive — Best infielder available

1st option: 2B Brian Dozier, Twins
2nd option: 3B Kyle Seager, Mariners
3rd option: OF Christian Yelich, Marlins

RATIONALE: Dozier may have enjoyed the quietest campaign of 20-plus homers/20-plus steals/110-plus runs in the history of fantasy baseball.

How else to explain a No. 5 preseason positional ranking in the relative prime of his career?

Bottom line: Given Dozier’s low career tallies with batting average (.241) and slugging (.397), it’s proper to invoke a prove-it-to-me-again approach for 2015, especially since we’ve already attached sky-high fantasy expectations to Danny Santana — the Twins’ short-sample-size stud at shortstop (7 HR/40 RBI/70 runs/20 steals/.319 batting in 101 games last year).

Round 6, Pick 62 overall: Motive — Best corner infielder or starting pitcher

1st option: 3B Kyle Seager, Mariners
2nd option: SP Sonny Gray, Athletics
3rd option: OF Christian Yelich, Marlins

RATIONALE: I would have been absolutely fine with any of above names. But good drafting is also about getting great value … and I’m dying to know if Yelich (21 steals, 30 doubles, 94 runs in his age-22 campaign) might surreptitiously slide another 19 slots.

Round 7, Pick 83 overall: Motive — Best player available

1st option: 3B Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
2nd option: SP Garrett Richards, Angels
3rd option: OF Marcell Ozuna, Marlins

RATIONALE: OK, so the delayed-gratification experiment involving Yelich (71st overall pick) was a flop.

However, Carpenter holds great value at No. 83, considering he’s only two years removed from an MLB-best tally of 126 runs. As a follow-up, Carpenter walked 95 times last year, keeping his on-base percentage in that robust territory of .375 or higher.

Round 8, Pick 86 overall: Motive — Best outfielder or starting pitcher

1st option: OF Marcell Ozuna, Marlins
2nd option: SP Garrett Richards, Angels
3rd option: OF Hunter Pence, Giants

Round 9, Pick 107 overall: Motive — Best pitcher (starter/relief)

1st option: SP Alex Wood, Braves
2nd option: RP David Robertson, White Sox
3rd option: SP Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners

Round 10, Pick 110 overall: Motive — Best starting pitcher or outfielder

1st option: SP Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
2nd option: SP Michael Wacha, Cardinals
3rd option: OF Gregory Polanco, Pirates

Round 11, Pick 131 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: OF Josh Harrison, Pirates (should be 3B-eligible by mid-April)
2nd option: SP Justin Verlander, Tigers
3rd option: C Yan Gomes, Indians

Round 12, Pick 134 overall: Motive — Best pitcher or corner infielder

1st option: SP Justin Verlander, Tigers
2nd option: 3B Kris Bryant, Cubs
3rd option: RP Glen Perkins, Twins

RATIONALE: The preseason rankings for amped-up rookies Kris Bryant and Miguel Sano — both 40-homer assets someday — would be higher, if they were locks to make the Opening Day rosters for the Cubs and Twins, respectively.

Instead, we’ll invoke the Mike Trout Approach To Drafting, Circa 2012: Prioritize Bryant and Sano as "preferred upside picks" — the millisecond the market goes soft for hitters, relative to Average Draft Position, anytime after Round 10.

For those who’ve been reading my stuff for only a short time, back in 2012, I begged everyone under the sun to grab Trout — who opened that season in Triple-A ball (Angels’ affiliate), after incurring an illness during spring training — as soon as humanly possible. No matter the cost … or consequence of roster construction.

And we all know how that turned out, as Trout amassed 30 homers, 83 RBI, 129 runs, 49 steals, .326 batting in just 139 MLB games. (No MVP, though.)

Round 13, Pick 155 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: SP Michael Pineda, Yankees
2nd option: SP Drew Smyly, Rays
3rd option: 3B Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox

Round 14, Pick 158 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: 3B Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
2nd option: OF Wil Myers, Padres
3rd option: SP Collin McHugh, Astros

Round 15, Pick 179 overall: Motive — Best closer available

1st option: RP Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
2nd option: RP Hector Rondon, Cubs
3rd option: RP Andrew Miller, Yankees

BEST OF THE REST

Round 16: SS Jean Segura, Brewers
Round 17: OF Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks
Round 18: OF Marlon Byrd, Reds
Round 19: RP Addison Reed, Diamondbacks
Round 20: SP Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays
Round 21: C Miguel Montero, Cubs
Round 22: 3B Marcus Semien, Athletics
Round 23: SP Taijuan Walker, Mariners
Round 24: SP Henderson Alvarez, Marlins
Round 25: OF Juan Lagares, Mets

Jay Clemons, the 2008 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year (Fantasy Sports Writers Association), can be reached via Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.