Fantasy owners really got burned by Darren Dreifort only once, in the drafts of 2001. He was coming off a 12-9 season with a decent 4.16 ERA and loads of strikeouts. The Dodgers gave the 28-year-old a five-year, $55 million deal based mainly on potential.
Is A.J. Burnett the next Dreifort?
The question needs to be asked, and fantasy owners need to be prepared if the answer is yes for 2006. Dreifort was 39-45 at the time of the deal. Burnett, who signed the exact same deal in terms of years and money, is only 49-50 in his career. He's never won more than 12 games in a season, nor been a safe fantasy option on draft day. He just finished his second-best season. In 2002 he also won 12 games, had a lower ERA and a few more strikeouts in fewer games. Make no mistake, he was solid in 2006, but this solid?