First, the bad news: There’s a decent chance that your fantasy catcher, whoever he is, will deal with injuries this season.
Every player we’ve slotted in the top two tiers at this position — all seven guys — made a visit to the disabled list in either 2010 or 2011, with Carlos Santana (knee), Buster Posey (ankle), Joe Mauer (legs) and Miguel Montero (knee) missing significant time. Catcher is the most physically demanding everyday position in the game, a spot where blind collisions are relatively common. Injuries are the rule. When your catcher is sidelined, you’re not allowed to complain about your rotten luck. If you want to limit risk at this spot, then you’ll either need to invest modestly, or find a player with catcher-eligibility who doesn’t actually play the position.
The scarcity zealots argue that elite backstops are worth their draft day price tags, but they’ll rarely mention the increased likelihood that your catcher will break. In fact, even in a perfectly healthy season, an early-round player at this position will typically give you only 130-140 games. The reason most of us rated Santana as the top backstop on the board is that he’ll likely see time at DH and first base, which could result in 120-150 more plate appearances than the standard-issue catcher (unless of course he hits the DL).