Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fantasy Fantasies - Sleepers

This week, we’ll look at sleepers or late rounds guys that could make a difference over the course of a fantasy season. Fantasy baseball is not won in the first 4 or 5 rounds of the draft -- it’s who owners take towards the end of the draft that separates the men from the boys. I’m not telling you to actively seek out these guys in the middle rounds, but if they are available late in the draft, they can pay off nicely. These guys can also be terrible, so add and drop as necessary!

C – Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals – Not really a sleeper per se, but can be drafted easily in a typical 12-team league in the final rounds. 20 HRs is not out of the question, and he could outperform guys taken much earlier.

1B – Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays – Going pretty late in drafts, but Pena returns back to Tampa after a short stint in Chicago. If you can stomach the bad batting average, he can easily hit 30 homers.

2B – Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates – 2nd base is surprisingly deep this year. I like Neil Walker late and think he can build on his 12/83/.273 last season.

3B – Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates – Before you think I’m some huge Pirates fan, I just think there’s some potential here late in the draft. Could also be a huge bust because much like Pedro Cerrano, he can’t hit the curve.

SS – Zach Cozart, Cincinnati Reds – I like this rookie to have a good season if you miss out on any of the top shortstops.

OF – Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays – Rasmus is going really late, but this kid has a lot of potential and could still be a star.
OF – Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres – The move to Petco doesn’t help, but I still like his home run hitting ability.

OF – Jason Bourgeois, Houston Astros – Didn’t really want to recommend anyone on the Lastros, but Bourgeois is a sneaky source of steals and average.

SP – Trevor Cahill, Arizona Diamondbacks – I like the move to the NL West for Cahill. I think he’ll be a solid middle rotation guy that you can get cheap.

SP – Edinson Volquez, San Diego Padres – You always like when a pitcher who has issues with home runs moves to San Diego.

SP – Johan Santana, New York Mets – The injury bug is an issue, but he’s looked decent in spring training, and even a 75% return to form would be value in the later rounds.

RP – Jonny Venters, Atlanta Braves – Everyone loves Kimbrel, but Venters gets a lot of vulture saves and wins and gives you a great ERA, WHIP, and K/9. Pair him with another strong middle reliever, and you have solid starter stats over the course of a season.

RP – Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers - What happened to Jonathan Broxton? I think Javy Guerra is going to start as the closer, but Jansen is in if he falters.

Tune in next week as I write about my past fantasy crushes and declare that emotion has no part in fantasy!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and ESPN.com


I'm a big Santana fan. Hope he returns to form.

If he pitches 100 innings, he could be alright. Again, I wouldn't take him before the 20th round.

I like these picks - I hope we don't poach from each other in the late rounds of our draft! Pedro Alvarez is all yours though...after suffering through last season with him as my 9th round pick, I think he's a stay away! Some other late rounders that are interesting:

Mark Trumbo - should have 3B eligibility early in the season
Mike Aviles - again, love the multiple position eligibility
Jim Johnson - deserves the Orioles closer position after a great September

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