Knowing who not to draft in Fantasy baseball is even more important than knowing who to target. You may have heard this phrase before but it goes something like this: "You can't win your draft in the first round but you can certainly lose it." Welcome to Busts 3.0. We've talked about players all offseason we believe are overvalued or have bottom-out potential but now we have data from spring training to influence our decisions.
We felt you needed one more update as to the players we were avoiding before your drafts this weekend. And while you shouldn't overvalue stats from spring training, there are things we were waiting to see. For example, Patrick Corbin's velocity is the same now as it was last season. We were hoping for that to tick back up to 2019 form so we can buy back in. That hasn't happened. Dominic Smith is dealing with a wrist injury and the Mets have signed two defensive outfielders. That definitely doesn't bode well for Smith's playing time. Those are just two examples but we have plenty more. It was also a heavy news day and we hit on some deeper sleepers for those who play in AL-only and NL-only formats.
We talk Sleepers, Breakouts and Busts on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 Podcast. And of course, you can subscribe to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify.
And the biggest busts are...
- Scott White's No 1 bust is Patrick Corbin
"I basically want nothing to do with him anymore. The velocity this spring has been what it was all of last season. He was a disaster last season with the dip in velocity -- his WHIP was the highest among all qualifying SPs. I don't like hearing about he's working to emphasize a changeup when going away from that and emphasizing the slider is what led to his breakout."
Scott has him down as SP49 with a Fantasy Pros ADP of SP38.
Corbin isn't the only addition to Scott's busts. Check out his entire list of new additions in his Busts 3.0. You'll want to avoid every single one of these players at their current ADP.
- Chris Towers' No. 1 bust is James Karinchak
"This is not about Karinchak not being a good pitcher. Simply, it does not seem like he is going to be the closer. There's also a chance that his ratios aren't as good as you want them to be -- minus the strikeouts. At this point, I'd say it's more likely he's not the closer." He's currently being drafted inside the Top 100 in ADP.
According to the AP's Tom Withers, Indians manager Terry Francona had high praise for Nick Wittgren, who has been reliable and consistent from Day 1. He could be a closing option to open the year. That would not be good news for those who draft Karinchak in the top-100 ADP overall.
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- D.J. LeMahieu and Matt Olson are busts for Chris because he thinks you're paying a premium at their current ADP for players with similar stat projections you can get multiple rounds later from players like Ketel Marte. Scott disagrees with Chris on LeMahieu because he thinks he's the biggest batting average lock. I tend to agree with Chris that in general it's not a good idea to buy a player like LeMahieu at his peak after a breakout season. As for Olson, Chris thinks you can get similar production from players like Joey Gallo, Miguel Sano and Franmil Reyes multiple rounds later.
- Scott has added Nolan Arenado to his busts. He would like to see his ADP fall more before buying any shares.
- Scott is also out on Lance Lynn at his current ADP. He's not someone Scott would draft enthusiastically because a lot of what we liked about Lynn did not carry over with the underlying metrics despite what the stats said. I haven't drafted any Lynn yet either -- he had a career fly ball rate in 2020 at about 42%. Is Lance Lynn really that much different than Jose Berrios who you'll get multiple rounds later?
- Zach Plesac, who has been getting torched this spring, is another player to add to the mix. Scott has added Sonny Gray to his list and has dropped him all the way down to SP36.
- Dominic Smith was a trendy sleeper pick earlier this spring, but now Scott has moved him into his busts. Chris is on board with this and warns to treat Smith's super small sample size with a grain of salt. A ninth-round pick is a little too rich for a player who may have playing time issues right away.
Deep sleepers in AL and NL leagues
Scott recently dove deep on 30 sleepers for AL and NL-only leaguers to target. These are some of the top names you'll want to keep in mind when you're deep into the final rounds of your draft and need to swing for the fences.
Third Base and Shortstop
Other news and notes
- Fernando Tatis left Tuesday's game and has been initially diagnosed with left shoulder discomfort but will be evaluated Wednesday. If you're drafting right now, are you worried at all or take whatever discount you can get? We're buying in on the discount -- this happens right before the season every year to a star player and then that player falls and winds up being perfectly fine. There are injuries you'll want to concern yourself with, but this isn't one of them. Scott is most excited to take whatever discount he can now get on Tatis because he's dealt with similar soreness over the years and has been fine.
- George Springer was diagnosed with a Grade 2 oblique strain Tuesday. The Blue Jays are optimistic he'll be ready for Opening Day but I'm not so sure. A Grade 2 oblique strain is different than shoulder discomfort and certainly something to keep an injury to keep an eye on.
- Robbie Ray will miss one spring start after bruising his elbow while falling down some stairs. He still hopes to be ready for the start of the regular season.
- Kirby Yates' elbow injury is serious enough to shut him down for the season and will probably lead to his second Tommy John surgery. I have moved Jordan Romano all the way up to RP14 while Scott has moved him all the way into his top 12!
- Zac Gallen update: He has a hairline stress fracture in his right forearm. Manager Torey Lovullo said Gallen will continue playing catch during this first phase and did not offer a timeline. Gallen was one of 2020's biggest breakouts and he might have been Towers' best individual call last preseason. Towers is not as worried because Gallen will continue to be able to throw while working his way from this. Scott is dropping him into the Carlos Carrasco range of his SP rankings. Although there is no timetable on his injury as of now, Gallen is already falling down draft boards. He went pick 70 overall in our H2H points mock Tuesday, just after Chris Paddack, Max Fried and Charlie Morton.
- Alex Kirilloff has been optioned to the Twins' alternate training site. He was 4-31 with 8 Ks this spring. We're probably looking at a combo of Jake Cave and Brent Rooker in left field for the Twins for as long as Kirillof is down.
- Trent Grisham, dealing with a hamstring injury, took part in a simulated game Tuesday. He hasn't run at 100% yet but still has a shot to be ready for Opening Day.
- Get it out of your system now, Walker Buehler! A popular bust pick (at ADP) for us had this stat line on Tuesday against the Brewers: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 9 ER, 4 HR.
So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.