Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2019: Best sleepers from advanced model that nailed Scooter Gennett's strong season
SportsLine simulated the 2019 MLB season 10,000 times and identified must-draft Fantasy Baseball sleepers
MLB Spring Training is officially underway and MLB Opening Day is now just over six weeks away on March 28. Even with dozens of Fantasy-relevant stars remaining unsigned after a slow MLB offseason, Fantasy baseball owners everywhere are starting to turn their attention to their upcoming drafts. Wherever Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or Dallas Keuchel end up, we know they'll be cogs in your Fantasy baseball lineups. However, finding several 2019 Fantasy baseball sleepers is how you can truly separate yourself from the competition. What you're looking for are players available in the middle or late rounds who have the potential to outperform their draft position considerably. And the key to identifying those players is a reliable set of 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings, which is exactly why you'll want to check out what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say before your drafts.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett. Drafted No. 181 overall on average, Gennett hit 23 home runs and drove in 92 runs to finish as the No. 35 overall player in all of Fantasy.
The team at SportsLine was all over Gennett as a Fantasy breakout from the start. Their model had him listed much higher than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice was well positioned for a league title.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2019 Fantasy Baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy Baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there's a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its rankings.
In fact, when it came to ranking players in Fantasy Football, SportsLine's Projection Model beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was the closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. That could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.
One of the Fantasy Baseball sleepers you need to be all over in 2019, according to the model: Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.
He's only 26 years old, but Franco has been around for parts of five seasons now and has been the starting Phillies third baseman since the middle of 2015 now. During that time, he hasn't quite lived up to his billing as a one-time top-20 prospect according to Baseball America, but there are some offensive developments worth noting from 2018 that could set him up for improvement in 2019.
Franco has cut his strikeout rate in each of the last three seasons and is now striking out an extremely low rate of 13.3 percent. He also saw his batting average surge from .230 in 2017 to .270 last season while putting up solid power numbers with 22 home runs and 68 RBI.
That average kick was partially the function of his BABIP rebounding from a comically low .234 in 2017 to a still-low .270 last season. Even though Franco doesn't run that well, his BABIP should still settle in at just below .300 and raise his overall offensive profile. As he continues to drive the ball more regularly, he has the potential to put up an OPS of .800 or more and that would make him a solid Fantasy option at third base. Right now he's the No. 32 third baseman drafted on average according to FantasyPros, but the SportsLine Projection Model predicts he'll finish as the No. 14 Fantasy third baseman in 2019.
Another sleeper that SportsLine's Fantasy baseball rankings are extremely high on: Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte, who is in the top 10 at his position despite finishing outside the top 20 outfielders last season and hitting .265.
Inciarte heated up in a huge way to finish off last season, hitting .286 in August and .292 in September. If he can carry that momentum into 2019, he'll have a strong chance to put up league-winning numbers in an Atlanta lineup that has heavy hitters like Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson.
SportsLine is also high on a starting pitcher who didn't finish in the top five in Fantasy points at his position last year but is ranked higher than starters like Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale and James Paxton. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing.
So which Fantasy Baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued pitchers can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Scooter Gennett's huge breakout last season, and find out.
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