Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2019: Best sleepers from proven model that nailed Mike Moustakas' strong year
SportsLine simulated the 2019 MLB season 10,000 times and identified must-draft Fantasy Baseball sleepers
League-wide 2019 MLB Opening Day is March 28, which leaves less than a week before Fantasy baseball draft season concludes. There are new faces in new places as Manny Machado signed a $300 million deal with the Padres and Bryce Harper inked a $330 million with the Phillies, just to name a few. And injuries are starting to mount. Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett was forced from Friday's game with a groin injury, the seriousness of which could affect his placement in 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings everywhere. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been plummeting down draft boards thanks to a shoulder injury that will keep him out for Opening Day and beyond. Also ailing in L.A. is Rich Hill, who's suffering from a knee injury. Drafting 2019 Fantasy baseball sleepers can help offset injury issues your team may have. The only way to find under-the-radar players primed to explode is by using trusted 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings like the ones you'll see at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas. Drafted No. 137 overall on average, Moustakas hit 28 home runs and drove in 95 runs, the most of his career, to finish as the No. 45 overall player in all of Fantasy.
The team at SportsLine was all over Moustakas 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 Fantasy baseball sleeper the model is all over: Athletics shortstop Jurickson Profar. He had a breakout season in 2018 after several years of failing to live up to his former top-prospect billing. He hit 20 home runs, scored 82 times, and generated 77 RBIs while stealing 10 bases with a slash line of .254/.335/.458. The peripherals suggest there's a lot more meat on the bone too.
A .269 BABIP held Profar's average down, which ultimately held back his slash line as a whole. But there's little to suggest that Profar is making the level of soft contact that suggests his BABIP will remain in the .200s. He had an expected BABIP of .302 based on his batted-ball profile, which why the model projects Profar to be the No. 6 shortstop in Fantasy baseball despite an ADP of 15.
The 28-year-old spent the majority of his season at shortstop, but he could wind up with eligibility at a number of positions and is likely to play plenty of second base. After a breakout year in 2017, Taylor's numbers came back down to earth last season, but there were also some encouraging developments that most owners are sleeping on entering this season.
Taylor raised his hard-hit contact rate from 32.4 percent to 38.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, while his line-drive rate went from 22.6 percent to 27.5 percent. His BABIP leveled off from .361 to .345, but that's at least one reason to believe he saw the ball better last season than he did in 2017.
Currently, Taylor's ADP is the No. 22 shortstop off the board, but SportsLine's 2019 Fantasy baseball rankings predict he'll finish the season as the No. 14 player at that position. Add in the versatility and there is a lot to like about Taylor's Fantasy prospects for 2019.
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 Mike Moustakas' huge breakout last season, and find out.
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