Throughout their careers, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond have been staples of Fantasy baseball lineups. And while Zimmerman has become more of a role player later in his career, both have elected to opt out of the 60-game season agreed upon between the MLB and MLBPA. With baseball scheduled to return in just three weeks, more players may inevitably elect to sit out and Fantasy baseball owners will be wandering into uncharted territory with a modified regional schedule, the universal DH and expanded rosters.
A reliable set of 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings can help guide you through what could be the most difficult season in recent memory. They can also help guide you to the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts that will ultimately define the upcoming season. If you're wondering how to take advantage of added at-bats for National League teams to play with and pitching staffs that are likely to be larger than ever, be sure to check out the Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 from the SportsLine Projection Model.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball breakouts, including Cleveland Indians All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber. The 24-year-old broke through with a 15-8 record, 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts over 214.1 innings to finish as the No. 5 starting pitcher in all of Fantasy baseball even though he was being drafted in the 15th round in standard 12-team leagues.
The team at SportsLine was all over Bieber 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 2020 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 more information comes out about the updated 2020 MLB schedule or players dropping out, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson. The 27-year-old finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 after posting a .757 OPS and he took a step forward offensively in 2019 with 20 homers, 66 RBI and an .811 OPS.
And he managed to improve his numbers despite his walk rate falling (9.3 percent to 8.5 percent), his strikeout rate climbing (19.3 percent to 21.9 percent) and his BABIP dropping (.332 to .305). That's because his barrel rate improved from 5.8 percent to 8.9 percent, and his average launch angle went from 8.7 degrees to 11.1 degrees to allow him to better tap into his natural power. That's why the model ranks him ahead of third baseman like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Miguel Sano despite the fact that they're going at least three rounds earlier on average.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy. He was a relatively unheralded international signing, but he impressed just about every stop of the way as he progressed through the Houston farm system from 2015 through 2019. That eventually led to a July 2 call-up due to injuries in the starting rotation and then a couple more starts along with a couple of relief appearances in September.
During that time, Urquidy put up a solid 3.95 ERA and struck out 40 hitters over 41 innings while issuing just seven walks. He has four plus offering with a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider, and while he predominantly works the edges with fastball-changeup, there's enormous swing-and-miss potential in his two breaking ball offerings. That's why the model ranks him ahead of fifth and sixth-round options like Lucas Giolito and Mike Soroka despite the fact that he's going in the 11th round on average.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Indians outfielder Franmil Reyes. The 24-year-old landed with the Indians as part of a three-team trade that also included the Reds and Padres that centered around Trevor Bauer, and continued to show impressive power with 37 home runs combined in 2019 and an .822 OPS.
At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Reyes has unbelievable bat head speed and it directly translates to exit velocity with a 93.0 mph average that ranked in the top one percent of all Major Leaguers last season. However, Reyes' OPS dipped from .849 with the Padres to .772 with the Indians in 2019 and his strikeout rate was a whopping 32.5 percent with Cleveland. That's why the model ranks him behind right fielders Avisail Garcia and Nick Markakis, who are going at least five rounds later than Reyes on average in standard 12-team CBS Sports leagues.
How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine's model is also all over a surprising first baseman. He's barely being picked in the top 100, but is ranked No. 2 at his position. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.
So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Shane Bieber's All-Star season, and find out.