Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Best sleepers from unbiased model that nailed Kenta Maeda's strong season
SportsLine simulated the 2020 MLB season 10,000 times and identified must-draft Fantasy baseball sleepers
The 2020 MLB season was a few weeks into spring training before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports world. Now, we're in a period of uncertainty over when baseball will return. MLB Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 26, but now the MLB and MLBPA are hoping to squeeze in a truncated season sometime later this summer. In the meantime, owners everywhere are taking the extra time to continue their 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep.
Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Yasmani Grandal and Mookie Betts are some of the top players at their respective positions. They've all joined new teams this offseason, but many are wondering how they will adapt to new surroundings when the season resumes and where they belong in the 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings. Before you go on the clock, check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine's Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Kenta Maeda. The 31-year-old was the No. 52 starting pitcher drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues in 2019, but wound up returning value as a starter and reliever. Maeda went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA and struck out 169 while also earning three saves later in the year to finish as the No. 41 starting pitcher in standard leagues.
The team at SportsLine was all over Maeda as a Fantasy sleeper 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 an injury occurs or there's a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
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.
Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. The 29-year-old is widely known for his Gold Glove-caliber defense, but he's been producing more for Fantasy owners at the plate. He hit double-digit home runs (11) for the first time since 2015 last season and also matched his career-high in batting average (.285), while posting a career-best .423 slugging percentage and 24 stolen bases.
Despite that production, Fantasy baseball players are still sleeping on him. In fact, he has a 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP of 210. SportsLine's model, however, lists him at No. 12 in its Fantasy baseball second baseman rankings and says he'll produce more than players like Rougned Odor (ADP of 191) and Brandon Lowe (187), both of whom are going off multiple rounds before Wong on average.
Another sleeper that SportsLine's Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Royals closer Ian Kennedy. The former first-round pick was once a 21-game winner for the Diamondbacks in 2011, but after a few years of struggles as a starter early in his 30s, Kennedy reinvented himself as a closer last season. Kennedy's average fastball velocity was up from 91.9 mph as a starter in 2018 to 94.4 mph in 2019. He also showed improved spin rates on all four of his offerings (four-seamer, cutter, curveball and changeup), which helped him strike out 10.4 batters per nine innings.
The 33-year-old posted a 3.41 ERA with 30 saves despite a .343 BABIP that was 55 points higher than his career average. Look for Kennedy to continue to fine-tune his skills on what should be an improved Royals roster. That's why the model ranks him ahead of relievers like Brad Hand, Julio Urias and Kirby Yates, who are all going at least three rounds earlier on average.
How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine is also high on a first baseman with a Fantasy baseball ADP outside the top 20 that finishes ahead of studs like Josh Bell and Edwin Encarnacion as a top-five player. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing.
So which 2020 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 Kenta Maeda's huge breakout last season, and find out.
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