The Chicago White Sox received disappointing news recently that star left fielder Eloy Jimenez would miss five to six months with a ruptured pectoral tendon. Now, owners are scrambling to adjust their 2021 Fantasy baseball picks. Jimenez is no longer worth anything more than a late-round flier in hopes that he'll be able to be back by September. Chicago will supposedly consider one of the top 2021 Fantasy baseball prospects, Andrew Vaughn, in left field, but could learning a new position on the fly cause issues at the plate?
Meanwhile, owners will have an even tougher decision to make on where to slot Blue Jays outfielder George Springer in their 2021 Fantasy baseball rankings given he could play through a Grade 2 oblique strain. Who are the 2021 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers you need to know? Before going on the clock, be sure to see the 2021 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
The team at SportsLine was all over Bryant as a Fantasy bust from the start and he went on to slash .206/.291/.351 over 34 games, failing to rank among the top 45 third baseman despite being drafted in the fifth or sixth round on average. Their model had him listed much lower than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice avoided a major speedbump that could have derailed their season.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2021 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 MLB news comes out about the updated 2021 MLB schedule or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2021 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2021 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Marlins second baseman Jon Berti. The 31-year-old didn't make his Major League debut until 2018 with the Blue Jays, but he's carved out an important role with the Marlins thanks to a solid plate approach and terrific speed.
Berti has posted a .362 OBP over 376 plate appearances with Miami over the last two seasons and stolen 26 bases. Berti has 28 extra-base hits during that span as well, while his 15.4 percent walk rate in 2020 indicates he has a strong feel for the strike zone. That's why the model ranks him ahead of players Tommy La Stella and Keston Hiura, who are being drafted two rounds earlier on average in standard CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.
Top 2021 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2021 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Indians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie. The 23-year-old right-hander made eight appearances for Cleveland in 2020 and posted a 3.24 ERA. Now, he begins the 2021 season as the No. 2 prospect in the Indians' farm system.
At 6-foot-5, McKenzie's arsenal features a four-seam fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, a sharp slider, a changeup, and a curveball. He can grab strikes with all four pitches. The model likes McKenzie to continue developing his secondary offerings and locate his fastball effectively in an Indians system known for developing arms. That's why it ranks McKenzie ahead of ninth-round options like Corbin Burnes and Ian Anderson despite the fact that his 2021 Fantasy baseball ADP is currently 170.34.
Top 2021 Fantasy baseball busts
One of the 2021 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Nationals reliever Brad Hand. After flaming out as a starter with the Marlins early in his career, Hand has been a reliable closer over the last several seasons with the Indians and Padres. Now, he joins the Nationals' bullpen, but Washington manager Dave Martinez hasn't locked into Hand being the closer.
Hand's average fastball velocity dropped from 93.8 mph in 2018 to 91.4 mph in 2020. Meanwhile, his slider spin rate is down nearly 200 RPMs during that same span, while his sinker has been hammered over the last four seasons. Hand is currently coming off the board in the 15th round on average in standard CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues, but the model says you can find similar productivity in the 25th round or later.
How to find proven 2021 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine is also high on a right fielder with a 2021 Fantasy baseball ADP barely outside the top 100 who finishes ahead of studs like defending Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge. 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 2021 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2021 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kris Bryant's disappointing season, and find out.