Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 sleeper pitchers for Week 1 include Chris Paddack, Trevor Richards
A shorter Week 1 allows for no two-start pitchers, so here's a look at the best one-start options available in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
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In case you haven't noticed, Fantasy Week 1 (March 28-31) is, um ... not actually a week long. Not unless your commissioner tweaked the settings.
So while normally in this space, I'd rank for you the two-start pitchers for the upcoming scoring period, that list would amount to zero this week (again, unless your commissioner tweaked the settings).
But you may need some pitching help anyway, and I'm still happy to provide it. To that end, I've combed through the four days of matchups for some hidden gems.
And by hidden, I mean owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Chris Paddack's unreal fastball-changeup combo earned such rave reviews this spring that he's making the leap after only seven starts at the Double-A level, and it just so happens his first major-league assignment is, ahem ... a minor-league lineup.
Marcus Stroman wasn't right last season, getting sidetracked early on by shoulder fatigue, but at his best, he's an innings-eating ground-ball specialist. He has a chance to build off a healthy spring against a rebuilding Tigers lineup.
Joey Lucchesi had a high strikeout rate as a rookie last season, and there's hope that a newfound cutter will help him last a third time through the order in his starts this year. He's a pretty easy call, given the matchup.
Sonny Gray went from perennial Cy Young candidate with the Athletics to punchline with the Yankees, but there seemed to be some disagreement over pitch selection with the latter. He looked reborn this spring.
The Rays might actually present a difficult matchup this year, but we've reached the point where, when the Astros believe in a pitcher, we all should. They encouraged Wade Miley to elevate his fastball more this spring, and early results were promising.
Trevor Richards flashed one of the best swing-and-miss changeups in the game last year and, when combined with his newfound curveball, it made him one of the most dominant pitchers of the exhibition season. Miami presents a tough environment for Rockies hitters.
The fourth of the Padres' intriguing young arms to benefit from those delicious Giants matchups is Eric Lauer, who gets the opening day nod. His stuff isn't as impressive as the others', but he was basically untouched this spring.
Underrated to begin with since he thrives more on ground balls than missed bats, Brad Keller is the sort of pitcher who'll be added as a one-week fill-in time and time again this season. The matchup this week is compelling enough.
Jake Junis generally throws strikes and pitches deep into games but can get a little homer-prone. In a big home park, though, against a lineup with only two traditional power hitters (Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez), he's fine.
Other than Paddack, Tyler Skaggs is the most owned of this group at 75 percent, so the fact he's this low in the rankings should reflect a lack of comfort in the matchup as well as where he stands as a pitcher after following a rocky September with a rockier spring. He's supposedly healthy, though, and when that was the case last year, he was must-start.
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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