Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Preview: Top 10 sleeper hitters feature Jackie Bradley, Danny Jansen
Favorable matchups for the Indians, Giants and Blue Jays make for some interesting sleeper selections in Week 17.
Week 17, just like Week 16, requires some explanation upfront because ... well, it doesn't exist in some leagues.
Or at least it won't until next week, throwing off the entire numbering system and making everyone a little crazy.
It all depends whether your league treats the first four days after the All-Star break as its own separate week or if it combines them with the week beginning Monday, July 15. This column is more for the former because, for the latter, your lineups are already locked. We can all look forward to getting back on the same page Monday, July 22.
Except for the fact that some of us will be in Week 18 and others in what will only then be Week 17. Grr.
As always, these sleeper picks aren't necessarily the best that's out there in your specific league, but they're the best hitters owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Ian Desmond CF
COL Colorado • #20 • Age: 33
If it seems like I'm picking Ian Desmond every week, that's because it's hard not to whenever the Rockies are spending time at Coors Field, where he's batting .321 with a 1.023 OPS. Thanks to a doubleheader Monday, they'll have four games at Coors Field this week, managing to avoid Madison Bumgarner with the Giants coming to town.
BOS Boston • #19 • Age: 29
Jackie Bradley got off to such a miserable start this season that he's still playing catch-up statistically. But some swing changes he made this offseason began to pay off about mid-May, making him the No. 15 outfielder in Head-to-Head points leagues with a near-1.000 OPS since then. Some tasty matchups coming up, too.
Miguel Sano 3B
MIN Minnesota • #22 • Age: 26
Miguel Sano remains as all-or-nothing as ever with a strikeout rate approaching 40 percent, but so far, the home runs have been frequent enough to cancel it out. He enters the second half riding a nine-game hitting streak and squaring off against pitchers like Steven Matz, Chris Bassitt and Daniel Mengden.
ARI Arizona • #53 • Age: 28
Even with the return of Jake Lamb, the Diamondbacks have found a way to keep Christian Walker's bat in the lineup, reshuffling the rest of their infield, which should indicate how they feel about his potential. He's batting .276 with an .873 OPS against righties, which is all the Diamondbacks are scheduled to face this week, and they're mostly hittable types like Jesse Chavez, Zach Davies, Jhoulys Chacin and Adrian Houser.
TOR Toronto • #9 • Age: 24
It's always tricky recommending a catcher in this space because the only benefit is to people who need a catcher. It's not like you'd use one in a utility spot. But Danny Jansen was so hot leading up to the break, homering six times without a strikeout in 11 games, that I'd be remiss not to mention him in a week with favorable matchups, especially since four of them are left-handed. His OPS is about 300 points higher vs. lefties.
CLE Cleveland • #55 • Age: 30
Oh look, another catcher. Fact is Roberto Perez is drastically underowned, probably due to his history as a defensive-minded backup. He's on a 29-homer pace, though, with an OPS approaching .900 and is actually playing more regularly than the average catcher. Plus, the matchups are nice.
CLE Cleveland • #35 • Age: 24
Oscar Mercado was far from hot leading up to the break, but the Indians have the best matchups of any team this week — facing pitchers like Daniel Norris, Gregory Soto, Spencer Turnbull, Homer Bailey, Jake Junis and Glenn Sparkman — and it's hard to imagine a player with his contact skills won't be able to take advantage.
Robel Garcia 2B
CHC Chi. Cubs • #16 • Age: 26
Robel Garcia was in the lineup for a fourth time in five games Sunday and is beginning to look like the answer to the Cubs' season-long second base riddle. He homered 21 times in about half a season of minor-league play and has already impressed with his power during his short time in the majors.
Jason Kipnis 2B
CLE Cleveland • #22 • Age: 32
Jason Kipnis caught fire in the second half of June — a stretch he credited to a swing change — but then slowed down a bit in the week leading up to the All-Star break. It's been a few years since we've seen Kipnis be a Fantasy asset, but given the Indians matchups this week, you can take chance on the possibility he really has figured something out.
Best hitter matchups for Week 17
Worst hitter matchups for Week 17
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