Drafting a solid core of players in the early rounds paired with the ability to pick players that will outperform their draft position in the later rounds is the formula for any successful fantasy draft. Keep in mind that with every sleeper, there is a bit of risk involved. We have often seen a tendency to draft over-hyped sleepers too early, which completely defeats the purpose. So with that being said, be sure to load up on proven players first, and then as the mid-to-late rounds approach you may want to take a gamble on some of the players on this list.
Butler hit 21 home runs and knocked in 93 RBI last season on his way to being named the Royals’ Player of the Year. It looks like the Royals have found a dependable slugger and fantasy owners may have found one of the best bargain picks in the middle rounds of your 2010 draft. He is only going to be 23 at the start of the season and on the verge of becoming a 30 HR and 100 RBI player.
Call us crazy but we have this guy ranked in front of Weiters in our catcher tiers. Montero had a great second half last year batting .331 after moving into the starting lineup in June. Montero hits for power, bats cleanup, and should offer great value for where you can get him in the draft.
You are going to hear a lot about Borbon during spring training, thats because this guy has a huge upside. Borbon made his debut with the Rangers last season filling in an injured Josh Hamilton and in limited AB’s he had good numbers across the board, including good speed. It looks like he is going to bat leadoff for the Rangers, which only increases his value, especially in Rotisserie leagues.
Gonzalez was amazing after the All-Star break last year, and we think he has a chance to be a top-10 OF. You’re going to have to use a mid-round pick to get him, but it could be well worth the gamble. His strikeout rate is still somewhat of a concern, but that’s a small price to pay for a legitimate 30/30 guy this year.
Rickey Henderson said that he thinks Davis will steal 75-80 bases this year. We aren’t sure if he is going to hit those numbers, but we could easily see 60+ stolen bases this year. Don’t expect a repeat of his .305 average from last season, but he should be a great speed specialist that you can target in the later rounds.
Webb’s season was cut short last year due to injury, but he’s among the leagues elite when healthy. There is still a chance he starts the season on the DL, but all that will do is make him drop even further down the draft board. For where you can get him in the draft we think he is an injury-risk pick well worth the gamble.
We are really excited about Feliz this year, and think he is an interesting gamble in the middle rounds. In 31 innings last year he posted a 1.74 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts. There is a chance he starts the year in the bullpen, but we think he will be a starter by the All-Star break. This guy has the stuff to be an elite pitcher in the majors and we can’t wait to see what he can do.
Sheets missed the 09 season due to an elbow injury, but it looks like he is ready to go with his new team the A’s. Sheets has always had good stuff when healthy, and he is making his comeback in a pitchers ballpark. We think Sheets is a great late-round gamble for any fantasy team.
The Orioles have a lot of young talent this year, and they should be a much better team. Matusz is a great young pitcher and is a great gamble in the later rounds. He finished last year pitching well, and we are hoping he can carry that into this year.
With J.J. Hardy now in Minnesota, Escobar is going to be the everyday shortstop for the Brewers. He isn’t going to have much power, but he could bat for average and is a great value pick for stolen bases. If you miss out on some of the bigger name shortstops, he’s definitely worth targeting in the later rounds.
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