2021 Fantasy Baseball ADP Review: 16 underrated players include J.D. Martinez and Carlos Carrasco


Full disclosure: I was aiming to write about only 12 players in this space, but I wanted to address four more right here at the top who all share a particular trait. Don’t be disappointed that the sister column on overrated players isn’t quite as robust.

Do I need to explain what it means to be underrated? I hope not, but I will. These players are going later than I think they should, according to FantasyPros ADP. I’ve included each player’s ADP alongside my own ranking for 5×5 Rotisserie scoring (which is all FantasyPros accounts for). The players who made the cut aren’t strictly the ones with the greatest disparity between the two numbers. It’s also a matter of how eager I am to capitalize on the discount.

Now then, for those four extra-special ones with that extra-special distinction: Have you noticed how late the DH-onlys are going this year? You could argue it’s just as true for Franmil Reyes, Jorge Soler and Willie Calhoun, but specifically, I’m talking about these four:

Granted, Yordan Alvarez, J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton all greatly underperformed in 2020, and while Nelson Cruz didn’t, his defiance of Father Time causes the now 40-year-old to slide a little more every year.

I don’t think the discount in their cases, though, comes from a loss of confidence, at least not entirely. Other hitters are getting a pass for lackluster production during an all-too-irregular season, provided their track record justifies it, and track record isn’t an issue for these four.

Alvarez’s may be limited, but he hit like Mike Trout after getting the call in 2019 and killed it in the little bit we saw of him last year (alternate training site included) before succumbing to knee surgery. Cruz has hit .289 and .933 OPS over the past five years and was on pace for 43 homers last year. Martinez had been an early-round fixture in recent years and was one of the first to complain about a lack of in-game video access last year (which has since been restored). Stanton has had trouble staying healthy the past few years, but he’s the most affordable of the four and still hits the ball harder than anyone, homering 11 times in 30 games between the regular season and playoffs last year.

More than anything, I think it’s the fact there are so many DH-only players that cause them all to fall so. Every Fantasy team has use for only one, and you’d be blocking the most flexible lineup spot by taking one.

Still, it’s a must. No two ways about it, you must enter every draft planning to draft one of these four in Rounds 8-10. The potential benefits are just too great.

Now then, who else?

12 more of the most underrated

So which 2021 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 Will Smith’s huge breakout last season, and find out.





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