Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2022: Best sleepers, breakouts, busts from proven model that called Hand’s struggles

It’s been an unforgettable past couple of years for Cody Bellinger since winning the 2019 NL MVP award. In 2020, Bellinger’s average dropped 66 points to .239 and then he bottomed out last year with an unsightly .165 average. He seemed to be a victim of bad luck last season, so many have pegged him among the potential 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers. However, a slow start in spring training has some completely avoiding Bellinger in their 2022 Fantasy baseball drafts.

Someone who’s had such extremes as Bellinger over the last three seasons is hard to evaluate when crafting your Fantasy baseball strategy. Fortunately, a reliable set of 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings can help separate potential sleepers versus busts. Before making any 2022 Fantasy baseball picks, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2022 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including reliever Brad Hand.

The team at SportsLine was all over Hand as a Fantasy bust from the start, and he went on to lose his job as a closer as he bounced around between three teams. He had a disastrous 7.57 ERA in a stint with the Blue Jays later in the season. Their model had him listed much lower than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice avoided a major speed bump 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 2022 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 2022 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 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson. New York needed another big bat in its lineup, so it went out and snagged Donaldson from Minnesota in a trade. He hit 26 home runs and drove in 72 runs in a pitcher-friendly ballpark last season. Donaldson was also one of the best hitters in Minnesota’s lineup, so he will have plenty more opportunities playing in a stacked New York lineup.

He is now playing in a park where the ball flies out on a regular basis, which should lead to an uptick in his numbers. Donaldson is going to provide power in the middle of New York’s lineup this season. He is being drafted behind Alex Bregman and Anthony Rendon in most Fantasy baseball drafts, but SportsLine’s model expects him to have a better season than both of them. 

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Royals SS/3B Bobby Witt Jr. The rookie is MLB’s No. 1 overall prospect entering the 2022 season after he was taken second overall in the 2019 draft. He lit up both Double-A and Triple-A last season with a .290 average across both levels, recording 33 home runs and 29 stolen bases in the process.

Witt has been playing third base during spring training and is penciled in to start there on Opening Day. His power and speed would be useful in any lineup, but his skills will be utilized to the fullest extent with the Royals. Kansas City is as aggressive as any team on the basepaths as it led the AL in stolen bases last year, so it won’t be conservative with Witt’s speed. The model has Witt in the running for AL Rookie of the Year and ranks him ahead of veterans Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan Villar.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball busts 

As for players to avoid, the model has identified Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor as one of its 2022 Fantasy baseball busts. Many will point to his performance in the 2021 postseason as to why he’s due for a breakout in 2022. However, Taylor was playing himself out of opportunities over the last two-and-a-half months of the regular season. After batting splits of .333/.369/.619 in the month of July, he took a big step back in August and finished at .121/.212/.190 for his 22 games from September to October.

Taylor’s strikeout percentage went up three percent and his walk rate dropped two percent from 2020 to last season. Last year was his first as an All-Star, but his hard-hit rate dropped significantly from 45.4 percent down to 38.1, and he almost finished with a career-low line drive rate, at 24.7 percent. The model believes Taylor’s performance in last year’s playoffs was fool’s gold and he holds less value than players being taken after him like Akil Baddoo, Lorenzo Cain and Kyle Lewis.

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who lands in the top five of its positional rankings. This player is barely going off the board in the top 100 picks, but is projected to outperform starters such as Julio Urias, Max Scherzer and Lucas Giolito. 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 2022 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Brad Hand’s disappointing season, and find out.

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