Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers, breakouts, busts by model that called Bieber’s big year

Owners everywhere are continuing their 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep even though the season will start late. The Mets were dealt a blow when Michael Conforto tweaked his side while making a catch in the outfield and suffered an oblique strain. Conforto’s injury could impact his spot in the 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings after he posted an .856 OPS with career-highs in home runs (33) and RBIs (92) last season.

Succeeding with your 2020 Fantasy baseball picks isn’t just about staying up-to-date on the latest MLB injury news. You also need to identify the potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts who will define the season. Before you go on the clock in your drafts, be sure to check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball breakouts, including Cleveland Indians All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber. The 24-year-old broke through with a 15-8 record, 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts over 214.1 innings to finish as the No. 5 starting pitcher in all of Fantasy baseball even though he was being drafted in the 15th round in standard 12-team leagues. 

The team at SportsLine was all over Bieber as a Fantasy breakout from the start. Their model had him listed much higher than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice was well positioned for a league title.

Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2020 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 an injury occurs or there’s a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

When it came to ranking players in Fantasy football, SportsLine’s Projection Model beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was the closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. That could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. After using his willingness to play anywhere to earn his way into the Dodgers’ long-term plans, Turner has settled in at third base the last several years and become an offensive force. In six years with the Dodgers, his career OPS has been .887, but at 35, owners seem to be worried that he’s due for age and injury-related regression.

However, there’s not a lot of data to suggest that will happen. Turner’s average exit velocity was up from 89.1 mph to 90.2 from 2018 to 2019, while his .304 BABIP in 2019 was 14 points lower than his career average. Defensively, he’s still in the 84th percentile among third basemen for outs above average, so there’s not a lot of concern that his defense will cost him at-bats. That’s why the model ranks him as its No. 11 third baseman, despite the fact that he’s being drafted 16th overall on average at the position.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts to target: Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman. The former top-100 got his big break a season ago and put together an impressive rookie season, slashing .308/.353/.446 while hitting 12 home runs and stealing 16 bases. A big part of his success at the plate was the fact that he used all fields well, pulling the ball just 37.3 percent of the time after doing so well over 40 percent of the time on average in the minors. 

Newman showed incredible overall contact skills, striking out just 11.7 percent of the time in 2019. The next logical step in his progression as a hitter will be to reduce his 49.4 percent groundball rate and work on developing more pop after posting an average exit velocity of 84.7 mph, which was in the bottom five percent of the league last season. Even a slight uptick should belay any regression fears. The model ranks him ahead of players like Bo Bichette, who is being drafted eight rounds earlier on average, and Amed Rosario, who is going two rounds earlier than Newman according to the latest 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish. He finished last season with 229 strikeouts, but he gave up 79 earned runs, the most he’s allowed since 2012. Over 178.2 innings last season, Darvish ended with a 6-8 record and a 3.98 ERA. In addition, the 33-year-old enters the MLB season with a career 3.57 ERA.

SportsLine’s 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets list Darvish, who has a 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP of 89.99, below fellow starting pitchers like Jose Urquidy (ADP of 125.71), Dinelson Lamet (125.70) and even Jose Quintana (145.13).

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also fading one of the top 10 catchers off the board, saying he doesn’t even crack the top 20 when the season is over. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. 

So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Shane Bieber’s All-Star season, and find out.

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