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

Even with the start of the season delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, identifying the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts who will define the year is critical. Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez experienced knee pain during Spring Training, so can you trust him in your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings? How should you weigh other 2020 Fantasy baseball injuries when locking in your picks on draft day?

With 2020 Fantasy baseball drafts already taking place and so much uncertainty, Fantasy baseball advice you can count on is invaluable. 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: Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager. The 32-year-old has hit 20 home runs or more in eight consecutive seasons, but after a poor 2018 campaign (.673 OPS) and a two-year OPS drop of 186 points, Seager hasn’t been trusted by the Fantasy baseball community. 

However, 2019 saw Seager address some of the approach issues that plagued him the previous season and he cut his strikeout rate while vastly improving his walk rate from 6.0 percent in 2018 to 9.9 last year. Seager’s barrel rate was up from 5.6 percent to 8.4 too. He remains a capable power provider at the hot corner, which is why the model ranks him ahead of players like Miguel Sano and Gio Urshela, who are both going two rounds earlier on average.

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: Nationals shortstop Trea Turner. The 26-year-old is one of the biggest stolen-base threats in the league and is coming off a strong season in which he slashed .298/.353/.497, but his .348 BABIP was a 34-point jump from the previous season. Plus, he’s lost protection in the lineup with Anthony Rendon signing with the Angels during free agency.

With years of statcast data now showing that Turner is a below-average off-speed and breaking-ball hitter, not having as much insurance to force opposing pitchers to hammer the zone with fastballs can make a huge difference. The model lists Turner as its No. 10 shortstop despite the fact that he’s going sixth among shortstops on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.

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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