Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Sleepers from proven simulation that nailed Kenta Maeda’s strong season

Finding players who can dramatically outperform their 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP is one of the best ways to ensure your team makes a championship run. With so many variables in play this season, a reliable set of 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings is crucial. The coronavirus pandemic has left the start of the season in limbo, but the time off has also helped several players begin healing from early Fantasy baseball injuries.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton looked like he’d miss Opening Day with a strained calf, but he was almost fully healed as of three weeks ago and should be good to go whenever the season begins. Meanwhile, Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevinger was likely to miss time to start the season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but he should now be ready by the time baseball returns. So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you be keeping a close eye on? Before you go on the clock, check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets and rankings from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, including Kenta Maeda. The 31-year-old was the No. 52 starting pitcher drafted on average in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues in 2019, but wound up returning value as a starter and reliever. Maeda went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA and struck out 169 while also earning three saves later in the year to finish as the No. 41 starting pitcher in standard leagues.

The team at SportsLine was all over Maeda as a Fantasy sleeper 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.

In fact, 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: Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly. After four seasons in Korea with a 3.86 ERA and 48-32 record, Kelly signed a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks to return to America last offseason and wound up making Arizona’s opening day roster. 

While Kelly’s rookie season wasn’t perfect, he managed 13 wins while posting a respectable 4.42 ERA with 158 strikeouts over 183.1 innings. Kelly’s five-pitch mix includes a four-seamer with a strong spin rate that helped deceive hitters (20.3 percent whiff rate) and a solid curveball that opponents hit just .215 against. As he further refines that arsenal, Kelly stands to see his skills play up even more. That’s why the model ranks him ahead of starting pitchers like Sonny Gray and Max Fried, who are being drafted eight rounds earlier on average.

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Cubs catcher Josh Phegley. Although Phegley isn’t likely to upend starter Wilson Contreras anytime soon, he gives the Cubs the best catcher rotation in baseball. Phegley recorded 12 home runs, 18 doubles and 62 RBIs for the Oakland Athletics last year, all career-highs. 

An eight-year veteran, Phegley played a career-best 106 games in 2019 and also scored a career-high 44 runs. Phegley also caught Mike Fiers’ second career no-hitter and the Cubs are high on his pitch-framing improvements during spring training. The model is also high on Phegley, ranking him as the No. 9 catcher in the majors, ahead of full-time starters like Yadier Molina, Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos despite all three having a better 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP.

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a first baseman with a Fantasy baseball ADP outside the top 20 that finishes ahead of studs like Josh Bell and Edwin Encarnacion as a top-five player. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can see who it is here.

So which 2020 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 Kenta Maeda’s huge breakout last season, and find out.

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