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

Although social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic postponed the start of the new Major League Baseball season, MLB owners and the players union are working on alternatives to play the season in some form. That means owners need to be ready to draft when the time comes, and identifying potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers is key to any winning strategy. Finding a player like Orioles catcher Pedro Severino is critical after he exploded in 2019 to hit 13 home runs, nine more than he had in his previous four years in the majors, and returned major value to his owners.

Sleepers like Severino are out there in your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings, but you may not have the time to sift through data to find them. 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: Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. He was in the midst of a sensational spring training before the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to shut down. In fact, Wong had a .333 batting average across 10 Grapefruit League games after overcoming a minor calf issue earlier this spring. When the MLB resumes play, Wong is projected to lead off for the Cardinals.

And despite posting a stellar .361 on-base percentage last season, Fantasy baseball players are still sleeping on Wong this year. In fact, he has a 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP of 211.90. SportsLine’s model, however, lists him at No. 11 in its Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 at second base and says he’ll produce more than players like Jonathan Villar (ADP of 139.46) and Gavin Lux (184.23), both of whom are going off multiple rounds before him on average.

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2020 are extremely high on: Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun. The four-year pro has upped his numbers every season in the majors. Calhoun is coming off an electric 83-game campaign in which he hit 21 homers, drove in 48 runs, and batted .269.

Perhaps no player has been more positively impacted by the MLB delay than Calhoun, as he was hit in the face by a baseball on March 8 and broke his jaw. He was cleared to resume workouts in late March and is expected to start in left field for the Rangers, who traded outfielders Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara over the winter. SportsLine’s model ranks Calhoun as the No. 3 left fielder, ahead of players like Eloy Jimenez, Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Schwarber, who are all being drafted a minimum of three rounds earlier in CBS Sports Fantasy baseball leagues.

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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