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

The delay in starting the 2020 MLB season isn’t just beneficial for owners trying to finalize their 2020 Fantasy baseball strategy. It’s also helping franchises like the New York Yankees, who were facing the prospect of starting the season with several players on the mend. Designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (calf), right fielder Aaron Judge (rib) and starting pitcher James Paxton (wrist) were among the Yankees who were dinged up during spring training.

The Yankees aren’t the only team with healing players, and that means updated 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings are critical for when the season and drafts occur. Players who outperform their draft position can help build a deep roster, while players who don’t live up to their 2020 Fantasy baseball ADP can leave you with big holes in your lineup. 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: Cubs catcher Josh Phegley. The 32-year-old ended his five-year run with the Oakland A’s in style, hitting .239 with career-highs in home runs (12), doubles (18) and RBIs (62). Phegley also scored a career-best 44 runs in a career-high 106 games played. He was Mike Fiers’ catcher during a May no-hitter. 

Phegley was non-tendered by the Athletics in December and signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs. He impressed Chicago’s staff enough in spring training to move ahead of Victor Caratini and into the backup catcher role behind starter Willson Contreras. The SportsLine model is high on Phegley, ranking him as the No. 10 catcher in MLB, ahead of players like Omar Narvaez, Wilson Ramos and Tom Murphy despite all three having better ADPs.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts to target: Indians starting pitcher Aaron Civale. The 24-year-old has risen methodically through the Cleveland farm system since he was selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Last year, he quickly moved from Double-A to Triple-A and finally finished the season in the majors, where he posted a stellar 2.34 ERA over 10 starts.

Opposing hitters had an average exit velocity of just 85.5 mph, which was in the top one percent of all qualifying MLB pitchers in 2019. With all three of his off-speed offerings generating whiff rates of 28.6 percent or higher, he could improve on the 7.1 K/9 rate he posted last season. That’s why the model ranks him ahead of starting pitchers like David Price, Max Fried and Eduardo Rodriguez, who are all being drafted at least four rounds earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The 10-year veteran enters his second season as a Cardinal and is coming off his third straight 30-homer effort. Goldschmidt smacked 34 homers, scored 97 runs and drove in 97 more while playing a career-best 161 games. 

But several numbers should concern potential owners. Coming off a 173-strikeout season in 2018, Goldschmidt struck out 166 times in 2019. And his WAR declined from 5.4 in 2018 to 2.6 after he hit just .260, his worst full-season batting average ever. SportsLine’s model sees even more regression from Goldschmidt, as he is ranked No. 26 among first basemen, behind players like Justin Smoak, Christian Walker and Daniel Murphy, despite an ADP that puts him fourth 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. You can only see who it is here.

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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