The term sleeper has been overused and over abused in recent years. To me a sleeper is a player most fantasy managers deem either unrosterable or not worthy of a starting spot. I tend to look past about 250-300 on the ADP list and target players who I think have a shot to finish ranked in the top 100-150 or better. Every year a handful of forgotten future stars are left to spange by the curb, who proceed to turn your pennies into dollars. Last year guys like Chris Davis, Chris Sale and Wilin Rosario went undrafted in many leagues or drafted very late, yet find themselves heavily targeted this season.
I am going to list my top player at each position that I feel has a leg up on their ADP, and may in fact break out in a big way.Catcher
- Nick Hundley (459 ADP)
- the emergence of Grandal has most tossing Hundley back to the 'could have been good' pile. But with Grandal's suspension, Hundley is currently making the best of his opportunity, tearing up the grapefruit league at a .429 clip with 3 HR and 10 RBI. Always thought to have 20+ home run power, this 29 year old knows its make it or break it time, and if focused he could take the gig and run with it. At worst he's a perfect fill in for April at bats while the C position settles during the season.First Base
- This is a loaded position that has some nice names deep. My favorite two are Mitch Moreland (399 ADP)
and Adam Lind . Moreland is a 27 year old ex top prospect who rose quickly through the minors with a solid .312 average while hoping the power would some day develop. He has a good batting eye and will take a walk and he doesn't strike out a lot either. Last year Moreland improved his batting average to a respectable .276, while seeing his HR per AB go from nearly 1:30 to 1:20 from 2011 to 2012. He looks primed to break out, as evidenced by his .420 BA, 4 HR and 12 RBI in the spring, has a starting job all to himself and should get 500 at bats in a nice lineup/ballpark at a typical breakout age. I am all over Moreland late in drafts.Adam Lind (378 ADP)
is the perfect post-hype post-breakout post-hyphen sleeper. Just 29 years old, batting a solid 6th in a stacked lineup, his ceiling was established 4 years ago with a 35 home run, 114 RBI, .305 AVG season. Each year since has seen a decline in his production, possibly due to unrealisitic expectations, nagging injuries and not getting regular AB's. This season should be different, he looks healthy and set to play every day and is currently hitting .348 with a home run and 7 walks against only 6 Ks this spring.Second Base
- Brian Roberts (331 ADP)
has been dead for about 10 years, now all of a sudden we are supposed to take him seriously? It's easy to write a guy off who can't steal second base without sustaining 3 injuries on the way, but he looks as healthy as he has been since he was in his prime. Currently batting .357 with 3 SB and a HR this spring, don't forget about the potential upside of this once great fantasy stud.Third Base
- Chris Johnson (349 ADP)
now 28, finds himself in the middle of a stacked Braves lineup fighting for a starting job. I think he will not only win it but run away with it and put up David Freese type numbers. Currently hitting .375 with 3 HR and 12 RBI this spring, it's hard to argue he isn't primed for a breakout season. Hop on the train before the hype starts, this may be his career year.Shortstop
- Everth Cabrera (225 ADP)
doesn't get enough attention for a SS that lead the NL in SBs last season. I'd like to believe his .292 career minor league average will somehow translate a bit better this season. Batting .308 this spring with 3 SBs, the Pads' projected leadoff hitter could push 60 SBs and a .270 average if things break right this year. That's plenty enough upside for me to gamble on him ahead of his current ADP.Outfield
- OF is the landmine of opportunity. Hit the right one and it blows up in a good way. There's about 10 guys I want to name here but I'll stick to three. Justin Ruggiano (275 ADP)
has been on my sleeper list since last season, and I target the guy in every draft I can. I usually plan to make him my first bench player but waiting that long seems to backfire and I've missed him more than expected in drafts. I have him penciled in as a $10 player, so I'm much higher than most on him. He offers a great blend of pop and speed without killing the AVG. He strikes out a lot and people feel he may not sustain a .280+ BA, but the speed is there. Batting 5th this free swinger should see a fair amount of RBI opportunities as well as SB opportunities. a .275-65-20-80-20 line isn't out of the question. At 30 years of age, the hype just isn't there so take advantage of this late bloomer while you can. Think Michael Morse with speed.Will Venable (390 ADP)
has what looks like a starting gig locked up for the first time in his career heading into opening day. He profiles to just another 10 HR, 30 SB outfielder with low average and low counting stats playing in SD, but I think he could push 20-40. If he does I'll take the .250 AVG that comes with it.Mike Carp (~550+ ADP)
yes, Mike Carp. In 545 career Abs he has a modest 18 HR and .255 AVG while hitting in Seattle. Still just 26 years old, he finds himself without a starting gig in Boston, but I have a feeling with the right opportunity or injury he will get more than his expected number of ABs. He hasn't looked particularly good this spring so he's my wait-and-see sleeper. He has the talent and power to put up huge numbers, all he needs is a clear path to playing time and a hot start.
I am going to skip pitching sleepers because that is the more talked about topic, and many of the names I'd throw out have been gone over well. But I will say Shaun Marcum shouldn't be on any 12 team mixed WW's. Good luck this year fellas.
Last edited by Izenhart on Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:32 am, edited 6 times in total.