Cover Photo: Getty Images
Elite fantasy baseball production isn't just limited to elite big name players. In fact, there are always bargain players that perform at near-elite levels in certain aspects of the game. Here are a few things to keep in mind when going through your fantasy baseball draft.
- Rangers closer Jose LeClerc (125 ADP) has some elite stuff despite what his average draft position would indicate. LeClerc led all qualified relievers in batting average against in 2018, holding opposing hitters to a .126 average.
- Mallex Smith (112 ADP) could be a hits machine in 2019 if last season was any indication. The 25-year-old outfielder finished the 2018 season with a .366 BABIP, the fourth-best mark in the majors behind J.D. Martinez (.375), Christian Yelich (.373) and Mookie Betts (.368).
- Rangers slugger Joey Gallo (90 ADP) is the definition of an all-or-nothing power hitter. Over the last two seasons, the 25-year-old belted 81 homers to just 93 singles and owns more total extra-base hits than singles. He also set a had a career-high 35.9 percent strikeout rate in 2018.
- SS Andrelton Simmons (175 ADP) is probably your best bet to limit your fantasy team strikeout tally. The Gold Glove infielder struck out in just 7.3 percent of his 600 plate appearances in 2018, good for tops in the Majors.
- Carlos Santana (155 ADP) is an excellent late-round option if you're looking elite on-base production. The veteran first baseman owns a career 15.3 walk percentage and finished fourth in the Bigs in that category (16.2) behind Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Joey Votto last season.
- Justin Verlander (24 ADP) had a fantastic 2018 season, but expect a sharp decline in his strikeout total in 2019. The 36-year-old righty struck out 34.1 percent of the batters he faced last season, well above his 23.9 percent career average.
- Ivan Nova (493 ADP) may not have had good traditional numbers the past couple of seasons, but his walk percentage over that span borders on an elite level. Nova walked just 5.1 percent of the batters he faced in 2018 (4.1 in 2016, 4.6 in 2017). He won't carry a fantasy rotation, but a favorable spot-start could pay huge dividends in the long run.
- Mike Fiers (426 ADP) is by no means a deep sleeper, but his ability to limit the damage could make him a great spot start if you're in need of one. The 33-year-old righty stranded 85.7 percent of the baserunners he dealt with in 2018, second in the league only to AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.