Opening Day will be here sooner than you think and that means it's time to start preparing for 2021 fantasy baseball drafts. The core of your team will be made up of top-tier players, but it's just as crucial to create depth and balance by selecting sleepers at each position.
Sleepers tend to be hit-or-miss players. But this process can be the difference between a first-place finish and stumbling to a losing season. That makes it crucial to hit on your sleeper picks. With that in mind, here are our top-three sleeper third basemen for the 2021 fantasy baseball season.
3. Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers
Willi Castro is the perfect example of a sleeper because his name isn't flashy and he plays for one of the worst teams in the MLB. However, he will be an everyday player for the Detroit Tigers and will have the production to back up the idea of drafting him. Castro scored 21 runs, hit 6 home runs, and racked up 24 RBIs in 36 games played in 2020 and will have both 3B and SS eligibility during the 2021 season. He is currently being drafted No. 38 among 3B, according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) data. At that spot, he has a real shot to exceed expectations.
2. Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins
Josh Donaldson struggled in the 2020 season, but the numbers show he is poised to bounce back in 2021. He saw his BABIP (batting average for balls in play) drop from .292 in 2019 to .231 in 2020, which means he had some bad luck out on the diamond. Donaldson hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 runs while posting a .379 OBP in 2019. While he may not be able to repeat those numbers, we should see him return to form in a lineup full of above-average hitters. He will have plenty of opportunities to contribute across multiple categories while playing for the Twins and is a steal at his current ADP (No. 26 among 3B).
1. Gio Urshela, New York Yankees
As the New York Yankees starting third baseman, Gio Urshela enters the 2021 season with the potential to post top-10 fantasy baseball numbers at the position. Yet, he is being drafted as the 22nd third basemen off of the board, according to FantasyPros' ADP data. Since joining the Yankees in 2019 (175 games), Urshela has slashed .310/.358/.523 with 27 home runs, 97 runs scored, and 104 RBI. That type of production is not coming from the players being drafted around him. He has league-winning potential in 2021.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.