While the top fantasy baseball assets provide the floor for your team, finding sleepers in the later rounds is key to determining your ceiling.
Hunting for sleeper candidates, by definition, is a volatile task. For every sleeper that does turn into a great pick, there are two or three that go nowhere. However, 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.
If you're looking for a cheap source of home runs, here are three sleeper candidates for homers in 2021.
Top 2021 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
3. Christian Walker, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Christian Walker is a high-variance hitter, boasting a 13.2% swinging-strike rate. He makes up for that by crushing the ball when he does make contact, though, as he's posted a hard-hit rate of at least 48.0% in back-to-back years. He hit 29 bombs back in 2019, but he was only on pace to smack 20 HRs in the shortened 2020 season. He could end up in the 30-plus HR range if his 33.9% fly-ball rate from 2020 creeps back toward the 38.4% we saw in 2019. As the 28th 1B off the board, per FantasyPros' ADP data, Walker is a great under-the-radar option.
2. Austin Meadows, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
At just 24 years old in 2019, Austin Meadows earned an All-Star nod and looked like he'd be a perennial candidate for the game. Unfortunately, he fell off in a big way last season, slashing .205/.296/.371 with 4 HRs and 13 RBI through 36 games. It's easy to forgive players for having a down 2020 given how strange the season was, though. And the underlying numbers don't suggest he really regressed. His Statcast hard-hit rate actually improved from 42.9% in 2019 to 44.0% in 2020. Meadows had a 33-HR season in 2019 and could easily fall in that neighborhood again in 2021. As the 29th outfielder off the board, Meadows is a great value here.
1. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Minnesota Twins
Josh Donaldson regressed significantly last season. At 35 years old, most assumed that was due to age, but the underlying numbers paint a different picture. Donaldson's batting average on balls in play (BABIP) plummeted from .292 in 2019 to a disastrous .231 in 2020. That makes it seem like he was a victim of bad luck, not age-related decline. In fact, his Statcast hard-hit rate actually jumped from 50.5% in 2019 to 53.4% in 2020. He should have no problem looking like the guy who smashed 37 HRs in 2019 instead of the man who hit 6 bombs in 2020. He's a steal at his current ADP of the 26th 3B off the board.
SIGN UP AND GET AN INSTANT DEPOSIT BONUS UP TO 500! We'll match 20% of your first deposit on FanDuel Fantasy Sports. Max bonus $500
Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.