The 2017 MLB season is right around the corner, and with that, of course, comes the need to find those rare players who will come out of nowhere to help you win your fantasy league.
So, as you begin to round out your fantasy cheat sheet for your upcoming draft, let’s take a look at some potential sleepers for you to spend some late-round picks on.
Here’s a list of players we think you should consider taking a flyer on in the later rounds.
*All average draft positions are based on Yahoo! Sports’ rankings.
Ender Inciarte, OF, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 223) — Injuries have sidetracked Inciarte’s last two seasons, but when healthy, he’s been a solid option for contact hitting and stolen bases. After the 2016 All-Star break, Inciarte hit .341 with a .396 OBP and a .836 OPS. This coincided with the decision to move the Braves outfielder into the leadoff spot, a position that is perfectly suited for his speed and contact rate. Atlanta’s offense also is significantly underrated, as it scored the sixth most runs in baseball after the All-Star break.
Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels (ADP: 213) — The hard-throwing right-hander had his 2016 season cut short due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery. Richards was stellar before the injury, however, as he had a 2.34 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP. This came on the heels of a 2015 season where he compiled a 15-12 record with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. A healthy Richards could be a valuable pickup in the later rounds.
Koda Glover, RP, Washington Nationals (ADP: 234) — Glover has gotten a lot of hype recently after reports surfaced that manager Dusty Baker is contemplating naming Glover the Nationals’ Opening Day closer. Glover has all the raw skills to become a lights-out closer. He pairs a 97 MPH fastball with a wipeout slider that could lead to a first-rate strikeout ratio. Glover is definitely worth a stash while we wait to see if he does indeed get the opportunity to close games.
Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres (ADP: 240) — The 24-year-old catcher hit just .125 during his brief stint in the major leagues last season. But, there is a reason to be optimistic about the Padres’ young backstop. Hedges hit .326 in Triple-A last season with 21 home runs and 82 RBIs. He also only struck out 15.3 percent of the time and had a .951 OPS. He will get time to prove himself on the rebuilding Padres, so he’s worth a late-round look.
Brandon Drury, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP: 236) — Drury played only 12 games at second base last season, but he is expected to be the Diamondbacks’ starting second baseman when the season opens. Drury hit a respectable .282 last season with 16 home runs in 2016. While he won’t swipe a lot of bags, his versatility and youth give him some sneaky upside during the later rounds.
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