Fantasy Baseball 2021 Sleepers - First Base
Welcome back to Nate’s Fantasy Baseball Sleeper series. Previously, he suggested three catchers that he likes for the upcoming 2021 fantasy and MLB season. Check those out below before diving into his first base sleepers (https://www.weknowfantasy.com/post/fantasy-baseball-2021-sleepers-catchers.)
Sleepers are players with low average-draft-positions who can be drafted late but will have productive seasons to help their respective fantasy managers. In this series, we will be giving you three sleepers for every position (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, SP & RP.)
Like I previously mentioned, we already touched on catchers in our most previous edition of this series. Catchers are a position I strongly suggest looking for sleepers to fill opposed to reaching in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft or using an early pick on one of the top three-or-four guys.
Unlike catchers, first base is a position I suggest you invest in early. You can even get away with rostering one catcher to have another spot on your roster for other positions. When it comes to first base, you need a top guy and then find a backup later in the draft that’s going to get you some home runs and RBIs for both points and categories leagues, but most importantly, points leagues.
Below you’ll find my three first base sleeper suggestions. One will be an overall steal for both points and categories league. Another will be for categories leagues and another for points leagues. Those designations will be noted with each player. Also please note, the 2021 predictions found below are generated by Nate himself.
Let’s get into this!
Christian Walker (Arizona Cardinals)
Position Rank: 28th
2020 Stats: .271 BA, 218 AB, 59 H, 35 R, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 18 2B, 1 3B, 19 BB & 1 SB
2021 Prediction: .257 BA, 528 AB, 143 H, 85 R, 17 HR, 82 RBI, 44 2B, 2 3B, 46 BB & 8 SB
Christian Walker is my suggestion for both categories and points leagues. He played all but three games in the shortened, jam-packed 2020 season. He’s the everyday first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks and will most likely hit third for the squad. He’s a first baseman who will hit for average, get you a good number of hits, homers and RBIs. Additionally, he hits a lot of doubles for leagues that account for them. With an ADP of 202nd currently, he’s currently going in the 16th round of 12-man drafts. You’ll have nearly a full roster by the time his name comes across your draft board. Invest early in a top ten first baseman, then grab Walker in the later rounds.
Yuli Gurriel (Houston Astros)
Position Rank: 33rd
2020 Stats: .232 BA, 211 AB, 49 H, 27 R, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 12 2B, 0 3B, 12 BB & 0 SB
2021 Prediction: .272 BA, 525 AB, 112 H, 67 R, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 30 2B, 1 3B, 30 BB & 4 SB
Yuli Gurriel is my suggestion for categories leagues. This is a backup first baseman for your fantasy team that won’t destroy your batting average, which is a major plus. He won’t be great for homeruns or RBIs, but you can find those elsewhere with the boost he gives you for batting average and hits. He isn’t the best points play due to the lower homers and RBIs he offers, but he’s a must have backup for your fantasy teams in categories league in my opinion. You’re also only set to invest a 22nd round pick in him in 12-man leagues. On top of that, he may even be found on the waiver wire post draft. Gurriel will also come with third base eligibility.
Rowdy Tellez (Toronto Blue Jays)
Position Rank: 35th
2020 Stats: .283 BA, 113 AB, 32 H, 20 R, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 5 2B, 0 3B, 11 BB & 0 SB
2021 Prediction: .242 BA, 394 AB, 116 H, 70 R, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 17 2B, 0 3B, 38 BB & 0 SB
I’m much higher on Rowdy Tellez than most. I just hope he gets his at-bats this year in this stacked Blue Jays’ Lineup. He’s in the top 79th-percentile of exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. In short, he smashes the ball. I’d prefer Tellez in points leagues due the possibility of him hitting over 30 home runs and could flirt with 100 RBIs if the at-bats go his way. He played all but four games before missing the final 19 games of the season with a knee injury. Honestly, his batting average isn’t awful and he ranks in the top 79th-percentile in expected batting-average. The 25 year-old product could have a break-out season and like Gurriel, he could be on the waiver wire following your league’s draft. Don’t let this happen and make sure you use a late round pick on Tellez. He’ll come with DH eligibility to go along with 1B. He’ll primarily serve as the Blue Jays’ DH.