Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Outfield
Here we go. We’ve completed the infield in terms of the sleepers series and now we move to the outfield. We’re winding down to that April 1st Opening Day date and many fantasy drafts to take place in the week prior. Instead of our usual three sleepers, we have five outfield sleepers for you today. You normally field three outfielders opposed to one each of the other positions, therefore we felt the need to present you with more options. Before we get into this, you can find the previous editions of this series below.
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.)
Prior to getting into the suggestions for each position in each edition, we talk about the importance of the respective position. Now, the outfield position is interesting because you start multiple. It’s crucial to get at least one top name to lead the outfield and then fill it out from there. Along with first and third base, in terms of fielding positions, they are your three most important. You need to invest in the outfield early and often, as many of the game’s top names are in the outfield. Use the suggestions below to round out your starters or add some much needed depth to your roster. Your outfield can easily win or lose you your leeagues.
Below you will find five outfield sleepers suggested by Nate. I feel comfortable that each of these suggestions can be your third starting outfielder for your fantasy teams or serve as a great off-the-bench backup. There are some very capable names listed below that can get it done in both points and category leagues. Shall we get into it?
Also please note, the 2021 predictions found below are generated by Nate himself. Let’s get into this!
Andrew McCutchen (Philadelphia Phillies)
Position Rank: 60th
2020 Stats: .253 BA, 217 AB, 55 H, 32 R, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 9 2B, 0 3B, 22 BB & 4 SB
2021 Predictions: .251 BA, 481 AB, 122 H, 74 R, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 23 2B, 1 3B, 57 BB & 11 SB
When it comes to outfield sleepers, I like to look for leadoff hitters, for those guaranteed at bats. Andrew McCutchen should be the Phillies’ everyday lead-off guy just as he has been for two seasons when healthy. During his shortened 2020 campaign, he averaged 3.25 fantasy points-per-game. That’s quality. Cutch quietly returned to form in 2020, being the McCutchen of the past we have come to know and love. There is no reason for him being drafted this late, but for you, it’s a good thing. This is the definition of a sleeper, even though he’s not much of a sleeper in terms of production and statistics as he’s a legitimate fantasy baseball starter.
Mark Canha (Oakland Athletics)
Position Rank: 76th
2020 Stats: .246 BA, 191 AB, 47 H, 32 R, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 12 2B, 2 3B, 37 BB & 4 SB
2021 Predictions: .248 BA, 479 AB, 118 H, 80 R, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 30 2B, 3 3B, 73 BB & 8 SB
Mark Canha is another player who doesn’t deserve his draft position with the production he provides. He’ll hit in front of names such as Matt Chapman and Matt Olsen for the Athletics, which alone should excite you. Canha will provide you a similar statline to McCutchen and you’re even getting him 50 picks later than him. He’s set to hit second for the A’s so again, there’s a bunch of guaranteed at bats coming his way. He’ll give you more power than what you can expect out of McCutchen if you need to fill out your outfield with more homeruns and RBIs. He’ll offer less than the other things that Cutch can do, but not by much. I’m confident Canha can be a capable starting fantasy baseball outfielder for your team.
Manuel Margot (Tampa Bay Rays)
Position Rank: 83rd
2020 Stats: .269 BA, 145 AB, 39 H, 19 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 9 2B, 0 3B, 13 BB & 12 SB
2021 Predictions: .242 BA, 392 AB, 105 H, 51 R, 3 HR, 40 RBI, 24 2B, 2 3B, 35 BB & 22 SB
Manuel Margot’s main appeal is his ability to steal bases. It’s hard to find stolen bases this late in the draft and especially from a player who can contribute elsewhere as well. Don’t expect much in terms of power out of Margot, because you’re not getting anything there, but with what will be about 400 at-bats with a good number of hits, he’s going to rack up the stolen bases. In category leagues, locking down the stolen base category can swing things in your favor. This is where Margot comes into play with his great value in terms of his average draft position.
Sam Hilliard (Colorado Rockies)
Position Rank: 109th
2020 Stats: .210 BA, 105 AB, 22 H, 13 R, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 2 2B, 2 3B, 9 BB & 3 SB
2021 Predictions: .243 BA, 362 AB, 76 H, 48 R, 21 HR, 41 RBI, 14 2B, 3 3B, 31 BB & 10 SB
The upside of Hilliard is through the roof. His average draft position puts him in the 30th round of 12 man leagues. He can be had for pennies on the dollar and I’m jumping all over that. He offers a lot of pop off his bat where he is set to hit 20-plus homers, while hitting for a decent average. He’s slated to be an everyday outfielder for the Rockies and that’s a big boost for his value. He does it all at the plate and with an ADP that gives you him for no draft capital what-so-ever.
Josh Naylor (Cleveland Indians)
Position Rank: 112th
2020 Stats: .247 BA, 104 AB, 24 H, 13 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 BB & 1 SB
2021 Predictions: .248 BA, 359 AB, 89 H, 48 R, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 15 2B, 1 3B, 29 BB & 4 SB
If you thought Sam Hilliard offers you great value, Josh Naylor offers even more. He doesn’t offer the power bat that Hilliard can, but he’s better at the rest of the game than Hilliard is. He’s going to flirt with 100 hits and doing so on a near .250 batting average. He’s currently set to fit fifth for the Indians, so he’ll get a good number of at bats as well. This is a player you can take with your last pick or even get off the waiver wire following the draft.