2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Last week, Paul Sporer reviewed NFBC average draft position (ADP) data. The week prior, I posted 2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings using Steamer Projections and the FVARz approach to valuation.

With our powers combined, here I will depict how current value and draft position match up:


  • The last column depicts the differential between NFBC’s ADP (12/28) and the position-adjusted Steamer Projections (12/14) in elevating shades of red and green.
  • Red = ADP value earlier than projections suggest
  • Green = Positive cost of ownership relative to ADP

A few contingencies out of the way first:

  • Some players Steamer just doesn’t project as high as others (see ZiPS’ bullish Kyle Schwarber projection). Some players Steamer projects much higher than others (Jose Reyes in Colorado). Keep plate appearance totals in mind. Buster Posey and Kyle Schwarber have lower PA totals than I would project. Steamer projects Jose Reyes to have 100 AB more than last year.
  • Steamer projects 65 IP and 28 saves for known closers as well as 6 saves for possible closers (let’s just say). Instead, I used RotoChamp’s projected saves totals, which is more realistic.
  • I used top 200 NFBC ADP. I still highlighted the next 24 players (from Josh Harrison to Eddie Rosario in the ADP Differential column) in green since they provide projected top 200 value.



  • There are a number of NAMES at middle infield who are being over-drafted: Addison Russell, Corey Seager, Ian Desmond and Troy Tulowitzki all show up 100 spots higher than their projected value.
  • Closer projections are not in line with the draft position so either start or hop on the trend during your drafts.
  • I do think there are a sundry of names under-valued by Steamer: Mookie Betts (although I’ve since seen his PA projection increase), J.D. Martinez, A.J. Pollock, Josh Donaldson and Carlos Correa among them. These are elite options that should be drafted closer to their ADP.

In addition to possible sleepers and “busts,”  — as it’s sorted currently by ADP — this matrix can help you debate between players around the same draft position. If Matt Harvey and David Price are both available around that draft position, David Price is projected higher. Or heck, you can go with Carlos Carrasco a round later who can provide identical value to Matt Harvey (as you can see in the hidden column, titled “PosAdj” for the position-adjusted 5×5 fantasy value).

If you prefer to sort by actual value (“Rank”), then use the ADP differential to know whether you have more time to draft the player under evaluation i.e. if you value Billy Hamilton in the top 40 based on his SB total, know that you can probably land him up to two rounds later based on his ADP. Right, Mike Podhorzer?!

We hoped you liked reading 2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers by Daniel Schwartz!

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Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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this is quite lovely