This is not a “sleeper” list.
Sleepers tend to be guys that are undervalued and really in this day and age of fantasy baseball, the term is often overused and somewhat abused. This is a list of lottery ticket guys. They are all guys that are being drafted outside the top 450 in NFBC according to their ADPs. They cost virtually nothing, but if they hit, you could score fantasy riches.
Brent Honeywell, SP, TB (NFBC ADP: 523.45): Prior to Jose De Leon getting traded to the Rays in the Logan Forsythe deal, Honeywell was widely considered the Rays best pitching prospect. He has gotten a lot of publicity because he throws a plus screwball. He also has two other plus pitches and pretty good command and control. Long term I might prefer him over De Leon, but I assume he is second in line. Tampa tends to slow roast their prospects, especially their pitchers, but Honeywell is ready and it would not be surprising to see him in the Majors after the trade deadline, if they can move impending free agent Alex Cobb or Jake Odorizzi.
Drew Hutchison, SP, TOR (NFBC ADP: 525.54): I have never really been a Hutchison guy in the past, but a move from Toronto to Pittsburgh can only help in terms of coaching and park factors. It is hard to figure out if the Pirates consider themselves contenders or not, but it appears there is a good chance that Tyler Glasnow starts the year in AAA and Hutchison starts the year as the fifth starter. He has decent stuff and Ray searage and the Pirates pitching staff have a decent history of turing other teams’ trash into their treasure, so he is worth the gamble considering where he is going.
Amir Garrett, SP, CIN (NFBC ADP: 605.08) and Cody Reed, SP, CIN (NFBC ADP: 619.98): No disrespect to Anthony Desclafani and Brandon Finnegan, who is actually like, but the Reds rotation is straight trash. It also boasts only one lefty in Finnegan. Both will probably start in the minors to begin the season, but I expect both to be up between May and July. I personally prefer Garrett, but Reed is most likely to be up first considering that he was up last year. Both lack a change up and need improvements in their overall command, however there is talent and opportunity, just got to see if one of them grabs it.
Brett Anderson, SP, CHC (NFBC ADP: 612.58): This is the definition of a lottery ticket. If healthy, Brett Anderson can some cheap ratio help, strikeouts, and wins since he is on one of the best teams in baseball. However, that is a HUGE IF! But, we are talking about him going outside the top 600! He is currently penciled in as the Cubs fifth starter. As a extremely late pick in a 50-round NFBC draft and hold or as an NL Only reserve, there’s nothing but upside for him.
Honorable Mentions: Chad Kuhl, Francis Martes, Tom Koehler, Jimmy Nelson, Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez, Ty Blach, Jesse Hahn
Blake Treinen, RP, WAS (NFBC ADP: 450.98) and Koda Glover (NFBC: 657.80): Right now Shawn Kelley appears to be the frontrunner in the closer sweepstakes in Washington, but all three relievers are in play and even if one wins it, any struggles could lead to the others. It is not necessarily a situation I want to jump into if I can avoid it, but if one can establish themselves it is a great situation on one of the best teams in baseball.
Glen Perkins, RP, MIN (NFBC ADP: 495.36): If he can return to some degree of health, you have to assume that Perkins will get a shot at reclaiming the role. Kintzler is nothing special and one would assume the Twins would like to get something for him before his contract expires (he does have a team option in 2018.) Health is a big if with Perkins, but he did save 30+ games between 2013 and 2015.
Trevor May, RP, MIN (NFBC ADP: 539.54): I was on the May bandwagon last year and I am not quite ready to jump off. He still has good stuff, probably the best in the Minnesota bullpen. I am not buying the nonsense about putting him into the rotation. If Perkins isn’t healthy it’s a matter of time before the Twins turn to someone other than Kintzler.
Zack Burdi, RP, CWS (NFBC ADP: 650.64): After being drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft, Burdi made it all the way to AAA. He is the future closer of the White Sox and it is coming soon. After Chicago finishes up their purge at the trade deadline, I would expect to see Burdi in the Majors. He is a really sneaky guy for saves in super deep formats.
Honorable Mentions: Brad Boxberger, Mauricio Cabrera, Santiago Casilla, Carl Edwards Jr., Luke Gregerson, Joakim Soria, Yohander Mendez
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.