Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2022: Best sleepers from computer simulation that nailed Franmil Reyes’ big year

ByFreda D. Cuevas

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Big names have been on the move since the MLB lockout ended. Freddie Freeman signed with the Dodgers, Matt Olson was traded to the Braves, Kris Bryant is now with the Rockies, Trevor Story was signed by the Red Sox and Carlos Correa landed with the Twins. Those moves will all impact your 2022 Fantasy baseball draft prep, but some more under-the-radar moves like the Reds trading for Mike Minor or Nelson Cruz signing with the Nationals also need to be considered being making your 2022 Fantasy baseball picks. 

Picking out the top 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers starts with identifying players that can flourish in new situations. A reliable set of 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings can help get you caught up on players that are primed for success on new teams. Before going on the clock, be sure to see the 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including Guardians designated hitter Franmil Reyes.

Reyes had a 2021 Fantasy baseball ADP outside the top 200 but the model predicted that he’d outperform that draft position. The result: Reyes hit 30 home runs and drove in 85 in 115 games for Cleveland and slashed .254/.324/.522 for an OPS+ of 127. Anybody who followed its advice and picked up Reyes late in their Fantasy baseball drafts received a huge power boost in their Fantasy baseball lineups.

The SportsLine model is engineered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day.

Any time more MLB news comes out about the updated 2022 MLB schedule, free agency signings or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is projecting: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. The 35-year-old is coming off a career-year offensively in his 11th MLB season and it was largely the result of some approach changes that seemed to begin during the shortened 2020 season. After posting an OPS+ at or below league average (100) from 2017-2019, Crawford started generating more lift and saw his OPS+ climb to 115 in 2020 and then 141 last season.

After hitting the ball on the ground 48.6 percent of the time during one of the worst seasons of his career in 2019, he slashed that rate to 40.2 percent in 2021 and saw his fly ball rate improve from 18.9 percent to 28.7 percent. That helped him take fuller advantage of the above-average power he’s always had and he hit a career-high 24 home runs. He also set new career-highs in RBIs (90), steals (11), average (.298), OBP (.373) and slugging (.522). However, he’s still coming off the board in the 14th round on average. The model predicts he’ll outperform contemporaries like Wander Franco and Correa, who are being drafted at least five rounds earlier on average.

Another sleeper that SportsLine’s Fantasy baseball rankings 2022 are extremely high on: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Andrew Heaney. After a bumpy 2021 that began with the Angels and ended with the Yankees, Heaney joins a lefty-heavy Dodgers pitching rotation. When it comes to hitting left-handed pitching, three of the top five teams in the National League are in the NL West, but fellow lefties Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias should help him to navigate that while slotting in ahead of him in the rotation.

Heaney finished tied with two other pitchers for the 10th-most home runs allowed last season, with 29, but showed signs of improvement in other areas. Across the board, Heaney’s best numbers came in 2018, and despite some areas of disappointment last year, he showed signs of getting back to that form. His 2021 strikeout percentage (26.9) was higher than it was in 2018, and in his 12 games with the Yankees, he allowed a lower percentage of hard-hit balls (38 percent) and line drives (20.6) than in 2018. The SportsLine model projects Heaney’s positive trends will continue this season, and he’ll provide better value than other pitchers currently being drafted higher than him like Kyle Hendricks, John Means and Alex Cobb.

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who lands in the top five of its positional rankings. This player is barely going off the board in the top 100 picks, but is projected to outperform starters such as Julio Urias, Max Scherzer and Lucas Giolito. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So which 2022 Fantasy sleepers should you target in your upcoming drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Franmil Reyes’ big season, and find out.


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