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Players to Target in Your Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 15, 2020

If you’ve followed my writing here at FantasyPros for the past two years, you know that I’m a big, big fan of dynasty leagues. While I still enjoy playing in redraft leagues because they give me more of a sense of the current landscape of the game, being able to build a roster with the present and future in mind is so much fun.

One of the biggest things aspects of building a winning dynasty league team is being able to find value all over the place. You want to find value in your rookie draft, regular draft, through trades, and off of the waiver wire.

We’re going to look at some players who should be rostered in your dynasty league that you should try to acquire via trade, or, in shallower leagues, off the wire.

The guys listed below vary in value, and they also vary in the reasons why you should acquire them. Some are guys coming off a down season or an injury, while others are prospects who haven’t quite gotten the helium boost yet or are post-hype sleepers. Calibrate this list to your league settings, and go get your guys.

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Luis Urias (2B/SS – MIL)
If you look post-hype sleeper up in the dictionary, you might just find Urias’ headshot. The thing with Urias is that he’s so far proven to be a Quad-A player in his time in the big leagues. That’s going to change, and especially since he was traded this offseason to the offensive haven that is Miller Park.

He only has 302 plate appearances under his belt at the big-league level, and he’s hitting just .216 in those with 16 extra-base hits. If you remember, his calling card was his bat in the minors, and it was for a good reason. He was a poor man’s Jose Altuve when he sat as a top-20 prospect.

Let’s take a look at Urias’ OBP by year and level:

  • 2016: A+ – .397
  • 2017: AA – .398
  • 2018: AAA – .398
  • 2019: AAA – .398
  • 2019: MLB – .329

One of these things is not like the other. I’m still buying him with the change in scenery. 

Michael Kopech (SP – CHW)
Kopech is the exact reason why we all recommend not buying pitching prospects in dynasty leagues. We got 14.1 innings from Kopech before he had to get Tommy John surgery.

So here I am, being a total hypocrite by buying in. From all reports, it seems like the recovery has gone well for Kopech, and he’s on track for an early-season return. We know the stuff is there, as he’s been compared to Noah Syndergaard in the past. 

I’d like to try to buy him before Spring Training — realizing there’s a Brent Honeywell-type risk there — to get him before his value soars. If healthy, he’s the No. 2 pitching prospect behind Mackenzie Gore, and we know he’s going to contribute this year.

There’s a chance he’s a closer long term, but I’m betting on the scouting and the pure stuff as a No. 2 starting pitcher with the chance to break into the ace territory. 

Lance McCullers (SP- HOU)
I mean, if we are going after one Tommy John guy, why not another? McCullers looks ready for Opening Day, and with the departure of Gerrit Cole, the Astros are going to count on him for a good 150-160 innings. 

While he’s shown flashes of brilliance, he’s also had spurts of struggles, enraging his fantasy managers because we know how good he can be when he’s feeling it. It’s similar to a Jose Berrios-type journey.

The big thing I want to see with McCullers is how the curveball plays after the surgery. If it looks like the bender we’re used to seeing, I’m pushing my chips in. He’s still only 26 years old.

Garrett Hampson (2B/OF – COL)
The overall stat line for Hampson for 2019 doesn’t look good. And that’s because, well, it wasn’t good — especially when you consider the hype that he had in the preseason. 

But what you might have missed when you were shifting into football mode was how he closed out the season. In 23 September and October games, Hampson posted a .318/.368/.534 triple-slash line with five homers, 16 runs, eight RBI, and nine — yes, nine — stolen bases. There is still a logjam in Colorado, both in the infield and the outfield, but the Rockies have to clear room for Hampson for everyday at-bats eventually … right?

No question about it. I am ready to get hurt again.

Alex Kirilloff (OF – MIN)
One of my favorite prospect bats heading into the season last year was Kirilloff. He was widely praised for his hit tool, and it launched him into the top-15 prospect conversation pre-2019.

Then came the injury.

Kirilloff injured his wrist, resulting in him starting the season on the injured list. Kirilloff ended up being shelved until May 2, where he made his debut in Double-A.

Kirilloff’s hit-tool is what had everyone excited, but he has the raw power that you want from a corner outfielder or first baseman (longterm, he seems to be a first baseman). His season line of .283/.343/.413 with nine homers, 47 runs, 43 RBIs, and seven steals in 411 plate appearances is less than what we expected, but I fully believe it was the nagging wrist injury that caused the decline in production (which is still a solid season, in my opinion).

Kirilloff is still a top-25 prospect on most lists, but he’s fallen about 10 spots on average. Take advantage of this and buy him. He’s most likely going to start in Triple-A this season, and he’s just a hot streak away from Minnesota. You’re going to be acquiring a difference-maker for years to come.

Other notable players to target:

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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