Dan Harris’s Draft Cheat Sheet (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
We’ve talked a ton about fantasy baseball this draft prep season. Podcast episodes galore, rankings articles that are constantly updated, and strategy guides to help you through any and all formats.
But, sometimes, you just need the CliffsNotes version, especially when you get close to draft time. And so that’s what I’ll create here: my last-minute cheat sheet for all your draft day needs.
My Favorite Targets by Position
- Catcher: Christian Vazquez, Gary Sanchez, Yan Gomes (two-catcher leagues), Alejandro Kirk (two-catcher leagues)
- First Base: Luke Voit, Josh Bell, Rhys Hoskins, Ryan Mountcastle, C.J. Cron, Andrew Vaughn, Bobby Dalbec
- Second Base: Ozzie Albies, Keston Hiura, Cavan Biggio, Kolten Wong, Ty France
- Third Base: Eugenio Suarez, Kris Bryant, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Gio Urshela, Austin Riley
- Shortstop: Gleyber Torres, Dansby Swanson, Andres Gimenez, Willi Castro
- Outfield: Aaron Judge, Nick Castellanos, Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham, Alex Verdugo, Trey Mancini, Victor Robles, Joey Gallo, Kyle Schwarber, Andrew Benintendi, Alex Kirilloff (even after being sent to the alternate site), Raimel Tapia, Nick Senzel,
- DH: Nelson Cruz, J.D. Martinez
- Starting Pitcher: Blake Snell, Lance Lynn, Jose Berrios, Zack Wheeler, Ian Anderson, Jesus Luzardo, Charlie Morton, Chris Paddack, Joe Musgrove, Pablo Lopez, Frankie Montas, Sandy Alcantara, Marcus Stroman, Tyler Mahle, Elieser Hernandez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Sean Manaea, John Means, Michael Pineda, James Paxton, Domingo German
- Relief Pitcher: Ryan Pressly, Will Smith, Rafael Montero, Amir Garrett, Anthony Bass
My Favorite Targets by Round
- 1st: Any of the top five stud hitters, Jacob deGrom at No. 6 or later, Christian Yelich
- 2nd: Bryce Harper, Lucas Giolito
- 3rd: Jack Flaherty, Ozzie Albies
- 4th: Luis Robert, Whit Merrifield, Marcell Ozuna, Brandon Woodruff, Blake Snell, Aaron Judge
- 5th: Luke Voit, Lance Lynn, Tyler Glasnow, Gleyber Torres
- 6th-7th: Cavan Biggio, Corbin Burnes, Eugenio Suarez, Keston Hiura, Jose Berrios, Nick Castellanos
- 8th-9th: Zack Wheeler, Austin Meadows, J.D. Martinez, Ian Anderson, Chris Paddack, Dansby Swanson, Jesus Luzardo, Brad Hand, Ryan Pressly
- 10th-12th: Charlie Morton, Byron Buxton, Joe Musgrove, Lance McCullers Jr., Joey Gallo, Alex Verdugo, Sandy Alcantara, Josh Bell, Rhys Hoskins, Pablo Lopez
- 13th-16th: Trey Mancini, Victor Robles, Frankie Montas, Rafael Montero, Tyler Mahle, Andres Gimenez, Eduardo Rodriguez
- 17th-20th: Marcus Stroman, Mitch Garver, James Paxton, Austin Riley, Michael Pineda, John Means, Andrew Benintendi, Sean Manaea, Andrew Vaughn, Domingo German, C.J. Cron, Mitch Haniger
- 21st-25th: Nick Senzel, Amir Garrett, Willi Castro, Kolten Wong, Elieser Hernandez, Anthony Bass, Carson Kelly
- ADP 300 or later: Myles Straw, Josh Lindblom, Alex Reyes, Emilio Pagan, Mitch Keller, Willie Calhoun
Players I’m Avoiding Near ADP
- Trevor Bauer (14)
- Walker Buehler (20)
- Pete Alonso (47)
- Randy Arozarena (59)
- Zach Plesac (75)
- James Karinchak (99)
- Dinelson Lamet (103)
- Mike Yastrzemski (113)
- Kevin Gausman (136)
- Kyle Lewis (138)
- Corey Kluber (147)
- Marco Gonzales (161)
- Alex Colome (162)
- AJ Pollock (180)
- As a general matter, focus on starting pitching early. As a rule of thumb, shoot for two in the first four rounds and three in the first six. It dries up quickly.
- Have a list of targets for the end of your draft that you’re always aware of. Myles Straw for speed. Hunter Renfroe for power. Just have it written out somewhere so you never forget.
- Practice your mock drafts with the FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard. Not only can you complete an entire mock draft in minutes, but you can now customize them to the nth degree, such as if you know someone in your league always drafts Yankees or never drafts a closer until late, you can give one of the drafters those characteristics.
- Create your own cheat sheet of rankings, either by combining select experts from our expert consensus ranking or using your own. Then connect your league to the FantasyPros Draft Assistant so you can draft with your own custom rankings, along with expert suggestions.
- Understand your league settings. If it’s a points league, how many points do you get for an inning pitched, and how many are deducted for a strikeout? What are the position eligibility requirements? Sounds silly, but it’s an easy one to miss when you have a million drafts.
- Depth is more important than ever, so don’t feel the need to shoot the moon with your late-round picks. Make sure you can plug holes when necessary.
- Don’t chase speed too much. Steals have been declining for several years in a row. When looking at your historical standings, make sure you lower your goal number of stolen bases.
- Be patient in salary cap drafts. If prices are incredibly high, wait it out. You can build a winner without rostering a player for the first 25 picks pretty easily.
- Don’t chase saves. Getting one locked-in closer is probably a good idea, but other than that, just wait it out and scoop up some cheap saves with some of your last picks. There will be a million closers available on the waiver wire.
My Draft Season Prep Articles
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.