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Andrew Gould’s Draft Cheat Sheet (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Andrew Gould | @andrewgould4 | Featured Writer
Apr 1, 2022
MLB Cheat Sheet Justin Turner

Productive veterans like Justin Turner are an excellent source of draft-day value,

For some, draft day is the most exciting time of the year. Others, however, view it as a stress-inducing test they forgot to study for until the last minute.

I fall in the first category. While daily in-season management is often a cumbersome grind, there’s nothing more exhilarating than fine-tuning your rankings, crafting a game plan, and putting everything into action on draft day.

Before Opening Day, every fantasy manager can paint their most beautiful dreams onto the season’s blank canvas. That enticing young starter is going to harness his command and compile 200 strikeouts. Your favorite utility player will land an everyday job and become a fixture in your starting lineup with 20/20 upside.

And, of course, your team will be the one the baseball gods most spare from injuries. One can dream, as long as you have a plan for when things inevitably go haywire.

If your draft is still coming up before the season starts Thursday, it’s time to buckle up and get ready to build a winning team. Hopefully this guide helps you ace your draft.

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Targets by Position

Targets by Round (12 Teams)

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Players to Avoid Near ADP

Strategy/Draft Advice

  • Every analyst will tell you this, but it bears repeating: Know your league. The game type (roto, H2H, points), number of teams and roster spots, and categories all have a huge impact on how to appraise players. Most rankings (mine included) cater to a 5X5 roto league, so don’t draft blindly off those if playing in a league that uses OBP and quality starts instead of batting average and wins.
  • While on that subject, anyone playing in a long-standing league has more data to research. Look at past results to draw benchmarks for each category, and examine prior drafts for any actionable trends. Are pitchers pushed up early? Is there one competitor who always reaches too high for top prospects or players from their favorite MLB team?
  • Injuries will find you throughout the season, so don’t chase them by targeting players already banged up. Unless he falls beyond the top-100 picks, let someone else cross their fingers that they’ll get half of an elite season from a healthy Fernando Tatis Jr. If you’re going to bet on someone who might start on the IL, be sure he’s cheap and expendable if you need to move on early. This is also another area in which it’s important to know your league. You can’t take injured players if you only have four bench spots and one IL slot, but it’s a different ballgame if working with huge benches and unlimited IL seats.
  • As everyone else overpays for the shiny new toys, take the discount on post-hype players written off after one bad run. Kyle Tucker, Tyler O’Neill, Freddy Peralta, and Dylan Cease met that mold last year. Some of this year’s candidates are Jo Adell, Gavin Lux, Keston Hiura, Jesus Luzardo, and Reid Detmers.
  • Boring old veterans are also tremendous sources of value. Joey Votto, Justin Turner, and Adam Wainwright remain affordable despite providing a huge return on investment last year.
  • ADP is a useful tour guide, but not an answer key. Although it’d be a suboptimal use of resources to use the 150th pick on a sleeper with a No. 300 ADP, don’t be afraid to pounce at pick N0. 250 if you really want him. If you feel you need to climb a bit higher, do it.
  • If drafting online, go into the site’s draft room beforehand to get comfortable with the platform and scrutinize the default rankings/ADP for hidden value.
  • Use FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard to quickly try out different strategies and team builds. Then sync your draft to the Draft Assistant for live tips, tools, and projections.
  • No expert or projection system has all the answers, so don’t be afraid to trust your gut sometimes.
  • Fantasy baseball is supposed to be a fun diversion from life’s many foibles. Don’t ruin this mystical game by creating needless drama. Make your league an enjoyable, comfortable environment for all. And seriously, have fun.

Also, check out our other Draft Cheat Sheets:

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit: View cheat sheets, sleepers & mistakes to avoid >>

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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.

Andrew Gould is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive and follow him @andrewgould4.

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