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Michael Waterloo’s Draft Cheat Sheet (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Michael Waterloo’s Draft Cheat Sheet (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

With Opening Day on the horizon, we are in crunch time as far as fantasy drafts are concerned. For your drafts that are closer to the first pitch of the 2023 season, I have you covered as far as my ultimate draft cheat sheet to help you crush your competition.

Bookmark this. Put it in another window. Have it handy for Draft Day. It’ll help you know which players I like at each position, my favorite picks in each round, the players I’m fading, and my overall strategy.

Let’s get to it.

Targets by Position

Catcher: Daulton Varsho, Adley Rutschman, Tyler Stephenson, Gabriel Moreno, Logan O’Hoppe, Nick Fortes

First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Andrew Vaughn, Jose Miranda, Josh Bell, Triston Casas, Spencer Torkelson, Wil Myers

Second Base: Jazz Chisholm Jr., Gleyber Torres, Jorge Polanco, Vaughn Grissom, Jonathan India, Ryan McMahon, Luis Garcia

Third Base: Jose Ramirez, Austin Riley, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Josh Jung, Isaac Paredes

Shortstop: Bo Bichette, Corey Seager, Oneil Cruz, Carlos Correa, Wander Franco, Willy Adames, C.J. Abrams, Geraldo Perdomo

Outfield: Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, Yordan Alvarez, Randy Arozarena, Teoscar Hernandez, George Springer, Nick Castellanos, Brandon Nimmo, Masataka Yoshida, Riley Greene, Jesse Winker, Bryan De La Cruz, Austin Meadows, Oscar Colas, Alex Kirilloff, T.J. Friedl, Will Benson

Starting Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff, Kevin Gausman, Max Fried, Luis Castillo, Cristian Javier, Zac Gallen, Joe Musgrove, Logan Webb, Blake Snell, Lance Lynn, Chris Bassitt, Charlie Morton, Pablo Lopez, Jose Berrios, Edward Cabrera, Alex Cobb, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda, Aaron Civale, Kyle Bradish, Bailey Ober, Mitch Keller, Kyle Gibson

Closer: Josh Hader, Felix Bautista, Scott Barlow

Targets By Round (12-team League)

1st: Top five hitters, Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez

2nd: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Austin Riley

3rd: Francisco Lindor, Aaron Nola, Jose Altuve

4th: Matt Olson, Brandon Woodruff, Randy Arozarena, Jazz Chisholm Jr.

5th: Corey Seager, Daulton Varsho, Josh Hader, Max Fried, Devin Williams

6th: Luis Castillo, Cristian Javier, Kevin Gausman, George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez

7th: Zac Gallen, Oneil Cruz, Corbin Carroll

8th: Wander Franco, Willy Adames, Joe Musgrove, Felix Bautista, Vinne Pasquantino

9th: Nathaniel Lowe, Logan Webb, Carlos Correa

10th: Blake Snell, Gleyber Torres

11th-15th: George Kirby, Nick Castellanos, Lance Lynn, Andrew Vaughn, Chris Bassitt, Matt Chapman, Brandon Nimmo, Charlie Morton, Jose Miranda, Pablo Lopez, Tyler Stephenson, Vaughn Grissom, Masataka Yoshida, Jonathan India

16th-20th: Grayson Rodriguez, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Riley Greene, Lars Nootbaar, Ryan McMahon, Triston Casas, Jose Berrios, Josh Naylor, Josh Jung, Edward Cabrera, Alex Cobb, Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle, Michael Conforto

21st-25th: Miguel Vargas, C.J. Abrams, Kolten Wong, Jarred Kelenic, Ross Stripling, Austin Meadows, Gabriel Moreno, Spencer Torkelson, Kodai Senga, Wil Myers, Logan O’Hoppe, Garrett Mitchell

Post-300 ADP: Brayan Bello, Kenta Maeda, Oscar Colas, Zach Eflin, Hayden Wesneski, Isaac Paredes, Alex Kirilloff, Aaron Civale

Players To Avoid Near ADP

Strategy/Advice:

  • Be willing to adjust from the plan you have going into the draft. Find fallen values and adjust accordingly throughout. It won’t go 100% as you have planned and you can box yourself in.
  • Get your players. Use ADP as a guide but not as the be-all, end-all. Be willing to jump up a round or so to get your guy.
  • Know your league settings and adjust your rankings accordingly. OBP and average and saves vs. saves+holds change a lot of values.
  • Don’t get too flashy. The shiny toys can be fun, but boring veterans often are the difference-maker for a fantasy team. Especially with pitching, I find myself building a rotation of veterans who can give me good innings.
  • Leave an outfield spot open. Trust me on this. The end of the draft has many outfield options and you’ll be dying to roster them. The narrative is that outfield is shallow, but there’s just a big drop-off in the middle. The end is filled with great options.
  • Prioritize speed and steals, but don’t be foolish. There’s no need for pocket closers or taking a speedy player who is a worse player than someone you’ll pass up. Any strategy can work if you pick the right players. Be sure to get a closer early and pair him with one middle-tier guy and one potential closer at the end. Drafting a closer in the first three rounds is a waste of a pick.


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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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