Let’s be honest, I prefer to use the word value when describing players I like more or less than most in whatever fantasy league we’re talking about because the simple terms “sleepers” and “busts” are oft-misinterpreted. For example, look no further than St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright. Is it fair to call him a potential bust? I suppose, but if you ask me to project numbers for him, they’re obviously going to be better than what I expect from Colorado Rockies right-hander Kyle Kendrick. The difference with Wainwright is he’s viewed as a top-10 starting pitcher for his past achievements and the fact I’m concerned about his arm holding up means I wouldn’t view him as such. (A view shared by my colleague Mike Petriello, for that matter.) As a result, he’s not a great value to me and a potential bust. But would I draft him if he falls a few rounds to me? Of course!
So with that caveat, taken however you like really, let’s go position by position offensively with my "sleepers and busts," and one can only do so with a baseline. In this case, I’m using ESPN’s standard Top 300 rankings as my point of comparison in determining how much I view someone as a sleeper or bust, and don’t take the terms literally. In general, I don’t see how a top-50 pick can be viewed as a real sleeper, so I’ve got varying degrees of sleeper- and bust-hood, if you will. Whether you agree or disagree, form your own opinions about which players you find strong and not-so-strong values, and act accordingly. And since this blog entry got really long, pitchers will have to wait for another day!
Sleeper: Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers He’s a walker with power and a full-time starting gig for a really good team, one that doesn’t play its home games in spacious Petco Park. It’s considerably easier to hit for power at Dodger Stadium. Grandal closed last season strong and is poised to break out. Unlike most, I regard him as just missing my top 10, and he might still get there