There are a seemingly endless amount of sleeper lists from fantasy experts each year. Typically the writers use something called “intuition” when deciding which players might be sleepers. I don’t trust my intuition so I take myself out of it and use math and various benchmarks to come up with my list of deep deep sleepers (affectionately called ‘narcos’ around here).
After seeing who hits my performance benchmarks, I whittle my list down to those who had between 100 PA and 400 PA last year and didn’t have more than 500 PA’s prior to that. These are guys that are typically under the radar due to a lack of exposure. I only consider them narcos if their average draft position (ADP) is later than 100 and if they are going to be in their team’s opening day lineup. At this point in time, we won’t really know who fits that criteria yet though.
Last year, the system didn’t work out too well but it has been successful in the past. There were 27 narcos who met the criteria the past six years and 18 of them outperformed their pre-draft expectations. I’ve listed the past narcos who met all of the criteria for their year below. Those in gray did not exceed expectations.
- 2013: Will Middlebrooks, Eduardo Nunez
- 2012: Alejandro De Aza, Jason Kipnis, John Mayberry, Lucas Duda, Jesus Guzman
- 2011: Michael Morse
- 2010: Carlos Gonzalez, Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones, Seth Smith, Julio Borbon
- 2009: Ben Zobrist, Pablo Sandoval, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Mike Fontenot
- 2008: Josh Hamilton, Nate McLouth, Matt Kemp, Jayson Werth, Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, Rick Ankiel, James Loney, Michael Bourn
I crunched the numbers for 2014 and generated the following list of hitters who met all of my qualifications to be considered a ‘narco’. Keep in mind that, as I stated above, we still don’t know what their ADP will be or whether they’ll be in their team’s opening day lineup.
Matt Adams (1B, STL)
Charlie Blackmon (OF, COL)
Khris Davis (OF, MIL)
Evan Gattis (OF, ATL)
Scooter Gennett (2B, MIL)
Wil Myers (OF, TB)
Wil Myers will likely not qualify due to being drafted too high to be a deep sleeper but I’ll certainly be taking a closer look at this players throughout the preseason here. In addition to that group, some players barely missed my benchmarks and are worthy of discussion as well:
Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA)
Jarrod Dyson (OF, KC)
Craig Gentry (OF, OAK)
Donnie Murphy (3B, CHC)
Yasiel Puig (OF, LAD)
I’ll be posting profiles of these narco candidates and why they might just be the key to your draft success in 2014. Until then, happy holidays and happy fantasy baseball draft prep season!
Luke is better known as Mr. Cheatsheet despite his last name not being Cheatsheet. He makes spreadsheets, writes blog posts and his rankings were in the top 10 accuracy among FantasyPros experts in 2014, 2016 and 2017. When he's not doing fantasy baseball things, he can be found playing board games or rating beer.