Revisited: The Search for Narco | 2010 Sleeper Hitters

Way back in January of this year, I chronicled a method I use for tracking down fantasy deep sleepers for my leagues. These sleepers are sometimes so hidden from other drafters’ views that we’ve had to invent a new word for them: narcos. The goal is to find guys who didn’t get a ton of opportunity last year (under 350 AB’s) but had nice fantasy production in that opportunity and are getting a bigger role this year. These are guys that can deliver prime value in drafts as they’re often overlooked since drafters rely so heavily on season totals from the year before. You can refer to the original post on this for more information but here are the names that our formula spit out as potential fantasy baseball narco targets for us in the 2010 season:

  • Kyle Blanks
  • Julio Borbon
  • Jake Fox
  • Brett Gardner
  • Jonny Gomes
  • Carlos Gonzalez
  • Chris Iannetta
  • Garrett Jones
  • Angel Pagan
  • Ryan Raburn
  • David Ross
  • Randy Ruiz
  • Seth Smith
  • Andres Torres
  • Rickie Weeks

Some of these players didn’t have a full year’s worth of AB’s due to lack of opportunity this year so they’d technically be disqualified from our criteria (Blanks, Fox, Iannetta, e.g.). But, regardless, in the graph above you see where all of these narco candidates fell at year’s end. The biggest fantasy successes from this group would be Carlos Gonzalez, Rickie Weeks, Angel Pagan, Andres Torres, Brett Gardner, Jonny Gomes and Ryan Raburn (once he got to play). There were some failures mixed in but, really, this is a great list of players that most pundits are now saying had ‘breakout’ seasons. If you had followed this site last preseason, these players were on your target list prior to the season and their season wasn’t as surprising to you as it was to others.

Granted, some of these players weren’t even on any draft boards prior to last season (Torres, Pagan, Gomes) and those are the type of guys that really surprise people. It isn’t necessarily recommended that you use a draft pick on guys that aren’t being drafted but you should pay close attention to them and snatch them off the waiver wire the second they show any signs of life.

Regardless, with this year fully in the books, I can say that the narco system for selecting your fantasy baseball deep sleepers was successful again. We’ll crunch the numbers for next year soon to see who you should be targetting in drafts or keeping an eye on in the 2011 season for possible waiver wire thievery.

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