April 24, 2024


Technological development

Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2022: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from computer model that called Hand’s struggles


Major League Baseball and the MLBPA finally came to a collective bargaining agreement earlier this month, so Fantasy baseball players can have some certainty about when the season will start. Opening Day 2022 is set for April 7, and there’s a lot of work to be done for 2022 Fantasy baseball draft prep like sorting through 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings to account for major moves like Carlos Correa signing with the Twins. You’ll also need to acquaint yourself with new 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts.

Who will be this year’s Ty France or Cedric Mullins — players past the age of 25 who found themselves outperforming every possible projection? And which players won’t live up to their 2022 Fantasy baseball ADP? Before making any 2022 Fantasy baseball picks, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2022 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including reliever Brad Hand.

The team at SportsLine was all over Hand as a Fantasy bust from the start, and he went on to lose his job as a closer as he bounced around between three teams. He had a disastrous 7.57 ERA in a stint with the Blue Jays later in the season. Their model had him listed much lower than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice avoided a major speed bump that could have derailed their season.

Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day.

Any time more MLB news comes out about the updated 2022 MLB schedule or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Washington Nationals designated hitter Nelson Cruz. The elder statesman DH will turn 42 this season, his first as a member of the Nationals. Last season, his 17th as a big-leaguer, Cruz still had 32 home runs.

He made an All-Star appearance last season as a member of the Twins before being dealt to the Rays, his seventh MLB team. Cruz hasn’t had fewer than 32 home runs in a season since 2013. Even if he’s in the twilight of his career, anything approximating what Cruz did last year is going to result in above-average returns based on his current 2022 Fantasy baseball ADP.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson. Many will point to the 22-year-old prospect’s poor showing in spring training last year and suggest that he’s not ready for the big time. But heading into this season, he is the de facto first baseman on a Tigers team still trying to squeeze value out of veterans elsewhere on the field. In 27 Grapefruit League plate appearances last season, he struck out 16 times, but he shook that off to have a stellar year in the minors.

Across all levels of play in lower leagues, he finished with batting splits of .267/.383/.552 with 30 home runs and 91 RBI. Jonathan Schoop was the primary option for the Tigers at first base last season, but he’ll likely slide over to second base this season, clearing the path for Torkelson to shine. The youngster may have looked shaky during his first turn in a Tigers uniform, but the model projects that he can add valuable depth to any Fantasy roster late in drafts with his opportunity and upside.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball busts 

The model lists Angels DH/OF Shohei Ohtani as one of its top 2022 Fantasy baseball busts. The 27-year-old Japanese superstar is a two-way talent unlike anything we’ve seen since Babe Ruth and he earned the 2021 AL MVP with stunning performances as both a hitter and a pitcher. However, those efforts are split for Fantasy purposes on most sites and there is some reason to be concerned about him sustaining his production as a hitter.

In his first three years in the majors as a hitter, Ohtani had an OPS of just .843 with 47 home runs in 863 plate appearances. Then in 2021, he had a .965 OPS with 46 home runs in just 639 plate appearances that was largely fueled by a torrid start to the season. After posting a 1.062 OPS before the MLB All-Star break, Ohtani’s OPS dropped to .839 in the second half. There’s no question that he’ll continue to be a productive player but he’s being drafted No. 32 overall on average as a hitter. That high draft pick won’t be warranted if he’s more like the Ohtani we saw the first three years of his career or in the second half of last season. 

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who lands in the top five of its positional rankings. This player is barely going off the board in the top 100 picks, but is projected to outperform starters such as Julio Urias, Max Scherzer and Lucas Giolito. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So which 2022 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Brad Hand’s disappointing season, and find out.


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