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

After 80 total home runs and back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2018 and 2019, Christian Yelich followed a poor COVID-shortened 2020 with an underwhelming 2021. The bounce-back candidate had a fringe overall top-10 average draft position, but finished last season with batting splits of .248/.362/.373 with only nine home runs and 51 RBI in just 117 games. A reliable set of 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings will help you hit on the right star players looking to rebound from an off year.

Carlos Correa took a bit of a step back in 2020, but finished fifth in the AL MVP voting in 2021. Correa was rewarded with a huge free agent deal in the offseason by the Minnesota Twins, and now it is time to figure out where players such as him fit in your 2022 Fantasy baseball strategy. 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: Toronto infielder Santiago Espinal. The Blue Jays are loaded with young talent and power hitting, but Espinal will backup shortstop Bo Bichette and could be a more long-term solution at third base if recently acquired Matt Chapman doesn’t pan out.

Espinal was in-and-out of the lineup as a prospect last season and battled through a few injuries, but finished the season strong. In the last nine games of the regular season — all starts — he finished with batting splits of .448/.515/.586. Through the first three months of the season, he started 24 of 43 games and hit .292 with five doubles in 96 at bats. Over two years, Espinal has yet to log 162 total games, but he figures to play a key role with Toronto this season with the potential to start for stretches throughout the course of the year.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball busts

As for players to avoid, the model has identified Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill as one of its biggest 2022 Fantasy baseball busts. Like many others, he wasn’t able to get into a rhythm in 2020, but he came back last season to have his best year in the majors. He finished with 34 home runs and 80 RBI in 138 games played, and cemented a role for himself in left field for St. Louis.

The model believes that O’Neill will go through some regression this season, which might look something closer to his 2019 version as a player. He still produced reasonably well that year, just with a slightly lower walk percentage (2019: 6.6 percent) and a slightly higher strikeout rate (2019: 35.1 percent) than he had in 2021. National League teams were big players in free agency when it came to pitching, particularly division rival Chicago. As a result, the model doesn’t value O’Neill’s potential as highly as some other players being taken much later than him, like Michael Brantley, AJ Pollock or Austin Hays.

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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