True Fantasy Sleepers and Busts - The T & A Version - Part 1
Nothing sells newspapers like sex or sports, except maybe sex and sports. So I have gathered a list of players that fantasy owners might not find all that sexy, and some players many fantasy owners are still wearing beer goggles for on draft day. It's time to have a look at a little T & A. Talent vs. Average Draft Position (ADP).
Everyone spends a ton of time and research each spring on trolling for sleepers, and not enough time looking at what's right in front of them. It's like one of those teenage rom-com's where the guy's in love with the cheerleader, not noticing that the perfect girl is standing next to him all along.
When we think of sleepers in fantasy sports we're generally looking for the break out rookie. Some wicked new prospect that's ready to light the world on fire. Or some guy everyone sort of forgot about because he was injured a season ago and fell off the fantasy radar. When we think of a bust we think of Jessica Simpson, um, er, we think of a player who's about to melt down or hit that wall where they decline sharply.
The true measure of a sleeper or a bust, is playing above both or below both expectations or ADP. If everyone is touting Jason Heyward as a monster sleeper this year, then his fantasy stock rises. Come draft day he's going to go higher in the draft, thus making him less of a sleeper.
So here are a couple names to keep in mind come draft day that truly are sleepers and busts. Each day Fantasy Knuckleheads will add another Sleeper/Bust duo.
Jake Peavy, SP, CHW - Peavy has always been a fantasy stud, with a career K/9 ration of nine K's per game. One strike-out per inning. The ratio's actually higher than that over the last few years. Even during his poor 2009 campaign with San Diego, Jake managed a K/9 of 10.1. Peavy then moved over the Chicago Whitesox and went 3-0 in his first three games for his new team. Peavy has a career WHIP of 1.18. and his ERA over the last six seasons is right at three, which includes 2009's misery. Peavy is only 29 this May.
|Avg. Wins Per||Career K/9 Ratio||Career WHIP||Career
|Career K's Per Season Average||Number of Season Played|
Peavy's been doing great this spring, and is easily the ace fantasy stud he's always been, yet he's being drafted on average in the 10th round. He may well put up Lincecum/Halladay type numbers this season, and he's going at pick 97. As you can see above, Peavy is comparable to both Halladay and Lincecum. Peavy is pure sleeper gold, and a steal anywhere from round 5 on.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS - Ellsbury has definite talent. Over the last 2 seasons he's averaged 96 runs, 50 stolen bases and a .290 batting average. Unfortunately, he's only hit 8 home runs and 54 RBIs. These are not bad numbers on the surface, but if you read our article, The Perfect Draft, you'd note Ellsbury's ADP is 19th: The second round, and ahead of guys like Troy Tulowitzki who gives you 5-tool talent at a thin position, and Matt Holliday, who is a high-end 4-tool player. Why spend a second round pick on a guy who helps in only 3 categories, and only one of which is significant? You can find the same or similar production much deeper in the draft.
|Michael Bourn||Juan Pierre||Carlos Gonzalez||Nyjer Morgan|
|Bourn swiped 61 bags in 2009 with 97 Runs and a .285 average. He could do it again in 2010 and his ADP: 12th round; 10 rounds later than Ellsbury.||In Pierre's last 2 full season's he swiped 61 bags on average, with a .293 BA and 92 runs. His last 2 seasons he played part time and still stole 70 bases. ADP: 14th round||The Rockies outfielder has been labeled a big time sleeper this year with the ability to steal 40 -50 bases. he played only half a season in 2009 and still managed 16 SBs, 13 HRs, 53 runs and a .284 Avg. ADP: 13th round||Playing in only 117 games between Pittsburgh and Washington, Morgan still stole 42 bases with a .314 BA and 74 runs. ADP: 14th round|
As you can see, when you compare the potential to recreate most if not all of Ellsbury's numbers 10 to 12 rounds later, it's almost inexcusable to waste a 2nd round pick on him. More important, that makes him perhaps one of the draft's biggest busts based on where he's being taken vs. his production. You wanna waste that pick on draft day? Don't be that guy!