2021 Fantasy Baseball Bounceback Candidates

by Mike Sollicito
2021 Bounceback Candidates

Welcome back to another addition to the 2021 Fantasy Six Pack Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. In this article, we are taking a look at some forgotten players. All of these  players, after a down 2020 season, should be considered bounceback candidates

Every year, we have players who disappoint during the season. In turn, their ADP tends to fall the following year, meaning we can sometimes get them at a discount. Using the NFBC Average Draft Position tool, I will take a look at some players who I think could be 2021 Fantasy Baseball Bounceback Candidates.

Below will be five players that I think can outperform their draft position. These five players did not have the best 2020 season. While last year was a sprint 60-game season, we still have to take the results into consideration.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on Fantasy Six Pack's 2021 Fantasy Baseball Seasonal Rankings. And for you Dynasty players, check out Fantasy Six Pack's 2021 Dynasty Fantasy Baseball Rankings!

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns feel free to hit me up on Twitter @mikesollicito1. Now let's get into it!

2021 Fantasy Baseball Bounceback Candidates

For this upcoming Fantasy Baseball season, I will certainly be using the Fantasy Pros Mock Draft Wizard tool to get in some early mock drafts! These help you get an idea of where players are going, and who will be available at your turn.

James Paxton, SP, Seattle Mariners

James Paxton has always had problems with injury. That was in effect last year, as he only threw 20 innings throughout an injury-riddled, shortened 2020 campaign. However, Paxton was reportedly up to 94 mph while throwing for teams earlier this winter. Recently being signed by the Mariners, Paxton should have a rotation spot locked in with the team that he began his big league career with.

His velocity was down all of last year, so seeing him reach 94 mph is definitely a great sign. Hopefully, the offseason has allowed Paxton to get healthy and focus on getting ready for the upcoming season.

Paxton is currently going around pick 249 in recent NFBC Drafts. That is after SPs like Zach Davies and Nathan Eovaldi. While those two pitchers may be less risky than Paxton, Paxton is definitely more talented.

With the injury risk seemingly baked into his current draft position, I would take the chance on Paxton. I am not expecting him to stay fully healthy this year, as one can never expect that with Paxton. However, when he does pitch, I am expecting some very solid innings worth.

Get Paxton this late in the draft, as he is a high risk-high reward type player. May as well grab someone like that with your late-round pick in hopes he recaptures some of the form he had in previous years.

Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets

Undergoing Tommy John Surgery at the end of March last year, Syndergaard is nearing his return. While he was not the greatest in 2019, Thor said that this was partly because he couldn't get a feel for his secondary pitches due to the slickness of the baseball. With the baseballs seemingly changing once again, I expect this to be a strong year for pitchers to get back on track.

While Syndergaard will miss the first month or two of the season, he is expected to return around May or June. He is currently being drafted around pick 310. While him missing the beginning of the season may sting, he could be a huge boost to your rotation once he comes back healthy.

We know what Thor can do, and while I do not expect him to go back to his borderline NL Cy Young ways, I do expect him to fall somewhere in the middle of that and his 2019 season.

Right around a 3.60 ERA and about a 9.0 K/9 is what I would expect for Thor this year. Grabbing him with one of your later-round picks is well worth it. He may be on an innings limit, but no need to worry, as Thor should provide great value when he does pitch.

Being able to hit on the late-round SPs can make or break your team. While pitching is deep this year, there are not many elite or solid options. That makes hitting on these pitchers after the aces are off the board all the more important.

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners

Mitch Haniger has seemingly been forgotten by just about everyone. Haniger has not played since the middle of the 2019 season. Enjoying a healthy offseason and on track to be healthy for Opening Day, Haniger is being undervalued.

This is a player who has a 162-game average of a .265 average, 29 Home Runs, 90 Runs, and 85 RBIs. Prior to him getting hurt in 2019, Haniger's strikeout rate increased greatly, however, the power was for real.

Haniger had 15 HRs in only 246 at-bats. While the average leaves something to be desired, Haniger should be the primary right fielder for the Mariners this year. Seattle's lineup is beginning to fill out, as their youngsters are beginning to make their way to the major.

This lineup is very underrated, and Haniger should hit in the middle of it. Not to mention, the Mariners could have top prospect Jarred Kelenic make his debut this season, further strengthening this lineup.

Do not sleep on Haniger this year, and take advantage of him going so late. His ADP is beginning to rise, as it is around 265 at this point, however, he is still plenty worth drafting there.

Haniger is going after fellow outfielders like David Peralta, Raimel Tapia, and still unsigned Yasiel Puig. Haniger should be a great bounce-back candidate this year, and a worthy third or fourth outfielder for your rosters.

Take advantage of people forgetting that Haniger is still a very solid player, and scoop him up late on draft day!

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

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Lorenzo Cain opted out of the 2020 season. Playing in the first five games of the season, Cain then said he did not feel safe and decided to opt-out. However, Cain is yet again someone that is being forgotten.

Past his prime, Cain can still provide value for fantasy managers this season. Always having the ability to hit for a relatively high average, Cain was a speedster too, routinely able to steal about 20 bases per season.

While he did not attempt a stolen base during the five games he played last year, I expect that to tick back up this year. With the Brewers looking to compete in a lousy NL Central division, they will definitely want to maximize Cain's ability to get into scoring position with his speed.

Projected to hit second in the order as per Roster Resource, he will be in front of Former NL MVP Christian Yelich and young stud Keston Hiura.

Currently going around pick 242, Cain is going after players like Jeimer Candelario and Ryan McMahon as well as outfielders like Hunter Dozier and Andrew Benintendi.

Cain's speed upside is excellent. While him getting older may result in him stealing fewer bases, his fantastic glove in CF will keep him in the lineup. He should still run this year, but do not expect anymore than about 20 stolen bases.

Cain is worthy of being drafted at this point, and could really bounceback to provide fantasy managers with a solid average and speed upside. Stolen bases are a dying thing and hard to come by outside of the early rounds in fantasy baseball. Draft Cain as a sneaky stolen base contributor late, and enjoy his solid floor this season.

Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Orioles

Trey Mancini missed the entire 2020 season after being diagnosed with stage III colon cancer prior to the season. After surgery removed the tumor, as well as chemotherapy, Mancini is officially cancer-free. If you want to read more about his story, take a look at this article he wrote about his colon cancer for The Player's Tribune.

Now cancer-free, Mancini expects to be ready for Spring Training and is already beginning to take swings, going as far as saying that he feels like his old self again.

Mancini is currently going at pick 178 and could provide a massive value there. His multiple position eligibility is always nice, especially when he has 1B eligibility at a shallow 1B position this year outside of the top names.

Mancini enjoyed a 2019 breakout, hitting .291 with 35 HRs, and 97 RBIs. The Orioles team at that point were vacant of any talent. Now, they at least have standout prospect Ryan Mountcastle, Freddy Galvis, along with other serviceable names on their roster.

While the lineup is not the greatest, Mancini should be able to provide solid counting stats as well as some nice power. I am not expecting 35 HRs again, however, I would expect something around 25-30.

He hits the ball hard, as backed up by his hard-hit rate, and average exit velocity from 2019. The average also should not kill you, proving Mancini should be a valuable player for your fantasy teams this year.

It may take him some time to get back into the swing of things, but once he does expect Mancini to return to form. Draft Mancini, not only for his amazing story, but also because he can help you during this fantasy season.

Check out more great Fantasy Baseball content here at Fantasy Six Pack as the upcoming season approaches.

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1 comment

Anthony February 16, 2021 - 8:04 pm

What a very enlightening article! Great read


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