Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Cactus League Update

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This week on the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week Three Cactus League Update we are going to have some fun!. We are going to highlight a sleeper on each team.

I will evaluate how their spring has been so far and project who can provide huge value this season. The sleepers can be anyone outside of the Top 50 according to FantasyPros and are not considered the top player on their team.

If you didn’t check out the last two weeks’ Cactus League updates you should check out week one & week two. They will get you ready for the fantasy baseball season which is two weeks away.

What a great week for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week Three Cactus League Update. Why you may ask? Well, the weather is beautiful here in Arizona (high 70’s and low 80’s). More importantly the starters are getting more innings and we are starting to see the hitters find their rhythm.

In part one of three, we will cover the Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Reds, Indians. All of them have great sleepers who can position you to win a fantasy crown.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Cactus League Update

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Arizona Diamondbacks

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Ketel Marte, OF, 2B (FantasyPros Rank: No. 71)

Marte was regarded as one of the best fantasy second basemen going into the 2020 season. Let’s just say his 2020 season was not nearly as good as his 2019. Just to give a quick snapshot in 2019, Marte had 97 runs, 32 home runs, and a .329 batting average. While in 2020 he had only 19 runs, two homeruns, and .287 batting average.

This was a step back from his MVP caliber 2019 season, Marte is someone you should look at drafting early because he has already matched his homerun total of 2020 this Spring. He is batting .400 in 29 plate appearances which is a good indicator that he will take his hot spring over to the regular season.

I would look at drafting Marte in the fourth or fifth round of a standard 12 team re-draft league. With the lack of depth at the 2B position, he is a great pick up.

Chicago Cubs

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Ian Happ, 2B, 3B, OF (FantasyPros Rank: No. 150)

With Happ finally being given a permanent spot in CF he will experience some level of consistency on a Cubs team that has not been consistent. Happ has had a pretty good spring batting .300 with a .417 OBP and is the perfect table-setter for the Cubs lineup.

Batting leadoff gives Happ plenty of opportunity to score runs and get on base. With a poor launch angle of nine degrees last year, Happ was a ground ball hitter that didn’t hit the ball that hard. He was 125th average home run distance.

With Happ’s ADP at 149 this seems to be a good spot for him. He does not do have any elite qualities when it comes to fantasy baseball he is more of a lunch pail type of guy. Expect him to not be a top-five in any category but be a well-rounded fantasy player.

Chicago White Sox

Lance Lynn, SP (FantasyPros Rank: No. 57)

The White Sox are primed to have a dominant front half of their rotation with Giolito, Lynn, and Keuchel.  When you now have an ace of another team (if he is a true ace is a conversation for another day) be your number two, you are in good shape.

Lynn’s spring has been pretty good up to this point. With 11.2 IP he has 2.31 ERA and 17 K’s he already looking like the dominant pitcher that he has been for the past two seasons.

With many people sleeping on Lynn because of his age (33). He is still a dominant pitcher that can be a high strikeout and low ERA guy. If he falls in the draft, snatch him up by round six or seven.

Cincinnati Reds

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Eugenio Suarez, 3B (FantasyPros Rank: No. 67)

One of the most underrated players in major league baseball, Suarez has been rumored to be moving to SS. With him only being rostered in 80% of CBS Fantasy leagues Suarez boosts his fantasy value if he becomes eligible in two positions. He also is on a great OBP team with Jesse Winker and Joey Votto. Both players will give Suarez plenty of opportunities to drive in runs which will also boost up his slugging percentage.

In Spring Training this year he has a .310 batting average which is above his career average of .268.  His spot firmly in the four-hole will put Suarez in a great position to have plus fantasy value.

Now that Suarez will be both 3B and SS eligible, he will soon shoot up the draft boards. Expect him to go in the third or fourth rounds in 12 team format leagues.

Cleveland Indians

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 Zach Plesac, SP (FantasyPros Rank: No. 103)

With reigning Cy-Young winner  Shane Beiber being the ace of the Indians staff, Plesac will slot in nicely as the number two in Cleveland.  He had a great year in 2019 posting a 2.28 ERA with 57 K’s in 55 innings. Plesac’s arsenal of 4-Seam fastball, slider, and change up all as effective pitches for strikeouts made him a solid number two.

Plesac is not off to the best Spring, he has given up eight runs and three home runs in 12 innings pitched. If you look deeper into these numbers he had two bad starts which inflated his ERA.  Expect him to get better going into the last two weeks of Spring Training and to take the mound for his first start of the season against the Detroit Tigers on April 3rd.

Plesac is a sneaky good player that doesn’t get the credit he deserves because of Beiber. Look to draft him in the 7th or 8th round of your league.

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Conclusion

Because there are so many teams in the Cactus League (15) we can’t get to them all at once. On Thursday we will cover five more teams. Then we will cover the final five on Sunday. If there is a certain player or team you want me to highlight in a coming article tweet at me @MantelJosh.


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About Josh Mantel

Love to mix Fantasy Sports and Pop Culture together in a unique blend that will keep everyone who reads satisfied. Follow me on Twitter @MantelJosh

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