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2017 Pitchers: Top MLB Prospects for Fantasy Baseball

Welcome back, RotoBallers. I've already looked at the top 10 prospects for each MLB team, and now I'll be breaking down impact prospects by position. Today I'm bringing you my top 20 pitchers - MLB prospect rankings for the 2017 fantasy baseball season.

Pitching can often be such a critical spot to find sleeper talent. Guys who lucked into breakout Rick Porcello last season or rookies like Blake Snell found themselves the beneficiaries of outstanding performances that likely helped propel them to the top of their fantasy standings.

And while Alex Reyes will no longer be on this list due to his surgery, there are still a litany of names owners should be prepared to snag this season. Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez look poised to emerge as the next top-two pitchers for the Chicago White Sox, while Cody Reed and Amir Garrett aim to make their presence felt immediately in Cincinnati. Several of these names will have an impact this season on redraft leagues and as such, should be noted for later in the season when they all debut.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Top 20 Pitching Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball

1. Lucas Giolito (CWS, MLB)
Stats: 21.1 IP, 6,75 ERA, 8.21 FIP, 10.9% K rate, 11.9% BB%, .295 AVG
ETA: Late April
Giolito did not have a successful MLB debut in 2016, but he dazzled everywhere else he pitched. At Double-A, he posted a 3.17 ERA and 3.30 FIP in 71.0 innings and at Triple-A, those numbers improved to a 2.17 ERA and 2.95 FIP in 37.1 innings. He started to improve his command as the season went on and though he didn’t pitch well in the majors, scouts still love his upside. All Giolito has to do is string a few solid starts together at Triple-A Charlotte to open the season and he will take one of the wide open rotation spots in the South Side.

2. Tyler Glasnow (PIT, MLB)
Stats: 23.1 IP, 4.24 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 22.9% K rate, 12.4% BB rate, .247 AVG
ETA: Late April
Like Giolito, Glasnow did not have the most successful big-league debut in 2016. He struggled with his command in Pittsburgh. The concerning thing is, his walk rate actually decreased from Triple-A (14.2 percent) to the majors. Glasnow will likely struggle with his command for a while, but pitching coach Ray Searage could do wonders to help him correct his issues. He still possesses immense strikeout potential and will likely rejoin the Pittsburgh rotation very early this season where he will be a valuable arm to own.

3. Reynaldo Lopez (CWS, MLB)
Stats: 44.0 IP, 4.91 ERA, 3.92 FIP, 20.9% K rate, 11.0% BB rate, .263 AVG
ETA: Late April
Lopez has the high-octane stuff of the past two starters, but he has not had much command issues in the past. He hasn’t posted a walk rate above 7.8 percent at a MiLB level since Low-A in 2014 and yet has always posted very high strikeout rates. There are questions about his durability and he does not quite have the secondary stuff of the previous two starters, but he could be a solid No. 2 starter with strikeout upside. He will likely start in Triple-A to begin the year, but he, like Giolito, should only need to string a few solid starts to secure a spot in the Chicago rotation.

4. Jharel Cotton (OAK, MLB)
Stats: 29.1 IP, 2.15 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 20.5% K rate, 3.6% BB rate, .185 AVG
ETA: Opening Day
Cotton is the first starter on this list to be a near-lock to open the season with the big-league club. And for fantasy owners looking for a sleeper pitching prospect, this is a very exciting prospect to own. He has consistently posted strikeout rates north of 25 percent with walk rates below 10 percent. His stuff does not play as well as some of the other starters, but Cotton should still be a solid No. 3 starter with some decent strikeout numbers.

5. Amir Garrett (CIN, AAA)
Stats: 67.2 IP, 3.46 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 19.7% K rate, 11.3% BB rate, .198 AVG
ETA: Opening Day
Garrett was one of several names competing for the last spot in the Reds’ 2017 Opening Day rotation, but several solid starts by him and injures to Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani make it now almost certain that he will open the season with the club. Garrett has spent many years in the minors as he started off pitching for the Reds part time while playing basketball at St. John’s University. But since he focused on baseball, he has now made serious progress and looks like a future No. 2 or 3 starter in the big leagues. He has plenty of strikeout upside and could be a major sleeper prospect in redraft leagues.

6. Cody Reed (CIN, MLB)
Stats: 47.2 IP, 7.36 ERA, 6.06 FIP, 18.7% K rate, 8.3% BB rate, .324 AVG
ETA: Opening Day
Reed is the other starter who will benefit from some injuries and likely rejoin the Reds rotation despite a lackluster 2016 performance in the Queen City. What is promising for him though was that scouts have still seen him post excellent velocity in his Spring Training starts, plus his minor-league numbers last season were outstanding. Scouts believe he will not struggle again and should start to dominate the same way he did in the minors. And with arguably the best left-handed fastball/slider combination among prospects, he could become a strikeout machine in the majors and really boost fantasy owners willing to buy in on his MiLB success.

7. German Marquez (COL, MLB)
Stats: 20.2 IP, 5.23 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 15.3% K rate, 6.1% BB rate, .315 AVG
ETA: Opening Day
It takes a lot to succeed in Colorado. You need to be able to miss bats while keeping the ball out of the air. Well, throughout Marquez’s career, he has been able to successfully do both. At levels with at least 50 innings pitched, Marquez has never allowed more than 0.60 home runs per nine innings while posting strikeout rates between 17 and 24 percent. He has a great arsenal of pitches that has helped him get this far, including a heavy sinking fastball and hammer curveball. He is emerging in Spring Training as the favorite to win a rotation spot in Colorado and could finish the season as their second best starting pitcher.

8. Josh Hader (MIL, AAA)
Stats: 69.0 IP, 5.22 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 29.3% K rate, 12.0% BB rate, .241 AVG
ETA: Early May
Hader’s Triple-A numbers don’t look all that great, but it’s important to keep in mind that he pitched at extremely hitter-friendly Colorado. Home runs are an issue for every pitcher who reaches that level. Now his command faltered a bit up there as well, but he still managed to maintain a very high strikeout rate. His fastball/slider combination is one of the best among left-handed starting pitchers in the minors and should serve him well once he reaches the majors. Given Milwaukee’s lack of quality starting options, Hader should reach the majors before long.

9. Jose De Leon (TB, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 86.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 32.5% K rate, 5.9% BB rate, .190 AVG
ETA: Mid-May
If De Leon wins a rotation spot out of Spring Training, his stock will shoot up this list. But as is right now, I’m not sure he’s going to beat out Matt Andriese who turned in a solid 2016 season. De Leon will make it to the majors at some point, and when he does, he will surely put up excellent fantasy numbers. He generates plenty of swings-and-misses with a mid-90s fastball and disappearing changeup and commands all of his pitches very well. If he gets a chance to start, don’t pass up the opportunity to add him to your roster.

10. Luke Weaver (STL, MLB)
Stats: 36.1 IP, 5.70 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 27.0% K rate, 7.2% BB rate, .301 AVG
ETA: Late May
Weaver’s fantasy stock ascended rapidly as soon as it was announced Alex Reyes would undergo Tommy John surgery. Though Weaver does not immediately inherit a spot in St. Louis’ rotation, he likely steps up to become the sixth man in the event of an injury or poor performance behind such starters as Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha. He is not the super high upside pitcher like a lot of the guys on this list, but he has solid stuff and throws strikes, which should help provide value to owners in need of some solid innings pitched later in the season.

11. Francis Martes (HOU, AA)
Stats: 125.1 IP, 3.30 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 25.0% K rate, 9.0% BB rate, .220 AVG
ETA: Mid-July
The Houston Astros discovered a hidden gem when they found Martes in the Marlins’ system as he has now developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the game. He reminds scouts a lot of Johnny Cueto for being slightly undersized, and yet possessing electric stuff while occasionally mixing up his delivery to deceive hitters. His command needs more refining as does his slider and changeup, but if he continues to progress the way most believe he is capable of, he could slot into Houston’s rotation by the middle of the season be a breakout second-half performer for fantasy owners.

12. Stephen Gonsalves (MIN, AA)
Stats: 74.1 IP, 1.82 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 30.1% K rate, 12.5% BB rate, .169 AVG
ETA: Early June
Plain and simple, the Twins really don’t have anybody to keep Gonsalves down in the minors. He has been pitching incredibly well over the past couple seasons despite possessing only average to slightly above-average stuff. His control is not great, and yet somehow he continues to baffle hitters and scouts alike, missing bats and keeping runs off the scoreboard. He may get hit a bit harder in the majors where hitters are more likely to catch on to him, but he could just continue to dominate in the majors and establish himself as a future innings-eater for Minnesota.

13. Jeff Hoffman (COL, MLB)
Stats: 31.1 IP, 4.88 ERA, 6.27 FIP, 15.0% K rate, 11.6% BB rate, .285 AVG
ETA: Opening Day
There is a lot to like with Hoffman and there is a lot to be concerned about. Starting with the scary side first, he has always had a bit of a home run problem in the minors, typically averaging a little north of .70 HR/9 in the minors. He also currently appears to be headed to the Colorado bullpen to start off the 2017 season. But on the bright side, Hoffman possesses real swing-and-miss stuff and this move to the bullpen may only be to acclimate him (no pun intended) to pitching in the higher altitude of Coors Field. He could very likely join the Rockies’ rotation by the middle of the season where his ability to strike out batters could be very useful to fantasy owners looking for some production from their pitchers.

14. Anthony Banda (ARI, AAA)
Stats: 73.2 IP, 3.67 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 21.5% K rate, 8.5% BB rate,.254 AVG
ETA: Late May
Seeing a Diamondbacks’ prospect on any list is going to be a bit surprising, but Banda certainly deserves some recognition. He has pitched especially well year in and year out and is finally on the brink of a big-league call-up. Banda does not have the most electric stuff out there, but he controls the strike zone well and still generates a lot of swings and misses on his pitches. Chase Field will certainly hinder his upside, but Banda should still be a sleeper prospect to own once Arizona promotes him to the majors.

15. Nick Kingham (PIT, AA)
Stats: 11.0 IP, 5.73 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 23.3% K rate, 9.3% BB rate, .154 AVG
ETA: Mid-July
Kingham recently had Tommy John surgery, but he bounced back incredibly fast ascending all the way up to Double-A in his first stint back from the surgery. Prior to the surgery, he was considered to be a guy on the brink of making his big-league debut and should be able to reach Pittsburgh this season. He is not an outstanding pitcher by any means, but he could be a very solid No. 3 or 4 innings-eater for Pittsburgh. Fantasy owners looking for pitching depth could do worse than add Kingham to their roster.

16. Erick Fedde (WAS, AA)
Stats: 29.1 IP, 3.99 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 2.17% K rate, 7.8% BB rate, .280 AVG
ETA: Mid-June
With Giolito and Lopez now off to Chicago, Fedde is the top pitching prospect in the Nationals’ system. Fedde inherits a great situation where he is now the likely sixth or seventh starter for Washington, a team with an injury-prone pitching rotation. Not to mention that peripherals were not super high on Tanner Roark, who could be sent back to the bullpen if he struggles and Fedde succeeds. Fedde does not have the strikeout stuff of Giolito or Lopez, but he is still a future No. 2 or 3 starter in the making and could have a chance to help out fantasy owners if he receives some starting time in 2017.

17. Yohander Mendez (TEX, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 31.1 IP, 0.57 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 18.5% K rate, 13.5% BB rate, .118 AVG
ETA: Early July
Mendez is one of the guys who would likely open up the season in Texas if he had shown an ability to be a full-time starter in the past. Mendez has the stuff fantasy owners like to see in young pitchers and he also boasts well above-average command, but his 114 innings pitched in 2016 were a career-high for him, which does not look great for a guy who has been in the minors for three full seasons now. The Rangers lack great backend starting options, which could lead to a midseason promotion for Mendez, but we will have to wait and see if Texas wants to up his workload first.

18. Zack Burdi (CWS, AAA)
Stats: 16.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 32.8% K rate, 16.4% BB rate, .161 AVG
ETA: Mid-May
It’s not often you see a reliever rank this high in a list of valuable redraft pitching prospects, but Burdi is an exception. The standout Louisville closer dazzled in the minors in his first taste of professional baseball and has a good chance to take over as the White Sox closer if/when they trade David Robertson. It is high-risk buy this early in the season, but keep an eye on him as we approach the trade deadline.

19. Brandon Woodruff (MIL, AA)
Stats: 113.2 IP, 3.01 ERA, 2.49 FIP, 27.1% K rate, 6.6% BB rate, .208 AVG
ETA: Late June
Woodruff really came out of nowhere in 2016 and has now firmly established himself on the prospect scene. He now has a repertoire filled with at least average to slightly above-average pitches and has proven that he has what it takes to be an innings-eater at the highest level. The Brewers are also not exactly loaded with starting pitchers and Woodruff should be able to debut in 2017 around the summer and start to produce as a No. 3 or 4 starter with the chance to eat a ton of innings for fantasy owners and the Brewers.

20. Kyle Zimmer (KC, AA)
Stats: 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5.18 FIP, 33.3% K rate, 33.3% BB rate, .250 AVG
ETA: Mid-July
It is a shame Zimmer is so prone to injury because otherwise he would likely be tearing up the majors already. He has faced a litany of arm and shoulder troubles over the past few seasons, but he finally seems healthy and ready to go for 2017. Jameson Taillon and Dylan Bundy both faced similar lengthy layoffs and came back fine, and with Zimmer’s electric stuff and the Royals lacking many quality starting options, it would not be at all surprising to see him debut this summer and start to show off his elite stuff in the majors.

 

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Ahh, the NFL preseason. It's a great time to watch third-stringers play football and to fill in the gaps on your dynasty rosters by picking up players off of the waiver wire who are having good camps/preseason. There's a downside to that, which is that to add a player, you have to drop a player.... Read More


2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper: DeVante Parker

 DeVante Parker traded teams, but he did not trade divisions this offseason. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots attempted to upgrade their tight end and receiving corps during the 2021 offseason by throwing millions of dollars at the positions. While some signings worked out (Hunter Henry, Kendrick Bourne), others have been abject failures (Jonnu... Read More


rashaad penny fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Overhyped Sleepers for 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts - Stop that Hype Train on Rashaad Penny

Every season, there are players that are overhyped and underhyped based on public sentiment. In this article, I'll highlight one of those polarizing players that took the league by storm during the last few weeks of the 2021 season. That would be Rashaad Penny. Believe it or not, Penny ranked as the overall RB2 for... Read More


james robinson fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Fantasy Football Injury Reports For NFL RBs: Najee Harris, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards,

Below, you will find our updated fantasy football injuries report for running backs in the 2022 NFL preseason as of Wednesday, August 17th. The injury statuses for various NFL running backs are up in the air during training camp, including Najee Harris, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, James Robinson, Kenneth Gainwell, Elijah Mitchell, Cam Akers, and... Read More


Will Jonathan Taylor Be The Best Running Back In Fantasy Football in 2022?

Jonathan Taylor is on the heels of one of the best fantasy seasons we have ever seen from a running back. If it weren't for Cooper Kupp's record-breaking season, Taylor would have been the number one overall player in all fantasy football. From efficiency to touchdowns to his utilization in the passing game, everyone is... Read More


carson wentz fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Is Carson Wentz Healthy? Is Wentz Worth Drafting for Fantasy Football?

The NFL season opener is getting closer and closer, which means that fantasy managers everywhere have difficult decisions to make. Some of the most crucial things fantasy players need to stay informed about are injury statuses. With every week being important in fantasy football, having the most up-to-date information on these matters is essential. One... Read More


Dallas Goedert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers - Draft Targets and Avoids

Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller identifies fantasy football tight end draft sleepers, values, targets, and avoids for your 2022 fantasy football drafts. He breaks down and compares the ADPs of several tight ends (TEs) to help prepare you for your fantasy football drafts. Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM... Read More


antonio gibson fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

3 Overvalued Running Backs for Fantasy Football: Potential Busts In 2022

I don't fade players, I fade average draft positions (ADPs). For one reason or another, whether it's past performance or injury history, some guys get drafted too high or too low. In this article, we'll take a look at three overvalued fantasy football running backs that are potential busts in 2022. Now, that doesn't mean... Read More


Darren Waller - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Injury Report for QBs/TEs: Preseason Updates on Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Zach Wilson, Darren Waller, Zach Ertz

Below you will find our updated fantasy football injuries report for quarterbacks and tight ends in the 2022 NFL preseason as of Wednesday August 17th. The injury statuses for various NFL QBs and TEs are up in the air during training camp, including Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Zach Wilson, Darren Waller and Zach Ertz. Being... Read More


amon-ra st. brown fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Competitive NFL Receiving Corps to Avoid in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts

There is fantasy value on every NFL team. I can't name a single team where I would fade the whole team no matter what. But there are teams that are trickier than others to figure out. Maybe it's because there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe it's because those cooks aren't very good... Read More


Zach Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News

Five Fantasy Football Sleepers Who'll Stay Asleep in 2022

Every year you hear about a multitude of fantasy football sleepers. And every year a bunch of those guys go on to do virtually nothing. By Week 5, you're looking to the waiver wire. So today, we're going to be identifying five potential sleepers this season who are going to miss the mark. Guys who... Read More


saquon barkley fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Saquon Barkley: RB1 for Fantasy Football, Or Overvalued Draft Pick?

Saquon Barkley is a player that the fantasy football industry is divided on as we head into the 2022 season. On one hand, there are those who will be completely avoiding him because of the past two seasons. However, there are some that still believe in the ability of one of the greatest running back... Read More


trey lance fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Fantasy Football Matchups Analysis and Players To Monitor - NFL Preseason Week 2

Welcome to the NFL preseason Week 2 edition of our fantasy football matchups and Start Em, Sit Em column. We hope everyone had a great offseason and is enjoying watching preseason NFL football, the appetizer before the main course. Week 1 of the preseason is now complete and Week 2 is about to begin. I'll... Read More


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Real or Not? Legitimate Stats from Guards - 2021-22 NBA Season Review: Darius Garland, Anthony Edwards, Will Barton

We're still weeks away from the regular-season tip-off, and while there is a ton of hype about the incoming rookies, we still need to reflect on the 2021-2022 campaign and what happened just a few weeks and months ago. Things have finally settled when it comes to the NBA offseason timeline, so it's time to... Read More


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Real or Not? Legitimate Stats from Forwards- 2021-22 NBA Season Review: Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram, Kristaps Porzingis

We're still weeks away from the regular-season tip-off, and while there is a ton of hype about the incoming rookies, we still need to reflect on the 2021-2022 campaign and what happened just a few weeks and months ago. Things have finally settled when it comes to the NBA offseason timeline so it's time to... Read More


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Real or Not? Misleading Stats from Forwards - 2021-22 NBA Season Review: Kyle Kuzma, Saddiq Bey, Devin Vassell

We're still weeks away from the regular-season tip-off, and while there is a ton of hype about the incoming rookies, we still need to reflect on the 2021-2022 campaign and what happened just a few weeks and months ago. Things have finally settled when it comes to the NBA offseason timeline so it's time to... Read More


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Real or Not? Legitimate Stats from Centers - 2021-22 NBA Season Review: Steven Adams, Mitchell Robinson, Jakob Poeltl

We're still weeks away from the regular-season tip-off, and while there is a ton of hype about the incoming rookies, we still need to reflect on the 2021-2022 campaign and what happened just a few weeks and months ago. Things have finally settled when it comes to the NBA offseason timeline so it's time to... Read More


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Real or Not? Misleading Stats from Centers - 2021-22 NBA Season Review: Robert Williams, Mo Bamba, Bobby Portis

We're still weeks away from the regular-season tip-off, and while there is a ton of hype about the incoming rookies we still need to reflect on the 2021-2022 campaign and what happened just a few weeks and months ago. Things have finally settled when it comes to the NBA offseason timeline so it's time to... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Losers (Part 2): Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez, Otto Porter Jr.

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


fantasy basketball offseason trades free agents NBA sleepers

Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Losers (Part 1): P.J. Tucker, Danilo Gallinari, Gary Payton II

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Winners (Part 2): James Harden, T.J. Warren, JaVale McGee

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some veterans that entered Unrestricted Free... Read More


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Fantasy Basketball - Veteran Free Agency Winners (Part 1): Patty Mills, John Wall, Ricky Rubio

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NBA Summer League Losers - Forwards: Nikola Jovic, Trevelin Queen, Caleb Houstan

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More


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NBA Summer League Winners - Forwards: Keegan Murray, Quentin Grimes, Moses Moody

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. On the other hand, rostering players in perfect situations can be the ultimately league-winning move for savvy fantasy GMs. Today, let's talk about some potential busts and sleepers that... Read More