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Best-Ball Late-Round Targets - Outfield

With best-ball drafts gaining steam, we are pumping out more best-ball content at RotoBaller. I wrote the Best-Ball Targets and Best-Ball Fades for the premium draft guide and will now produce a three-part series on late-round targets. Part one focused on late-round infield targets, and now we head to the outfield for some late-round targets. 

These targets may vary slightly from standard, 5x5 redraft leagues due to the changes in scoring systems. Most best-ball leagues are points-based systems that benefit innings pitched and OBP more than “normal” formats. There are a few different sites to play best-ball on, but we will focus on Fantrax and NFBC Cutline leagues for these articles.

ADP will be from NFBC Cutline leagues over the last couple of weeks of writing the article. Lastly, these will be targets after ADP 200, and I will try and focus on post 300 ADP where it is applicable. Now, let’s check out some late-round infield best-ball targets for the 2021 draft season. 

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Mark Canha, Oakland Athletics

ADP: 242

Canha is coming off a 2020 season where he played in 59 of 60 games and was an on-base machine for the A’s. He only hit .246 but had an OBP of .387 thanks to a career-best BB% of 15.2%. It was the second straight season where Canha had a BB% of 13.5% or better and finished with an OBP of .387 and .396. 

The power was down some with only five home runs and a .162 ISO, but I am not overly concerned. Canha still had a maxEV of 108.9 mph, a barrel rate of 7.7%, and a hard-hit rate of 39.4%. Those numbers were all down from his monster 2019 numbers but were not far enough off for concern. Canha even saw how the ground-ball rate drops to 33.8%, and his fly-ball rate rose to 28.9%, but the factor that appears to have zapped his power was his pull rate dropping 10% to 39.4% while his straight away rose nearly 10% to 38.7%. He was not pulling the ball as much, and that will limit power.

The last factor that makes Canha a significant target in best-ball and even season-long leagues is the A’s discussing the chance he could bat second this season. His OBP skills warrant the spot in the order. If Canha bats second and returns to power, he could be in for a monster season. He could hit 20+ home runs yet again, hit .255, score more runs, and add some sneaky stolen base upside. I would not be surprised if he stole 10 or so bases; he already has one steal this spring. Canha is in for a big season, and hopefully, he is doing so on your fantasy teams. 


Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds

ADP: 261

Health has always been the concern with Senzel, never the talent. He appears to be healthy this spring, hitting .316 with a .409 OBP and two home runs over his first eight games. The OBP is encouraging as he has been more of a .315 or so OBP the last two seasons after being an OBP stud in the minors. He has not stolen a base yet but has 15+ stolen base upside to go with his 20+ power upside.

The Reds have already come out this spring saying they want Senzel to play every day in CF, making him a target in drafts for me. When there were questions about playing time, I stayed away, but now he is locked in for the Reds and locked into my fantasy radar. Senzel’s combo of power and speed to go with a potential OBP bump makes for a solid post-250 pick. The injury concerns will always be there for Senzel, but that is already baked into his ADP. If he had always been healthy and played to the ability we expect, he would be a top-200 pick easily.


Sam Hilliard, Colorado Rockies

ADP: 334

Sam Hilliard could be Nick Senzel, but 70 picks later. Just let that sink in for a second. The biggest hold-up is the Rockies, as usual, holding back their young studs. In each step through the minors since 2016, Hilliard stole at least 22 bases with 17 or more home runs in three of the four seasons. In limited action with the Rockies, he has shown the minors’ power and speed but struggled last year with a .210 average and an increased K% to 36.8%. 

Hilliard is ready for an everyday role. He has produced as stated above, and looking at the Statcast metrics; he has not disappointed either. He has a maxEV of at least 111 mph, a barrel rate of at least 9.5%, and a hard-hit rate of at least 42.6%. This spring, Hilliard has played nearly every day between LF and CF and if this continues, resulting in everyday playing time during the season, Hilliard is a steal at pick 334. He would be a much better selection than his teammate Raimel Tapia.


Robbie Grossman, Detroit Tigers

ADP: 354

Grossman is a late-round flyer with some nice best-ball upside. He brings 10+ home runs and 10+ stolen base upside. I mention the stolen bases as they are almost as valuable as a home run in Cutline formats. Grossman is also now a member of the Tigers and is projected to lead off, which is always great from a fantasy perspective, especially in the late rounds. Based on Mike Kurland's spring training tracking sheet, Grossman has hit either first or third every time he's been in the lineup this spring.

Last year, Grossman had a career-best ISO of .241, a product of a career-best 5.5% barrel rate and a 37.5% hard-hit rate. Grossman is only 31 years old and should be in line for another strong season.


Harrison Bader, St. Louis Cardinals

ADP: 406

There have been concerns about the crowded outfield situation in St. Louis, but that has been cleared up a bit of late with the trade of Dexter Fowler to the Angels. Bader has been a hot topic in recent years in the fantasy community, but 2021 could finally be that year for Bader. He should be locked into the everyday CF job, in large part to his gold glove caliber defense but also for his offensive upside. 

Bader has 15/15 upside with a chance to sneak into the 20s in each category. Bader has had batting average issues throughout his career but never in OBP, and OBP is what we care about. He has a BB% over 10% in each of the last two seasons to help with the OBP. Lastly, the biggest concern is the fact he could be batting 8th for the Cardinals. It is not ideal, but there will likely be many moving and shaking with the Cardinals’ order this season. After pick 400, Bader is definitely worth the draft pick.

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