This is for all the Chicago Cubs fans pushing the boundaries with their fantasy baseball drafts.
Opening Day is Thursday which means, if you haven’t drafted yet, you’re likely making picks on Wednesday. It might be wise to keep an eye on a few Cubs players, in particular.
Sure, the likes of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are likely to be off the board toward the earlier side of the draft, and Willson Contreras is one of the best catching options at a pretty shallow position.
But fantasy managers might be able to get good sleeper value from the these three players. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the players most likely to make good on sleeper potential.
Cubs: Joc Pederson hoping to sustain spring success
One Cub stood above the rest during spring training: newcomer Joc Pederson.
The 28-year-old slashed a whopping .378/.431/.1000 with eight homers, 19 RBI and 45 total bases in 18 games this spring. He is simply mashing everything in sight, a trend that has continued from last October.
Pederson had a good deal of distractions during the 2020 season. He was on the verge of being traded to the Los Angeles Angels before ultimately staying with the Dodgers. Pederson and his wife, Kelsey, were also preparing to welcome the birth of their second child.
The California kid hit just .190 during the regular season, but dominated during the postseason with two homers and eight RBI. Pederson was a major factor especially in the World Series, hitting .400 with a 1.200 OPS.
This is a guy with an .806 career OPS and four seasons with 25 or more homers. Pederson will also have the chance to play every day after being a platoon option in L.A. He sure seems to project upside especially after a big camp.
Pederson’s consensus average draft position (ADP) is 249 and 46th among outfielders, per Fantasy Pros. He has ample upside that late, with multiple scouts predicting he will be a breakout star in his first season with the Cubs.