After becoming the first player to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in MLB history, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is well established as one of baseball’s biggest stars entering 2024. The 2023 NL MVP posted a 1.012 OPS in addition to that gaudy HR-SB line and he’s the first player coming off the board in most 2024 Fantasy baseball drafts. However, Acuna does have a bit of an injury history, suffering a torn ACL in the middle of 2021 that cost him a chunk of 2022 while also sapping his productivity that season.
So is there any risk with spending the top pick on Acuna, or should that selection be automatic? A reliable set of live-updated 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings can help ensure you’re getting maximum value out of every pick while also helping identify the 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts that could define the upcoming season. Before going on the clock in any 2024 Fantasy baseball drafts, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2024 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon. The team at SportsLine was all over Rodon as a Fantasy bust from the start after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract in the offseason. Rodon posted a 27-13 record with a 2.67 ERA and 422 strikeouts over 310 2/3 innings in 2021 and 2022, but the model predicted he’d finish well below his ADP of 76.88. The result: Rodon made only 14 starts and went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA and anybody who followed SportsLine’s advice avoided a major headache.
Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day.
Any time more MLB news comes out about trades, signings or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers
One of the 2024 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe. The 29-year-old had 21 home runs, 68 RBI and 50 runs scored with a .771 OPS over 109 games last season. It was a down season for Lowe, who had 39 home runs, 99 RBI and 97 runs scored over 149 games in 2021 before an injury-plagued 2022 resulted in him playing in just 65 contests.
The model projects a bounce-back year from Lowe as he returns closer to his career averages. The second baseman has a .818 career OPS, and only four qualified second basemen had an OPS greater than that mark last season. Lowe, a left-handed hitter, is projected to hit near the top of a solid Tampa Bay lineup when facing right-handed pitching and he has a career .847 OPS against RHP. Lowe’s hard-hit rate was better than 84% of the league with an average exit velocity greater than 83% of the league last season, signaling some bad luck factored into Lowe’s statistics. See more Fantasy baseball sleepers at SportsLine.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball breakouts
One of the 2024 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is jumping on: Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The winner of Japan’s equivalent to the Cy Young and the Pacific League MVP in each of the last three seasons, Yamamoto has never thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball, but that didn’t stop the Dodgers from giving him the most lucrative contract for a starting pitcher in MLB history this offseason.
Yamamoto signed a 12-year, $325 million contract to join the Dodgers after they had already shelled out $700 million on Shohei Ohtani, and Yamamoto should be near the top of the rotation from the outset. The 25-year-old sits comfortably at 95 MPH with his fastball and also throws a devastating splitter at 88-91. He also throws a slider and a curveball that both grade out at well above-average and the model ranks him as a top-15 Fantasy baseball SP in his rookie season. See more Fantasy baseball breakouts at SportsLine.
Top 2024 Fantasy baseball busts
As for players to avoid, the model has pinpointed Rockies outfielder Nolan Jones as one of its biggest 2024 Fantasy baseball busts. The 25-year-old had 20 home runs, 62 RBI, 60 runs scored and 20 stolen bases over 106 games with the Rockies in his first full MLB season. He had a slash line of .297/.389/.542 for an OPS of .931 and finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
A look beyond just the numbers, however, shows an element of fortunate luck in Jones’ success last year. His xBA (expected batting average) was nearly 50 points lower at .249, finding some good luck for some of those hits. His hard-hit rate was 41.3%, just above the average in baseball last season. While there are parts of his game to like from his rookie campaign, Jones is being selected roughly 100 picks higher in ADP than players he shares a tier with in the model’s projections. The model projects Fantasy baseball players are overreacting to his rookie season and the fact he plays at Coors Field, ultimately projecting Jones as a 2024 Fantasy baseball bust. See more Fantasy baseball busts at SportsLine.
How to find proven 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings
SportsLine’s model is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who bounces back in the top 10 of its positional rankings. This player is going outside the top 100 picks but is projected to outperform starters going in the top 35 like Corbin Burnes, Logan Webb and Aaron Nola. This pick could be the difference between winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.
So which 2024 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2024 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Carlos Rodon’s disappointing season, and find out.