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Fantasy Fix: Deep Sleepers

There are never enough bench spots to accommodate everyone you want to take a flier on during your fantasy draft. There are always going to be a few guys who go undrafted, but who you'll have on your waiver wire watch list as the season starts.

Here are a few very deep sleepers I'll be watching closely in the first month of the season, ready to add them if they get hot and a DL stint or other excuse opens up a roster spot:

Trevor Bauer, SP, CLE: Okay, I did draft him late in one very deep daily league in which starters are a premium, but he's otherwise available in 64% of Yahoo! leagues. Once a top prospect who has showed flashes of brilliance amid many more so-so outings, Bauer had a nice underrated spring. The 4.55 ERA didn't impress, but 26 strikeouts and just one walk in 27 innings will have me paying a lot of attention to his first few outings.

Steve Vogt, C/1B/OF, OAK: Three-position eligibility alone makes him interesting, but Vogt was pretty good last year in an abbreviated stretch, hitting nine HRs, 35 RBI and .279 in 269 at-bats. The A's traded catcher Derek Norris, so Vogt will be a full-fledged starter as long as he proves himself - and he started off on the right foot on Opening Day with a three-run HR and a double.

Micah Johnson, 2B, WHITE SOX: Showed enough with the bat and the legs this spring to be named the Opening Day starter for the Sox. He's not going to carry his .347 spring average through the regular season, but if he hits well enough and steals four or five bases in the opening weeks, he'll become popular very quickly.

Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR: Another candidate for helping your team compete in the SB category. Pompey is available in 62% of Yahoo! leagues, and hasn't proven himself, but he's a starting OF for the Jays, and a candidate to steal a base every time he gets on.

Expert Wire
* Yahoo! Roto Arcade says the big Opening Day trade between the Braves and Padres wasn't just about reuniting Melvin (formerly B.J.) Upton, Jr. with his brother Justin in San Diego. The Padres nabbed star closer Craig Kimbrel in the trade, which might increase Kimbrel's fantasy value, but definitely will sharply decrease ex-Padres closer Joaquin Benoit's fantasy value - he's now the set-up man. In other news, I wonder if Melvin will hit any better than B.J. - Melvin certainly hopes so.

* FanSided offers a top 10 list of possible fantasy busts that includes Jose Abreu (!). Fansided isn't all that low on our hometown hero, but does question his consistency and how high he's been drafted in fantasy leagues. I was one of those draft-high guys, and maintain if the Sox are as good as advertised, Abreu will have another huge, possibly MVP season. But, are the Sox as good as advertised?

* Bleacher Report has its own list of sleeper candidates, and agrees with my assessment of Vogt. There are two Cubs on the list, including Javier Baez, which I'm not surprised about. I marked Baez as someone to draft for a bench slot, but after he was sent down to the minors, he was probably left out of many drafts. The second Cub, a new face in Chicago, surprised me a little more.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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