Five Sleeper Players That Will Help You Win Your Fantasy League

Matt ShafferContributor IMarch 27, 2009

SUPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Mike Aviles #72 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait during spring training on February 25, 2008 at Suprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

These players probably will not be picked within the first five or six rounds, unless it's a keeper league. These five players are players that I think could have a huge impact this season.

Note: These are not in order of importance.


1. Mike Aviles/2B/Royals-Little known guy that finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting. Put up very solid numbers in 102 games. Finished with a batting average of .325, 10 homers, 51 RBI, 68 runs, and 8 SB.

One problem with Aviles is his walk total, only 18 in 419 plate appearances. If you're looking for some depth at 2B or your in desperate need of a 2B and this guy is still out there then take him and don't look back.


2. Jose Lopez/2B/Mariners-Lopez was an All-Star last year but yet he still is kind of under the radar. Lopez put up a batting of .297, 17 homers, 89 rbi, 80 runs. Another plus about Lopez is that he is extremely dependable.

In the last three years, he has played 459 games out of 486. So this year, instead of maybe picking a guy who might break-out, I suggest picking Lopez.


3. Denard Span/OF/Twins-This spring it looks like Span has taken the CF spot away from Carlos Gomez, who was the top prospect dealt by the Mets in the Johan Santana deal.

Span last year played in only 93 games but that was enough to show off his talent. Span hit a solid .294, 6 home-runs, 47 RBI, 70 runs, 7 triples, 50 BB and 18 SB. Span can pretty much do it all, as you can see he can get on base and steal some bases.

If your in a deep league I would advise you to take Span, you can't go wrong.


4. Cameron Maybin/OF/Marlins-Last year Maybin only played in eight games but this year Maybin has the CF spot locked up and he doesn't plan on given that up anytime soon. Maybin hit .500, scored nine runs, and had two RBI.

The thing that impresses me about Maybin is his speed. He stole four bases last year, which, if you average that for a full 162-game season equals out to be 81 steals on the year.

Now, I'm positive he won't end up stealing 81 bases this year, but 45+ steals isn't out of the question. Maybin is also the Marlins' leadoff hitter. Like Span, I would suggest that if your in a deep league to draft Maybin, especially if your hurting for steals.


5. Nelson Cruz/OF/Rangers-Cruz was a rookie in '07 and really didn't to much. In limited action last year though, Cruz really turned the corner. In 31 games last season, Cruz hit .330, 7 home runs, 26 RBI, 19 runs.

Cruz isn't a real threat in the stolen base department with having only three in 31 games but he's good for at least 10-15. Cruz is slated to start in RF for the Rangers. If he is anything like he was last year you really can't go wrong, he could be a force to be reckoned with down in Arlington.