Fantasy Baseball 2021: Highlighting Top Sleepers for MLB Week 14

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 7, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Highlighting Top Sleepers for MLB Week 14

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Pirates roster has been a gold mine of unlikely fantasy baseball stars throughout the season. 

    Most of the fantasy focus on Pittsburgh is at the plate, where Adam Frazier made the All-Star team and Bryan Reynolds has become a reliable power hitter. 

    The latest Pittsburgh sleeper to emerge comes from its pitching staff. Tyler Anderson threw a seven-inning gem on July 4 and could be utilized as a back-end fantasy starter in the coming weeks. 

    You can also look to the top of the Major League Baseball standings for sleeper picks, especially at the top of the American League Central.

    The Chicago White Sox have been dealing with injury issues throughout their order this season, with the latest blow coming to Yasmani Grandal. 

    For now, Gavin Sheets appears to be capable of picking up some of the production left open by Grandal, who joined Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert on the injured list. 

    Akil Baddoo's Detroit Tigers sit 11.5 games back of the White Sox. The leadoff man is more of a known quantity than Anderson or Sheets, but he still has a low enough roster percentage in Yahoo fantasy leagues to be a value addition off the waiver wire ahead of the All-Star break. 

Tyler Anderson, SP, Pittsburgh

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Anderson is the lone Pittsburgh starter you can actually trust to put on your fantasy roster. 

    The left-handed hurler allowed five earned runs in his last three starts. He pitched seven scoreless innings versus the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. 

    If you go back to the start of June, Anderson pitched into the sixth inning in five of his six starts. He threw five innings in the appearance in which he did not achieve that feat. 

    Anderson does not produce a ton of strikeout power. He had 17 punchouts over 29 innings in June and struck out six on Sunday.

    However, he does bring enough consistency to the mound to the point he can be trusted as a back-end fantasy starter who lowers your overall ERA and WHIP. 

    If he keeps the earned-run totals down throughout the summer, Anderson could be viewed as one of the top waiver-wire steals before other players look to him for help. 

Gavin Sheets, 1B, Chicago White Sox

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The White Sox just need healthy bodies to fill in their lineup spots at this point.

    Grandal, Robert, Jimenez and Nick Madrigal have all missed significant time. Tony La Russa still pieced together a strong enough order to take control of the AL Central. 

    Sheets is the latest player who will be asked to provide support beneath Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu in the middle of the order. 

    Sheets had six hits in his first four games and has two home runs and eight RBI through 27 at-bats. 

    The promising early returns combined with a potential push up the order because of Grandal's injury should give Sheets more exposure in the run-producing offensive categories. 

    Sheets is rostered in less than 10 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Tuesday night, so he will be widely available to add as a depth option at first base, or in the utility role. 

Akil Baddoo, Of, Detroit

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Baddoo is starting to get hot again at the top of the Detroit order. 

    The 22-year-old outfielder recorded three hits on the final day of June against Cleveland and followed that up with a pair of two-hit performances in the first week of July.

    Baddoo was a hot name at the start of the season because he had a .323 batting average through the first week-and-a-half of play in April.

    Since then, he has cooled off in most categories, but his latest run of multi-hit games could be a sign that he can be more consistent in the leadoff role. 

    If Jonathan Schoop, Robbie Grossman and others can drive in Baddoo in the coming weeks, he could be an even more intriguing addition. He scored one run in each of his last three multi-hit outings. 

    If anything, Baddoo is a player to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, and he could end up as a depth piece or an injury replacement in that span. 


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from