Fantasy Baseball - 2023 bounce back candidates
Yahoo Fantasy analysts Scott Pianowski, Andy Behrens and Dalton Del Don offer up some picks for players who could have draft value after a down year in 2022.
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SCOTT PIANOWSKI: It's 2023. You're thinking about a fantasy baseball championship . How about a bounce-back candidate or two or three that can crush their ADP and give you a better chance to win? Andy, Chicago-- offense was really hard last year with the White Sox. Are things going to get better this season?
ANDY BEHRENS: they can't get a whole lot worse. And I've got a guy who's going to bounce back-- well, if he bounces back, he's going to bounce back from the depths. That's Yoán Moncada. He's only 27 years old. There's no reason he should have been as bad as he was last year. He's just one season removed from a year in which his OBP was [? 3.75. ?]
He was playing through some injuries at the start of last year. That was certainly part of it. The guy has a 25-homer season on his resume. He has some double-digit steal seasons. He has been extremely useful for fantasy purposes. And part of the story for him last year is he was just absolutely brutal as a left-handed batter. He's a switch hitter, and that really crushed his value. That is not his career story at all, and I would not expect it to continue, especially given the new environment and the new shift rules. I think Moncada bounces back in a big way.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, I feel like this entire segment could be about White Sox, and my bounce-back candidate is going to be Luke Giolito. You're going to hear best shape of his life talk this spring and, I know a lot of people shrugged that off. But look, last year, he got off to a really good start. Then he had COVID. He was never right the rest of the season. A really bad White Sox defense didn't do him any favors either. So his ADP's around pick 140. That's a giveaway. I still think Giolito, into an age 29, season has Cy Young upside. I want you to target him in the middle of your draft. Dalton, we need some National League influence. What do you got for us?
DALTON DEL DON: So true. The whole White Sox roster is full of bounce-back candidates, but give me Max Muncy on the Dodgers. He struggled badly over the first four months of last season, after returning from a torn UCL. But he did hit 12 homers over the last two months, and he should enter this year 100% from that elbow injury. He remains second-base eligible but is slated to move to third base full-time with Justin Turner gone.
Muncy is also projected to hit clean-up in a loaded Dodgers lineup. He's hit 35-plus homers in three of the past five seasons. And the Bat X projects him to post a top 25 WRC-plus this year-- much higher than guys going far higher in fantasy leagues, like Rafael Devers and Manny Machado. Muncy was also one of the 10 most shifted batters in baseball last season, so he's due for a major bounce-back in 2023.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Also qualifies [? a ?] two very difficult positions to fill this year-- second base and third base. We'll appreciate that flexibility. You'll appreciate the flexibility of Yahoo's award-winning fantasy baseball app. Get your gang together, and set up a draft today.