Unfortunately, due to lack of time on my part, our sleeper central post is going to have to go into weekly mode for the next month or so. You’ll still be able to get starting pitching help in our daily post, but positional pickups will be given on a weekly rather than a daily basis. Before we get to the lineup of options for this week, I have an important question for regular readers: What day of the week would be most helpful for this post to be published for you? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
As usual, all players mentioned in our sleeper central (archive here) make good pickups depending on positional and categorical team needs. Not all pickups are for everyone, but if you need an upgrade, these are the players I’d start with. All players mentioned are available in at least half of ESPN leagues.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jonathan Lucroy-Milwaukee Brewers: (43.0% owned in ESPN leagues) If an over-active owner dumped Lucroy, now is the time to grab him as he’s starting to heat up for Milwaukee. The Brewers’ catcher has hit in six in a row going 9-24 with three home runs and seven RBI. He’s hitting just .259 still on the season, but can be a top 5 offensive catcher when he’s rolling which he is right now. If Lucroy is available he makes a great add for the coming week as Milwaukee heads west to take on the Padres and Dodgers.
1B- Matt Adams-St. Louis Cardinals: (11.6%) Despite not having a full-time regular position, Adams has started the season tearing the cover off the ball in the appearances he is getting. So far Adams has multiple hits in five of the six games he’s had multiple at-bats in going 13-24 (.542) with three doubles and three home runs. He will have instant fantasy value if he gets into the lineup on a regular basis, and the Cards need some pop in their lineup. I think he’ll get more playing time this week as the Cards visit Washington and then come to face the Pirates.
2B- Mark Ellis-Los Angeles Dodgers: (11.6%) Ellis has pulled his batting average all the way up to .311 with three multi-hit games this past week. He drove in three Sunday against Baltimore, but his real value is his consistent time in the #2-spot in front of Matt Kemp and the middle of the Dodgers lineup. If the seven runs they scored helps them break out of their offensive slump, Ellis could be a great source of runs scored if he can keep getting on base.
3B- Luis Jimenez-Los Angeles Angels: (1.3%) Jimenez has been solid since being called up to fill in for Alberto Callaspo at the hot corner for the Angels. Jimenez has gone 10-27 with three doubles and eight runs scored. Jimenez is a big-time prospect, but may need some more time in the minors before getting the job full-time. Right now, Jimenez is in the Angels solid lineup on a regular basis making him a nice short-term solution until he loses his playing time.
SS- Didi Gregorius-Arizon Diamondbacks: (2.2%) While he’s still recovering from his elbow injury, don’t expect Gregorius to be on waiver wires long since he’s coming back hitting the ball exceptionally well. In his first three games this season he’s 6-11 with two home runs. He’s more known for his defense but so far his bat looks like it could quickly make him fantasy-worthy material at a shallow shortstop position.
OF- Lorenzo Cain-Kansas City Royals: (23.0%) Cain is hitting a sizzling .368 even after a 1-6 double-header yesterday in Boston. In his last six games, he’s gone 12-22 with four runs scored, four RBU, and his first home run of the year. He’s also added a pair of stolen bases. Cain’s had the potential to breakout and offer a nice power-speed blend, and this may be the beginning of that breakout. Regardless of how long it lasts, he’s worth a look in the short-term at least while he keeps raking like this.
OF- Nate Schierholtz-Chicago Cubs: (27.8%) Schierholtz has played his way into regular playing time in Chicago and is batting an even .300 so far with a pair of home runs and three steals. He’s cooled off a bit over this last week but is still a solid option if you need outfield balance and depth.
OF- Justin Ruggiano-Miami Marlins: (24.6 %) In the last week, Ruggiano has a pair of homers while driving in five. He’s been one of the Marlins few consistent offensive threats in the early going. Long-term his RBI and runs scored could be take a hit from being in such an anemic lineup, but his home runs and stolen base potential makes him worth a look on the waiver wire.
OF- A.J. Pollock-Arizona Diamondbacks: (2.8%) Pollock went 2-3 with a double and run scored on Sunday raising his average back over .300. Pollock had a solid week and is 17-55 to start the season with nine doubles and a pair of homers. He’s also stolen a couple bases and should keep seeing daily playing time making him a solid end-of-your-depth-chart addition in NL-only or 10+ team leagues.
OF- Travis Snider-Pittsburgh Pirates: (1.4%) If you came late to the Starling Marte bandwagon, don’t overlook the other Pirates corner outfield spot where Snider is starting to heat up a bit. The former Blue Jay has hit safely in his last eight games and has multiple hits in his last three with at least one double in each of those games as well. He’s 15-42 on the year with seven doubles, nine runes score, and four RBI. He hasn’t hit one out of the park, but has had several close callas and his power numbers should come as long as he stays in the lineup on a mostly-regular basis. The Pirates have a seven game week this week at Philadelphia for four and at St. Louis for three, so Snider makes a nice flier in weekly formats.